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Restoration of a 3rd Series Faema Mercurio (Tall Group)


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I ran into something unexpected. Out of curiosity I measured the diameter of the original spring to be 42mm. The height was 169mm and there are 14 ± 1 windings. I think the height is lower than the factory spec. This diameter may be an issue as all new springs are 45mm in diameter. The smaller spring diameter is so the spring does not rub against the preinfusion cylinder, which has to stick out into the group bore to be raised by the piston to open the preinfusion valve. I would need to assemble the group to truly see if there is an effect with the 3mm larger diameter spring, but I am asking if anyone would know if it is not an issue that I use the larger diameter spring (ie a replacement spring) or if I need to either use the original spring again or have a custom spring manufactured. The original spring is actually not in bad condition and I think I could just put it back in the goup if needed.
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It may be a little difficult to see but the smaller diameter spring can more easily be centered without touching the cylinder. The larger 45mm diamater spring is pushed to the left of the picture in order to not touch the cylinder

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-Ryan

"Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1957 Faema Mercurio 3rd Series Tall, 1963 Faema Faemina, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1977 Faema Zodiaco 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Eureka Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups, a basement to hold my bits n' bobs

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I've been cleaning up the exterior bits to keep my hands occupied. Everything except for the backsplash turned out very satisfactory. The back panels are really in great condition. The only serious flaw I found were some scratches in one spot. The emblem is also in great condition. I just used a little soapy water to wipe down these parts. The group and drip tray have some scratches but they still turned out fine. I am trying not to rechrome anything since this is a 'survivor' machine to quote car enthusiasts.

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The cup tray has really nice patina. It's super scuffed but it shows the age in a respectful manner. 
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Here's something interestng. It's a knob that can open and shut a little metal grate to allow heat to escape. I think it's for the warming of cups or regulating the interior? I am not certain why it's there.

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The backsplash is definitely the most scratched piece. I am trying to get the best luster from it but the decades of wiping it with a cloth have left many little scratches over time. I'll keep working on this one
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The little feet are adorable. I need to still get into the knurled parts for cleanup.
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  • Like 3

-Ryan

"Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1957 Faema Mercurio 3rd Series Tall, 1963 Faema Faemina, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1977 Faema Zodiaco 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Eureka Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups, a basement to hold my bits n' bobs

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This is not something I have seen before on other lever machines. I cleaned up the piston spring and it appears to be made of a bronze alloy, phosphor bronze? Really unique stuff and I thought initially the brown stuff was just grime buildup. I don't think it easily reacts or corrodes. I think it was designed specifically to accomodate the preinfusion mechanism while maintaining normal spring specs. I've said this before but the spring is also branded with FAEMA 5 57, which is something I have also not seen on a spring piston before. The spring measurements are 42mm OD, 6.5mm coil diameter, 29mm ID, and 169mm height with 14 ± 1 coils. I am actually going to use it rather than get a replacement as its tensile strength appears intact.
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Literally one thing is still not apart, and that is that inlet/hot water cam and fitting. I am pretty certain there is hard scale build up inside the fitting that is keeping the rod stuck, and there is a groove in this fitting where it built up as shown in the other fitting. It's soaking in the sonic cleaner. I hope to get it apart after the effort thrown into it. Are there any additional tips anyone could provide?
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  • Like 2

-Ryan

"Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1957 Faema Mercurio 3rd Series Tall, 1963 Faema Faemina, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1977 Faema Zodiaco 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Eureka Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups, a basement to hold my bits n' bobs

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1 hour ago, IamOiman said:

... it appears to be made of a bronze alloy, phosphor bronze.... I am actually going to use it rather than get a replacement as its tensile strength appears intact.
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Excellent condition considering it's age....FWIW i'd be turning the spring 180 degrees when re-fitting....so the cleaner end gets to do some work and the not-so-cleaner part has a rest so to speak. Keep up the good work.

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I decided thermal shock was the best option. I took my propane torch and heated up the fitting then dunked it in a little bucket of iced water. After three cycles I could start moving the cam around and eventually pulled it out. The whole cam seemed to be eaten by hard water and suffered damage. The cracks on the tip are pretty big and I am not super excited to keep it as is and may need to do a repair. I presume something like silver soldering is my best bet?
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  • Like 4

-Ryan

"Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1957 Faema Mercurio 3rd Series Tall, 1963 Faema Faemina, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1977 Faema Zodiaco 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Eureka Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups, a basement to hold my bits n' bobs

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I have reached out to my Coffee Mafia and I have something started in the background. It involves a replica E61 water inlet cam. 

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  • Like 3

-Ryan

"Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1957 Faema Mercurio 3rd Series Tall, 1963 Faema Faemina, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1977 Faema Zodiaco 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Eureka Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups, a basement to hold my bits n' bobs

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Frame is cleaned up. I chose a grey hue that was close to the original bare metal. You can see how the feet prop up the machine from the front. They are offset since the thread is a little behind the perimeter of the frame and I guess Faema wanted them to stick out if you wished. I am still perplexed why some machines had feet in the back and others like mine do not. The square fittings did not quite fit so I had to very finely file the edges of excess coating for some of them.

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Boiler flange was brushed up as well. You can see that this was welded in on the edge. The boiler thickness is obscenely large, almost a centimeter thick. 
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The water inlet cam is being worked on. An E61 water inlet cam will be modified to fit a double valve like mine with a few changes. I will keep the original one in case I need to use it as a back up after a repair. I am waiting to see the results of polishing the backsplash and drip tray but I am considering rechroming them. I'd prefer if I did not need to due to the wild quote for rechroming them but I am not currently satisfied with the current condition. I am waiting to receive some cotton flannel for a final attempt at polishing them.

  • Like 2

-Ryan

"Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention"

2018 Bosco Sorrento, 1957 Faema Mercurio 3rd Series Tall, 1963 Faema Faemina, 1964 Faema President 2 Gr, 1977 Faema Zodiaco 2 Gr, 1979 Gaggia Tell 2 Gr, 1991 La Pavoni PRG & Elektra MCAL, Eureka Olympus 75E, Quickmill Omre, Lido E, Virtuoso, 30+ Moka Pots, Chemex 8 cup, Siphon 5 Cup, French Press 1L, 75 espresso cups, a basement to hold my bits n' bobs

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