Date de la machine :  50'
Origine de la machine : Italie
Pays d'achat : Portugal
N° de série : 19 ou 282 (?)
Puissance : 1200 W 
Chaudière fermée, retour du levier par ressort

1 filtre 2T

Translated by Sorey

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I had already had glimpses of this machine on the net, without paying too much attention to it. 
In fact, it is a very desirable machine, of professional quality and ideal volume for home use.
In short, exactly the type of machine that could have me fantasize — but fantasize only because impossible to find.
Then one day, one showed up on a well known auction site.
I believe only David (aka Cuppajoe) had seen it but, since shipping cost to the USA was prohibitive, I was the only bidder.
Lucky me. And thanks David!
Ok, let’s not dwell on how improbable all this was but just enough to savor my luck.

And then David told me of a thread about this machine on Home Barista (HB).
I had never visited their Repairs forum yet but realized then that I might have missed some interesting threads.
There was one from Rod, a Portuguese chap, who had obtained this machine somehow and wanted to know if it was possible to rebuild it.
He got a few answers and then went silent until he put it up for sale.
And that’s how I learned a bit more about the machine before it got to me. Here are a few pics of said machine.

Some details.

I couldn’t help but wonder about the state of the machine. Was it really painted blue or just a reflection from the carpet?
The hot water and steam wands had a sad look.
The machine seemed in good overall condition, even if the cup retention thingie on top didn’t appear original to some on HB.
In any case, it won’t be included in the sale.

Finalizing the transaction was rather eventful and made me wonder if the seller was having second thoughts.
But the shipment did arrive some times later.
Superb packing, as I had pleaded for. But then again…

The general state of the machine was far from good, with many parts missing.
I had a few questions but would get my answers later on…

I installed the lever to give it a more noble look and to get a better view of my last conquest.

Some knobs are missing, and certainly a switch on the top right.
But nothing that could cripple the rebuild.

However, big heartbreak at the sight of back panel of the machine. The superb curve that is a good part of its charm has been damaged. During shipping? That would be very surprising since the packing box was intact… I strongly suspect this bump was there before the machine was shipped.
Whatever the case may be, speculating won’t get me ahead — or backward — at this point. But I must admit I felt sad then and there.

As usual, the drip tray cover and the head cover are dirty and worn from years of use.

After taking apart the group and the top of the machine — surprise! —
 paint everywhere and asbestos lining… great, great.

The asbestos is quickly removed with a lot of care and
water to avoid creating and breathing dust.

I attack the group, the element so dear to me.

The original handle, immeasurably long… this group is so tall.

The assembly is a bit unusual as, once detached from the piston, the group cylinder comes out by the bottom.

If the spring seems miraculously clean, the joint of the lever and the group were absolutely filthy with a greasy muck…

The group is now completely apart.
I just have to clean it, which won’t be too complicated if rather disgusting. But finding the appropriate seals will be another story.

Now, I’m getting a closer look at what seemed at first glance like electric connections on the bottom plate of the boiler.

BINGO! That’s it! Although unanticipated, the two heating elements are in place. I have yet to find out if they are still serviceable. I had already tried to figure out how I’d install a heating element from the bottom of the boiler.
I might be able to look at the next steps differently.

The heating elements nuts, glued in paint for decades, required extreme caution and made for a delicate operation before they came out.
The small nuts to lock-in the electrical wires are still stuck on the element threads by old paint. Nothing could be more fragile. I’ll need to ruse.

After much work, the bottom plate finally comes out.
Two bolts broke and one hole will need to be retapped.

The use of gas as a heating source has left its mark. The boiler is filthy, for lack of a better word.
What is really surprising — but not so much when set back in context — is how simple the setup is.
No tubes sticking out everywhere, below or behind…
Besides the group itself, there are four outlets on the front of the boiler, all leading to the front of the machine.
Two are used for the water level sightglass, one for the hot water and one for the steam.
So if I want to install modern components like a pressure-stat, I’ll have to find a way.
But the prospect of having to drill into the boiler to add a tube saddens me a bit. It means altering its original state.
Tough choice.