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Band.
 
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I’d try to get in that solenoid and see what’s up. Those interior parts are simple, but small And fragile.

The upside is that there’s probably a cost effective universal replacement.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:58 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #81 (permalink)
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Parker solenoids are a dime a dozen, as are replacement 3 way valves. That thing is toast.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:19 AM
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I ordered a new valve and solenoid. Even if the old ones are salvageable, they are cheap enough to have spares.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:59 PM
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I guess if it looks that cool it doesn't need to work
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:25 PM
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I was hoping to do the exterior panels last, but to install the electrical I have to install the surround under the drip tray, because that's where some of the switches and indicators mount. So I have to do that panel now. It is highly polished stainless steel, with light scratches from decades of use. I'm not going to obsess over attaining a mirror finish, just buff to bright and shiny. As I started buffing, I notice there seems to be some residue of a coating here and there - maybe it was once clear coated? I'm going to stop and apply some stripper to see if that helps.
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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
1988 Westy Vanagon, Zetec conversion
Really want to find a clean E28 . . .
Old 12-09-2018, 09:26 PM
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Hey, when I do the wiring, I would like to replace the original wiring loom cover which is looking a little sloppy and unraveled. What do we think of the braided split self closing fabric stuff? What's your favorite wiring loom cover that is heat resistant and doesn't require removing connectors.

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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
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Really want to find a clean E28 . . .

Last edited by jyl; 12-10-2018 at 05:58 AM..
Old 12-09-2018, 10:07 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #86 (permalink)
 
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Quick status report. Not had much time to work on the espresso machine, but did get it hooked up to the garden hose and chased down leaks. I'll need to replace the right-hand group valve which is dripping; already replaced the left-hand group valve. A group valve and Parker 220 solenoid are $65, not too bad.

However, I still need a hot water valve - mine is missing, that boiler fitting is capped off. I have been surprised at how few used parts are available on eBay, even Italian eBay. There's no used valves listed; and new ones are $300 . . .

So, I did something slightly nuts. An Elektra Maxi 2 group semi-automatic commercial machine was listed on Seattle Craiglist in partly refurbished condition for $200, so I drove up there and bought it. It has the hot water valve I need; the valve requires new o-rings etc per the seller but those bits are cheap. It also has a whole machine's worth of parts, almost all will interchange with those on my machine, except the electronics (mine is an automatic). It is a 2000, so has the current steam and hot water valves which are nicer than the valves on my machine which is a 1993. So with this "parts machine" I should be able to complete my project, and perhaps get back my "investment" by parting out the rest of it - or simply have a ton of spares.

For another $50, the seller sold me an Elektra MSC grinder, which is a rebadged Macap MX commercial grinder. Cosmetically iffy but works fine, will need new burrs. As well as a new-in-box Procon pump, those normally go for about $140.

Next step will be to plug the machine into power. For obvious reasons I am not doing that until all the leaks are chased down. The power cord won't reach from the workbench to the 240v outlet in the garage, so I'm going to get a 240v 6-50 extension cord, such as welders use.

Thinking ahead, we've decided to install the machine in the dining room. I have a built-in china cabinet there, in a bumpout. Next to it there is a 42" wide space. So I am looking for an antique cabinet, dresser, or sideboard that can become the "coffee station". I plan to bring the 240v circuit, water line, and drain up into the lower part of the cabinet and hide them in a recess on the side of the cabinet, behind an inconspicuous access door. That way I can avoid cutting up the wainscotting that covers all the rest of the dining room.

I feel that all of the above makes sense, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm hiding the second espresso machine from my wife . . . she discovered the grinder and sent me an outraged text "what's this insane grinder" and I had to tell her all about how it sells new for $700-1000 and I got it for only $50 (without mentioning that I'd driven to Seattle to get it). She won't notice the different between the two espresso machines but if she sees them both at once, Suspicion Will Ensue.

I wonder if there is room in the garage for a cot?
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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
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Really want to find a clean E28 . . .

