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New Chargriller Gravity Fed Grill

RCAlan

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While waiting for a Jack center pin to USB cord to arrive too power my CG 980 via a 20,000 mAh battery, I gave my CG 980 a face lift…
Image.jpeg

FYI… Anyone considering buying a CG 980 GF, Lowe’s Hardware stores has them marked down to $540.00 clearance price.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

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RCAlan

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Just an update… For anyone that wants a little more freedom and range by not having to deal with extension cords on their CG 980’s, There’s a few options to consider. I already have a few Ryobi battery operated yard tools at the house, so I just purchased their 40v Power Source 300 Watt Battery Inverter to connect to my grill. The Inverter looks like this…
RYI300BG_02.jpeg


It’s able to connect directly to the 120v outlet that the CG 980 has with no problems. I happen to have one of Ryobi’s larger 40V Lithium-Ion 6.0 Ah High Capacity Battery, so I expect to be able to get at least 8-10 hours of run time from it.. I still have to give it a long cook test run to verify. The only down side I see for others would be the cost of the batteries.. They ain’t cheap. Your other option and it’s much cheaper in cost would be is to purchase a 20,000 mAh battery power bank and a USB 5v to 12v inverter cable. Total cost was $45.00 dollars. I tried hooking up the 20,000 mAh power bank to the grill first using just a Jack center pin to USB cable cord and I received an ErU error msg. I then tried the 5v to 12v inverter cable and the grill fired up perfectly. How much run time with the 20,000 mAh power bank? Not sure, but I’m guessing over 8 hours as well.
The 5v to 12v inverter cable looks like this…
Image.jpeg

I hope the info helps any one considering their options and happy Low and Slow Smoking.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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bill1

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Nice idea on the power pack, esp if you're already using those batteries for other tools.
My pellet machine replaced my gas grill on a side concrete pad and I'm finding it tiresome to run an extension cord each time. Don't want to cut a slab to bring underground power and Code says overhead needs to be 9.5' up (I think?) which will be ugly, so this is a nice option to consider. My igniter hot finger is pushing the 300W but it's not on for long.
 

RCAlan

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Nice idea on the power pack, esp if you're already using those batteries for other tools.
My pellet machine replaced my gas grill on a side concrete pad and I'm finding it tiresome to run an extension cord each time. Don't want to cut a slab to bring underground power and Code says overhead needs to be 9.5' up (I think?) which will be ugly, so this is a nice option to consider. My igniter hot finger is pushing the 300W but it's not on for long.

Give it a shot…. The Controller draws very little power from the battery. The only problem you may run into with your pellet grill is the start up with the igniter. I think Pit Boss recommends doing the manual startup procedures if a battery is going to be used. With these new Gravity Feed Smokers, the only main power draw is the fan that feeds the charcoals.. Which is a much less power requirement then what is required from a Pellet Smoker. If you have the resources, then give it a shot and post back how everything works out with the battery setup and your pellet grill. Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

bill1

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They all have a way to manual start, but it's easier to run an extension cord than messing with that!
The Ryobi approach is great if you already have their 40V batteries but I bought into the 19V Craftsman NiCads years ago and am too stubborn to change. I got about every tool they made around that system but an AC inverter was not one of them.
I think my best bet will be to use my electric bike battery (four 12V PbA scooter batteries) with a $25 car inverter.
 

RCAlan

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They all have a way to manual start, but it's easier to run an extension cord than messing with that!
The Ryobi approach is great if you already have their 40V batteries but I bought into the 19V Craftsman NiCads years ago and am too stubborn to change. I got about every tool they made around that system but an AC inverter was not one of them.
I think my best bet will be to use my electric bike battery (four 12V PbA scooter batteries) with a $25 car inverter.

Good luck… Here’s a good posting to checkout as well..

__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

O C

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Good shout about using the inverter. I have several EGO power tools including the inverter and their batteries. I've used the inverter once so far, mostly just to be sure I could grill in a power outage. Worked great. Where my grill is currently the extension cord is not an issue.
 

lunatics

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How happy are people with these types of smokers? Do they only use charcoal for the what and smoke or do you also add wood chips/chunks in as well for different flavors?
 

