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today I installed a new oem gasket on the lower section at the ash pan.  the old one was ok but I've had this new one for ages and its been like 5 years so I thought I should probably use it now.   it  was not difficult to remove the old one and install the new one.  when I put the ash pan back on it was much more snug so definitely a tighter seal.  On the main opening I applied a bead of copper rtv around the perimeter, using about half a tube.  If there are more leaks I'll probably do a second application. tomorrow evening after it's had time to cure for 24 hours I'll do a leak test and if there are still leaks, I will do one more application.  Now I have to find me some pork butts on sale.

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/29/2017 at 2:27 PM, TKOBBQ said:

... Build quality has increased since they were first introduced. I'd put it together and take it for a test drive before performing any mods.

 

Glad to hear. During assembly yesterday, I was impressed with the quality of things. I've had a CG 2-barrel for years and this seemed better built. Things lined up, the design seems solid and there were few special parts (shoulder screw, thread-lock) to keep track of. The wheels were dense... solid rubber. The caster was robust for a ~40 lb. grill. It seemed designed for a higher-quality market. 

 

The worst I'd heard is that the cast iron grill can rust. I've has 4 cast iron grills in the 2-barrel, and I'm still waiting. Of course, Boston butts and briskets are fatty...

 

Mine is in it's "break-in" run as I write. It overshot their 400F target (based on a shielded Maverick sensor inside) but adjusting vents got it leveled out at 500F... for the last 2 hours! I had barely more than a single layer of briquettes on the grate. And I opened the top a smidgen, and I'm now over 500F again!

 

Should be fun when I can actually put on some food...

 

Have fun,

Frank

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  • 4 weeks later...

The link in the first post throws an error, so I'll just throw this out to the crowd.  Is the BGE felt still the best way to seal the lower air vent/slider?  The slider in my new Jr. is really loose so I can tell that I will want to seal that up a little better to hold low temps.  I want to see if the BGE felt is still the best course of action or if people are using something different these days.  I also would like to know where you purchase said material.  I've followed a couple of links in this thread and they are linking products that are about $30 and that's a little more than I'd like to spend considering I'll be using such a small portion of the material.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if anyone has done this, either...

 

Right away, I found some very small changes in vent settings made a real difference in whether the temperature rose or fell. Note that for the lower vent, the first mark corresponds with 1, so I think of the others as 25% points, 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4. Zero seems redundant.

 

The one trick to the upper vent is using a rubber band. Mark the open and closed points on a rubber band wrapped around the vent. Then stretch the rubber band on a ruler to make your fractional marks at uniform intervals, and transfer them back onto the vent. This Old House teaches such tricks. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

IMG_20170916 Akorn lower vent marking sm.jpg

IMG_20170916 Akorn upper vent marking sm.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/3/2017 at 10:53 PM, gotzero said:

Not sure if anyone else has done this but I got some stainless mesh sheet and put it over the intakes (held in by damper screws) to prevent any sizable embers from goofing up our deck. 

Screen_Shot_2017-09-03_at_10_53.06_PM.png

Does it help regulate the air flow?

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1 hour ago, Mironccr345 said:

Does it help regulate the air flow?

It's a very good mod for safety, but I think it creates a small air flow restriction instead of a means to regulate.

My old Bubba Keg has an adjustable screen damper. I can use it for air flow regulation when I'm restricting the air flow to get to my target temp. It's something I really miss on my Akorn - for both reasons - safety and regulation of air flow.

 

IMG_1491.JPG

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2 hours ago, Mironccr345 said:

Does it help regulate the air flow?

I have not had to change any settings since I added them, but every time I see an ember fall I am glad I added them. Now that the days are getting shorter and I am cooking in the dark I can see what falls into the ash pan when I am sitting near the grill and there is quite a lot of hot charcoal falling through the bottom grate for a pizza cook. 

 

It technically reduces opening size but I cannot tell and I certainly have no problems getting the grill hot when I need to. It also provides some resistance for the bottom damper which I am happy to have added!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know if this question belongs here or not but here goes:

 

On my WSM I have a purpose-made hollow"bushing" that I bought (don't remember where) which replaces a screw in the body of the cooker. A probe can be inserted through this bushing and the tip will emerge just below grate level. Very handy....and far more accurate than the dome thermometer.

 

So...what with the cast iron grates and the thick insulated walls of the Akorn, I don't see an obvious way to position a probe at grate level. What do you lads use? Some sort of alligator clip? Pics? Link?

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3 hours ago, DWFII said:

I don't know if this question belongs here or not but here goes:

 

On my WSM I have a purpose-made hollow"bushing" that I bought (don't remember where) which replaces a screw in the body of the cooker. A probe can be inserted through this bushing and the tip will emerge just below grate level. Very handy....and far more accurate than the dome thermometer.

 

So...what with the cast iron grates and the thick insulated walls of the Akorn, I don't see an obvious way to position a probe at grate level. What do you lads use? Some sort of alligator clip? Pics? Link?

Run the probe wire in over the gasket.  Take 3 inches of card board from something like a 12 pack and fold it in half like the letter 'A' then stick the probe through it half way.  Sit the 'A' shape on the grate.

 

Or

 

Cut a small potato in half and jab the probe through that or just buy a special use clip.

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Thanks Phil. I've used the potato trick but the cardboard kind of worries me. I've also use a wine bottle cork with a hole in it--works OK and on some grates you can carve it to sit securely between the "rods" of the grate.

 

But I'm kind of interested in that "special use clip". Got a link or a picture?

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