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2016 Big Joe with new firebox?


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Hey there everyone!


New to the forum, but I'm hoping to get some info from you guys.  To those that have upgraded to the new multi-piece firebox, how has your experience with it been?  I received mine this weekend, and I just can't seem to get it to fit tightly together.  I have gaps in almost every piece.  The tongue and groove is not locking together at all.  In it's current state, ash and embers will be everywhere inside.  I can't believe this is how it's intended to fit together.  The only install videos I've seen online have been for the smaller model KJ.  Anyone that has a 2016 model Big Joe, have you installed the new style firebox?  Do you have gaps, or did it fit snugly together?


See the attached pics for reference.





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My 2017 BJ looks like that

It wasn't a snug fit, I just made sure the gaps in the pieces were more or less equal and started cooking


Considering most KJs aren't exactly the same size, its not shocking that some fireboxes fit together snug and others are a little looser

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My experience with the spacing echos what others have said. I have some gaps, but not that much. 


I had an issue with my metal ring that goes on top warping though. Personally, I don't have a problem with the design per she but I am not impressed with KJ's take on it if that makes sense. 

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My 2017 doesn't look a lot different than yours but one thing I did do is make sure the bottom ring that the wedges sit on is dead center in the bottom of grill.  When I made sure of that by measuring with a tape measure all the way around the bottom ring I marked the outside of the ring where is sits in the bottom of the main chamber with a felt tip pen so when I take everything out to clean it I will have a reference to go by when sitting it back in.

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My classic ceramics are about like the one in the picture. I'm like everyone else and I even out the gaps. If the ceramic fit better without the gaps I think the draft would have to come through the cast iron grate and directly up through the charcoal thus more consistent and better fire. 

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I fought and fought with this yesterday and my fingers are blistered trying to pull the pieces together under the ring. I wish my old fire box was not cracked. I may have to look at repairs for it because I can't see that I will like this new design. I liked the old design because I could easily take out the grate and vacuum. Not sure i can do that with this one fire box. 


I thought I was doing something wrong until I see your pictures this morning. I got it as close as possible, but it still has the significant gaps like yours. I cooked on it and have not pulled up the diffusers to see what things look like. 20170904_164136.thumb.jpg.a47f1b582ce37af07aaedf97f3aaf8e4.jpg

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Is this a case where the diameter of the grate changed between the 2017 Big Joe and the older style Big Joe? Could anyone measure the dimensions on a new fire grate? Did you put in the fire grate after or before assembling?


This is how it should fit:



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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't take out the grate for a picture. You have to install the grate first then the ceramics. You can't take it out without taking all pieces out. I liked the older style that I could take out the grate and simply vacuum. However, I do get more heat than before. Fully open with kickash basket got me over 700 degrees yesterday. More airflow I presume. 

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