RCAlan

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Joined Aug 26, 2018
With 5V and 500mA available on version USB 1.0 and 2.0, and 900mA on USB 3.0, the USB can charge a small single-cell Li-ion pack.
Regards: Stock Bull

Quote from post #62
  • Your other option and it’s much cheaper in cost would be is to purchase a 20,000 mAh battery power bank and a USB 5v to 12v inverter cable. Total cost was $45.00 dollars. I tried hooking up the 20,000 mAh power bank to the grill first using just a Jack center pin to USB cable cord and I received an “ErU”, error msg on the Smokers controller screen. I then tried the 5v to 12v inverter cable and the grill fired up “perfectly”. How much run time with the 20,000 mAh power bank? Not sure, but I’m guessing over 8 hours as well.
The 5v to 12v inverter cable looks like this…

1628898831089-png.507561.png

The total cost of the 20,000 mAh battery and the 5v to 12v inverter cable was $45.00… Could I have used a smaller 5000 or 10,000 mAh battery instead and saved a few dollars? Sure, but I wouldn’t get the same run time as I would get with a 20,000 mAh battery.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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hooked on smoke

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Just an update… For anyone that wants a little more freedom and range by not having to deal with extension cords on their CG 980’s, There’s a few options to consider. I already have a few Ryobi battery operated yard tools at the house, so I just purchased their 40v Power Source 300 Watt Battery Inverter to connect to my grill. The Inverter looks like this…
View attachment 507560

It’s able to connect directly to the 120v outlet that the CG 980 has with no problems. I happen to have one of Ryobi’s larger 40V Lithium-Ion 6.0 Ah High Capacity Battery, so I expect to be able to get at least 8-10 hours of run time from it.. I still have to give it a long cook test run to verify. The only down side I see for others would be the cost of the batteries.. They ain’t cheap. Your other option and it’s much cheaper in cost would be is to purchase a 20,000 mAh battery power bank and a USB 5v to 12v inverter cable. Total cost was $45.00 dollars. I tried hooking up the 20,000 mAh power bank to the grill first using just a Jack center pin to USB cable cord and I received an ErU error msg. I then tried the 5v to 12v inverter cable and the grill fired up perfectly. How much run time with the 20,000 mAh power bank? Not sure, but I’m guessing over 8 hours as well.
The 5v to 12v inverter cable looks like this…
View attachment 507561
I hope the info helps any one considering their options and happy Low and Slow Smoking.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
So I decided to give the power pack a try and the 1st cook went great. CSR, chicken drums and thighs, poppers Serranos and jalapeños getting some smoke for a batch of salsa. Ran for about 5 hours if I do recall and there is still plenty of charge left in the battery. Cool.
I got the battery and cable on Amazon for around the same price, $45.00.
Thank you for the suggestion. Good job.
Hah, you can see the now non essential extension cord underneath.
 

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RCAlan

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So I decided to give the power pack a try and the 1st cook went great. CSR, chicken drums and thighs, poppers Serranos and jalapeños getting some smoke for a batch of salsa. Ran for about 5 hours if I do recall and there is still plenty of charge left in the battery. Cool.
I got the battery and cable on Amazon for around the same price, $45.00.
Thank you for the suggestion. Good job.
Hah, you can see the now non essential extension cord underneath.

Great posting, Hooked on Smoke!! I always try to post and give helpful information that I know actually works from trial and error. From using a Smoke Basket and the SD Magnum P.I.G. for Pellet Grill Owners seeking greater smoke production and a better smoker flavor profile from their pellet grills…. And for GF Smoker Owners, the ability to run our smokers with portable batteries and battery power banks. I got the idea, from another poster on a different website last year that was using a power bank on his CG 980. I got a ErU error message when I first tried using the power bank. I then figured out that a 5v to 12v inverter cable was required to get the power bank to work with the CG 980’s Controller. A similar question came up about power banks and pellet grills a while ago… The igniter and the auger motor requires to much of a power draw at start up for the portable power bank to be effective. But hey, all things are possible if you try hard enough.. .02

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

hooked on smoke

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Here is what I bought off of Amazon. Not knowing what the heck I was buying it worked out pretty well.
By the way does the increase from 20000 whatever to the 280000 whatever, mean anything? I am definitely clueless but always am interested in learning something new.

Thanks again.
 

