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VivaLaTank

Another Restoration Thread - QM Andreja

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Posted (edited)

So, after finally finding myself with some time, I decided to write up my latest project which technically only finished this week (more on that later)

Now to start by making one thing clear. Becoming the owner of this machine is 100% the fault of @joey24dirt...¬†ūüėā

Also a shout out to both Joey and @jimbojohn55for the help they have given getting this thing back up to scratch again.

I originally picked up this machine back in october last year. It was one of those ones on Ebay, listed as spares or repairs, you look at it once and decide is probably overpriced. Thats what I did too actually, except I was convinced to throw in an offfer, because why not. So I offered what I thought it would be worth to me as a learning project to throw a few afternoons at and understand how things work. Especially considering I had only ever owned lever machines up to this pointand curiosity was getting the better of me.

Incredibly my offer was accepted much to Joeys surprise and my panic.
So I picked it up from the seller who turned out to be coffee machine repairer who said he had listed it because he mainly sells to businesses and no one wants something like this (he was focused on 2 group machines).  

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So I had a project on my hands, and wow. what a project it turned out to be. First thing to note, and a lesson for everyone even if youre picking up a battered old machine, even if its more as a learning tool than a project.

Check.
The.
Identification.
Sticker.

Seriously just do it.

I was giddy in having had my offer accepted, for what i thought was a suitable price, and only gave the machine a very quick once over. It turned out the machine was originally  a US model and it has 120V listed on the top in plain sight. My potential error didnt click until I went to wire in the plug and the colouring was wrong (It was to US wiring of course.). Rookie error on my part, and I got lucky because after a quick exchange of messages, it turned out it was a machine converted to running on 240V (I was totally sold, but i rolled with it, i was commited at this point). So I replaced the power wiring to something suitable and attached a new plug. But i wasnt going to turn it on or try anything until i'd had a proper look at everything.

After this I decided to start the rest of the teardown to see what was what. Off my initial guess id be needing a new drip tray, top cover, water tank (which had already had the low level shut off disabled - real frankstein machine here) and probably a pump as a starting point.

Sure as can be, opened up the machine, and well it was carnage in there. Also attached, the blown up pump.

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As is the way with most cheap secondhand machines, it was filthy!

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My (uneducated) guess was that the group being blocked was a potential cause of the pump blowing up or the previous owner had just decided to switch it on and go for a weekly shop, your guess is as good as mine.

It was grim in there and also scaled up to boot. The panels were also very dirty so i gave those a nice clean to start with.

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So it was time to  get cracking. I started by ordering a bunch of replacement parts for in and around the group, some citric to descale, and a new pump. From here I could work out what else needed to be changed.

Anyways, hope that was at least slightly interesting. I will try to write up the rest in another post, so stay tune, as you can imagine, there was quite a lot to get through... 

Edited by VivaLaTank
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Don’t blame me for your dodgy Ebay win [emoji23]

Haha nah seriously, well done for getting it up and running. Update when you get chance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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home - Sage dual boiler & Compak E8

work - Commandante C40 and aeropress 

 

please don’t ask me to mod your sage portafilter

 

@SkateReclaimCreate

 

 

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It was a massive undertaking for a first E61 rebuild, all credit to you viva for sticking with it [emoji106]

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

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all opinions are my own I have not received any free equipment or favours from suppliers 

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Aha cheers guys!¬†¬†I think I might actually buy new next time I get a machine ūü§£

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Great machine, makes delicious espresso. Mine has the issue where the pump activated before the preinfusion valve opened. You can fix this by unscrewing the screw at the base of the switch a bit and fitting a spacer behind the panel.

 

The other tip I've got that it's bloody impossible to find wooden knobs to fit the Andreja given its old style fittings...

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So, time to finish off this thread. Following on from the first part, once connected and having enlisted the help of my dad to double check i wasnt going to blow the house up when i switched it on, we turned the machine on and went for it. i followed the guide online as well advice from Jim on filling the tank from empty, (30 on, then off to let the pump cool down etc) so as to not overwork it. At this point i was using a nice 5lt tupperwhere instead of a tank. Thankfully, it worked fine on fill up and having left it to sit for an hour or so, no leaking.

At this point it might be worth mentioning the multi position switch. 1 is used for filling the tank etc. the 2 position is what also activates the heating element. so having given the machine a once over, it was time to switch over to position 2 to see if it heats up or not.

Now, what i found was the machince could heat up, but very little, and after some help and research online it was quickly apparently the element was going/gone. This was confirmed with a quick of the element resistance (with hindsight i would probably also check the element before getting going.)

This was the part in the rebuild i was most worried about, as up to this point i had managed to do everything on the machine without dissasembling it completely. The element sits under the machine next to the boiler drain and can be accessed through a small service hatch in the case. Only issue, it needs a 37mm socket tool to get it out. incredibly my dad had one of these in the shed and we got the element out tp confirm it was most definitley dead.

