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Someone, stop me please!    Now also M32 rehab  AND NOW ALSO WITH PICS!
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Discussions > Espresso > Espresso Mods > Someone, stop me...  
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sat Sep 14, 2013, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!
 

It is time for an update. I have had a chance to take a good look at the machine and have found out a lot about it.

I expected to need to service it and descale, which it needs. The pump was stuck but the motor is fine. I took the pump head off and a good twist on the drive shaft and it is now free again. It is common for this to happen when they sit for a while.

The boiler heats up but the vacuum breaker needs to get a new O ring to seal properly again.  The brew solenoid needs at least a cleaning if not rebuild or replacement, it leaks slightly through the group head when the boiler is under pressure.

All but one of the dosing buttons work and the one may be just dirty contacts.  The biggest thing is that one of the two computer boards was disconnected and both connection cables were removed and the board is loose like it was removed and only just stuck back, this is the board that has the clock and the program functions on it.

I have been in contact with the L.A. rep and there is a work around if this board is bad. Basically, you can program the buttons by pulling shots manually while it watches and it will remember what you did.  What you then loose is the clock functions but otherwise, you loose nothing.

I took a 1 1/2 hour drive to the dealer this morning to pick up the parts I knew at this point I needed, the website said they were open from 10 to 2. Well they are but not in the parts department LOL!

It will be Tuesday before I can get back there so it is kind of on hold until then. I can't even hook it to water till then as the inlet fitting is metric.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,178
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Sep 15, 2013, 7:06am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!
 

I'm not recommending you start screaming or anything; so take it as a gentle FYI:  They can't have it both ways.  If the seller told you it was "working," it was sold as "working," and not "as is."  Their pre-sale representations trump the boiler plate on their website.  

It seems like you're already doing the sensible thing.  That is, take a breath, put your disappoint aside, and assess the situation as it now stands.  If the price of the machine was low enough that it's still a good deal after spending the necessary time and money to get it working in the way it should, then it's still a good deal.  If not, not.  

So yeah.  Get in touch with someone who has the parts and knows the drill before calling the seller and working out a return.

BDL
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 7:40am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!
 

Ok, same thread, new info.
Over the weekend, I did get some alone time with the machine and cleaning it. I pulled the heater and as expected, found a bit of sludge inside. I cleaned it all out with the boiler still in the machine by making a tray/funnel out of al foil to direct the sludge and rise water away from anything that would be hurt inside the machine. There is still a little place here and there where scale was pretty hard and will need a chemical soak as will the tubes so once it is back together, it will get a descale with Calcinet.

I had to manually descale the inside of the 3 way valve as it was leaking water through the brew group with only the slight pressure of the boiler heating up. I also rebuilt the vacuum breaker, a very hard job, I had to replace the O ring that is used as a seal, Whew, tough!

I took the digital control board to La Cimballi ( I learned it is pronounced La CHIM bal LEE) an inspection showed that it was toast and that is why it was removed from the machine. It was also missing the clock chip. The board is ~$1K and the clock chip is $325. Clearly I am not going to buy these items. When properly configured, the machine can operate normally in Automatic mode without the board, I will however loose the ability to program the doses digitally and the clock functions are also gone.

I used the price of the clock chip (the board cost more than I paid for the machine at auction) as a tool with the auction house and we settled on an adjusted price that I can live with.

The machine needs to be assembled and connected to water before I can do any more trouble shooting or checking. I did turn it on for a short while before disassembly and the dose buttons did cause relays to be triggered so I am of the mind that most likely, I will be OK. I did free up the water pump too so once I have water to it, likely tonight if I am not too wiped out after work, I will know what is the full story.