Last edited by jyl; 12-24-2018 at 08:38 AM..
Old 12-24-2018, 08:32 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #87 (permalink)
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Here is my $50 working commercial grinder



And here is my $200 partly restored commercial espresso machine

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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
1988 Westy Vanagon, Zetec conversion
Really want to find a clean E28 . . .
Old 12-24-2018, 11:40 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #88 (permalink)
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Here is where the restored machine will go. Imagine an elegant 42" sideboard tucked in that corner. Gleaming espresso machine and grinder on top. Coffee stuff discreetly concealed in the sideboard. Electrical and water brought up through the lower cabinet of the built in, connections hidden in the side of the built in. Xmas stuff taken down and replaced with vintage Italian cafe art. Divorced husband glumly paying alimony. Wife enjoying espresso with her new beau.

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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
1988 Westy Vanagon, Zetec conversion
Really want to find a clean E28 . . .
Old 12-24-2018, 11:48 AM
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[QUOTE Divorced husband glumly paying alimony. Wife enjoying espresso with her new beau.

[/QUOTE]

Funny but true. Will be nice for sure. May never sleep w all the caffeine. Bicycle gears in dish?
Old 12-24-2018, 05:51 PM
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Scavenged, meant for some art project
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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
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Really want to find a clean E28 . . .
Old 12-25-2018, 03:36 PM
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It lives!

I took a break from the Elektra during the holidays but got back to it this week. I pulled my garden hose into the garage and connected it to the machine's supply house, then spent an hour chasing down leaks. One group valve had to be replaced, so I ordered a valve and solenoid, that slowed things down.

Now for electrical. The cord won't reach from the machine to the 240v receptacle in the garage, and I can't move it closer because my wife's pottery kiln is in the way. I wasted an hour driving around in search of a 240v extension cord. Two stores told me there was no such thing because they are illegal and unsafe. I went on Amazon and bought a 15 foot welder's cord for $15. Apparently welders use 240v cords all the time without bursting into flames.

Plugged the machine in, turned on the breaker, turned the machine on, got out the VOM and measured voltage. Yes, there is voltage where there is supposed to be, and none where there is not supposed to be. Hmm, what's that smell. Oh, the heating elements are cooking in a dry boiler. Switched machine off, removed the vacuum valve, poured water through that opening until the boiler was about half full, turned the machine back on.

I inserted a probe thermometer where the vacuum valve goes, and watched the boiler temperature rise to 190F. Removed the thermometer, re-installed the vacuum valve, and nervously waited for the pstat to click or the pressure release valve to open or for the boiler to explode. In the meantime I tightened some more fittings that were leaking.

Click! The pstat works. Boiler pressure, according to the gauge, was 1.2 bar. My son came into the garage. I explained how full of electricity and pressurized water the machine was and how dad was risking life and limb to bring espresso to the family. Dear son was unimpressed, until we steamed some milk. "Wow dad we can make good hot chocolate with this!". And off he went, promising to check back later to see if I had died. As he closed the door I screamed the cry of a dying man, and he told me "stop it, dad".

I adjusted the pstat to get the boiler to 1.5 bar. Now, do the groups and electronic keypads work? I installed the backsplash and drip tray, locked a portafilter in the right group, and pushed a button. Holy moly, the pump started and some water came out of the portafilter. At, um, 3 bar on the gauge. Adjust the pump pressure screw. Oooo, 16 bar. Fiddle some more. 8 bar!

