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Thread: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

  1. #1
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    My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ok, I got my free em0480 as part of the promo and from the very beginning really couldnt get it to grind fine enough for espresso. Looked at all the threads on this topic and took a good look at the machine itself.

    I suspect that Sunbeam does have a v2 in the wings and is clearing out the old stock as part of the promo deal. On inspection the tolerances of the plastic parts are so woeful that it is no wonder so many people are having problems.

    For example the grind will be different if you click *down* to a given # as opposed to clicking *up* to the same number, simply because of play in the top burr carrier/collar.

    My problem was that the top burr was already *sunken* into the plastic carrier (it sat recessed and not flush) which is a common problem I gather. This leads to grinds which are too coarse.

    I found by chance that a 15mm outdoor tap o-ring fits the burr carrier almost perfectly. You can buy these from Bunnings for about 5 bucks for a packet of 10. The only problem is that they are slightly too thick. I sanded mine down to about 1/2 its normal thickness and placed it between the burr carrier and the top burr itself. This meant that my burr now stood just proud of the end of the carrier. I can now grind at 20 to get a good shot (as opposed to 1 and about a 10 second pull *:-/ before). I guess I could get the grind numbers the same as in the manual (12-16) with a little more sanding, but what’s the point. I find the whole idea of published numbers on a machine with such appalling plastic slop as to be comical; yes you *may* get lucky with a machine in which all the slop on all the parts lines up, equalizes out and works ok, but I bet it wont last long though.

    I also noticed somewhat less clumping for some reason which I dont know why? Perhaps because the "shim" throat is slightly constricted compared with stock, it is limiting the number of beans in the burrs at a time? I have noticed that it does grind slower, but at the cost of less clumping a trade-off I am happy to live with.

  2. #2
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    It would be great if you could post a pic of your "mod"!

  3. #3
    A_M
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Quote Originally Posted by flatwhite link=1187939008/0#1 date=1187941322
    It would be great if you could post a pic of your "mod"!
    It is interesting that many people seem to go to a great deal of effort to remove and mod the spacing on the top burr.

    Mine is recessed a little and was giving a course grind at 15 and a good grind at 3 -5. It was also locked in tight and I did not want to force the issue.

    However I found it easer to undo the nut (L/H Thread) and remove the bottom burr. It has two spacers / washers underneath. I measured these up and replaced with a single washer that was slightly thicker approx 0.25mm thicker.

    I then started course and was lucky to find that my optimum grind was now about 15.

    Thus I now have two spare (Sunbeam) washers that if needed, I can add one at a time as and if required. It also means that if things get too bad, it is a simple manner to replace them, prior to returning to Sunbeam.

    Many ways to skin a cat.


  4. #4
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Yes indeed. Good find.

  5. #5
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix


    Pics please....Im finding im gradually having to get closer to 0 to pull good espresso. It used to be 11 - 13 when i first got the grinder, now its at about 6-7.

  6. #6
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Phatboy,

    Have a look at this link, it shows the upper [Top/Stator] burr carrier but viewed upsidedown.

    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/sunbeamgrinder.html

    If it is OK [like in the picture] the metal burr and its plastic carrier should be level, ie if you put a ruler across the edge it should touch both the burr and the plastic carrier.

    In your case the burr will have bedded into the plastic so a ruler will not touch it.....Only a tiny ammount of movement will cause the variations you are mentioning.

    The upper burr just sits in the carrier, it is a press fit, and this is one of ithe grinders fundamental problems.

    To remove the burr, push the top [the end you cannot see] with both your thumbs and the burr will simply pop out. Insert washer/string/spacer/plastic takeaway container lid etc to move the burr further out.

  7. #7
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Have a look at the thread under this heading titled: "how to fix those dreaded 0480 problems for good"...... plenty of pics.

    Ray.

  8. #8
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    That post is here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1183436456/60

  9. #9
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    With the sanded thin gasket mod (which throttles the bean intake rate), I find that if I (lightly but firmly) bang on the top of the grinder hopper lid as it grinds, then I can (so far) totally eliminate all clumping during the grind. As a bonus the vibrations of the banging are transmitted to the PF holder and as a result the coffee "mountain" tends to settle and fill the basket more evenly.

  10. #10
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Ive gone from one extreme to the other. I swapped by 0480 because I had to take it down to 3 to get a decent extraction. The new one has to be set above 20 and its still choking the machine. Did the appreciation course on Saturday and the trainer attibuted the issue to the spacers below the bottom burr. He says theyre menat to put in two, but sometime theyve done just one (grinds too course), other times theyve putin three (too fine). Personally, I dont mind it at the too-fine extreme - it probably means itll last for longer before becoming blunt! Now I just have to recalibrate the grind, volume and tamp as its eather choking or producing wet pucks.

  11. #11
    A_M
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Quote Originally Posted by flatwhite link=1187939008/0#9 date=1189379472
    Ive gone from one extreme to the other. I swapped by 0480 because I had to take it down to 3 to get a decent extraction. The new one has to be set above 20 and its still choking the machine. Did the appreciation course on Saturday and the trainer attibuted the issue to the spacers below the bottom burr. He says theyre menat to put in two, but sometime theyve done just one (grinds too course), other times theyve putin three (too fine). Personally, I dont mind it at the too-fine extreme - it probably means itll last for longer before becoming blunt! Now I just have to recalibrate the grind, volume and tamp as its eather choking or producing wet pucks.
    The trick is to get ya hands on these spacers.

    I have found that as the unit beds in (many plastic parts) it does have a big bearing on the grind setting. The 3 units I have go my hands on all had 2 spacers.