The machine is a pour over or direct connect, thus the water tank. In normal operation, the machine draws water from the tank to the water pump. There is a water level sensor in the water tank to trigger the system to auto fill the tank if you are connected to plumb in, so in normal operation, the water will only come from the water tank and it auto fills the tank. In pour over, you fill the tank and it signals when there is a low water condition. This has been bypassed.The water from plumb in goes directly into the pump and the sensor wires in the tank (not boiler) have been connected together so that the machine thinks the water tank is full all the time. It would be easy to return to pour over if the need ever come up but this way, there is no water tank to mess with and to keep clean.

All this is pretty much just fun and games though LOL! The only reason I bought the Bistro M32 was to have a nice machine to use while doing the major disassembly and descale of my ECM. I am getting a slight drip from the 3 way valve and I have noticed decreased steaming ability though it is much more than enough to make my morning coffee! In the end, I will have 2 single group machines in nice condition. OH, BTW, the computer in the M32 is the same as in the M29 and though the case is different in operation they are pretty much the same machine, the M29 does not come with the board that is defective in my M32 so the net result of all of this is that I have a M29 machine that is made from M32 parts in an M32 case LOL! Still a darn nice machine even if it needs to be programed in the watch you do it then it remembers what you did mode.

The dealer said that internal parts are kept for 20 years by La Cimballi and that the new M32 looks slightly different but is pretty much the same machine. This machine is 9 years old so parts will be available well into the future.\

Now, after I get through both of these machines, I will get busy with a deep descale in the Brazillia 2 gp. It is working fine and only needs group gaskets but it will only improve with a cleaning and a paint job. Then it will be excess and it may be time to donate to church or sell. That is a bit out there in the future though, at the moment, I have my "new" machine to get back together!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 7:58am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!
 

The boiler and the rest of the working parts of the machine were reassembled but the sides etc are off. After a tripple check, water was connected to the new inlet and the machine turned on. ..... nothing, the water did not move. The pump ran but no flow. Switch off and unplug then start taking lines off and follow through the machine. After the pump, there is a check valve. It was frozen shut and the pump could not pump through it, so it came off and was disassembled. Some Scotchbrite in a drill motor and in a few minutes the inside was cleaned up to new condition. I cleaned the piston and the O ring and put it all back together and reinstalled. Turn the pump on and now water was flowing, I could see bubbles moving through the feed tube. (I had a 5 gal bucket full of water on the counter and put the end of a hose into it so the pump could draw from it without having line pressure) I started looking around and saw a big puddle growing under the machine so quickly it was turned off and unplugged.

A simple search soon discovered that I had not reconnected the line after the flow meter before turning it on! At least I know that water is flowing through the check valve, the expansion valve and the flow meter now! Well, I cleaned up the table and turned out the lights for the night. I did not want to take a chance that something that should not had gotten wet and bad things might happen.  I will jump on it again tonight but truth is, it is looking pretty good now. OH, I did NOT connect power to the heaters,  I knew the boiler was empty and I did not want to burn them out so there is no power to them right now. I will make sure that the system is full and that I don't have leaks and that all the valves work properly before I  reconnect power to the heaters.

More to follow!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please! Now also M32 rehab
 

I moved it to Mods and Restorations, it was just much more logical as the thread progressed.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!          Now also M32 rehab
 

Update of the day.

At power up, the pump came on and filled the boiler, the boiler fill light came on and when the boiler was full, the light went off and the fill stopped, OK good news, the autofill system works fine!

I let the machine warm up and watched the pressure gauge which seems to be operating properly, another good thing :D

As pressure built, the safety valve started leaking so I powered down, removed the safety valve and disassembled. The rubber seat in the valve is shot. I cleaned the inside of the valve on the seat to shiny new condition and cleaned the seal as well as I could but it will need to be replaced. This time, it only slightly leaked and it allowed enough of a seal for the machine to pressurize. I watched as the gauge went to 1.4 bar, the top of the green zone and well above the 1.1 that I like to run at. A tap on the pressurestat and it turned off, the slight leak allowed pressure to bleed until the Pstat kicked on again at about 1.15 bar, again it stuck but light taps on it and it cycles. SOOOOOO, out came the Pstat, the expansion valve and the check valve (again) all these pieces need to be disassembled, cleaned, lubed (if applicable) and reinstalled. The turbine (as they call it, we call it a water meter) need to be taken apart and descaled, so I did that, I am not sure but the nylon blade wheel may need to be replaced, it spins freely but wobbles a little and so it may not properly meter the water flow.

