Flipped the heating element

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by cmayna, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    OK, I've been considering trying to flip the heating element in my MES40 over so it is more centered in the smoker. After dealing with a few obstacles, I think I accomplished what I was trying to do. Can't say if this would work in a MES30, but if someone sends me theirs, I'll give it a try.

    Here's a link to my original post about this idea:

    Note the vertical support plate that is welded to the lower rails, which supports the chip box. If you flip the element, this plate is in the way. Thus I had to break the welds loose in order to move (slide) this support plate way over to the right.


    Flipping the element over, caused me to drill new holes through the back walls.

    The male spade connectors which are spot welded to the legs of the heating element, needed to be bent over.

    Here's the element in it's new position. Note the support plate way over to the right side. It is no longer welded to the rails but instead just floats making is easy to move around.

    Chip box/tube re-mounted.

    Fired the smoker up tonight with success. Seems to be running ok.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    mike johnson, tropics and tallbm like this.
  2. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Looks great!  It's got to be better than the element being in the corner.  I bet it took awhile to do.  If you decide you don't need the chip tray housing/tunnel, It looks easy to remove. 

  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Craig that looks great Points for creativity 

  4. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes Kurt,

    Removing the chip box setup is very easy.  I must say that though flipping the element does help centralize the heat source and flow,  it does cause somewhat of a tight area for the AMNPS to sit on the left.  Now it fits more like a MES30 setup.  No real issue for me though since it is my plans to use my mailbox mod with this set up.  And if I get something caught up my backside and want to put the AMNPS inside the chamber, I might consider placing it on top of the chip box similar to what Foamheart does.

    Thanks Richie.  I love modifying things.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like there is room for the AMNPS on the right side of the element ???   Is that true ?? 

    Remove the chip box and hook up an extension on the air inlet hole so cool air comes in above the element.....  Something like I did on my MES 30.....

  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's a great idea.

    Makes you wonder why the engineers at Masterbuilt don't figure these things out.

  7. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dave, there is room on both sides though being very close to the element, very similar to a MES30 situation.  What is the difference between what I have done vs a MES30 such as yours?   Is it because in my case, the AMNPS is very close to the inlet?  

    No matter what I do, it's all reversible, meaning I can always change back to stock or   whatever.  This is fun stuff.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  8. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dave, Here's a pic I found on my phone that I took during assembly. Thinking out loud that if I wanted to try this and was worried about the element catching the pellets on fire, I could simply attach a vertical piece of aluminum sheet to the support plate you see between the element and AMNPS, acting kinda like a barrier. Hmmmm.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  9. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    What a great Mod. You have given me a great idea. I have a mes40 that needs a new heating element. I might as well convert it in the process.
  10. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Craig - a couple of questions related to your post/photos: Why was it necessary to drill 2 new holes? It looks like the element would have slid into the original holes with no problem.  Also, your marks on the tape appear to have a greater separation between the holes than the original, and are also lower. And secondly, why was it necessary to bend the tabs up?

    Just curious.  Dave
  11. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Old Sarge,

    The mounting holes of the element plate are not on the same plain/plateau as the element legs. Trying to keep the same element leg holes, I had to drill new mounting holes.  Regarding bending the taps up,  If you flip the element over "as is"  the tabs will be pointing downward.   Based upon the amount of space available,  in the little pocket of space, one could not attach the wires terminals to the legs of the element.  Believe me, I tried to find any way to get this resolved in the easiest way possible.


    My 3rd pic should basically say it all.   The mounting screws are not on the same plateau as the legs of the elements.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  12. old sarge

    old sarge Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Craig - Thanks. I am not familiar with the innards of the MES so I was a tad lost. Looks good.  Dave
  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is really a neat mod.  I wonder if it corrects the hot rear right corner of the smoker. You may be on to something here. B
  14. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm kinda surprised that no one has already done this mod months/years ago.  It just seemed so  obvious to simply flip the element.
  15. hank2000

    hank2000 Smoking Fanatic

    I have a MES 40 I use for sausage and bacon mostly I'm going to try this. The amps won't be a problem for me so much as I use a master built. Cold smoke kit. But I may get an amps at soon time. Would love to know how it helped temps if at all
  16. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Great post!  This will surely help with my planned fan mod in the somewhat near future.

    I would remove the chip box, flip the element, and then mount the fan in the back above the element to distribute the hot air through the smoker.

    Now I just need to find some time over a few weekends to do the work!

Share This Page