Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

    to be honest I couldnt care less about the  appearance of the tool... If you worked at the factory- and wouldnt let the tool leave because it was too ugly- I would be very mad at you for that! I am glad whoever was there didnt have such high standards. And in any case i think it is beautiful as is ;-)

    For me (in this case) functionality is everything.

    It is true that PV have been less than clear as to how users are supposed to do this themselves... But around the world many users have managed fine without it- figuring out alternative methods.

    The good news is that the design is now in the public domain... And for Australia at least I will be happy to lend the tool out to users when it is needed. You only need to change your seals every few years...

    I will ask PV if they can make these for sale. I have a few spare PFs coming in my next shipment and any one with access to a lathe and a bit of now-how could replicate this tool easily enough.

    To those owners that have already emailed me about the tool: I will post it out on Tuesday and answer all you emails over the weekend.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

      Originally posted by 5F5759515349495559513A0 link=1307713119/13#13 date=1307751910
      That tool does look like something Id knock together in my garage
      Originally posted by 564F3A0 link=1307713119/14#14 date=1307754076
      my mechanic backyard engineer friend could make much neater/better finished tool.
      The difference being that you and/or anyone else, probably wouldnt have known what to make.

      Jack, I think youve done a fantastic job of explaining the process and sorry to see the thread include anything but praise for your efforts.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

        Originally posted by 634249494E54270 link=1307713119/16#16 date=1307761877
        The difference being that you and/or anyone else, probably wouldnt have known what to make.
        True Dennis and yes Jack apologies for my rudeness  :-[ I agree 110% with Dennis  "Jack, I think youve done a fantastic job of explaining the process and sorry to see the thread include anything but praise for your efforts.".

        A major thing I was unsure about with this machine was myself replacing those darned seals. Seeing, as I followed PV thread since March this year that some of the relatively new machines needed seal replacement, bad batch it seems.

        Great to see you have got the PVL seal changer downunder, service and support is important .... I expect O/S PV lever owners may want one too

        cheers
        lou

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

          Lu: PV did have a bad batch of seals in my last shipment. This is the only reason these customers need to replace their seals already. Looking at the new seal and comparing with the bad ones the bad ones are a fraction stiffer and smaller- just a minute fraction. It seems that the PV supplier sent them seals that were made from the wrong material or overcooked or something.

          The new seals are working perfectly in my machine now and I dont think I will need to change them for at least 2 years and maybe a lot longer.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

            Originally posted by 3B647C6A616A666F6F6C6C646867090 link=1307713119/11#11 date=1307742005
            This one has gotta be worth a technical tinkerer award for mine.  [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
            I agree.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

            Also worthy of being made a "Sticky" too - Dont want all this valuable info becoming hard to find....

            Great stuff Jack.... [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

            Mal.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

              Originally posted by 485449495E554F52555A58545D5D5E5E3B0 link=1307713119/15#15 date=1307759087
              If you worked at the factory- and wouldnt let the tool leave because it was too ugly- I would be very mad at you for that! I am glad whoever was there didnt have such high standards. And in any case i think it is beautiful as is

              For me (in this case) functionality is everything.

              It is true that PV have been less than clear as to how users are supposed to do this themselves... But around the world many users have managed fine without it
              If I worked on the product team at the factory, youd have got a tool that worked (and looked like it was made from new parts) at the same time as your initial shipment of machines, along with clear instructions on how to perform this and any other expected service tasks. I doubt Id have done as good a job of writing up the steps as you, but the info would have been supplied in a timely manner and all tools to the standard of finish that service providers in the field deserve to make using them a pleasure not a chore.

              Originally posted by 485449495E554F52555A58545D5D5E5E3B0 link=1307713119/15#15 date=1307759087
              For me (in this case) functionality is everything.
              Referring to your quote on the left, I think we probably agree that form and function should be integrated. LLoyd Wright would be my second favourite architect, after Charles Rennie Mackintosh.


              Mal - definitely needs to be a sticky, although the follow-up posts may need to go missing for clarity.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                well its a shame you dont work for Ponte Vecchio...

                having said that the tool looks better in reality than in the pics here. Having changed seals on four group heads it has a bit of grease and grime on it. I didnt bother to polish it up for the photoshoot...

