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1963 Europiccola rebuild


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I've been keeping an eye out for a vintage Europiccola, and finally managed to get my hands on a completely original 1963 model (v1.3 according to Francesco's site). 

I've given it a good check over, and considering it's nearly 60 years old it's in really good condition. The chrome is almost perfect, and while the base has a few dings, the paint is still original. Personally I value originality and patina above anything else so I'm not planning to repaint it, I'll just give everything a good clean.

Of course there are a couple of jobs that need doing:
  • It needs a set of seals, since water is leaking from the top of the grouphead whenever there's pressure in the boiler. Does anyone in the UK sell seals for the very early models, or will I need to order them from Francesco?
  • The rubber sub-base is missing.
  • The La Pavoni badge is missing from the front of the base.

I'll post a few pics up on here as I strip it down. I'm completely new to lever machines, so I'm sure I'll have a few questions as I go!

PXL_20201023_084208672 (1).jpg

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have you opened it up yet? shaft seal is shot with the leak you mentioned in the opening post but I would be interested to see inside the group with piston out (i have small stock of new Pav lever parts so could check PN's to see if anything carries over.. obvs this is very old so doubtful 😞 ) I also have some early group head bits kicking about from services which might work.

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Beautiful machine. I’m sure that Francesco can supply parts. And I’ve seen some of the rubber bases on eBay for around 20 euros. If you’re part of the Facebook la Pavoni group, you might get other tips for where to source parts.

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Thanks everyone, I've already emailed Francesco and he's able to supply the seals and the badge. The only problem is he's away at the moment so he can't post them right now. Looks like I'll just have to be patient...

I saw the rubber bases on eBay but unfortunately they're nothing like the originals, they're basically just a length of silicone weatherstrip. They'd do the job, but I'm hoping to keep everything as original as possible. I see @jimbojohn55 has actually managed to cast his own rubber base, so that may be an option to investigate.

 

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There’s info on how to do this here:

http://www.francescoceccarelli.eu/La_Pavoni/Faidate/sottobase_gomma_eng.htm
 

Also if you order things from Francesco I would pay the extra for priority delivery otherwise it can take ages! (I’ve tried both quick and snail delivery). 
 

alternatively you could contact max selb and he might well be able to help with parts. 

Edited by Mike B
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So while I'm waiting for a new seal kit, I thought I'd start with the strip down.

The portafilter gasket eventually came out after a lot of persuasion. The rubber was hard as rock and started to crumble as I removed it, so there's no way I'll be reusing it.

The pre-1974 models have a thicker gasket with a 7mm x 5mm square cross-section, which isn't available any more. So I'll need to use the 5mm x 5mm from the post 1974 model, along with a 2mm spacer:

https://www.espressocare.com/products/item/la-pavoni-lever-machine-grouphead-spacer-for-old-style

 

PXL_20201030_112905718.jpg

Edited by tvr3
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5 minutes ago, jimbojohn55 said:

Hi @tvr3I will be doing a few bases (probably) in the next couple of weeks - the lever fever FB group are after some as well - will let you know 

 

cheers Jim

That would be awesome, thanks Jim. Please add me to the the list!

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So the next job was to unscrew the brass sleeve. Which was where I hit the first snag...

Officially you're supposed to use a special tool which slots into 2 holes in the sleeve. The holes on mine were completely untouched - along with the state of the rubber gasket, I'm pretty certain this is the first time it's ever been apart.

In true bodge-it fashion, I managed to fashion my own tool out of 2 drill bits clamped between 2 pieces of wood. It worked surprisingly well and I managed to get plenty of torque on it, but unfortunately the sleeve is stuck solid.

I've read some horror stories on other forums about the sleeves not coming apart, so  I didn't want to go too far in case I damaged anything. The next step is to source a proper tool and see if that works any better.

 

 

PXL_20201024_141708525.jpg

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11 minutes ago, tvr3 said:

So the next job was to unscrew the brass sleeve. Which was where I hit the first snag...

Officially you're supposed to use a special tool which slots into 2 holes in the sleeve. The holes on mine were completely untouched - along with the state of the rubber gasket, I'm pretty certain this is the first time it's ever been apart.

In true bodge-it fashion, I managed to fashion my own tool out of 2 drill bits clamped between 2 pieces of wood. It worked surprisingly well and I managed to get plenty of torque on it, but unfortunately the sleeve is stuck solid.

I've read some horror stories on other forums about the sleeves not coming apart, so  I didn't want to go too far in case I damaged anything. The next step is to source a proper tool and see if that works any better.

 

 

PXL_20201024_141708525.jpg

Penetrating oil over a few days 👍

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  • 1 month later...
On 30/10/2020 at 12:43, jimbojohn55 said:

Hi @tvr3I will be doing a few bases (probably) in the next couple of weeks - the lever fever FB group are after some as well - will let you know 

 

cheers Jim

Hi Jim,

I’m new to the forum, found this post when googling all over for a base to complement my latest refurbishing project, a beauty from 1970. Like so many others this one too is missing the base. 
 

How can I ask you kindly enough to think of me and my beauty when you craft your next batch?

/henrik

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Great find @tvr3, where did you find it, and (if you don't mind divulging) what was the damage?

Amazing how little the design has changed in nearly 60 years (although, I agree a base probably wouldn't go amiss). A few new seals, maybe a re-wire, and hopefully she'll be good to go... Will be watching with interest.

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