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K24 Modifications and Fixes

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I noticed a slight gap in the main seal on my L-G K24. It looks like the piston keeps the seal from fully meeting, as I could see light coming through. I am using a C clamp with just enough turn to eliminate it. It is definitely listing to the my right, when facing it. Do I need to adjust the bracket that holds the top, or adjust the hinge. Those parts were pre-assembled in the box. I will see if I can loosen the tension on the piston. Anyone else who has corrected this issue? Or, read, heard, seen this being corrected? Thanks! I want that total seal! I haven't added the felt on the bottom vent, yet. A twig bent over, and placed between the guides holds the plates firm, until I get to that. I have added extra felt to the top vent, welders felt placed around it, and re-seating did the trick. Not for this issue... So far, it hasn't burnt out my charcoal when ending a burn, but I would think fixing the slightest gaps will conserve, and help with temp controls to the maximum ability.

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:50 AM, Kamado Draggin' said:

I noticed a slight gap in the main seal on my L-G K24. It looks like the piston keeps the seal from fully meeting, as I could see light coming through. It is definitely listing to the my right, when facing it. Do I need to adjust the bracket that holds the top, or adjust the hinge. Those parts were pre-assembled in the box. I will see if I can loosen the tension on the piston. Anyone else who has corrected this issue? Or, read, heard, seen this being corrected? Thanks! I want that total seal!

 

I removed the top from the bracket, and replaced it. There is still a lean to one side. Has anyone dealt with this issue?

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9 hours ago, Kamado Draggin' said:

 

I removed the top from the bracket, and replaced it. There is still a lean to one side. Has anyone dealt with this issue?

You could try loosening the top and bottoms bands, get someone to apply pressure/hold it down on the high side and tighten the bands back down. Might even try to overcompensate a bit on the low side as it seems like it wants to settle a certain way. Honestly I tried for an hour different things to be able to get mine perfectly level, and just couldn’t. With the paper test at the rear and sides I cannot pull the paper out, at the front it slides out easily. it bothered me at first but since I’ve broken in the felt now it has formed a pretty airtight seal, you can see the felt is much more crushed down at the back than at the front so it has pretty much levelled itself out. 

 

Get a low fire going in there and throw on a piece or two of wood and get it good and smoking then close all vents and see where smoke leaks out. Mine won’t leak around the felt but a little bit around through the top vent holes. 

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16 hours ago, KamadoChris said:

You could try loosening the top and bottoms bands, get someone to apply pressure/hold it down on the high side and tighten the bands back down. Might even try to overcompensate a bit on the low side as it seems like it wants to settle a certain way. Honestly I tried for an hour different things to be able to get mine perfectly level, and just couldn’t. With the paper test at the rear and sides I cannot pull the paper out, at the front it slides out easily. it bothered me at first but since I’ve broken in the felt now it has formed a pretty airtight seal, you can see the felt is much more crushed down at the back than at the front so it has pretty much levelled itself out. 

 

Get a low fire going in there and throw on a piece or two of wood and get it good and smoking then close all vents and see where smoke leaks out. Mine won’t leak around the felt but a little bit around through the top vent holes. 

Thank you, @KamadoChris. I will try that  again. I noticed my felt is more compressed on one side than the other. I also ordered new felt, after checking it out at a grill store (Amazon had it for half the price), there is much more cushion in it. My charcoal does go out, I will be adding felt to the bottom vent, and see if that helps. I do appreciate your response, I will try again to re-adjust the bands with  a second person. It may not really be affecting anything, but the control freak in me wants it to be PERFECT. I may remove the piston permanently, and see if that helps the seal (in my mind). I will do the smoke test again after a few more cooks!

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I would go about it in this order: loosen top and bottom bands so lid seal isnt affected by bands. Check for any gaps. Retighten bands checking seal and alignment as you go. If the lid shifts alot than it needs adjustment and it could be bent.

 

I seriously doubt that piston affects the seal on a proper aligned lid. The top band or hinge could be bent a little though and that would affect seal. With the heavy weight of the lid and gravity, it should seal pretty easy assuming it's a good flat and square casting.

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On 6/4/2019 at 7:45 PM, KamadoChris said:

You could try loosening the top and bottoms bands, get someone to apply pressure/hold it down on the high side and tighten the bands back down. Might even try to overcompensate a bit on the low side as it seems like it wants to settle a certain way. Honestly I tried for an hour different things to be able to get mine perfectly level, and just couldn’t. With the paper test at the rear and sides I cannot pull the paper out, at the front it slides out easily. it bothered me at first but since I’ve broken in the felt now it has formed a pretty airtight seal, you can see the felt is much more crushed down at the back than at the front so it has pretty much levelled itself out. 

 

Get a low fire going in there and throw on a piece or two of wood and get it good and smoking then close all vents and see where smoke leaks out. Mine won’t leak around the felt but a little bit around through the top vent holes. 

I used a ratcheting tie down strap from Harbor freight to keep my hinge compressed while adjusting the bands and lid.  Pretty cheap way to go.

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KamadoChris,  If you haven't fixed your problem with the cover not sealing,it is being caused by the two screws, one on each side that are too tight.  They are not the screws that hinge pivots on but the screws infront of them.  I had the same problem.  Loosen them and apply some threadlock and you will be good to go.