    1: The unit that was grinding too fine, had the top burr out of alignment and was nat a firm a fit as expected. Fine dust was also a issue, and was being packed in around the burr. A clean up and some thread tape fixed that. It is now aligned and a firm / snug fit.

    2: With the ones that were course (low setting to get a good grind) I noticed that while the top burr was snug, there was a step to the burr. It appears that it should be flush. However rather than file / remove the protruding plastic of the burr carrier. It is easer to add an extra spacer to the bottom burr.

    For me, I had other spacers that were thicker, thus I used them ( Grind now set to 15) and as and when it goes out of adjustment (Stable for some time now) I can add the thin sunbeam spacer.

    The good thing about this method, is that you do not have to mod the unit its self, or breach the system in such a way that any warranty claim might be refused.

    If I have to add another spacer or two before the end of warranty, I will remove my spacer, and return it to the original condition factory setting.

  12. #12
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Thought Id share my experience last night and give this thread a bump as it is obviously an issue for the em0480.

    My grinder has never been able to grind above 10 for a 30sec pour. Gradually it got lower until I was grinding fresh beans on 0 and still getting a fairly quick pour.

    After reading a few threads, the simplest fix seemed to be the one above, replacing the 2 washers under the bottom burr with a slightly thicker one.

    Well, I didnt have a thicker washer available (9pm). So I simply sticky taped the 2 together, making them a little thicker, thus raising the bottom burr. There was no science to it, just a guess at how much higher the burr had to go.

    Anyway, I ground a few beans last night at 0 and coudnt even see them coming out it was that fine.

    This morning a poured my first shot, set with a grind of 15. ........... - Complete Choke-

    Second attempt at 22 - *this time I got a pour similar to what I was getting on 0 before.

    Ill attempt my next pour later today on 19 and that should be pretty close. I dont have enough beans at the moment to waste pouring non-drinking shots.

    So anyone with this problem, this is a very simple fix. Obviosuly something a little more rigid than tape may be needed, but this has done the job for now - Im happy to be able to control my grinds again!!!

  13. #13
    A_M
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Dover link=1187939008/0#11 date=1192314083
    Thought Id share my experience last night and give this thread a bump as it is obviously an issue for the em0480.

    My grinder has never been able to grind above 10 for a 30sec pour. Gradually it got lower until I was grinding fresh beans on 0 and still getting a fairly quick pour.

    After reading a few threads, the simplest fix seemed to be the one above, replacing the 2 washers under the bottom burr with a slightly thicker one.

    Well, I didnt have a thicker washer available (9pm). So I simply sticky taped the 2 together, making them a little thicker, thus raising the bottom burr. There was no science to it, just a guess at how much higher the burr had to go.

    Anyway, I ground a few beans last night at 0 and coudnt even see them coming out it was that fine.

    This morning a poured my first shot, set with a grind of 15. ........... - Complete Choke-

    Second attempt at 22 - this time I got a pour similar to what I was getting on 0 before.

    Ill attempt my next pour later today on 19 and that should be pretty close. I dont have enough beans at the moment to waste pouring non-drinking shots.

    So anyone with this problem, this is a very simple fix. Obviosuly something a little more rigid than tape may be needed, but this has done the job for now - Im happy to be able to control my grinds again!!!
    Depending on the tape you used and how much it may take a little time to settle in. While it is a option for a quick fix, I would still recommend getting the right washers or at least something that is not going to compress and warp. Be warned, pressed washers as often obtained from a hardware or auto shop are pressed so not always flat. Always get a proper machined type. You could even ring sunbeam and ask for one or two as spares :-)

  14. #14
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Yeah, i actually had too much tape on at first and had to peel some off. Ill be curious to see how long it lasts, but am not expecting it to be a permanent fix. Ill worry about it next when the grind starts changing again.

    BTW - my pour last night on 19 was on the money :) Not bad considering I was grinding on 10 when it came out of the box

  15. #15
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    Re: My EM0480 too coarse grind fix

    Hi guys, long time lurker first time poster as they all say.

    Just wanted to add my positive feedback for the shim mod on the EM0480. Thanks also goes out to the pioneers who were curious enough to "noodle" with their own grinders and find a solution for us all.* ;)

    After owning the EM6910/0480 combo for about 7 months, I left it dormant for about 5 months. When I got back to using it at the 12 month mark I loaded the grinder up with fresh Campos House Blend as usual and was rather dismayed to get a 5-10 second spurt of watery coffee from the 6910...not wanting to be defeated I ended up trying all manner of grind settings, tamp pressures, clean and descale cycles and even replaced the GH seal and calcium filter!...yeah, a bit hastily I might add, what can I say..Im a bit of a n00b to coffee but you have to start somewhere* :)

    After all of the above, the best I could achieve on the pressure gauge was still in the white section (cafe series owners will know what Im talking about) finally i realised that the blind/cleaning disc was producing normal pressure every time, indicating that the machine was functioning normally and that I had a grind problem...bit of a eureka moment for me haha.

    As I should of done in the first place, I turned to the grinder manual and found that you should be getting an acceptable espresso grind at 12-16 on the EM0480 and if youre grinding on 1-"Fine" as I was and still getting a watery espresso this means something is up (durrrr), so after a bit of research I found and followed the suggestions of other CS posters and found the EM0480 recalibration guide here on CS.

    Upon removing the bottom grinder burr I found that my unit already had a number of washers or shims installed as other posters have reported, so I traced the shape of one onto some similarly thick cardboard, cut 2 out, replaced the original and added the 2 new card shims and now Im grinding at setting 15 as opposed to 1 and getting the correct amount of pressure at the group head on the 6910 with a nice viscous pour, plenty of crema and knowledge gained!* :D



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