Thought I'd share my experiences with installing a Rutland gasket on the XLBGE, maybe pass along some quick lessons learned. I'm far from the handiest guy in the world, but all in all this was pretty easy even on my own (admittedly with tons of guidance on here and other sites). So far I'm very pleased and I'm happy I decided to make this change. Let me dive in:
First off, HUGE thanks to Ron Pratt ( @RRP
) who sold me the pre-trimmed gasket and gave me tons of advice on how to do this. I deviated from his instructions in only a few places and probably would have been better off had I not. I really appreciate all the help dude.
Since it was just me and I don't have much space to work on my patio I decided to try this install without removing the top. I think that was a mistake. Granted, it all worked, but it made the job more difficult in the end. I probably would have been better off parking the top in the living room while I worked on the base, but I think that may have had adverse ramifications with the Mrs. Using the 3M paint stripping wheel and the pumice stone I was able to clean the entire circumference of the top and bottom, but there were quite a few tricky pieces around the hinges.
I started by removing as much of the torched felt gasket as I could with my hands and a safety blade. Big strips came away quite easily; it was really burned up. What I couldn't get this way I went after with the paint stripper. THIS WAS FAR AND AWAY THE BEST TOOL FOR THE JOB! It was able to clear off the felt gasket quickly and easily without damaging my precious egg. Made short work of all the areas I could reach easily (which wasn't everything due to the top being on...). For the hard to reach corners I went to the pumice stone. I ended up grnding down about 75% of the stone, but it did work nicely in areas where my drill wouldn't fit.
Once the base was clean and most of the top was clean (battery ran dead on drill, D'oh!) I started installing the Rutland. I marked it in quarters as suggested and marked quadrants on the rim of the egg. One thing I noticed here: I wrapped the Rutland completely in my masking tape marking, and it was really hard to remove before adhering the Rutland in those spots. This is one thing I'd do differently next time, I'd try to do the marking some other way because this caused some trouble.
Bunching the gasket back on itself and pressing it into the permatex was pretty intuitive. I bought a full sided trowel to spread the adhesive and this tool worked okay at best. I really needed something much smaller (like the sabre saw blade, that was recommended). I'm concerned that I may not have used enough adhesive, but I was getting it seeping through and around the gasket, so I had a hard time justifying more. One other deviation; since i left the top on it was way easier to start in the front than the back. This worked fine, but now the ugly seem is right in the front of the egg, instead of tucked in the back.
Word of caution: I did not end up trimming ANYTHING off the gasket, I used it ALL. Please consider this if you're thinking of pre-trmming the gasket or doing a diagonal seem or something. I did trim up the very end where it had partially unraveled a very little bit and found kitchen shears were the best tool for that task. The stuff is difficult to cut.
So, installed the Rutland, putting about 4-6inches of adhesive around the perimeter in each go and bunching the Rutland back onto itself as I went. First quater was fine, just learning as I went. Second quarter I was in the back, reaching over the grill surface and around hinges, but getting more confident all the time. By the third quarter I'd stopped checking the length of the gasket and this almost burned me. Towards the end I noticed I was low on gasket for the rest of the loop. With about eight inches to go I only had about six inches of gasket the way i'd been bunching. I ended up bunching the last part quite a bit less, but it did make it all the way back to the origin. Close one...
I put some wax paper down all around the edge, dropped the lid and let the adhesive dry for one hour. After drying I popped the lid and pulled the wax paper. Everything looked fine so I lowered the lid and let the permatex cure for 24 hours.
Today I fired the XL up for the first time and kept it below 400. Everything seemed to hold fine and I saw a HUGE reduction in smoke escaping from the seem; from quite a bit before to none now. Cooked up some chicken sausage, pollo asada, corn, and a purple onion to test it all out and it was a delicious as always. Very pleased with that result.
Take home message, if your gasket is shot contact @RRP
and he can help you out. Buy the 3M paint scraper wheel, it's awesome. Take the top off. Be patient, let it dry, get back to cooking.
Cheers all -