The Espresso Machine Restoration site
A non-commercial site for those interested in espresso equipment repair and restoration.
La Marzocco 1 Group Linea rebuild
Manufacturer:                La Marzocco srl., Florence, Italy

Model:                            Linea, 1 Group Semi-Automatic, 220V, Single Phase.  2600W

Approx Date of Manuf:   1992

Date acquired:               August 2004

Working condition:         Yes, taken as working condition, all handles, trim and pump in place.

Notes:                             A restaurant refugee.  No water filter or water softener in place when found and                    
                                       most probably has been like that since installation.   Extremely dirty and oily, a                      
                                       real challenge!
Basic condition

This undisputed king of the espresso machine world was too good an opportunity to pass up.  I had been nagging a
restaurant group for ages to clear some of their stock of used and abused machines.  A Nuova Simonelli was
offered to me which quickly became a NS Mac, this Linea and a Cimbali super-auto.  I knew that this machine was in
working condition which was a good thing but if you are going to do a complete and utter restoration this does not
really matter that much since all components would be stripped and overhauled. But still it is nice to know that
everything is operational and almost all of it can be re-used.  
The machine with top cup warmer removed.  The first glimpse of what was in store. Pressure gauge, steam valve and brew switch. Dirty but in working condition. Note the two holes either side of the pressure gauge, signs that the original old style gauge had been replaced. Drain tray and sight glass. Panels very badly scratched and with numerous dings caused by the pf handles. Side panels scratched and dirty. The serial plate just visible in the bottom left corner. Hot water spout showing limescale buildup and crud.
Older style steam tip consistent with the age of the machine. Not that bad condition when you see the rest of the machine. Serial plate in good condition, see how scratched the drain trays are. Underneath the top cup tray. 12 years worth of dirty air and perhaps cigar smoke etched onto the steel. Yuck! LM machines have external rotary pumps. This plug connects the machine to the pump, note the crap on the plug. Main switch plate showing dirt build-up. Also note the oils on the steel panels.
Hot water valve. Gicar water level unit. Pressure gage, steam valve and group cover. Group cover and frame, steell frame looks like it has been plated but that is just dirt. Pressure stat showing a leak/limescale and some dodgy welding on the cross piece.
Brew boiler water inlet pipes.  Group just visible on the left. Leaky pressure stat caused some rusty deposits. Steam boiler end plate visible andso are  the element prongs. The slime that the machine was coated in everywhere. Drain box, left side under the drain.  Brew boiler 12 bar safety valve (left) and group discharge pipe (righ). Water inlet manifold. Right side under the drain tray.
Accross the footwell after drain tray removed. Group head bayonet ring. Very dirty. Main switch visible in background. One of about 2 dozen dead roaches found inside the mahcine. Main body removed, both boilers now visible as is a clear tide mark of dirt. Main body removed.  Very scratched and the inside was filthy.
Stripping down

At this point I sort of had an idea of what was in store, this was one machine that had been neglected and never
cleaned, ever!  You can see the dirt on the pictures which was an oily and slimy and left a film on practically
everything.  One thing I cannot get accross was the smell, the machine had a very bad stale odour, it may have
been the oil or it may have been the dead insects from inside, and there were many of them.  One of the first jobs of
any restoration is pest control.  

With the main panels off it was just time to start pulling it apart and dropping almost every nut, bolt, screw and
component into a bucket ready for cleaning and descaling.  I can pull apart and assemble Lineas in my sleep, but if
it was any other machine you can be sure I would be taking mental notes as well as photos to make sure I knew
where each part went to make assembly that bit easier.  I don`t think that there is any real method to dismantling a
machine, just work from the outside, usually the boilers are the last pieces to come out, once they are out the frame
can come apart ready for cleaning.
Front fascia panel removed exposing the group. To the left of the group is the Fenwall thermostat. Inside of top fascia panel, now that is really grubby. Pressure gauge was a real pain to get out. Steam/water valve. See how clean the part of the valve is that was covered with the knob. This is a good shot, the sludge is clearly visible. The group, signs of scale from the group cover.
Sight glass showing water level in the steam (rear) boiler. Wiring not in bad shape, just dirty and smelly. Brew boiler element, showing signs of scale too. Group cap hex bolts removed. These require gentle persuasion as they often snap. If they do time to get your screw extractors out. Bayonet ring dirty and in good shape. This machine has not been used much. Rusty hex bolts in background. Now that is one dirty grouphead!!!!!!!  It took ages to get the screen and the rock hard gasket out.
Underside of the group cover. The group with the cover removed, an oily film on the water surface. Water drained from the group showing scale and dirt. Brew boiler heating element removed with astonishing ease.. The brew boiler.
Group mounted onto the boiler with these 8 bolts. Modern boilers from LM have an easier system. Bolts removed and a quick dig with a hammer and they are apart. The paper gasket is still in one piece. The gasket.  The retaining plate and `nut` is visible inside the boiler. Looking into the brew boiler from the element mount. Group flange shows scale and dirt.
A nasty surprise

The brew boiler was in a bit of a mess as you can see above.  Usually with LM machines the steam boiler is in a
worse state in terms of crap and scale build-up. I attribute this to the fact that the water does not get replenished as
often as the brew boiler and therefore sediment is allowed to settle.  Now I usually expect the steam boiler to be a bit
worse then the brew boiler but I have never seen anything like this....
The element and end plate from the steam boiler were removed. The plate is held in with 5 bolts. The inside of the steam boiler!  A combination of scale and sludge. Sludge-city again. Believe it or not, this machine was serving drinks 24 hours earlier! Boilers removed, just the frame left.
The frame from the opposite side. Note the rusty from the leaky pressure switch. Removing the gasket from the group, this took ages. Now that`s a blocked screen! Scale inside sight glass drain plug. Scale inside slight glass tube.
Dismantling complete

Pulling the machine apart was not too long, about 1 hours including time for photos.  I like getting this part over and
done with because it is so grubby and dirty.  The smell I cannot stress enough was awful.
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This website is created by Paul Pratt, Hong Kong 2004. If you would like to use any of the images or text I am sure I
will say yes, but please ask first!  

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