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WSM Mods

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jirodriguez, May 16, 2010.

  1. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    OK... so finally did the two mods I have been meaning to make to my WSM. I have been wanting to put in the hole thru grommets so I can feed in the wires for temperature probes....... But being a cheap-skate I really didn't want to shell out $10 or $15 for the ones from Cajun Bandit. So after wasting many afternoons at work ([​IMG]) I finally came across parts for repairing lamps, and the rest as they say is history!

    Bought 1/8-IP threaded rod ($2.75) at Home Depot and the matching hex nuts ($1.50).


    (Sorry not pictures of this part) Drilled two 3/8" holes in WSM, one just below the upper rack and the other just above the lower rack. Drill process was: apply two layers of blue painters tape right were I was going to drill. Hit it with a center punch to keep the drill bit from wandering. Drill holes, then used a chamfering bit to enlarge just a hair and de-burr the holes.

    OK... back to pictures. Cut a chunk of the threaded pipe approx. 3/8 long.


    Threaded the pipe into the cut hole.... yes threaded, it was such a perfect fit that it threaded in. Then put a nut on the inside and outside of the smoker - mostly for looks. The nuts really don't hold it in place since it threaded in... lol.


    Finished look.... did two for now, but I have lots of rod left and lots of nuts, so I could easily make several more if I so desired..... not bad for under $5! [​IMG]


    Some of you may recall a while back I had a problem where if my upper rack was loaded with lots of weight and it got pushed all the way to one side it would slip off the supporting bracket and dump everything onto the bottom rack. So I measured across the brackets.... on way was 22-3/8", the other was 22-3/4"..... and my rack is 22-1/2".... so you can see where the problem arose [​IMG]. I pulled off the nut on the inside of the smoker and put 3 washers between the support bracket and the wall of the smoker. Now I don't have to worry about the rack flipping and dumping a fully loaded pan of Dutch's Wicked Baked Beans onto my chicken below and into the water pan! That was not a fun clean-up. [​IMG]
     
    remmy700p likes this.
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    clever. I may adopt this idea with some tweaking. thanks!
     
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cheap and easy! Two very good things. [​IMG]
     
  4. I made similar mods to my Char Broil Fat Boy using co-axial cable connectors. I cut off one side pf the connector and drilled out the plastic fittings inside the connectors.
     
  5. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice idea [​IMG]
     
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Got to use the holes for getting my probe in and out for the first time yesterday doing the brisket smoke. Perfect size! If they were smaller I would have had a bit of trouble getting the probe to pass through. Had a little smoke come out the holes at start up, but after that nothing visible.
     
  7. figjam

    figjam Meat Mopper

    Did these holes affect your cooking temps at all?  They seem small enough that it wouldn't, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
     
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


     No. they are small enough not to matter. There is a little cap piece you can buy for a couple of cents that would close the hole up if you aren't using it, but I never bother.
     
  9. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I cheated & bought the BBQ guru eyelets, they replace the bolts that hold the brackets for the grates.
     
    tgraham62 likes this.
  10. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    My main question is, how the heck do you get a temperature probe that has a 90 degree bend in it through the eyelets?!? 

    I have searched the world over and cannot find a straight probe, so the only thing the 90 degree probes will be good for is measuring smoker temp not meat temp.

    Can anyone help?
     
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you use the eyelets I made with the 3/8" lamp rod and cut the rod to approx. 3/4" you can get the 90° bend through without any problems. I have put two 90° probes through one eyelet without any problems.
     
  12. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks.  Now I need to hear from the folks that bought their eyelets!  That's what I did, not for lack of resources just for lack of time.

    Bill
     
  13. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    I bought mine from BBQ Guru & have no problem getting the 90 degree bend thru the hole.
     
  14. curious dave

    curious dave Newbie

    Just got back from Home Depot with the recommended threaded rod and hex nuts. Alas, the rod's' diameter is still too small to allow the collar of the Maverick ET85 probe to slip through. Collar measures 15/32 inches in diameter and the inside diameter of the rod is just 1/4 inch. Does anyone know if there are other, larger sizes of threaded rods?--probably will take a 1/2-inch inside diameter. 
     
  15. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Ah, had to look up the ET-85 and I can see the problem.  We're for the most part using ET73's and ET732's which do not have the large cylinder on the end of the probe and slide thru the tube just fine.  You're going to have to get a diameter of the cylinder and go from there.  Yes, they make larger threaded fittings for lamps but they will be harder to find.  You may have to find a specialty lighting store that may have the smaller parts you're looking for.  Or, look on the internet. 

    ~Dave
     
  16. curious dave

    curious dave Newbie

    I'll start looking. Naturally, I bought the hardest gauge design for this modification. Your mod idea is a good one, though, so I'll keep searching til I find a way to make it work for me (or I might just buy a new gauge -- the easiest answer).
     
  17. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You might want to double check at HD or Lowes... I believe there were 2 standard sizes of lamp rod 3/8 dia. and 1/2 dia., if you bought the 3/8 dia. rod try the 1/2. Check the fits before you drill holes in your WSM.
     
  18. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If you still don't come up with a ready solution and decide on new qauge, give Todd Johnson a holler.  He's one of our finer vendors and will fix you up with a sweet gauge (the ET-732) and probably make you a good deal on top of it.
     
  19. curious dave

    curious dave Newbie

    I'll check again at Home Depot -- and bring the probe  with me, as I should have done in the first place. Also, how can I get in touch with Todd? Thanks. 
     
  20. curious dave

    curious dave Newbie

    How can I get in touch with Todd? Thanks.