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New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New La Marzocco...  
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harleykids
Senior Member


Joined: 8 May 2009
Posts: 18
Location: Lenexa, KS
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed May 13, 2009, 8:07pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

Hi everyone....Jason in Kansas City here!

I just joine the ranks of La Marcozzo ownership...I bought a used Linea 2-group AV.

It was in storage, but in very good shape.

When I pulled the cover off, on the front most boiler was written "Izzy's service 1-05" nicely lettered in orange paint....I know Izzy's and they are the best in KC for machine service.  So at least I know it was serviced in 2005!

The unit looks very nice, but I do see one place where it looks like there was small leak, or at least where water was being spit.

It is on the top of the back most boiler, the big tube right in the middle of the boiler, looks like it was leaking at the fitting.

Other tha that, the unit is exceptionally clean inside!

One question.....my unit has a 240V plug/cord coming out the bottom, but it also has a heavy cord with a three or four ping black connector (just like the ones inside the unit) that looks like it plugs into something else (the plug is a black screw terminal plug and looks stock/origial.

What is this for?

Also....there is a black control box (can't remember the name on it) that sits in the space under the boilers, behind the drip tray area when you remove the screens and drip tray....it is tucked back under there.  It looks like the brain box and has a big harness of wires coming out of one side of it, and two connector harnesses coming out the other side (one two-pin one higher pin count connector)

Is this box OK being here?  I mean is this the stock location, just pushed back in this spade, free to move around?

I will be getting her fired up in the next few weeks, so I will probably have a bunch of questions for you all!

I also noticed that the sight glass has about 1/4 full of water in it....any way to get that out? And what isthe small hex bolt/fitting just under the sight glass for?

And there is a cylindrical key on the front panel...but no key.  Will I need this (lockout?) or just ignore it assuming the machine turns on!

mine was mfg on 3-1-95 per the label on the unit.  Should I PID, or not worth it?

thanks!
Jason
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Paulio
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2009
Posts: 21
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco Linea EE single...
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Roaster: Toper Cafemino 1kg gas
Posted Tue Nov 3, 2009, 2:09am
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

It's my turn....an old thread but a goody.

I have just joined the ranks of Linea ownership. I now have a single group EE Linea that I had modified on arrival into Australia.
The decision to order this machine was a long time (5 months) coming. Then I had to wait for its manufacture and delivery to Australia. This alone took 13 weeks. But it was worth the wait.....

It has:-
*insulated boilers (I used Armaflex HT)
*a Piero cap kit
*ruby (0.6mm) gicleur
*an isolation switch to turn off the steam boiler when steaming is not required. This is illuminated when in the 'on' position
*a PID kit including a Fuji controller
*an SSR in the electrics of the steam boiler circuit
*factory fitted anti-vacuum valve on the steam arm

I initially was apprehensive about letting my 2 group Futurmat go. I wanted the new machine to prove itself. I thought that I would decide whether to keep the Linea after a month or so of getting used to its quirks and exploring its capabilities.

After a day of running the Linea in my home I packed the Futurmat away. It has gone to my partner's brother and will soon be moving to Dubai. There was no turning back....The shots that I get each time are consistently magic..

I love the way that the brew water takes 2 minutes longer to get to temperature than my kettle takes to boil a full charge. This is less than 10 minutes from ambient temperature. The steam boiler takes a couple of minutes extra. I don't use a 15amp timer any more. I don't have to. I simply get the portafilter up to temperature by placing it in a mug and filling the mug with boiling water and letting it sit for a minute or so. I do this a couple of times and then lock the portafilter into the grouphead whilst I wait for the steam boiler to reach proper pressure.

I also love the way that I don't need to stuff around with cooling shots. The Futurmat had a thermocouple hard-wired into each grouphead, each thermocouple being connected to a digital thermometer. I knew when to stop the cooling flush to be able to access water at the best temperature for my tastebuds. Now I just hit the brew switch. Its temperature adjustability is phenomenal. The settings are like the GS3, in increments of 0.1C (or Fahrenheit if I set the controller up that way).

I considered a GS3 but was swayed by the Linea's simplicity, usage of heavy gauge stainless steel everywhere and proven track record. I wanted (and think that I now have) a machine that will last decades. I will be able to pass this baby on to my daughter when my coffee drinking days have passed...God forbid!