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mcokevin

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So I decided to give the power pack a try and the 1st cook went great. CSR, chicken drums and thighs, poppers Serranos and jalapeños getting some smoke for a batch of salsa. Ran for about 5 hours if I do recall and there is still plenty of charge left in the battery. Cool.
I got the battery and cable on Amazon for around the same price, $45.00.
Thank you for the suggestion. Good job.
Hah, you can see the now non essential extension cord underneath.

Nice work especially for $45. I added an outlet right next to where I run the smoker and I think the materials cost almost that, and the battery solution is zero pain in the ass!
By the way does the increase from 20000 whatever to the 280000 whatever, mean anything? I am definitely clueless but always am interested in learning something new.
mAh = milli amp-hours. It is essentially the measure of a battery's power storage capacity.
 

RCAlan

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Joined Aug 26, 2018
Here is what I bought off of Amazon. Not knowing what the heck I was buying it worked out pretty well.
By the way does the increase from 20000 whatever to the 280000 whatever, mean anything? I am definitely clueless but always am interested in learning something new.

Thanks again.

What’s the difference in performance between a 25,000 mAh power bank and a 20,000 mAh power bank? Example..: A 25000mAh High Capacity power bank can charge your smartphone phones 8-10 times or a tablets 3-4 times for an average of 9 days of usage per charge… A 20000mAh power bank can “theoretically” charge a smartphone from 1-100% 6.9 times (20000 / 2915 = 6.9 times per charge. Ref: https://blog.easyacc.com/2016/02/03...-20000mah-power-bank-fully-charge-your-phone/
So the greater/higher the mAh number, the more power you’ll have. The power draw from a CharGriller 980 GF or a Masterbuilt GF Smokers Controller and Ash Bin Fan is much less then what’s required from a Pellet Grill with it’s Auger Motor, Controller, Auger Fan and Igniter requirements. I still haven’t tested how long a fully charged 20,000 mAh power bank will last during a bbq cook, but I’m confident that it’ll last more then 8 hours and 25,000 should last more then 10 hours. If the set temp is running at 350* degrees or higher, the GF Smokers fan is also kicking in higher and running more constantly, which equals a greater power draw and a little less run time. Run the GF Smoker at 250*-275* degrees and the smoker should just hum along with a much less power draw from the power bank, which equals a longer run time. Low and Slow bbqing will give you a better power usage from the power bank then high temp grilling will. 02. Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 

hooked on smoke

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What’s the difference in performance between a 25,000 mAh power bank and a 20,000 mAh power bank? Example..: A 25000mAh High Capacity power bank can charge your smartphone phones 8-10 times or a tablets 3-4 times for an average of 9 days of usage per charge… A 20000mAh power bank can “theoretically” charge a smartphone from 1-100% 6.9 times (20000 / 2915 = 6.9 times per charge. Ref: https://blog.easyacc.com/2016/02/03...-20000mah-power-bank-fully-charge-your-phone/
So the greater/higher the mAh number, the more power you’ll have. The power draw from a CharGriller 980 GF or a Masterbuilt GF Smokers Controller and Ash Bin Fan is much less then what’s required from a Pellet Grill with it’s Auger Motor, Controller, Auger Fan and Igniter requirements. I still haven’t tested how long a fully charged 20,000 mAh power bank will last during a bbq cook, but I’m confident that it’ll last more then 8 hours and 25,000 should last more then 10 hours. If the set temp is running at 350* degrees or higher, the GF Smokers fan is also kicking in higher and running more constantly, which equals a greater power draw and a little less run time. Run the GF Smoker at 250*-275* degrees and the smoker should just hum along with a much less power draw from the power bank, which equals a longer run time. Low and Slow bbqing will give you a better power usage from the power bank then high temp grilling will. 02. Good luck.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi

Great explanation. Thank you. I will keep ya'll informed as I move along. I am curious to see just how long this baby will last per charge.
Best regards.
 

bill1

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just remember power = current times VOLTAGE. Since it's energy we want, or power times time, it's the amp-hours or mAh multiplied by voltage. Power tool powerpacks range typically from 6V to 60V. So 5 amp-hour at 60V is still 5x the energy of 10Ah at 6V.

For portability, it's the watt-hours per volume or weight that is what we seek. The revolution from NiCad to Li-ion was not in amp-hours per cubic inch or per pound, because both cell types are pretty comparable in that regard, it's the fact that NiCad is only 1.5V per basic cell and Li-ion is ~4. It's the voltage difference that's led to the Li-ion revolution, not so much a difference in Ah-per-pound or available charge density.
 

