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Oscar group seal.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Oscar group...  
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thebaz
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 79
Location: Victoria
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar LaCimbali Domus
Grinder: Rancilio md50
Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014, 4:48am
Subject: Oscar group seal.
 

I have posted before on problems with my Oscar group seal and although I have it performing pretty well now I seem to get a buildup of coffee grounds under the group seal.
I am using the standard conical seal that I have to reduce the size of to around 7.5mm to get the group handle to sit at 90 deg when tight. I clean and backflush after every use but still get grounds under the seal that eventually make the handle lock in more to the left as time goes on. Is there some kind of mod I can to to reduce this occurring? Apart from that after rebuilding the Oscar and doing mods as per
this thread "Presenting the Ultimate Oscar Video" , the Oscar has been perfect.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,772
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 Tue Apr 22, 2014, 6:09am
Subject: Re: Oscar group seal.
 

The group gasket should be removed from time to time for cleaning. It should not be thought of as only replacement when bad. To properly clean the group head, screen, dispersion plate, you really should disassemble the group head including the gasket for normal servicing.

 
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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thebaz
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 79
Location: Victoria
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar LaCimbali Domus
Grinder: Rancilio md50
Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Oscar group seal.
 

Thanks for the reply.
I regularly dis-assemble the group head and remove the gasket and clean under it, I was just wondering if there is some easier way of stopping the grinds from entering under the seal.
It is usually only a day or two before grinds get in there after cleaning.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,772
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 Tue Apr 22, 2014, 9:36am
Subject: Re: Oscar group seal.
 

Are you using the correct gasket or are you making a generic one fit? I ask because I had an Oscar for about a year and though I changed the gaskets, I did not have the issue you have. I bought the OEM part and it fit perfectly,  no alteration needed.

That said, there is no law that says the handle needs to be at 6. If it goes in and locks solidly, that is all you need.

 
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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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 372
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Tue Apr 22, 2014, 10:15am
Subject: Re: Oscar group seal.
 

My older Oscar had the same problem.  A locked in PF at 5 o'clock with the OEM group gasket still leaked.  Added in shims and it was a little better, but the shim caused a single drip spot during all pulls.  I put up with that for a few months.

Eventually I custom fit a silicone gasket from Cafelat after much sanding to get the depth right and sanding the circumference for fit.  I now have a group seal that won't come out without damage to it, seals extremely well, locks beautifully at 6:30, is clean as I have ever had this machine, and most of all never, ever drips.

Would I go through the trouble of fitting another Cafelat gasket to this?  I'd definitely try anything else first, but as a last resort I'd consider it again.  I'd rather have a removable gasket for cleaning purposes, but this tight fit is as clean as anything I've seen.  (Don't need the gasket off to clean the screen either.)
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thebaz
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 79
Location: Victoria
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar LaCimbali Domus
Grinder: Rancilio md50
Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 6:14am
Subject: Re: Oscar group seal.
 

I have tried all sorts of group seals. For some reason the factory rectangular ones don't seal well, and the factory conical seals are a little to big so as the group handle barley locks on enough.
I have had the group handle unscrew itself under pressure a few times, making a real mess and breaking glasses in the process. The only reliable fix I have found is to use conical seals and face them down in the lathe to 7.5-8mm thick and then they work great. The conical seals eventually go hard, (less so now the Oscar is on a timer instead of 24/7), but they never leak.
I have heard from other Oscar users who have the same problem, but most users don't have this problem. I am using genuine NS group handles and max pressure is around 9-10 bar from memory.
If the group handle locks around 7 o'clock there is a very real chance it will unscrew and blow off which is why I can't afford to have coffee grinds under the seal.
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 372
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Apr 23, 2014, 7:34am
Subject: Re: Oscar group seal.
 

thebaz Said:

I have tried all sorts of group seals. For some reason the factory rectangular ones don't seal well, and the factory conical seals are a little to big so as the group handle barley locks on enough.

Posted April 23, 2014 link

I don't know if this is an issue with the older Oscars, but mine, being an early one, shares the same problem with yours.

Unfortunately I don't have a lathe, but sandpaper, flat surface and lots of sliding a silicone group seal across got the seal down to the height I needed.  After that I had to take nearly 1mm off the outside; 0.5mm all the way around.  And it's been great so far.
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