Nice Job, Really looks good
I apologize for the delay, but there are 3" between them. We did weld shims to the bottom edge of the RF plate on the firebox side to ensure the grease would flow towards the drain tube, so it isn't exactly 3" all the way across.
I do like the mods. They have made it much easier, due to the fact that the cooking chamber maintains a much more even temperature. I have to stoke the firebox pretty often to keep temps around 230-240, but I plan on buying a FiAir air blower to help out with that. Otherwise, it seems to be doing very well. You can check out my other posts to see some of the que I've done on it since the mods.