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So back onto the web to find some parts. Now there was a few options for a quickmill andreja elements on ebay for around £30/40 but all of these were different in dimensions to the one i had, infact they would have been too long for the boiler. instead i was able to find the right one at almost double that price, but nevermind. all in the name of fun right?

When putting the elemet back in, I also had a quick peek in the boiler. Having done some descaling, up to this point I was happy to seen th boiler was looking pretty good.

For reference, we got the element out without needing to remove the boiler. just put an extended socket through the service hatch (which is also where the boiler drain is.

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So, having put everything back together, it was time to switch the machine back on. Finally, we had heat, and most importantly, steam!

This meant i could finally turn my attention to the Group itself, i had already cleaned up most of the gunk from its years of abuse. but i also managed to get most of the bolts off to give it a clean. - filthy, as expected, but also quite a bit of scale. Being honest the E61 mushroom was quite bad, and to this day i still havent been able to take off the largest top bolt. It is quite simply stuck. But for now, i had a working machine and the water was finally flowing through nice and clear. I also had the rest of the group apart, cleaned it, and more importantly greased it.

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Much better.

For the tank i found a suitable plastic container that would fit in the space left for it. To me this was ok considering i didnt need the original tank for the auto pump shut off,. because of this i wasnt too concerned about using a substitute. it also means that i wasnt filling up with lots of water at a time, but only the amount i would use in a day. so overall, quite happy.

Sor the top plate, step up @jimbojohn55 who very kindly made me a replacement that fit perfectly. Even with my dodgy measurement diagram!  Also, in the time since i finished the machine, a friend of my fathers has fabricated me a new drip tray. While its not the original and its a little more rough than "shiny" I am really happy with how it turned out.

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All in all, it may not be the most perfect machine, it has some marks, stains in the chrome and had lead a pretty hard life up to when i bought it. But considering it has allowed me to have a lot of fun and to learn a bit about how an e61 grouphead works first hand, without having to pay for lots of money, I am very happy.

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Nice work 

Ive just got a used e61 machine and i was also worried about condition, 

Luckily it was pretty darn clean bar coffee residue on the screen. 

Id say if you can get the main mushroom off then soak in wd40, or failing that new ones are about 50 complete iirc 

I was lucky in that i have very little scale on it

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Good work. My Andreja has been torn down lately. Swapped almost everything in it.

My only gripe is that I don't use the hot water/steam boiler very often and it regularly turns the water very brown. I guess I just need to keep descaling but I'm in a soft water area. Do you suffer from this at all?da7a15f917986474db32e84b047260f8.jpg


Quickmill Andreja Premium---Eric's E61 Thermometer---Eureka Mignon---MBK 58.35mm---Grindenstein

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18 hours ago, Cuprajake said:

Nice work 

Ive just got a used e61 machine and i was also worried about condition, 

Luckily it was pretty darn clean bar coffee residue on the screen. 

Id say if you can get the main mushroom off then soak in wd40, or failing that new ones are about 50 complete iirc 

I was lucky in that i have very little scale on it

Thank you @Cuprajake

Nice! How are you finding it? 

Thats good, its always a bit of a gamble buying secondhand! haha. 

So funnily enough,¬†even after lots of wd40 i was still getting more movement¬†on the group than I was on the able to get even slight movement in that bolt. ūü§£ so called it a day on that one and just put quite a bit of cafiza through.¬†

The gauze on the very top one is also most definitely stuck in, even after some chrome friendly descaling. So possibly worth replacing. At the same time, it is running well at the moment and part of me has had my fun with this machine and wants to pass it on to someone else to have some fun with. So toying with the idea of moving it on as a 90-95% complete project so they can have some fun with it. 

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13 hours ago, NJD1977 said:

Good work. My Andreja has been torn down lately. Swapped almost everything in it.

My only gripe is that I don't use the hot water/steam boiler very often and it regularly turns the water very brown. I guess I just need to keep descaling but I'm in a soft water area. Do you suffer from this at all?da7a15f917986474db32e84b047260f8.jpg

Thank you @NJD1977

May i just say, that is one lovely looking set up, i thought it was a stock photo at first! 

I actually had this too. Particularly from the hot water arm. I found that the only thing that seemed to help (at least i think it did) was flushing water through it. I only really drink espresso so have baked it into my pre shot routine to purge both of them before going anyway, just so things arent in there too long.

What have you been using to descale with by the way?

One thing it has made me realise, given I live in London i want all future machines to have a drain on them. It makes life so easy! I found i had to put so much citric through the boiler to get going. Even with best intentions of using a brita filter, it will still build up where I am

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Bit of a learning curve, but very happy upgrade over the sage 

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