I love this machine.
Long live the Linea!
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khuzdul
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 86
Location: U.S. North East
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 10:37am
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

I may be joining the Linea owner's club as I am in talks with someone over purchasing an older 2AV and I wanted to bounce a few questions off of existing La Marzocco Linea owners before pulling the trigger.  I have reviewed many threads on restorations/modifications and the like and wanted to try to consolidate them and resolve some things that were not fully followed up within the threads before.

1) The linea in question was running fine when taken out of service, but based upon pictures of the insides and discussions with the seller about what is know about the  maintenance cycle, I think that it could use an overhaul.  Unfortunately as a city dweller, I don't have the room to do a full teardown myself - even if I had the time and expertise.  I would be look for a vendor to do the heavy lifting work for me, so I was wondering if anyone had any experiences/recommendations  of a NYC local company that could do this?  I would like a total strip down but I do not know the NYC costs for it, so I may easily find that am willing to pay the price and opt for more normal service.

If I take it in to get worked on, I figure I might as well have some other work done on it.

Things I cannot do even though I would like to:
1) Looking over other threads, I understand that since the Linea I am looking at it is a bolt-on, I can't use the piero caps.  While Terry G of espresso parts in 2007 mentioned that with machine work it was possible, but this is not an easy off the shelf sort of modification so effectively, I can't use piero caps.
2) The only gasket available for the bolt on boiler/grouphead connection is the compressed paper gasket.  Has anyone ever made a custom vitan gaskets to combat the inevitable weaping of the paper gaskets?

Things I would like to do that I believe is possible without excessive contortions (does anyone have experience with them that can comment on price/performance tradeoffs):
1) PID steam and brew boilers
2) Insulate the steam boiler and brew boiler (leaving group heads and other piping uninsulated to allow them to dump heat as needed)
3) Change control to chronos (not sure if this can be retrofitted)
4) Stainless steel dispersion block (do not really need this, but if it is getting ripped apart why not)
5) Gigleurs - Everyone raves about the 0.6mm gigleurs.  Since I have not experienced it myself, I was thinking of putting 0.6mm on one head and comparing it to either a full on the other and trying other sizes like the 0.8 and 0.5 over time.
6) Anti-siphon for the steam arm

Thanks!
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Paulio
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2009
Posts: 21
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco Linea EE single...
Grinder: Mazzer Robur
Roaster: Toper Cafemino 1kg gas
Posted Mon Nov 23, 2009, 4:58pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

Hi Khuzdul,
I have had my Linea for 2 months now, so am only relatively new to the Linea experience. The biggest obstacle that I found to the questions that I asked was finding someone with enough experience who was willing to share the information.

I would be asking more about the conversion to have the Piero head fitted....you could have one fitted and see from there if it would be worthwhile fitting the second. From what I was told, you need the Piero head to run the ruby (0.6mm) gicleur. It actually screws into the base of the Piero cap. Other gicleurs screw into the exterior pipework. With the Piero head there IS no external pipework.

1)My steam boiler heater has a duty cycle of 5%...heater on for 15 seconds and off for 300 seconds. I don't know why this would need PID control. The brew boiler is another matter. Mine has PID and I love it! It maintains boiler temperature fluctuating within 0.3C.
2)The above duty cycle is due to boiler insulation. I didn't measure times before insulating. On a previous machine the power consumption reduced to less than 50% of before insulation readings. A good modification in my opinion.
3)Chronos control....what is that?
4)Apparently Lineas have had a problem with milk siphoning into the steam boiler over time. LM have said that eventually anti-vac valve will be installed on all Linea's before they leave the factory.

All the best with your new quest.

Cheers,
Paul
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khuzdul
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 86
Location: U.S. North East
Posted Wed Nov 25, 2009, 4:35pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

I think that the cost of machining the older bolt-on group head to retrofit Piero caps (in addition to the other "mods") would not make financial sense, I would be better to just wait for a welded Linea, or strap down the belt to eventually spring for a new paddle group Linea...  I had not realized that the gicleurs were for the Piero cap only, I will have to investigate further...

