Has anyone tried turning over the heating element in a MES40? This is using the existing holes in the back for the element's arms that the wires connect to. This would locate the element far closer to the center of the smoker. Yes, this would not work if you still use chips via the chip loader but for us who use the AMNPS.......hmmmmmm/. Still a fair amount mod work but heck, can't think of a better way to spend a rainy winter day. Don't know if it could be done in a 30, using the existing holes due to it's width.
Flipping over the element in a MES40 - another possible mod?
SmokingMeatForums.com Top Picks
I think for us AMNPS users, moving the element towards the center more also moves it closer to the AMNPS which might be more apt to catch on fire? No? Yes? After I do a batch of Salmon this weekend, I then might tear into Mr. Master to see if it can be done.
If the element legs are centered, there will be the same amount of room on the right side, once the element is flipped... move the AMNPS to the right side...
I looked at this idea last night. The element fastens to the back wall on the right side to the point that as you look into the smoker there's a space of 1-1/4" between the right wall and the heating element. Element is 7-1/2" wide, leaving a big gap on the left of 11-3/4". If one was to flip the element over, you would end up with a space of 6-1/2" on both the left and right side. Dead centered baby! And as Dave mentions above, you could then move the AMNPS to the right side next to the chip loader hole for an air source.
Here's a couple issues that need to be addressed:
#1 - The male spade connectors which are welded or brazed on the ends of the heating element face upwards in it's stock position. If you had to replace the element, removing it requires you to pull it forward into the smoker and then tilt it upwards to allow these connectors to clear the holes in the back wall. Now imagine what you need to do to install it once you've flipped the element over. Being so close to the floor of the smoker, you might not have room to insert the element's ends into the holes with those spade connectors attached. Can the connectors be bent 180 degrees? Don't know. Will they break off the element before that happens? Don't know.
#2 - The other issue which is far less of a problem as compared to the above is the location of the chip tray support plate which is welded to the two chrome rails. It is now in the way of the element's new position. I would simply break the welds loose and relocate this plate on the right side of the chip tray where the two stock rivets are. Simple mod. Of course for those who use a mailbox mod and don't even use the chip tray, you can probably just remove the tray and the chrome rails all together.
As I said above, I'll consider this mod after I smoke some Salmon this weekend and look further into issue #1.
Here's that chip tray support plate I was yakkin about:
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk