I've been cooking on my LBGE for several weeks now and have been pretty pleased with myself that I have not damaged my stock gasket more than about 1/16" in from the inside edge - pretty consistent all the way around. I did my 2nd pizza Fri night and for some reason, this one charred my gasket about 50% through in one spot, about 5" long on the right, lower side. The upper gasket charred a bit too in the same spot, but not as bad as the lower. I was extremely careful when assembling the Egg to make sure the bands were straight all the way around so the dome sat flat on the base with no gaps. I really do not know why this happened all of a sudden like this.
Anyhow, I still have half the thickness of the gasket left in that spot (rest of the gasket is still fine) and plan to use it until it goes completely. I figured I may as well plan ahead and get a new one to have on hand so I can get it replaced right away when the day comes. I plan to go with the Rutland/Permatex but have a few questions of those who have been down this path:
1. In reading Naked Whiz's interactions, I get the idea that the 5/8" wide Rutland needs to be widened out to fit the width of the Egg base - and that reduces the 84" length. Seems like a lot of farting around. Why can't the gasket be applied in its normal 5/8" state and just carefully centered on the base edge? I would think as long as there is a seal there, it would be good to go. Are people widening it for looks only - or does it need to be widened to reduce the thickness for some reason?
2. I would imagine that the upper dome band would need to be loosened and re-set due to the different thickness of the Rutland compared to the felt. I tightened the crap out of my bands per the instructions. Bolt is badly bent and the L-shaped tabs on the ends of the band are bent as well. I cannot imagine being able to get that bolt back out without cutting it - which is not an issue since I own a bolt cutter. However, with the tabs bent, I cannot see getting a new bolt inserted through them. Are you guys having to straighten those tabs back out to get it back together?
3. If I end up having to cut the bolt, is there a specific hardness of carriage bolt that it needs to be replaced with? I've been working on farm equipment my whole life and have rarely seen a bolt that would bend as far as the BGE supplied bolt without breaking. It appears to me to be a fairly soft bolt.
I would appreciate some advice and tips here...