Originally Posted by NotoriousGT350
TallBM, my ground is between the outside and inside housing.I do have a multimeter laying around somewhere, I may give that a try while I'm waiting on the control panel to arrive. If not works, I'll take off the rear panel and inspect to see if it's something minor. But, I may look into something else if I can't get it fixed.
I just looked at your images again and you sure are right about the ground being between the two layers. It is all frayed up, that is crazy.
Just a word to the wise, if you pull off the back your MES you will find that the wires are all buried deep under heavy spray foam and MES decided to go with black insulation for both the hot and neutral wire once it comes out of the circuit board located at the bottom of the smoker. This is why I mention the multimeter and the continuity setting. If you use the multimeter you won't have to go digging up a bunch of foam insulation to track one end of a wire to the other (continuity). Provided your multimeter probes are long enough to check you should be able to find out some good stuff.
I'll be doing the same thing with my multimeter to rewire my MES40 Gen1 here soon. I'm still building my new HeaterMeter PID controller and housing box so I will rewire the MES after the controller is completed. I can only do this work on the weekends and they have all been booked up with other commitments so it's been slooooow going.
A rewire job basically consists of cutting out the MES circuit board at the bottom and making the plug wiring and splicing/connecting the MES chord ground, hot, and neutral to the ground, hot, neutral wiring that goes to the element there in your image. Actually simple once you can identify the wiring properly and splice it.
This rewiring means electricity will run to the heating element with no controller involved so you basically have ON and no OFF unless you unplug.
You basically plug the MES plug into a controller (PID, or Dial Style controller like DaveOmak's example) and the controller will manage the juice on/off to the plug to maintain the temp. Simple :)
I hope all this info is helpful and gives you an idea of what your rewire options are if things aren't easily fixed.