                 

                Myself if I worked at Ponte Vecchio I would use the old Sama 49mm group design that incorporates a two part group head where the top portion of the group can be removed via simple removal of two hex nuts with a standard allen key. In this group the entire piston and spring assembly just slides right up and out. But I would go further and actually take several elements of the PV group (the ones that make it perform brilliantly and better than most small lever groups I have tested), notably the 45mm design, the low clearance filter plate, and the thermosyphon loop arrangement... and incorporate these with Sama group...

                I would look to the fine form of Saladis  Cravel and the early Robbiati Atomic portafiter handles as inspiration for the design of my portafilter... As to thermal stability of the group- I have a few ides of my own ;-)

                My Hybrid group would have the best of both world. Obviously  a high quality forged steel tungsten coated allen key of the correct size would ship with every unit. This would be found in an integral toolbox built into the machine itself (along with a set of spare seals wrapped in wax paper, a tube of lube, 2 spare shower screens and other sundry machine seals).

                It is a shame I am only an armchair CEO at the moment. I may have to make my idea a reality...

                But I dont work at PV, and I dont manufacture a dual group spring lever machine that costs less than 2 grand... a lot less. In fact no one else produces such a machine. There is nothing remotely comparable...

                Buy I do agree with you: I wish this thread didnt need to exist. In the best of all possible worlds it wouldnt and Voltaire wouldnt have written Candide (and we would all own speedsters or slayers).






                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                  Great guide Jack! [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

                  After replacing one set of seals using the G Clamp way, using that tool would be an absolute pleasure. Next time I have to change, Ill send you an email to request the use of it!

                  For any other users out there, I would seriously consider getting some after market circlips for the pin, and a pair of circlip pliers to remove or install the circlip. It would certainly make life a heck of a lot easier to get it on or off.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                    I was thinking the same about the pin too Ash. Took a bit of time to get it off and then it was bent out of shape.

                    Do you know what size circlips you got? Where did you buy them from?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                      I do hope you mean the C clip was bent- not the pin?

                      Most hardware stores seem to have a box full of different sized clips. Probably best to look for the type that is a little flattened disk rather than the type the Lusso ships with. The disk ones can be removed easily with needle nose pliers.

                      Having said that I can get my C clips off in a flash. Using two small screw drivers and pushing the ends of the clips in opposite directions- once it starts to come off you can grab it with the needle nose pliers and off it comes. Then bend it back to shape before re-installing- with a final squish with the pliers when it is on.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!


                        Okay, heres a novices report on the process:

                        The tools and seals arrived at my place today.  I was going to leave it till the weekend to do it but as I started to tinker the first little clip that holds the lever pin in place came off in my hand, and the next thing I knew I had the first piston out!

                        The tool is great, but I did have a hiccup along the way which meant that two new seals got damaged, which means as I understand it theres exactly enough seals left in the package for the remaining users.  No more spares.  Sorry... :-/ .

                        So I thought I would point out a couple of screamingly obvious things (to everyone else) that sadly didnt dawn on me until mid way through the process which will drastically reduce your chance of damaging a new seal.

                        1.  Take out the drip tray and its cover!  : 

                        2.  If youve got a corner bench, put your Lusso on the corner so that one of its front feet is hanging over the edge, with the other three feet sitting around the bend of the corner.  It gives you a little extra space to feed the tool up from below.

                        3.  Getting the old seals off is not too hard, just be careful to use something that wont damage the piston metal.  I used a nylon spatula thingy but if youve got a bike tyre tool that would work well too.

                        4.  The order of the seals, from the top, is facing DOWN, facing UP, facing DOWN.  By that I mean the larger lip of each seal is facing in the described direction.  You can see it in Jacks photos in post #4 above (in the piccies where hes taking the old seals off).

                        5.  If you put the bottom seal on first (facing down), then the middle seal is easier to work up from the bottom end past the bottom seal.  The top seal (which also faces down) is easier to put on from the top end.

                        6.  Dont forget to spread a little silicon lube over the seal, including the inner part that fits around the piston.

                        7.  The sleeve:  it is vital that you feed it down the piston from the top with the ROUNDED edge facing down.  The top and bottom seals, as they face down, feed easily back into the cylinder.

                        The b!stard seal is the middle seal, which faces up.  That means the wider lip wants to get stuck on the lip of the cylinder as you feed it up.  The non-rounded end of the sleeve will keep the seal sufficiently compressed to feed it into the cylinder, BUT, if you notice as youre winding up the piston that the effort required to turn to bolt has increased a fair bit, STOP!

                        Its possible that part of the lip of the middle seal has caught and is being bent back.  Take it out and check.

                        Unfortunately on the first group I had the sleeve around the wrong way, so the non-rounded edge was facing down and didnt compress the middle seal, and it caught.  I foolishly kept winding up the piston and then was confused when I couldnt twist the piston to line up the pin hole.  I then undid the tool and realised to my horror that the piston had jammed in the cylinder. 

                        A couple of gentle whacks got it out, but what had caused it to jam was the middle seals lip bending back and down.  The seal was damaged in the process.

                        Second time around, with the sleeve on the right way, and the piston went in fine.  There was little noticeable increase in the effort to turn the bolt and compress the spring even as it got to its right position, so, I say again, if you notice a marked increase in effort to wind the bolt up, STOP!!!.

                        The second group was much more straightforward, and I had no trouble in getting the piston back into the cylinder.

                        8.  The final frustrating part was getting the tiny circle clip back onto the end of the lever pin.

                        9.  Also getting the shower screens back on was fine, although with both there was no distinct click as they secured, so be careful that you dont over-tighten the tool as youre putting them on.

                        10.  If youre finding it really easy to wind the piston back into the cylinder, check you havent forgotten to put the spring back on top of the piston before putting it back into the cylinder... (ahem).  :P

                        I didnt test the Lusso tonight, but will give it a go in the morning.

                        Thanks Jack for the tool and guide, it turned a nightmare task (with a G-clamp) into an easy(ish) one.

                        Sniff

                        PS.  The inside of my shower screens were filthy, together with the bottom of each piston.    :P  I will taking them off on a monthly basis from now on.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                          Great Post James- thanks for the detailed fine points.

                          It is indeed stupid to re-insert the piston without the spring- yet I do it nearly every time as well... :-?

                          I should have made it more clear in my description: the little alloy sleeve has a stepped end and a tapered end. The tapered end is a guide to slide over the seals and as you noted it should go over the piston rod from the top so that the stepped part is at the top of the sleeve and mates with the piston cylinder wall when locked into place with the tool.

                          Once it is pushed on all the way to the end until it is flush with the base of the piston you can insert the assembly into the group (with the spring!) and then clamp the portafilter tool into place. This way you dont need as much room under the group.



                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                            Thanks Jack

                            The first test came this morning and there has been a fantastic improvement - no signs of slippage with either group, very smooth action up and down. [smiley=thumbup.gif]

                            In particular my right group had always squirted a bit of water out the top back of the group (through a tiny hole designed just for that purpose) when you pulled the lever down. This morning - not a bit came out.

                            The coffee was (of course) just sublime... ;D

                            Thanks again Jack for the tool and guide - I should add (after a nights sleep and a fabulous morning latte ) that on reflection I agree with your assessment - the tool is a godsend and made the job very easy.

                            Cheers

                            James/Sniff

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                              So how far along is the pv tool? Will it arrive with no seals for lucky last here in qld???

                              Glad it all worked out sniff. I forgot the spring too and also got it all the way in only to find the pin hole out by 90degrees so I had to start again. Still you learn as you go eh.

                              Anyone else used inox mx6?

                              Jack have you also got the group gasket, steam/hw prints etc in stock?

                              Sniff you OE funnel is great. Dosing lower and getting great results.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: How to Change Seals: The Ponte Vecchio Lusso Way!

                                Originally posted by 183537313C3D39540 link=1307713119/28#28 date=1308978392
                                So how far along is the pv tool? Will it arrive with no seals for lucky last here in qld???
                                I think I was 2nd in the list - its already on its way to the next person (in Victoria), then another person and then you last Lacehim. There should be just enough seals left to replace all required, but maybe Jack could post you a set just to be sure (although given you just replaced your set you might not need to worry).

                                Originally posted by 183537313C3D39540 link=1307713119/28#28 date=1308978392
                                Sniff you OE funnel is great. Dosing lower and getting great results.
                                They are great arent they? I catch pretty much all the grinds with mine and then hold the funnel on so I can give the grinds a good thwacking before tamping.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X