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Hello from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida


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New to the group today.

I got a hand me down Char-Griller Akorn from my son-in-law this week.  It is about two years old and was abused.

It was in the weather at times, got knocked off the Lanai and tumbled about three feet to the ground once and was never cleaned.  It's a basket case but I'm making a project of it.

Here are the primary issues:

The top vent o-ring has melted.  Need best cheapest fix for that.  I have a Tip Top Temp that I use on my Weber kettle. Toying with putting that on.

The top vent is almost frozen apparently from grease. Need the right solvent to free that up.  Did I mention that I don't want to spend much money on this grill?

The cover doesn't mate just right with the bottom tub. The hinge bolts haven't torn loose but one side is dented in at the rivets.  I shimmed that side with washers and got a much better lid fit but still not perfect.  The lid mates perfectly at the hinge but the front has an overbite of about 3/16". Thinking of adding a felt gasket to the bottom tub lip.  Worth it?  Add more shims and split the difference front to back?  Am I splitting hairs?

The lid gasket seems pretty flat.  When latched, I see no compression of the gasket in the front. Normal?  Leak potential?

After scraping everything clean inside with a plastic putty knife, I found that the inner tub liner was bent over the ash can at the bottom on one side. I gently pulled and prodded that into submission.

So I'm left with esthetics.  The lid is stained from water and smoke I guess.  I tried Windex and 409 but that didn't touch it.  Is there a way to get stains off?  Repainting doesn't appear to be an option.  Is the finish enamel or powder coating?

The side trays are also stained.  Can they be cleaned or painted? Type of paint? Prep?

The ash tray has some rust developing on top of the air vent slide. Planning on sanding that and repainting.

The bottom air vent and screws are rusting so plan on taking that apart and buffing the parts.

One of the three tabs that hold the smoke stone heat deflector is bent. Hoping I can bend that back without breaking it.

The fire chamber has charcoal welded to the sides.  Will continue to work on that but don't anticipate any lingering issues.

I know the unit was over heated pegging the lid temp gauge on more than one occasion but the interior still seems to have the factory finish intact.

 

The grates were caked with crud but no rust and not broken.

The smoke stone had over an inch of carbonized food drippings on it and is black as coal.  Assume some moderate heat will fix that and restore some white color.

 

So, I've cleaned it as best I can and plan on doing a slow burn at about 500 degrees for at least an hour after I get the top air vent issuePhotos.zip solved.  Otherwise I may not be able to control the thing. 

 

Seeking advice from those who have been there to do a fully functioning, attractive restoration on this grill. I've wanted a smoker for a long time so this is probably going to be my only shot at having one.  It needs to look presentable to make it past the wifey and onto my Lanai. 

 

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Welcome to the forum Sounds like you have a project in front of you. Agree with Bob the akorn forum might be your best place to start. About the top being stuck if it's open a little , a fire in the grill the heat might free it. The stain on the grill might be seared into the paint. The deflector Wow a 500 degree burn will clean it but it will smoke  like a volcano for a while i would be Leary of scrapping and chemicals on the ceramic deflector. Anything more i can't comment on. Please keep us posted on your progress, you have peaked my curiosity 

 

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I have an experience from another area that may be applicable.  Over the years I've had a series of collectible cars that ranged from needing restoration to excellent.   One was a 1925 Dodge Brothers sedan that was in outstanding original condition except for faded, oxidized paint.  I took it into a quality restoration shop to ask about repaint.  They told me that it would take as much labor and money to do that as it would take for a Rolls Royce~~ and when finished all I would have is a Dodge.  Case closed.  I sold it as is.

 

Not telling you not to do it but my point is that unless there is some emotional or simply fun value to this restoration I would balance this against the $300 to get a brand new Akorn.  Selling this one as is would cover part of that cost.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Paul in AZ said:

I have an experience from another area that may be applicable.  Over the years I've had a series of collectible cars that ranged from needing restoration to excellent.   One was a 1925 Dodge Brothers sedan that was in outstanding original condition except for faded, oxidized paint.  I took it into a quality restoration shop to ask about repaint.  They told me that it would take as much labor and money to do that as it would take for a Rolls Royce~~ and when finished all I would have is a Dodge.  Case closed.  I sold it as is.

 

Not telling you not to do it but my point is that unless there is some emotional or simply fun value to this restoration I would balance this against the $300 to get a brand new Akorn.  Selling this one as is would cover part of that cost.

 

 

Too late.  My Dodge is almost done. I'm doing a burn in now so I can season the grates.  Last step.

See ash bin pics b4 and after.

