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Steve_M

Restore #2 - 1991 Gaggia Baby

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This is my 2nd Gaggia refurb. I detailed the first one here.

 

For $65 CAD shipped to my door, there was no way I was going to turn this one down. I assumed it needed some love by the description of "it turns on and the the water heats up, but that's about it". It has the exact same internals as the Classic.

 

Here it is, unpacked and ready to see what's wrong with it.

 

 

mLGxk2ql.jpg

 

Popping off the shower screen, it was pretty obvious why this machine wasn't doing anything.

 

8FNlAH7l.jpg

 

The holes in the shower plate were also clogged quite bad.

 

gm8s8iFl.jpg

 

All things considered, the boiler wasn't too bad.

 

KdFMYlCl.jpg

 

After a some scrubbing with small wire and brass brushes, a few cafiza and citric acid baths, most of the parts cleaned up nice. By hand, I used a 4mm drill bit to unclog the ingress and egress water holes on the group head. They were still plenty clogged.

 

Nlh5y2Gl.jpg

 

Now onto the over pressure valve. Unlike the classics that have a hex hole on the adjustment nut, this one required a set of needle nose pliers tips to fit into the outer sides of the nut. It was also seized quite bad and required several applications of penetrating fluid and some heat. This was probably the most stubborn part to deal with in the teardown.

 

mFydVeZl.jpg

 

 

With everything cleaned up and now moving, I got it all back together and calibrated the over pressure valve.

 

TgR98ovl.jpg

 

It was during the OPV calibration that I realized I had another problem to deal with. The integrated drain tube in the plastic housing was clogged quite badly which wasn't letting the water drain. This caused the pressurized water to spray everywhere instead of being sent down the integrated tube and out the front of the machine like it's supposed to.

 

I didn't take any pictures of the unclogging process, but I had to take the whole shell apart and the unclog the drain pipe, which probably took about an hour of jabbing at it with a cut off wire coat hanger and some drill bits. The dried up coffee stuck in that thing was like cement.

 

And now for a little sample of the machine running like it should.

 

https://streamable.com/lvb6e

 

This machine is going to live at my parents place, as my father has been quite envious of the quality of coffee coming out of my Classic. Now they can enjoy the same!

Edited by Steve_M
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Oh neat!
I refurbished a Gaggia Baby 91 this year as well, which was such a ridiculously lucky find here as I got it for $20 AUD because the family were just clearing it out. The shower screen and shower screen holder were just as bad as yours, but I haven't seen inside the boiler yet. I am thinking it should be on my list though, because although it's had a thorough descaling without popping the seal, perhaps it's a good idea to install a new seal to go with the new group head seal that I replaced.
A task for a later date. Perhaps I should check the OPV as well like you have.

I am otherwise very satisfied with the coffee it's producing now that I've dialled in my grinder, I also have a rotary dimmer switch between the brew switch and the vibration pump, for future tinkering.

I'm just completely surprised how great of a machine they are once they've been dialled in.

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Have the same Gaggia and am currently fixing it too.. Want to get a manometer to test and adjust the OPV however it will not fit to this "spoutless" PF. Do you think it"s better to buy a new PF?

Thank you 

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Have the same Gaggia and am currently fixing it too.. Want to get a manometer to test and adjust the OPV however it will not fit to this "spoutless" PF. Do you think it"s better to buy a new PF?

Thank you 

You can get a pressure gauge already mounted on a portafilter on eBay. Alternatively if you're looking at getting a bottomless portafilter anyway (I assume when you say "spoutless" PF you mean one of the cast ones), this one will fit.

 


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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2 hours ago, BDiab said:

Have the same Gaggia and am currently fixing it too.. Want to get a manometer to test and adjust the OPV however it will not fit to this "spoutless" PF. Do you think it"s better to buy a new PF?

Thank you 

Where are you located? There are a few doing the rounds on the forum!


1995 'Coffee Gaggia' with full Gaggia Classic conversion, DIY PID Controller, OPV set to 9bar, Silvia steam wand, Botomless PF, VST 15g Basket, Motta 58mm Tamper and Ascaso I-Mini grinder

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