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Which for a Cremina rebuild - genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Fri Mar 7, 2014, 5:39pm
Subject: Which for a Cremina rebuild - genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

Title says it all - a simple question, and just looking for your preference, and why.... do you like the genuine Olympia OEM seals, or the Orphan Espresso aftermarket substitutes?

Background - I just completed a complete rebuild on my 1989 Cremina about two weeks ago, and it went very well.  I rebuilt / cleaned up everything - all the way down to making the inside of the boiler shine, and the piston looking factory new again!  I enjoyed the rebuild - when I started, I figured the machine would be down for a few days - turned out I started in the morning, and was DONE by bedtime!  All that whilst still sitting in phone meetings all day!  No leaks, no drips, no errors.  

The reason for my question - I just bought a second Cremina - a 1983 - that will undoubtedly need new gaskets / seals, and debating which seals (OE or OEM) to use on this second rebuild.  I plan on a complete replacement of all the seals / gaskets on this one too, and a full clean up to as "new" condition.  (which is possible with the Cremina - it is amazing how the 30 year old parts can clean up so well - that is what quality gets you.)

Just trying to get different opinions on which gaskets / seals you prefer - OE substitutes or OEM / genuine- and why!  Of course, the genuine ones go for as much as twice the cost, and why it becomes a more difficult choice.  But if it comes down to what works better.... you get it.

More data is always a good thing as products, suppliers, opinions, facts change all the time!!
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mschol17
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Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium, Elektra T1
Grinder: Compak K6
Vac Pot: hmmm
Drip: French Press?
Roaster: no
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2014, 8:50am
Subject: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

The OE set works great, not sure how the OEM could be worth twice as much.
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donnydregs
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donnydregs
Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Posts: 127
Location: Australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra A3 / MCAL / E61 Two...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini / HG-One (soon)
Posted Mon Mar 10, 2014, 3:55am
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

mschol17 Said:

The OE set works great, not sure how the OEM could be worth twice as much.

Posted March 9, 2014 link

They are worth twice as much if the OEM (piston) seals work and the OE seals don't. Which is rare but failure is not altogether unknown. The Olympia piston seals are harder and have a more complex profile. My Cremina restoration was frustrated by the continual spitting and dripping of the OE seals on start up. Factory seals solved the problem. If I were to do another Cremina resto I would still go for the Orphan seals because failure is so rare but it's the operators call.
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Mon Mar 24, 2014, 7:46pm
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

mschol17 Said:

The OE set works great, not sure how the OEM could be worth twice as much.

Posted March 9, 2014 link

So I take it you have used both, and compared them then?
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 3:24pm
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

Another resource for folks - for those thinking we only have two choices on Cremina rebuild parts (OE and Cerini's) and have to buy the complete kit or the group kit, here is a company that sells onesy-twosy parts for rebuilds:

Cremina parts resource for individual rebuild parts

From what I had gathered, they are the same spec'd parts OE stocks, and they are definitely NOT OEM parts , but it is nice that someone offers the boiler gasket, piston rod seals, etc individually.  I am not 100% sure about them being the EXACT part as OE, just quoting what I was told, and that they were.  So I will hedge on that until educated otherwise.  

Gives those tackling the rebuild some options if you just want a boiler  gasket or just seals for the piston, etc....
Tim
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:15am
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

Nice option at Cerini's now for Olympia OEM parts - they have broken up parts availability for rebuilds, and making individual parts available at a decent cost:

Olympia OEM parts at Cerini's - Cremina

Olympia OEM parts at Cerini's - Cremina & Maximatic

This is nice to see, give those wanting to rebuild with OEM parts an option, especially if they don't need the whole kit!

I like to see that pilot light option, previously finding that part was rather difficult.

EDIT:: a bonus to buying parts from Cerini's - their responsiveness!  Very nice to deal with....
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roadman
Senior Member


Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Seattle

Espresso: Olympia Cremina 67
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Thu Apr 10, 2014, 7:32pm
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

SpaceTime Said:

Nice option at Cerini's now for Olympia OEM parts - they have broken up parts availability for rebuilds, and making individual parts available at a decent cost:

Olympia OEM parts at Cerini's - Cremina

Olympia OEM parts at Cerini's - Cremina & Maximatic

This is nice to see, give those wanting to rebuild with OEM parts an option, especially if they don't need the whole kit!

I like to see that pilot light option, previously finding that part was rather difficult.

EDIT:: a bonus to buying parts from Cerini's - their responsiveness!  Very nice to deal with....

Posted March 31, 2014 link

SpaceTime - thanks a bunch for this info!

It's great to know I can finally buy individual seals for my Creminas again. Over the years I've accumulated lots of spare parts, seals, and gaskets, so the thought of not having to pay for an entire rebuild kit when I just need a seal or two is happy news. Iíll be ordering a couple sets of pistons seals from Cerini's soon.

FWIW, I've had good luck with most Orphan Espresso's Cremina seals and gaskets except for the piston seals. The Orphan seals were problematic, so now I only use the OEM piston seals when rebuilding the group. They simply work better on my machines.
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

roadman Said:

SpaceTime - thanks a bunch for this info!

It's great to know I can finally buy individual seals for my Creminas again. Over the years I've accumulated lots of spare parts, seals, and gaskets, so the thought of not having to pay for an entire rebuild kit when I just need a seal or two is happy news. Iíll be ordering a couple sets of pistons seals from Cerini's soon.