Akorn ash br IMG_20200821_125546754.jpg

Akorn ash After IMG_20200821_132514391.jpg

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5 hours ago, len440 said:

Welcome to the forum Sounds like you have a project in front of you. Agree with Bob the akorn forum might be your best place to start. About the top being stuck if it's open a little , a fire in the grill the heat might free it. The stain on the grill might be seared into the paint. The deflector Wow a 500 degree burn will clean it but it will smoke  like a volcano for a while i would be Leary of scrapping and chemicals on the ceramic deflector. Anything more i can't comment on. Please keep us posted on your progress, you have peaked my curiosity 

 

Thanks for your reply.

OK, where is the Akorn forum? Is that on another site?

I worked on the Akorn for about 8 hours last night and this morning. I'm doing a burn on it right now to season the grates.  It cleaned up very nicely with Simple Green and a power washer. I found rust developing on the edge of the ash bin so sanded that all down and painted it.  Was able to "pinch" the gasket all around to fatten it up.  Seals up very nicely now.  I found some silicon high heat caulk that I had for whatever reason and used that to reseal both vents.  Here are a couple of pics of some of what I've done.

Akorn ash After IMG_20200821_132514391.jpg

Akorn ash br IMG_20200821_125546754.jpg

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5 hours ago, len440 said:

Welcome to the forum Sounds like you have a project in front of you. Agree with Bob the akorn forum might be your best place to start. About the top being stuck if it's open a little , a fire in the grill the heat might free it. The stain on the grill might be seared into the paint. The deflector Wow a 500 degree burn will clean it but it will smoke  like a volcano for a while i would be Leary of scrapping and chemicals on the ceramic deflector. Anything more i can't comment on. Please keep us posted on your progress, you have peaked my curiosity 

 

Thanks for your comments.

The ceramic smoke deflector is being cooked as we speak. Seasoning that and the grates as a last step.

So, where is that Akorn forum?  I don't see it. Another site?

My son-in-law replaced the Akorn with a KJ3 so I'm authorized, once removed!  Ha.  I put it together for him and got the iKamand working. Smoking a Boston Butt on it tomorrow. Sweet rig to be sure. Will be interesting to see that Harvard smoke system in action.  If he runs into any issues, I'll surely be back seeing advice here.  Great resource. So glad I found it.

Best,

Tom

 

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16 hours ago, tbauer320 said:

Thanks for your comments.

The ceramic smoke deflector is being cooked as we speak. Seasoning that and the grates as a last step.

So, where is that Akorn forum?  I don't see it. Another site?

My son-in-law replaced the Akorn with a KJ3 so I'm authorized, once removed!  Ha.  I put it together for him and got the iKamand working. Smoking a Boston Butt on it tomorrow. Sweet rig to be sure. Will be interesting to see that Harvard smoke system in action.  If he runs into any issues, I'll surely be back seeing advice here.  Great resource. So glad I found it.

Best,

Tom

 

 

14 hours ago, Paul in AZ said:

The Akorn spot is on this site.  

Its In the list of forums,   look for "char griller akorn kamado,,,"

 

Enjoy your revitalized Akorn.   Hope you are as happy with it as I am with mine.

Here is the link.

https://www.kamadoguru.com/forum/18-char-griller-akorn-kamado-king-griller/

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1 hour ago, Golf Griller said:

Thanks, GG. I found it.

Did an empty blast to 600 deg yesterday.  Dried everything out and did a "grate" job on the cast iron.

First cook will be next week with St Louis style ribs.

Used my ProTemp digital to monitor pit temp. Hood gauge is 45 deg off on the cold side. Its no wonder my son-in-law was getting dried out meat cooks (doesn't own a digital thermometer...).  He bought a KJ3 and gave me the Akorn. WE are cooking on the KJ3 this weekend.

After studying the construction of the Akorn, it appears that annual maintenance will make the thing last many years.  I was getting rust in the classic ash pan area.  Sanded and painted it.  Took 10 minutes.  Like any device, blowing and going without a little TLC now and then will result in early failure.  My Weber Performer is 5 years old and looks like the day I bought it.  I live 2 miles from the Atlantic and have a chlorine pool 10 feet from cooking island.  That combo requires a lot of extra TLC here.  

Thanks again for your comments and pointing me to the right forum.

 

 

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You have worked magic, my friend! 

This sounded like too much to expect but you have pulled it off!

Good Show! 

For rust prevention I always thought removing the ash pan when you weren't cooking might help. Also, I considered drilling some weepholes at the bottom inside of the chamber would prevent moisture buildup in the hull. They would be sealed when the ash pan was in place but allow condensation to drain. 

Good Luck! 

Please let us know what works on the finish of the hull. Mine's a Grey ghost compared to new. 

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