FRCN Espresso "HOW TO" Pages
by Randy Glass - All text, images, and layout are Copyright 2011 - All rights reserved
For personal, home use only. Any other use, distribution, or any method of reproduction without expressed written permission is forbidden
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER-As with any such procedure, do not attempt to do this unless you accept all responsibility for the procedure and its consequences. By following these instructions and reading any further you accept full responsibility.|
Simple Lubrication of the E-61 Group
The E-61 group has been around for over fifty years and for good reason. It is simple to work on and it makes great espresso for a lot of reasons. But that's not why we are here. I am going to detail the steps it takes to overhaul an E-61 group.
Be aware that there are some difference between manufacturers when it comes to this group so yours may not look exactly like this one. I am showing the manual (lever) group from the Vibiemme Domobar line. If your has an electrical activation for brewing then there will be differences which you will have to investigate before beginning. On the other hand, for the manual group, internally the general layout is the same regardless of the brand. I suggest getting a parts breakdown for your group before beginning to disassemble your machine, and compare the parts as shown on your diagram to what you read here.
If your group needs more attention than just a simple lubrication, check out the sister article I wrote, Overhauling and Lubricating the E-61 Group.
But before you begin, if the lever feels rough when moved it could be caused by friction between the external cam on the lever and the switch that activates the brew cycle. You can put a drop of lubricant on the cam where it contacts the switch then operate the lever through its range of motion a few times. If that solves the problem then there is no need to go further. If after aplying the lubricant the lever still feels abnormally stiff or rough, following the instructions below will likely be necessary.
NOTE: the large nuts and other fittings on the groups have different sizes depending on the manufacturer. For that reason I will not be discussing what size wrench you need. For example, my Craftsman 12" adjustable wrench is too small to fit the infusion housing.
BASIC DISASSEMBLY PREPARATION
NAVIGATION TIP: All small images below can be clicked to view a larger image.
After going through those instructions so you have an idea of what this is all about, watch this video I did of the process. It took less than 3½ minutes to do the simple lube (no disassembly of the lever and cam mechanism) as described above, and I was talking, unscripted, through the entire job.
Ya, I should have played with the white balance, but until Spielberg calls, (that's Helen Spielberg who runs the Kosher deli in town), I'm not going to worry about it.