The chronos is just a different keypad on the AV.  It replaces the 5 button with 3 buttons and a digital timer that tells you how long the shot has been running.  I know that AVs without the Chronos can be changed to chronos with just a keypad change (~172 from EPNW), but all the descriptions I have found hedge by saying "many" or "most" rather than all.  I would mainly need to get the machine and see if the current pad has the same ribbon cables interface.  It is not a must have and while I do not subscribe to always having any specific time for any given batch of beans, but in my limited use of a Linea, I quite liked using one for gauging and adjusting for intra-batch consistency.
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LurkerJohnny
Senior Member
LurkerJohnny
Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 77
Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco Linea 1 Group
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Krups Moka Brew (favourite)
Roaster: Quest M3
Posted Wed Nov 25, 2009, 5:11pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

Hi Khuzdul, I have not finished rebuilding my machine yet (recently started up again and am very close!!!) but I can answer some of your questions:

  1.  I do not think you will gain enough of a cost/reward for PID'ing your steam boiler.  I believe the brew boiler is in the $300 range.  Also, the way I understood it is that you will not have as temp stable of a machine if you are PID'ing an AV versus PID'ing a manual (assuming you are not springing for the Pierro group mod).  The hot water has to travel through the flowmeter and related piping which will cool it down.  If you really want to have your machine temp stable, you need to convert it from an automatic to manual.  In a PID'd AV mode it will still be better than stock though, just not "rock solid temp stability".
  2.  Not sure, but I would like to insulate my steam boiler as well!
  3.  Not sure.
  4. Not sure
  5.  The machine you got is an AV, from what I understand you may not want to run .6 gigleurs on an AV machine as it is before the flowmeter and it will mess up your volumetric dosing.  Someone chime in if I'm wrong.
  6.  Not sure.

As for me, my machine is a single group AV.  I got it running, I just need to change out the plunger from my brew solenoid (leaking at the group).  I plan on running my machine as an AV for a while.  Then, I will convert it to a manual for a while with the .6 gigleur.  After, i will install a PID on the boiler.   Good Luck!!
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Sat Jul 21, 2012, 2:08pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

I just picked up a 2007 Linea 3G at liquidation sale! can't wait to get it up and running!
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aaronagre
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2011
Posts: 9
Location: washington DC
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 4:57pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

i'm about to start working with a 3 group automatic linea from a few years back.  is there anything i should know right off the bat?  i plan on combing through this entire thread eventually but any general comments would be greatly appreciated
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gucciago
Senior Member
gucciago
Joined: 6 Apr 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Palm Beach,FL
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 07 La Marzocco Linea...
Grinder: MAZZER Major with doser
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: Custom Gas Drum Roaster/PID...
Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 5:05pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

is it the welded group to boiler  or the groups I think pre 03? that have bolt on groups? there is a very nice Piero mod that can be done for cheap! or buy kit for big bucks on EP... either way would be great! I have the EE model 3Group so its very easy to mod! also you could look into a possible on off togg;e switch mod for the steam boiler if your most of the time just wanting to do shots of espresso or drinks not requiring the use of the steam boiler.. thats a whole latte watts to burn warming up for no reason.. lol
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NickWalton
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: 2G LM Linea
Grinder: Mazzer Robur, Major, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5
Drip: Chemex CM8A
Roaster: Fluid-Bedenstien
Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012, 8:56pm
Subject: Re: New La Marzocco Linea owners thread...
 

Hi!  This is actually my second Linea, but this is the one that's going to get the hackery.  It's a 2EE built in 11/06.  I decided to PID before the new group caps.  Probably the Groupcaps would have been a better decision in terms of stability, but I did what I did & now I have the parts, and that's where I am.  

Can anyone refer me to a how-to thread on a steam boiler shutoff?  That would be terrific if there was one out there.

Also, I have the PID kit, & I'm making pretty good sense of what goes where but if someone in the know wouldn't mind mentoring me a little on that project it woudn't hurt my feelings...

Since heat is the enemy of the Fuji controller, I was considering building a small box and fabbing in a cooling fan, and positioning the box on the underside of the machine.  Thoughts on that?  If the machine was never going to be moved, (or if the owner understood the ass-ache involved in moving it) would there be a benefit to putting the controller under the countertop, completely separate of the espresso machine?

Thanks!
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