 

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On 6/27/2019 at 6:30 PM, mwalczak said:

KamadoChris,  If you haven't fixed your problem with the cover not sealing,it is being caused by the two screws, one on each side that are too tight.  They are not the screws that hinge pivots on but the screws infront of them.  I had the same problem.  Loosen them and apply some threadlock and you will be good to go.

 


I came here to see where people are at with this issue. I've owned my Pitboss for about a year now, and love it with the exception of the performance I get from the hinge. I've had hinge problems since day 1. Initially, after reading some info on another forum, I had modified my hinge  - when they come stock, the screws you talk about being too tight - I'm pretty sure that is because there is some built in 'slop' - just a tiny bit, that helps the lid sit perfectly flat on the base without 100% proper alignment. 

Part of the problem is with these grills only available at Costco, its hard to know if mines even setup right. There's no dealer I can really talk to, and I Can almost guarantee the people putting them together at Costco have no clue. Theres a blue one in my warehouse right now and the lid is clearly on crooked as can be and will barely open. When you close it theres literally a 1cm gap on the front. Whoever put it together obviously had no idea what they were doing. 

Anyways - Only main reason I want the hinge to be perfect more than anything is for faster shut down. With the slight leak (yes, ive felted everything else, top/bottom vents etc) my unit still takes hours to shut down. I was thinking of moving to a kick-ash basket, and building a metal air-tight container just large enough for the kick ash basket. My thought was at the end of a cook, I could pull the entire kick ash basket and drop it into the metal, air tight container. Being much smaller than the dome of the Kamado, the fire would go out almost instantly. 

Can anyone see an obvious reason why this would not work?

TIA
 

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On 6/27/2019 at 6:30 PM, mwalczak said:

KamadoChris,  If you haven't fixed your problem with the cover not sealing,it is being caused by the two screws, one on each side that are too tight.  They are not the screws that hinge pivots on but the screws infront of them.  I had the same problem.  Loosen them and apply some threadlock and you will be good to go.

 

I haven't had any hinge issues since I adjusted it.  It doesn't sit 100% level, but the felt has broken in and seated itself  to where now I feel pretty confident its not leaking.  I also recently took off the screened bottom vent, and re-did the felt around just the solid bottom vent, as well as slightly bending the slider channels in a bit with a rubber mallet.  My bottom vent is now very tight, I have to use two hands to adjust it, I made the felt thick enough so it was almost too hard to slide so it had room to seat and break in with use.   I've noticed a big improvement in not only shutting down but low temp control after this.

 

@Bigdizzle mine will shut off within an hour  or so for low and slow cooks, maybe give it a couple hours for high heat cooks until I have no glowing embers left.  The ceramics stay hot for a very long time, still hot hours after the coals die.  Is this what you are experiencing, or does your charcoal start glowing if you lift the lid a couple hours later and blow on it?  I cooked yesterday for 6 hours at 300.  I shutdown at 2:10pm.  A buddy came over at 5:00 and wanted to check out the grill (I've been trying to sell him on getting a kamado.)  The dome temp still said around 150 but I opened it all up to show him, the platesetter was hot I needed gloves to pick it up, but the charcoal was cool I could touch it with bare hands and we stood around with the lid open and vents open and it never started glowing back up.. 

 

If it was me, I would try to improve on shutting down and keeping everything self contained.  With some tinkering I think you can get to where you want to be. I feel like removing the hot ash basket to put into a box would just be a major inconvenience of dealing with the hot platesetter, the hot grills, and then the hot basket.  You would need someplace to put all that safely while you work on getting the basket out.  I have double thick leather gloves and I can't really hold onto the platesetter for very long to handle it before it starts getting too hot to handle.  The ash basket would transfer heat so much faster and burn through quick, you would have to fab up some lifters or contraption to pick it out.  Plus you would have to deal with hot coals or sparks possibly falling out of the basket as you move it to the box, could be a fire hazard depending on where you are doing this.  And then where do you put the hot box safely while it cools?  That would be some of the things I would consider, and weigh that against the convenience and cost of how much charcoal is actually lost if it takes an extra hour to snuff out in the firebox.  Just my .02 cents.

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22 hours ago, KamadoChris said:

 

@Bigdizzle mine will shut off within an hour  or so for low and slow cooks, maybe give it a couple hours for high heat cooks until I have no glowing embers left.  The ceramics stay hot for a very long time, still hot hours after the coals die.  Is this what you are experiencing, or does your charcoal start glowing if you lift the lid a couple hours later and blow on it? 


I feel like an idiot now but to be honest I've never checked that - it very well could just be that the  ceramics are holding the heat. 
I'll have to check. I did a brisket on the weekend (turned out killer) but closed all the vents around 6:00 pm (aroudn 240deg)  and by 8:00 PM it was still 175 degrees. By 10 PM it was still 'warm' but it might jus tbe the ceramic, I never actually check the charcoal for fear that if I open the lid and look at it, a fresh supply of oxygen is going to run into the thing. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Bigdizzle said:

 

Check it out next time, still that hot only 2 hours later is totally normal.  Sometimes if I want to be able to cover it up sooner I'll wait an hour or two then go and open the lid for a quick burst and burp the hot air out.  Do that a couple times helps it cool.  Opening to check won't flare it right back up to a raging inferno, but if its still smoldering in there you can hear it kind of crinkle when you open the lid and fresh air gets in, or blowing on it usually gets it to glow pretty quick.  I'll usually cover it up if the dome says 100 or less, 5-6 hours later and still warm to the touch is normal.

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