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JohnNC

Completed my Jenn-Air Mods - $30

41 posts in this topic

Thanks to all you guys on this board, I completed the center divider mod and the other mods involving shutting down the huge gap between the covers when closed and also the rear louvered gaps.

 

I had all three pieces made from 304 stainless by my local sheet metal guy for $30.

 

The top piece measures 1 3/8 inch high and 30 inches long (4 burner).

 

The back piece is 5.5 x 27

 

The center divider is exactly to the drawing posted on this board (a little tighter so i don't have to bolt it in).

 

Just fitting the top piece by itself made a significant difference to the preheat time.

 

I will wait a little longer before I drill out the orifices.

 

thanks for all the help

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Congrats!!! how did you attach the heat retention panels? Are they removable or fixed? Pics please :);)

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Pictures, pictures, pictures!!! I'm about to do mine. Did you put some sort of material between the upper piece and the grill?

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The top piece is fixed with four 1/4x24 stainless nuts and bolts. The back piece will be removable. Right now I am using some studs which go through the vents and then using a large washed and wing nut. It keeps it is place fine and is quickly removed after cooled down.

 

The center divider was not made properly and is being remade by my sheet metal guy.

 

I will post pictures

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Cool, thanks for the info. Can't wait to see the pics!!!

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Pictures of heat retention mod.

 

0.5 inch by 1 3/8 inch by 30 inch long. The top is hemmed for a little more strength and rigidity.

 

 

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Pictures of heat retention mod.

 

0.5 inch by 1 3/8 inch by 30 inch long.  The top is hemmed for a little more strength and rigidity.

 

 

 

Nice... how tough was it to drill into the grill?

 

I experimented a bit today with blocking the space using a wet towel - and it made a significant difference with the internal temp - so it seems to be a great mod...

 

Nice work!

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Nice... how tough was it to drill into the grill? 

 

I experimented a bit today with blocking the space using a wet towel - and it made a significant difference with the internal temp - so it seems to be a great mod...

 

Nice work!

 

Very easy, just make use you use a center punch to keep the bits from drifting.

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looking good JohnNC, I'll be doing this as my next mod. ;)

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looking good JohnNC, I'll be doing this as my next mod. ;)

 

I found a local sheet metal fabricator to do the angle iron to block the gap above the heat box... should have it ready to go in a couple of days.

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Here are some pictures of the blank off plate to cover the rear vents.

 

the piece is 5.5 by 27 with all sides hemmed. I fit small angles (mirror hangers) so you simply hang in on the vent openings. Attach in a few seconds, remove when you don't want to use it.

I would probably go 5.25 inch by 27 to give some more up and down room when trying to get the hooks to catch.

 

 

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Here are some pictures of the blank off plate to cover the rear vents.

 

the piece is 5.5 by 27 with all sides hemmed.  I fit small angles (mirror hangers) so you simply hang in on the vent openings.  Attach in a few seconds, remove when you don't want to use it.

I would probably go 5.25 inch by 27 to give some more up and down room when trying to get the hooks to catch.

 

 

 

Nice job John and neat idea for making the blocking plate easily removable.

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Yeah, I second that. John, I love the install, I really want something that is removable and that looks to be a great design.

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John, let us know if you notice any warping or bowing of any of the sides/top/back of the cooking compartment during any high heat cooking with (both) of your modification panels installed. I question the original need for such openness in the design of these units. Fonejunkie has stated that Nexgrill has responded with a need for ventilation to prohibit overheating. Your mods are virtually negating pretty much most of their "required" ventilation. I would assume that if any overheating should occur, it would cause perimeter panels (probably the lid -heat rises) to be the first indication that overheating is occurring by warpage. Secondary, I am sure you would begin to see exaggerated discoloration in the sheet metal (blueing - or in extreme cases -cherry red). The fact that we now see new models (see my posted pictures under "new grills") with much more sealing action of the cover indicates that your type of mods should be very effective. I am still puzzled by the double wall design of their new "heat tent", and how it specifically will aid in cool air circulation while inhibiting loss of cooking heat. Perhaps the air space between the double wall is designed to act as an insulating buffer to retain heat while at the same time not overly stressing the walls of the chamber to the point that they may overheat and/or distort, warp or discolor. Have you taken note of the exact increase in compartment heat realized as measured by your lid thermometer? If so, what peak temps are you seeing now as a result of these mods? Success with your terrific engineering should bring huge sighs of relief to many frustrated owners of these models. It is reassuring to know that this huge problem can be overcome with such simple (though ingenious) mods. As you have proved, it is certainly no big expense incurred to duplicate your conclusive remedy. I, in particular, after seeing the big drop in quality with the newer units would prefer owning previous (higher quality ss) if the heat loss dilemna can be effectively cured. This tradeoff is welcome. Thanks for sharing your ideas, methods and great pictures to convey your success to this forum. Mike

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Cuskit,

It you'd rather own an older Jenn-Air and make the modifications yourself, I'll sell you my 4 burner with stainless steel burners, two extra sets of brass burners, 4 regulators, a cover, an unused rotisery (sp) and cover for $750. The grill has been upgraded to 15,000 K orifices. What do you think? It's a little over a year old and kept in mint shape. Anyone else??

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Grillmark, I bring one more used grill into my yard and I think I'll be sent out to pasture! ;) I appreciate the offer, but my decision at this point is either a leftover 4 or 5 burner (my Lowes has 1 of each) or the newer 4 burner as soon as it hits the store. Being a little lame, I was hoping someone else on this forum would have the opportunity to buy one in their area first, and after using is a bit allay my fears of a significantly degraded product. I am speaking in terms of the grade of sheet metal only. I am quite impressed with the improvements to the cooking chamber as far as heat retention is concerned. Also, I can't get past those new knobs, they blow me away. As stated in my analysis, they are very solid feeling, and I believe a retrofit would be very expensive to an older model as these are not just knobs, but a total different ignition - the stems have been changed. I pulled one off the new model and old - completely different size stem. But, thanks for the offer (I'm sure it was in jest). Mike

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Gee, I thought you loved that grill! I've read most of your past posts and you've always spoke well of it, thought you were very satisfied. I understand your disappointment in the heat loss issue, but that may be worth the tradeoff for the downgraded ss components. And, the new narrower brass burners may also not be up to snuff. Perhaps the warping issue will return. Hold off on wishing riddance on your present burner, it may turn out to be the best decision. Mike

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I do love the grill and think that for the $$, it is the best value on the market. But the heat loss issue irks me. That being said, at 1000 deg. on the grates, it'll sear beef very well..

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