Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011, 5:59pm Subject: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
I just finished re-assembling my 1978 M20 Lever. It had been sitting in a heated space for several years. I got it as a project and plugged it in before taking it apart and it heated up I couldn't get any hot water, steam or group water going. It might be because I didn't let it reach high enough temp and I now forget if the pressure gauge was working or not. I took everything apart down to every copper tube and fitting. I took Photos of the process for obvious reasons. I replaced the piston seals, both springs, o-rings and opened up the boiler and cleaned it out. I just set it up and filled it with water. After tightening up a fitting to the steam valve that I had left finger tight, I turned it on. The first question I have is what the two settings on the power switch are for. It seems like the first stop light up the power button but doesn't get the heater going. As it heated up the pressure gauge didn't show anything so after a while I turned it of to check things out. I checked the outside of the boiler temp of my other machine to see if I was getting in the ballpark. I wasn't. I let the boiler heat up more and soon had the hot water wand and the steam wand working. I pulled down the leaver and hot water came out the brew head. The water coming out was just over 200 degrees. The problem was that the boiler didn't shut off and the pressure gauge registered nothing. I turned it off and tried bleeding the tube going to the gauge but it didn't help. I haven't tried turning down the pressure-stat but assumed it had been set within the ballpark. I was hesitant to just leave it on for longer since the water temp was well above 200 degrees and without the pressure gauge working it seemed too risky. So, any thought of how to check the gauge. But even if the gauge isn't working shouldn't the pressure-stat turn the boiler off? Also, I'm wanting to know the function of the piece in the enclosed picture. It is up to near the steam valve and has 1/4" copper tubes and a few wires going to it and a red bulb hanging off (which doesn't light ) Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Doug
Posted Sat Nov 26, 2011, 6:23pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Hi Doug, lots of questions! Firstly the power switch is probably 1st postition - power to autofill circuit only, 2nd position - power to everything.This is so the boiler fills before you power up the heater.I'm assuming the boiler filled when you turned it on? Was there a loud click (solenoid) and water flowing into boiler?
It's hard to tell from the small pic, but it looks like a solenoid, basically an electrical tap - either open or closed to allow water flow.If you trace back where the pipes go to it should give you an idea, i'm guessing it's the autofill solenoid.
Sounds like you have either a faullty pressurestat or guage, or both.As soon as steam and water flows from the pipes, the guage should start rising.You could check the guage by connecting it to a rubber hose, and mounting it the steam pipe of your other machine, open the steam wand and check the guage.
Is the machine fitted with a new safety valve on the boiler? Remember you're dealing with a potentially dangerous machine here, so be careful
Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011, 8:26pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Thanks for the info. I pulled off the pressure gauge and hooked it up to the steam wand of my other machine and it worked. I hooked it back up to my M20 and nothing shows. I'm going to pull the entire fitting out of the boiler to see if there is some problem there but it would surprise me since I had the whole thing pulled a part. Also, it makes sense that the picture I sent is a solenoid. I will have to check and see if it clicks and works since the one part that I wasn't happy with when I re-assembled things was the float sender unit. Once I get that sorted out I'll check the pressure-stat if needed. One other question. On a lever machine with no pump how does city water pressure manage to fill the boiler which is under pressure. I'll keep you posted. Thanks, Doug
Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011, 9:34pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Hi again, good to hear you're making progress.Hopefully nothing wrong with the float, as they can be expensive to replace.Does it have a manual fill option?
Re - the boiler fill, boiler pressure is usually around 1.0 bar.Incoming water pressure should ideally be between 1.6-3.0 Bar, or you won't be able to fill the boiler when its up to pressure .Most commercial plumb in machines will have a tag somewhere stating min and max incoming water pressure.You don't want more than 5-6 bar incoming pressure, or it can wear solenoids/seals etc
Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011, 10:44pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
I just pulled the float mechanism off. The float has no holes in it. The magnet is a bit corroded but seems to make pretty good contact with the plate but when it is in contact with the plate it doesn't close the connection between the two plugs that are connected to it. Should it ? The small magnetic switch inside looks to be in good shape. Yes I do have the sprung lever on the bottom right side of the front to manually fill the boiler. It has a Sirai pressurestat and I read that if it does't work you can sometimes loosen the diaphragm by turning the adjustment screw in and out 1 turn and then return it to it's original setting. I am really looking forward to getting the bugs worked out and trying my first "lever" shots. I was surprised how strong the two springs were, but they were easy to replace with a simple jig. Little by little. Thanks again, Doug
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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011, 11:01pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Doug..nice machine, and nice work! Mike, thanks much for your help here. Compared to this machine, My Olympia Cremina is a snap! I enjoy working on it, though I confess Doug and Barb over at OE have to occasionally...well, MORE than occasionally hold my hand (online, of course)
Doug, keep us posted on this.
When you feel like the bugs are gone, feel free to post lever questions. There are LOTS of us here, and over at HB.
Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011, 11:22pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Well, it's been a good day. I had time this evening and started checking things out. First, I pulled off the gauge and checked it out, blew through the tube and it seemed clean so I put it back on. Second, I checked the water intake solenoid out and figured how the power gets to it and bypassed the magnetic float switch and the solenoid gave a nice loud click, so it works. Third, I followed some advice and adjusted the screw on the pressure-stat one turn in, then back, then one turn out and then back. Someone said that it can help bring more flex to an older diaphragm that hasn't been used for a few years. Well, I plugged it in and was pretty happy to see the pressure gauge start climbing. No leaks anywhere since I fixed the few that needed tightening. Then as the pressure climbed I heard the beautiful loud click as the Sirai turned the boiler off and a few minutes later clicked it back on. Yea. It sounds foolish for a grown man to get excited about such simple things but I was pumped. Hopefully my porta-filter should arrive soon and I can pull a shot. I have to use the manual fill lever for now. The only other thing I have to get is maybe a new magnet for the boiler float. The small glass encased sensor (or switch) in the level indicator looks good. Does anyone know how to test them? Thanks for the help, Doug
Posted Tue Nov 29, 2011, 12:17am Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Good to hear it's working Doug, i know how exciting that first pressurestat click can be on a re-built machine! At least you can manual fill it till you sort out the float.Cafe parts sell some parts for the float, check out the diagrams to see if they match.It's under 'cimbali', then 'level guages'
Posted Fri Dec 2, 2011, 8:42pm Subject: Re: LaCimbali M20 lever re-build question.
Well, i finally got a portafilter and was able to try the machine out. I still have to fine tune my temp but I've been drinking way too much coffee in the last two days because I just want to keep pulling shots so I can watch the beauty. The silence of the lever machine also adds to the whole thing. I was going to put my Simonelli Beach in the back room for a month while I see if I like the M20 lever, well it's been only two days and I can't see going back to the Beach.
Now I know it's not only about the "experience" of a good lever shot, coffee is supposed to be a taste thing also. As I said, I'm still fine tuning the temperature but so far the taste has been good and smooth and consistent. I'm trying to run lots of water through the machine to really flush it out after the rebuild.
Here's a link to my last night's pull. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrywawM3Hhs
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