FWIW, I've had good luck with most Orphan Espresso's Cremina seals and gaskets except for the piston seals. The Orphan seals were problematic, so now I only use the OEM piston seals when rebuilding the group. They simply work better on my machines.

Posted April 10, 2014 link

No problem, I was happy to see this too - I bought a second boiler to gasket seal / thermal break recently now that Cerini's has broken them out into separate parts for my second Cremina.

BTW, regarding your experience on the piston seals, I am sure you have read this:

HB Thread on seal choice

The poster "AndyPanda" has some interesting analysis at the end of the thread.  Others have commented on one seal vs the other seal.

I have one 1983 Cremina with Olympia OEM rebuild kit, and one 1989 Cremina using the OE rebuild kit, both running for 4 weeks and 8 weeks respectively.  Both work, but the behavior of the piston seals is different.  No surprise - the OE seals are wider and taller, have a different lip / edge design, fit looser, are made of a different material - so esentially are a different seal than the original Cremina engineers designed... so one should expect different behavior.  One of the biggest differences IMHO is the OE seals fill the entire piston channel / groove where the OEM's don't - see the thread above for suspected differences there.

Bottom line - what I like most about the OEM - the teflon heat break gasket - the one between the boiler and the group head.  It is WELL chronicled how this heat break works so much better at temp management / heat control / cooling than the o-ring.  In fact, I now have this on BOTH machines - the 1989 with the OE rebuild kit now has the Tellon gasket also - as mentioned I picked up another and put it on both machines.  I LOVE having this Teflon gasket - it has changed my entire routine on how I heat the group up, how I manage it, and how quickly and reliably it cools down.  I cannot recommend this gasket enough to ANYONE that wants to spend $15 and get a lot of benefit on the Cremina 67.

Again, both sets work, but there are differences - mainly around the Teflon group gasket, the Teflon boiler base gasket the OEM set offers (they are nice) - and around the differentlly designed piston seals as mentioned.... personally I am leaning toward the OEM piston seals as my preferred choice.
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roadman
Senior Member


Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Seattle

Espresso: Olympia Cremina 67
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Fri Apr 11, 2014, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

SpaceTime Said:

BTW, regarding your experience on the piston seals, I am sure you have read this:

HB Thread on seal choice

The poster "AndyPanda" has some interesting analysis at the end of the thread.  Others have commented on one seal vs the other seal.

Posted April 11, 2014 link

Including yours truly: see H-B.

SpaceTime Said:

Bottom line - what I like most about the OEM - the teflon heat break gasket - the one between the boiler and the group head.  It is WELL chronicled how this heat break works so much better at temp management / heat control / cooling than the o-ring.  In fact, I now have this on BOTH machines - the 1989 with the OE rebuild kit now has the Tellon gasket also - as mentioned I picked up another and put it on both machines.  I LOVE having this Teflon gasket - it has changed my entire routine on how I heat the group up, how I manage it, and how quickly and reliably it cools down.  I cannot recommend this gasket enough to ANYONE that wants to spend $15 and get a lot of benefit on the Cremina 67.

Posted April 11, 2014 link

Okay, you've convinced me, I'll give it a try. Did you need to adjust the p-stat after installing the heat break?
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Sat Apr 12, 2014, 9:38am
Subject: Re: genuine Olympia or aftermarket OE gaskets/seals?
 

roadman Said:

Including yours truly: see H-B.


Okay, you've convinced me, I'll give it a try. Did you need to adjust the p-stat after installing the heat break?

Posted April 11, 2014 link

P-Stat... LOL if you polled 10 people on their recommended P-Stat setting, you will probably get 8 different answers- but I think you already know that.  ;-)  And I could turn your question around and ask you "why do you think putting a different gasket on will require a different pressure setting?" and deflect the need to justify / answer into your court... so maybe you can give your reasoning after my attempt at answering below - maybe I am missing something!  But great question, here goes one version of an answer - knowing it may be countered with other ideas or folks with a different one!!

Bottom line answer - the addition of a teflon gasket does not necessarily / inherently mean you have to alter your P-stat / pressure - it still comes down to how you manage your P-stat / pressure in conjunction with your group head temperature to ensure you get the optimal temperature of water hitting the grounds, and for the right duration - that is where I would recommend  where it should be.  LOL ;-) How's that for semi-dodging the question so far ...?  Actually, it is not a dodge, that is probably the root of the answer.  

Of course p-stat / pressure setting all depends on what you are trying to accomplish, for example if you want stronger steam for milk based, or how you prefer to manage manage your pressure to group head temperature, etc.  It really comes down to pressure / p-stat is really just a measure of how hot the steam is, which will equate to how hot the water is coming out of some orifice on the machine at one point - which is also dependent on how pre-heated the particular element / piece of metal it is in contact with.  There simply is not one right answer, folks with vastly different p-stat settings can still make an equally good cup - it all depends how you bring all the variables together to manage water temperature hitting the coffee.

Adding the gasket may change the routine / method you are using to bring your group to temperature (ie - flushing, how many pumps, etc), and it will change how long your group will stay at a consistent temperature, and how fast it will cool down from either letting the machine idle, turning off the machine, or inserting a cold portafilter.... whatever your method / routine is.   You will notice on power up your group head is not heating as readily / quickly.  If your machine idles for longer durations, your grouphead will not overheat as quickly.  And when you power down or stick a cold portafilter in there, the group will cool more quickly.  I know... common sense, right?

If you have a digital temperature gauge attached (most don't), have a temperature strip, etc you can judge for yourself on how the gasket is behaving vs the old one... and plan your routine, and p-stat pressure, accordingly.  



Cheers.
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