G8trwood

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Sorry, this is going to be long one..
My observation after my first cook on the CG 980. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I did a quicker cook then usual. I did 1 Rack of Spare Ribs, 1 Baby back rack and a Tri tip. The Baby back and the Spare ribs put a Big Happy Smile on my face and so did the Tri tip!! The Smoke in this grill was everywhere in a good way. I put wood chunks in the Charcoal Hopper and the ash bin. Just trying to figure this grill out. This grill gives you the option to add wood to the ash bin, but if you add to much wood to the ash bin and once the wood in the ash bin ignites, it’s going to burn and give off a good dose of TWS which is really what you don’t want. On my next cook, I’ll use less wood in the ash bin and focus it more in the charcoal hopper. I started my grill against what Char-Griller recommends. I used a chimney starter and added charcoal briquettes and 4 hickory hardwood chunks. I wanted the Charcoal and the wood chunks to have complete ignition and be producing TBS and not TWS to season the proteins being bbq’d at the start. I think I’ll continue to start the CG 980 that way in the future as well. FYI. On a side note and I took a lot of them. lol As for using water pans…. Unless your grills temp is all over the place, a water pan is not necessary. A water pan can actually impede your grill from coming up to its actually set temp. One of the nice things about this grill compared to my pellet grill, is that I can raise the temp up, to speed things along and never have to worry about the lack of smoke. My Pellet Pro Austin XL produced good smoke when I used the smoke basket and SD Smoke Generator as well , it just requires a lot more work compared to the CG 980. Also, even though my pellet grill has a PID Controller, it doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth, which required it to be watched and monitored a lot more. ie… More work. The CG 980’s is not perfect, but the App does work and it’s range with both the WiFi and Bluetooth connected is about the radius of my house. So, even though I can’t go to work and turn my grill on and monitor it miles away from my home , at least it’s convenient enough to work around the house or while chatting with the neighbors next door. Now comparing the CG 980 GF to my Pellet Pro Austin XL as for smoke production… When using both a Smoke Basket and the SD Smoke Generator, the Austin XL can put out some good quality hardwood smoke, but ideally at super low grill temps because of the auger fan and by its general design. This CG 980 GF can put out some serious charcoal and hardwood smoke from 200* degrees on up to over 350* degrees. With a few more cooks under my belt, hopefully I’ll have the wood chunk ratio figured out to my liking. Overall though, I really like this grill. It’s great for low and slow smoking, it’s temp control compared to my pellet grill is much better and being able to make adjustments via the app, makes bbqing that much more simpler. The one thing I like more from my pellet grill is its Open flame for grilling and searing more so then just being able to set my CG 980 to 700* degrees. I’ll be using both smokers, but my first line of defense is now my CG 980 GF. This thing is worth more then the asking price and I’m happy that I purchased it. Any Pellet Grill buyers on the fence, should definitely give the CG 980 a good long look… Especially if true Hardwood and Charcoal smoke is important to you. Just my honest opinion.

__________________
Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi

About to order from Lowes and checking on the long term status first. After voiding the warranty of my pellet grill a dozen ways, looking for something reliable that just works. I laugh a bit reading your old pellet grill stuff, my path also.
 