It is clear that the last days of operation of this machine were sad ones. All it  needs is routine maint. I doubt it had ever seen a service. The entire internals of the machine are just caked with minerals, many components need a physical scrape (carefully!) before being cleaned in a descale solution.

The steam circuit and wand work well but the hot water does not turn on. I have not checked if it was the solinoid or the button yet. The dose buttons only click on for a moment then they go off, this is a normal function when they are not getting proper reading from the water meter, a safety system to prevent flooding of the kitchen or restaurant where the machine is in service. The manual serve button works fine and water flows through the brew system as it should. A nice feature of this machine that I have noticed is that the HX system is VERY easily replaceable if it is damaged, it is not soldered in the boiler like many systems are.

There is extensive use of solid stainless steel throughout the machine, a very nice sign of quality components.

The work continues and in the end, it will be a very nice machine. It is SOOOOOOO much quieter than my ECM which is also a rotary machine. This pump is rubber shock mounted while on the ECM it is not. That is a "feature" I will correct when the ECM gets rebuilt after the M32 is in service to take the place of my ECM, hey I don't want to give up great espresso just because the machine needs service! :D  Again, the reason I bought this machine was to have something to brew with while I serviced my ECM, I did not count on rebuilding THIS machine before putting into service but ... that is life in the used equipment world!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 7:10am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!             Now also M32 rehab
 

It was a productive weekend.
Short story, I wound up disassembling nearly every device on the machine, descaled it and reassembled. In order from the pump, I rebuilt,
The check valve..... twice
The expansion valve,
The Pressure Stat,
The flow meter,
The boiler fill assy,
The cold water mixer assy
The Vac breaker
The OP safety valve
many tubes, connections etc.
A tool that worked very well was a ultrasonic cleaner. I had picked one up from everyone's fav cheep tool store, Harbor Freight, a year or so ago. I think it was around $25 give or take a bit. With a strong solution of Calcinet, the heated sonic cleaner took care of the worst buildup in less than 5 minutes and left the brass parts with a very light red oxidation film which was easily cleaned with scotchbrite or a stainless wire brush.
A pic of the cleaner tearing up the mineral deposit inside a copper tube.

calblacksmith: sonic cleaner and scale.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!             Now also M32 rehab
 

I did not start taking pics until I had already rebuilt many of the components, here you can see the safety valve and the vac breaker, cleaned and reassembled to the boiler, yes they were just as nasty as the copper line in the pic. No I didn't touch the line as it goes to a "feature" the machine no longer has and those components are not need except to keep the boiler from leaking pressure.

calblacksmith: safety-vacbreaker.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 7:18am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!             Now also M32 rehab
 

I cleaned and installed the check valve, its job is to prevent the water from flowing back to the pump from the HX system. The first time I assembled it, the O ring looked good so I reused it.

It turned out that the valve leaked slightly due to a too hard O ring. Because it allowed the water to flow backwards toward the pump, this gave the pressurized water in the brew system to flow back to the water tank. As the water in the HX warmed, it turned to steam, this is what caused the pressure that pushed the water back into the tank. The steam displaced the water and the HX system lost all the water it had and only had steam. The pump had to run about 3 dosed cycles to pump water back into the HX so it could come out the group head as it should. The new O ring in the check valve stopped the back flow correctly and thus the problem of loosing water in the HX was solved.  Here is the check valve ready for assembly with the new O ring installed.

calblacksmith: chkvalve clean1.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 7:19am
Subject: Re: Someone, stop me please!             Now also M32 rehab
 

The valve assembled ready to install.

calblacksmith: chkvalve assembled.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
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