So, here's where we are.
1. Both electronic keypads seem to work, on a gross level. Push botton, water comes out under pressure, water stops. Big relief. These keypad controller thingys cost $700 (!!!) to replace. I've found someone who repairs them, but best for them to simply work. Dodged a bullet!
2. The amount of water delivered by each button seems odd, the "big single shot" button delivers less water than the "little single shot" button, so I'll have to investigate further. Maybe they were programmed weird by the last owner. This machine has a special programming lock, which is literally a keyed lock that you turn to put the controllers in a programming mode. I don't have the key but turns out that all the lock does is close a circuit. So I will simply insert a toggle switch where the lock is and label the positions "program" and "brew". Then I will have to figure out how to program the controller. It is '80s technology that works by Morse code or something. For the time being, the "manual brew" button works.
3. Both groups deliver water at the desired 8 bar, with no dripping other than the expected drops from the valve drain at the end of the shot. Either my portafilter lugs are worn or my group bell flanges are worn, because the portafilter doesn't lock in tightly. There are thicker o-rings meant for this.
4. The water as it exits the portafilter seems not quite hot enough - a thermometer in the stream reads only about 175F. Maybe the group needs to heat up longer.
5. The steam wands work, though one drips just a little so I'll rebuild the valves. Nice four hole tips. Steams 1 cup of cold milk in less than 10 seconds. Edit: more like 5 seconds.
6. There is a little leak at the pump, haven't tracked that down yet. And one other very small leak from a fitting that is on the underside of the boiler and hard to get to. I'll get that one when the power isn't on.
7. I cannot tell if the boiler autofill works. There is no voltage at the lead that clips to the water level sensor, I'm not sure if there is supposed to be? But the boiler water level is probably up to the water level probe tip. I think I'm going to figure out how to install a boiler drain valve, by the way. This is a heat exchanger machine and it will be hard to maintain the boiler without an easy way to drain it.
8. The stainless steel exterior panels still need to be mirror polished. I am afraid the "Elektra" logo on the upper faceplate is going to be polished off, as I can't get that part of the panel shiny otherwise. My daughter has access to a laser engraver at school so if I can make a file with that logo in the right font, she can engrave it for me right into the steel.
9. The exterior end panels need to be re-painted. Or wrapped with thin copper sheet.
10. The machine is "on" in my garage. I left it running all evening to see if anything bad happens. I even pulled an experimental shot, that was very drinkable.
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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
1988 Westy Vanagon, Zetec conversion
Really want to find a clean E28 . . .

Last edited by jyl; 01-03-2019 at 02:18 PM..
Old 01-02-2019, 08:12 PM
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See that red light? It lives!



Brew pressure during shot, left gauge, 8 bar. Boiler pressure, right gauge, 1.3 bar.
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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
1988 Westy Vanagon, Zetec conversion
Really want to find a clean E28 . . .
Old 01-02-2019, 08:16 PM
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Hey, electrical question. I want to install some lighting and other stuff in this 240v machine. Those will be most easily powered with 120v. Can I just tap one of the hot wires and the neutral to get my 120v?
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1989 3.2 Carrera coupe
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Really want to find a clean E28 . . .
Old 01-02-2019, 08:20 PM
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I like how the gauge carries the funky 80's ELEKTRA logo!!
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:27 PM
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This is just awesome, John. Congratulations to get it fired up! Cracks me up that people think of 240 as such a big deal in the US. A lot of places around the world it is standard household voltage. Thanks for the write up. Did you retire, or where did you find the time to do all this work!? Keep us posted!

Cheers,

George
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:17 PM
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Hey, electrical question. I want to install some lighting and other stuff in this 240v machine. Those will be most easily powered with 120v. Can I just tap one of the hot wires and the neutral to get my 120v?
Yes. But I would fuse the circuit for protection.
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:50 AM
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Awesome!

If you pul the lead off the water level sensor I -think- the pump should turn on, and then off when you touch it to a ground.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:32 AM
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I was also given one of these a couple of years ago and I opted to pass it on to a friend. I have been using super automatics for a couple of years now and I am totally addicted to it. I will say this though, the Nespresso machines make amazing coffee. The fact that it looks like a Kurig I always looked down at it and did not consider it a serious coffee maker... until I tried it. WOW! It is amazing and much easier on maintenance than my super autos. Yes, the pods cost a bit much but the machines are a deal.
Old 01-03-2019, 05:06 AM
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