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mbellot

Upgrading hinge on my Big Joe, looking for insights

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I received a new hinge for my Big Joe (circa 2015), it's the upgraded semi-airlift model.

 

I've read through some of the threads here and it looks like the "upgrade" is not as straightforward as might be expected.

 

It appears that there are several issues (almost certainly will need the new fiberglass gasket, may need longer mounting screws for the acorn nuts, possibly need a whole new base, etc).

 

So, going in with the expectation of going back and forth multiple times between the new and old hinges to document the issue(s) and then returning to a mostly functional grill with the old hinge while waiting for parts, can anybody offer some suggestions on how to minimize the pain of removing and reinstalling the original hinge?

 

The directions with the new hinge want me to loosen the bands first and release the spring tension on the upper band (so it opens the hinge), but that sounds like it would turn in to a nightmare to put back in place. I've seen suggestions about using big zip ties to hold the hinge closed when swapping old style hinges, but would that work for swapping the old style hinge for the new one?

 

Also, any other suggestions that will make the conversion as simple (and painless) as possible would be greatly appreciated.

 

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All i needed was the fibreglass gasket as the new hinge left a large gap at the back.

 

If you envisage swapping back and forth between the two hinges while you work through any kinks zip ties will make the old hinge easier to deal with but they're not must haves either. 

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2 hours ago, Hotblack Desiato said:

If you envisage swapping back and forth between the two hinges while you work through any kinks zip ties will make the old hinge easier to deal with but they're not must haves either. 

 

Thanks.

 

Based on the other threads I have read here I do expect to be swapping back and forth a couple time since I don't want to be without the Joe for any length of time now that it's summer.

 

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Funny -- just checked back in here for the first time in  a long while.  My Big Joe (bought 2015) hinge seems to have weakened enough to not be able to hold up the lid anymore.  Tried adjusting, finally gave up and opened a case.. will be a few weeks for a new hinge.   REALLY hope it's the new style - I don't mind changing the gaskets out.

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I recently had my old hinge replaced under warranty with the "semi air-lift" hinge.

 

While I was at it, I replaced ALL bolts and dome nuts with 316 marine grade s/s, as one or two dome nuts had stripped.

 

You will need longer bolts for the hinge, I bought longer than needed, and cut them down

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6 hours ago, SteveW said:

I recently had my old hinge replaced under warranty with the "semi air-lift" hinge.

 

While I was at it, I replaced ALL bolts and dome nuts with 316 marine grade s/s, as one or two dome nuts had stripped.

 

You will need longer bolts for the hinge, I bought longer than needed, and cut them down

 

Where did you get the bolts? I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks to upgrade to good quality stainless bolts, my Joe sits out in the Chicago weather year round.

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17 hours ago, mbellot said:

 

Where did you get the bolts? I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks to upgrade to good quality stainless bolts, my Joe sits out in the Chicago weather year round.

 

Local quality bolt supplier here in Australia, and I ground the heads down a bit on all screws so they sat "flatter"

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On 6/27/2019 at 4:59 PM, SteveW said:

I recently had my old hinge replaced under warranty with the "semi air-lift" hinge.

 

While I was at it, I replaced ALL bolts and dome nuts with 316 marine grade s/s, as one or two dome nuts had stripped.

 

You will need longer bolts for the hinge, I bought longer than needed, and cut them down

 

So - I did get the newer style hinge (with the vertical spring).  Installed and it lifts MUCH lighter.  Doesn't stay put in semi-opened positions, but it lifts easily and stays fully open.

 

The issues I see..

1.  There's a gap in the back now.  I suspected this may happen.   I assume I need to switch to the newer style gasket?

2.  The lid seems to be shifted forward by about 3/8"   Not much, but enough to be noticeable.  If it seals well, I don't really care.

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2 hours ago, biggator said:

 

So - I did get the newer style hinge (with the vertical spring).  Installed and it lifts MUCH lighter.  Doesn't stay put in semi-opened positions, but it lifts easily and stays fully open.

 

The issues I see..

1.  There's a gap in the back now.  I suspected this may happen.   I assume I need to switch to the newer style gasket?

2.  The lid seems to be shifted forward by about 3/8"   Not much, but enough to be noticeable.  If it seals well, I don't really care.

 

New gasket should come with the new hinge to solve the gap issue

 

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9 hours ago, biggator said:

 

So - I did get the newer style hinge (with the vertical spring).  Installed and it lifts MUCH lighter.  Doesn't stay put in semi-opened positions, but it lifts easily and stays fully open.

 

The issues I see..

1.  There's a gap in the back now.  I suspected this may happen.   I assume I need to switch to the newer style gasket?

2.  The lid seems to be shifted forward by about 3/8"   Not much, but enough to be noticeable.  If it seals well, I don't really care.

 

How hard was it? One or two people? Did you find the included instructions clear enough?

 

I haven't had time to tackle it yet, my personal life has been sideways for the last couple weeks (two car accidents, A/C drip pan in the attic leaking, garage door opener died, dog fence (invisible) on the fritz) has put the hinge swap on the back burner for now. I'm hoping to attempt it this weekend, weather permitting.

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7 hours ago, SteveW said:

 

New gasket should come with the new hinge to solve the gap issue

 

 

Should, but doesn't. KJ makes you open a second case to get the new gasket. Seems pretty stupid, they could include it in the same box and avoid the second shipping charge.

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I did my new hinge yesterday.

 

I think I solved the gap and shifted lid issue.

 

I took off the old hinge.  I put the new hinge on with mostly tightened nuts and then put a ratcheting tie down strap around the grill and the bottom 1/3 of the new hinge, tight enough to hold the strap in place. I released the holding nut on the bottom of the threaded rod and yup, the lid lifted and slid forward.  I then tighten the strap to bring the hinge back vertical and the lid back into line.

 

Then I loosened the hinge acorn nuts, made sure the strap was holding the hinge in the right orientation and then tightened the acorns closest to the hinge on both sides, then the acorns on the outer hinge points.

 

Only then did I tighten the side plate  nylock nuts.  When I released the strap the hinge didn’t spring out of alignment and the rear gap was nearly nonexistent.

 

I did all this before replacing my gasket with the good one this morning.

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23 hours ago, phatmax said:

I did my new hinge yesterday.

 

I think I solved the gap and shifted lid issue.

 

I took off the old hinge.  I put the new hinge on with mostly tightened nuts and then put a ratcheting tie down strap around the grill and the bottom 1/3 of the new hinge, tight enough to hold the strap in place. I released the holding nut on the bottom of the threaded rod and yup, the lid lifted and slid forward.  I then tighten the strap to bring the hinge back vertical and the lid back into line.

 

Then I loosened the hinge acorn nuts, made sure the strap was holding the hinge in the right orientation and then tightened the acorns closest to the hinge on both sides, then the acorns on the outer hinge points.

 

Only then did I tighten the side plate  nylock nuts.  When I released the strap the hinge didn’t spring out of alignment and the rear gap was nearly nonexistent.

 

I did all this before replacing my gasket with the good one this morning.

 

Interesting idea with the ratchet strap.

 

I need to get this done, but life and the weather have not been very co-operative.

 

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