So I have had a Classic I Joe for the past 3 years. Never in that time have the top and bottom fit together well, there has always been an under / over bite and there has always been smoke leakage on the left-front side of the dome.
It has not prevented me from cooking on it, but it does burn more charcoal than my friend's BGE and it does take longer to shut down. The smoke leakage is also getting worse as time goes by.
I have replaced the hinge 3 times and the gasket twice, never does any good.
I spoke with the guys at Atlanta Grill Company (authorized Joe dealer) when I was there a couple of weeks ago and they told me that was the problem with the Classic I and why Kamado Joe discontinued it and moved to the Classic II with the counter-balanced hinge.
So Kamado Joe knowingly sold a faulty product for a number of years, then when they fixed the design they did not offer any discount or trade-in for existing Classic I customers to upgrade to the Classic II or any retro-fitted solutions for the hinge.
To me that is not a good way of doing business, I have invested thousands in my Joe, parts, etc. I gave up calling customer service about the issue because they never acknowledged anything other than "try to change your hinge and gasket" - meaning more work for me when they know it wont solve the problem.
I just have to vent a little bit and ask the community two questions:
1. Has anyone come up with a "hack" for the Classic I to solve these hinge and leakage problems?
2. Has anyone had success with KJ in getting them to acknowledge this problem and upgrade the grill without having to pay full freight for a replacement?