Gifted Traeger 075

gholder5456

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My nephew will be gifting me what he says is a Traeger 075 (see attached photo). However, I'm not sure what model name that would be. While I've been waiting on him to deliver it I have been doing some research into what type of mods I could do to improve the smoking yet not goof up the air flow. One of the things I'm considering is to block off the stack and put a louvered 10" x 2" vent on the back of it in approximately the same position as the rear vent on the Timberline 850. Included in this modification plan is the installation of the Pellet Pro Complete Upgrade Kit with PID Controller.

The reason I'm planning this extensive of a modification is because I'm not sure how well cared fro the grill was in the past. My nephew was able to obtain this grill as part of a debt repayment and when he got it there was a significant rust issue on the bottom of the hopper. I'm thinking is was exposed to a lot of water. Even still, it does turn on and heat up. But because of the moisture exposure issue, I'm thinking I should probably do the work I described above.

One more thing, I was at Costco awhile back and they just happened to be having a Traeger sales event. When I mentioned my plan to the Traeger representative he said "Don't block the stack. The pellets won't stay lit even if you put a vent on the back side." My first thought was that he's a Traeger employee. He has to say that. Wouldn't the fan in the upgrade kit take care of supplying sufficient air so that the pellets would stay lit?If blocking the stack and installing the rear vent is not a good idea, what about using a Total Control 2 Inch Threaded UDS Smoke Stack?

I'm open to suggestions.



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Cajunman

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That hopper part just comes off with the removal of a couple screws, which I just learned as I am doing a refurb myself of a very similar model to yours, however mine is smaller. If that hardcore rust is confined to the hopper, you could replace just the hopper.

I actually found some nice off-brand replacement parts on amazon (auger motor, fan, hotrod, firepot for $50), your best bet may be to replace the main parts first and then test out other modifications knowing the main items are working correctly. I have some pics on my post of my teardown.
 
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gholder5456

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That hopper part just comes off with the removal of a couple screws, which I just learned as I am doing a refurb myself of a very similar model to yours, however mine is smaller. If that hardcore rust is confined to the hopper, you could replace just the hopper.

I actually found some nice off-brand replacement parts on amazon (auger motor, fan, hotrod, firepot for $50), your best bet may be to replace the main parts first and then test out other modifications knowing the main items are working correctly. I have some pics on my post of my teardown.
Thanks for your reply. When I opened thelid and looked in the hopper, the inside looked to be in great shape. My guess is that the rust on the hopper was/is mostly cosmetic. However, I will take the hint and remove the hopper for a closer inspection. BTW, my nephew says he repaired the rust.

While I was at my nephew's house we fired up the smoker and everything appeared to be working. We set the temp to 300° and it went there in about10 minutes or so. However, just to get ahead of the game, I am leaning towards a major overhaul because of the way it looked in the photo.

I was also considering putting a 10" diameter steel plate or some fire brick on top of the diffuser to help spread the heat out a little better but I'm not sure that would be a good idea because it may have the opposite effect and create an unwanted hot spot.
 

Cajunman

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The one I am refurbing has some rust issues but nothing super significant. My plan is to use a wirebrush and a sander to get the rust off and then I will be repainting it to make sure the rust doesn't come back.

That sounds like its working pretty well, a couple new components you'll have a practically new smoker. I haven't installed the parts I bought yet but if these work as well as they look, I will probably replace the parts on my other Lil Tex as well, considering its around 12 years old.

I can't speak for the fire bricks. I really haven't fought with the heat distributions on mine.
 

Papa MacTavish

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@gholder5456 JIC you haven't figured out the model yet on your smoker it is the BBQ075 Big Tex, this is a 2014 model, I have the same unit. I am currently researching an upgrade to add the wifire tech into mine. I just posted today to ask if anyone in here has attempted it or something like it.

In an attempt to answer your question about closing your stack, I have heard from a few people that the air flow of the units are designed to have the stack where it is and that is all part of how the fan is effective, but I question that considering the relatively small sq. inches of area are employed with the use of the stack. I would think that a properly placed louvered cover on the back would produce the same effect. But I am a low voltage tech so no expert in air flow dynamics!
 

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Timmy

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I believe the Ironwoods and Timberlines exhaust into a chamber before exiting the grill. And the drip pan also aids in heat distribution and exhaust.
 
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