RCAlan

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Joined Aug 26, 2018
About to order from Lowes and checking on the long term status first. After voiding the warranty of my pellet grill a dozen ways, looking for something reliable that just works. I laugh a bit reading your old pellet grill stuff, my path also.
Over all, my experience with the CG 980 has been very good. Every bbqing equipment has its pros and cons. FYI. The Gravity Feed units will go through a good share of charcoal… That’s there main fuel source. If you can deal with that, then the rest of the Gravity Feed experience will be very enjoyable. Here’s a few tips that’ll make it even easier. It’s going to be long, but very helpful…
  1. Get into a habit of keeping your GF Smoker clean. Like a Pellet Grills main enemy is excessive pellet dust, excessive grease and ash buildup is a Gravity Feed units worse enemy as well.
  2. Dump the ash bin basket after every bbq and Shop Vac any remaining charcoal ash as well. If you’re going to grill or sear anything, get into a habit of dumping the ash bin basket prior to doing so. One of the quarks with the CG 980 Is there’s a rubber flap that’s near the ash bin fan that can be damaged if a burning flame is near it and the flame is to intense. I haven’t had any problems with mine yet, but when I do add wood chunks to the ash bin basket, I place only 2 or 3 small chunks in it and I place them on the opposite side, away from the ash bin fan flap. Another option to help avoid damaging the rubber fan flap and I’m sure you have one is to use a pellet smoke tube. Fill it 50/50 with hardwood chips and pellets. Light it the same way that you would when using a pellet grill and once it’s smoking really good, place it in the ash bin basket away from the rubber flap and you’ll get 2-3 hours of continuous smoke, without having to babysit feeding the ash bin more wood chunks. If you want the smoke to be even more intense, use 2 smoke tubes. My Smoke tubes are adjustable in length to ensure a proper fit in the ash bin basket. lol, I know many will say.. What the?? A Smoke tube in a Gravity Feed Smoker.. lol, It works very well and it’s just another option to have when bbqing on the CG 980 that will help protect the ash bin fan flap. Give it a shot..
  3. You can also add hardwood chunks and or a small hardwood split to the charcoal hopper to intensify the smoke production. Only a few chunks are necessary and adding to much will cause a smoldering fire that’s never good while bbqing.
  4. The CG 980 has contact switches on the charcoal hopper lid and the ash bin door that communicates with the PID Controller. It’s important to protect them and keep them clean. Cover them with a piece of aluminum foil to help keep the smoke, grease and cooking debris out of the switches. Also, after every other bbq, get into a habit of cleaning them with a quick shot of Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray. Takes all of few seconds and you’ll never have a Contact Switch issue with your CG 980.
  5. CharGriller recommends using a fire starter to get the charcoals burning. I don’t. I use a chimney starter and load it up with charcoal briquettes and a few hardwood chunks. I want complete ignition of the coals and hardwood chunks prior to dumping them into the charcoal hopper. I dump 2 loads of chimney lit charcoal into the charcoal hopper and then I top off the rest with unlit charcoal briquettes and a few hardwood chunks mixed in. Also, doing it this way saves so much time and my CG 980 is ready to be set too its bbqing temp in about 5-6 minutes. If you’re going to be using lump charcoal, make sure the coals are as uniform in shape and size a possible to improve the gravity flow downward in the charcoal hopper.
  6. I did install Stainless Steel plates to cover the Fire Bricks in the charcoal hopper for added protection and durability. See thread posting #57. It this necessary? No, but I did it anyway. I hope the tips and info helps you to get off too a great start with your new CG 980 GF. Funny, since you’ve already dealt with the pros and cons of pellet smokers, once you’ve gotten the CG 980 set up right, you’re going to say Wow…. Good luck.
__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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G8trwood

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Joined Mar 18, 2022
Thank you for the detailed update.

I have, but have never liked smoke tubes. I am hoping I can add a split to the hopper with the briquettes and get good smoke flavor without needing to hope on one leg while facing precisely NW. :emoji_laughing:
 

RCAlan

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Aug 26, 2018
Thank you for the detailed update.

I have, but have never liked smoke tubes. I am hoping I can add a split to the hopper with the briquettes and get good smoke flavor without needing to hope on one leg while facing precisely NW. :emoji_laughing:
The Smoke tube experience in a gravity smoker is completely different then what it is like in a pellet smoker. Very important, don’t put the Smoke tube in the cooking chamber… put it in the ash bin basket where you would put the wood chunks…. Try your first bbq with wood chunks in the ash bin and see how you like it and then on your second bbq, give the smoke tube a shot. Either way, the smoke will still go up into the lit charcoals in the charcoal hopper and into the cooking chamber. The lit coals will clean any impurities out of the smoke from the ash bin and you’ll have tbs/thin blue smoke all day. If you want a stronger smoke flavor profile, you can use 2 smoke tubes in the ash bin basket. The smoke tubes do a great a job in protecting the rubber ash bin fan flap from open flames. Just make sure whichever way you choose, place the wood chunks or smoke tube away from the ash bin fan flap.. and if you’re going to sear anything, remove/dump anything that’s in the ash bin basket first, prior to doing so. The wood split in the charcoal hopper works as well. Try, test and experiment and see what works best for you. Either way, you’ll have a much better bbq smoke experience then you did with your pellet grill … .02

__________________

Char-Griller 980 GF… Pellet Pro Austin XL and a few more mods... In SoCal and Always... Semper Fi
 
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