I recently restored a Brasilia Cappuccino machine and given that I leveraged the forum and members quite a bit during the process I wanted to share my experience and results.
When I obtained the machine it was in a non-functioning state. It would power on and the pump would start, but that was about it.
To get started I completely dissembled the entire machine and soaked all metal parts in citric acid (some parts numerous times). There was a tremendous amount of scale and build up in every part. I found that using boiling water and citric acid worked great.
I ordered new o-rings and gaskets for almost every part from Rosito Bisani. The only part that needed replacement was the ULKA vibe pump.
I also found a local guy to powder coat the exterior casing which was rusty and had peeling paint.
The machine is now as good as new; pulls great shots and steams quite well.
- Make sure everything is taken all the way apart; if you cant get something open / unscrewed / disconnected keep working on it until you can. I was unable to get the OPV fully apart at first and figured it would be fine; this resulted in taking it apart and cleaning it numerous times. This was also true with the flowmeter; more on that below.
- The boiler - Disassembling this was no joke. As others have said in previous posts; get a bigger hammer if the ends wont come off. I was able to get some leverage by squarely hitting one of HX tube ends and "pushing" the opposite plate off. I will warn that this can easily lead to bending or breaking of the HX tube; so do this at your own risk and as a last resort.
- Flowmeter re-assembly - Ensure that the two LED lights are aligned when re-assembling the flowmeter. I was encountering a flashing red light on the touchpad after 5 seconds on running. It was doing this because the flowmeter wasn't aligned.
There is a tiny tiny hole that was caked with scale. Make sure the pathways are free and clear by blowing into both ends of the flowmeter and ensuring the plastic piece inside moves freely.
- ULKA Pump - I wish I would have replaced this first as it would have saved me quite some time. I tested the output pressure and it appeared to meet ULKAs specs of 15 BAR with 0 flow. However, it took some time to get there. The pump eventually fizzled out and was only putting out half that pressure which lead me to replace it. After testing the new pump, it put out 15+ BAR of pressure immediately.
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