New to Group, Going to Mod My Ancient ECB

Discussion in 'ECB Owners Group' started by grillmonkey, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    I've got an old ECB I bought back in the early 80's. Man, that Farrah Faucett was hot. At some point, I bought an electric heating element for it. It has been in the shed since the late 80's. I took it out for the 4th of July this year and checked it with my Maverick 733. It went up to 265 degrees and was still climbing when I cut it off.

    I plan to fix it up some to use as a set it and forget it smoker for when I'm too lazy to tend my offset smoker. The mods I have planned are:

    1.  Vent the top with a damper so I can close it when it's not actively smoking to run up the heat.

    2.  Seal the lid with stove gasket.

    3.  Use a router speed controller to regulate temp.

    4.  Steel wool the interior and season with spray-on Pam.

    5.  Drill holes for meat and smoker temp probes.

    6.  Remove rust and paint exterior?

    7.  Add a heat sink? What and where?

    I have a couple, no, several questions for the group. First, since it is originally a charcoal ECB, should I keep it charcoal? I have some woven wood stove gasket tape to seal the lid, where do I attach it, the lid? On the lip of the smoker? Should I paint it if I'm going to keep it inside? Season it with Pam?

    If it was yours, with the electric conversion element, what would you do?

    Here she is in all her glory:

    I will post pics as the mods progress.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  2. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    Sounds like you've got all the bases covered. If you only plan to use it as a lazy-day smoker, I'd say go with the electric setup, especially since you've got the offset.

    Not sure whether you would really need a heat sink on the electric version. You should be able to hold temps well with the external router controller.

    I had a Farrah poster in my basement. Hubba hubba.
  3. thinblueduke

    thinblueduke Meat Mopper

    Wait a sec, is something missing in that photo? I recall Farrah having nice legs...
  4. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    LMAO. GM, You said stove gasket tape? If that's the flat stuff, I'm not sure if that will work. 

    The round stove gasket goes on the lid. I put mine on with the high heat RTV and then put the lid onto the smoker and made sure the gasket was tight against the body of the smoker. Doing this should also help hold the gasket in place. It should be rock solid in about 24 hours. 

    First thing I did was hit the rim of the lid with a little steel wool to make sure the RTV would adhere good to the paint on the lid. 

    I would do the electric mod. I can't think of any reason not too. I would also bust out the wire wheel and cleanup and paint the outside. I wouldn't go crazy, but I would clean up the rust and hit it with some grill paint. Mine actually have a few rusty paint chips in it and I'm going to do the same this weekend. As far as the inside of the smoker, when mine was brand new i sprayed it down with Pam and seasoned it up, but 20+ years later and I haven't ever done it again. The inside looks fine? Not sure. what the right answer is on that one. 

    Looks like an interesting build / re-build.. Looking forward to following along! 
  5. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Too late on the tape, I done did it[​IMG]. Actually, I ran it around the lid, just below and halfway up the rounded ridge near the bottom. It works good. In fact, after that mod, and with the new top vent open, it went all the way up to 340 degrees. I already had the tape left over from my sidebox smoker mod. Total cost of the entire project, about $2.50. All I had to buy that I didn't already have was steel wool. Used it to clean the inside and remove the rust from the exterior.

    I will post the pics later this evening, I'm taking a break from cutting grass right now and my wife is starting to give me that "get outside and finish what you started" look.
  6. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm sure it will work fine. Your AECB probably has less of a gap that the current ECB. Looking forward to seeing the pics. 
  7. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    ECB mods are done. I've got a brisket in the fridge, planning to try it out this weekend.

    I tested the router speed controller (to the left of temp monitor) to see how it would do. At wide open in the variable switch position, it went to and held at 325. Switched to full position, it went to 340. It is not a thermostat, but it does work to lower cooking temp to the desired level. As the cooker/meat warms, you have to dial it back to maintain temp. For the money ($23), it works great and doubles as a fan speed controller for my shop...can we say tax deductible.

    Vent mod. I used a 2"circle from a hole I had drilled in my side firebox smoker, drilled four holes and welded a tab on it so it could be rotated.

    See how the tape wedges into the smoker body. I put some hickory chips in it while seasoning it with canola oil, I didn't see any smoke leakage.

    Drilled 2 holes in the side of the smoker, just below the top rack for inserting meat and grill temp probes.

    Router speed controller (RSC). Smoker plugs into RSC, RSC plugs into outlet.



    Seasoned and ready for action. I used #3 steel wool to clean the interior and remove rust from the exterior. I touched up the exterior with hi-temp paint, and ran it for 2 hours on full power (340 degrees) to season the interior. It ain't pretty, but if I remember right, she wasn't real pretty when she was new, 30-something years ago.
  8. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I like your speed controller. If I wind up with an electric model, I will certainly consider one of those. Another thing- I read all the time that guys can't keep temps up because they use and extension cord. Since the cord are only about 4 feet long, I don't know how you would get by without an extension cord?

    Great job on the mods.

    I even busted out the wire wheel and cleaned mine up yesterday and sprayed it up with the Krylon high heat paint.  I had a couple of rust spots, one on the lid and one on the barrel. I went ahead and sprayed the entire ECB a once over, just to clean it up a little. 

    So have you fired the baby up for some real food?
  9. grillmonkey

    grillmonkey Smoking Fanatic

    Going to start a brisket tomorrow morning.

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