2nd Chance for a True Weber Classic: A 1998 1st Generation Summit 450


Bill Pudim

TVWBB Super Fan
I have a Summit Platinum D4 built-in. Rusted through in the back panel, front panel, floor- front, and lost all the nuts on the connecting bolts. I'd be in for panels to go over these with adhesive. Looked up your suggestion- 650 degrees- should hold up I'd think. With putting them in with adhesive I wouldn't even have to pull this out of the built-in location. Do you think this size matches what you're BBQ will require? I'm in to try this to cover four panels. I understand I will still have the point where it's starting to degrade (the 90 degree roll over) where the grate sits.
I repaired my Summit Platinum D6 with made to fit stainless panels secured to the original panels with stainless steel machine screws.


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TVWBB Wizard
We need to think about a few things here. In due time, a sticky or two on this. And we need a couple notices for members and ..... the search engines to get the word out.
How-to and such.

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Well, I told you this thread would drag on as I SLOWLY give this wonderful grill a new life. Now that it looks like I have the firebox issue solved, I am trying to start getting the myriad of other parts ready for re-assembly. I took this thing apart last fall. If you look at this schematic, you can see it is not as simple as doing an old Genesis 1000:

Trying to start from the bottom up, so today I finished cleaning and then tried to address some fairly minor rust on the frame pieces. Note that this 1st generation Summit uses wide vertical frame pieces (also later used on some Gold and Platinum grills of this era) and then uses round tubing for the horizontal parts. All of it is very heavy. The rust was primarily in the typical joint locations. Considering that this grill is 24 years old and in its more recent days spent a fair amount of time parked outside in front of Larry's house and then out in front of my grill shed, I would say the rust was amazingly minor. This picture is before sanding and rust treatment.

Frame Parts being rust-treated.jpeg

I used Rustoleum's Rust Reformer. I don't think this product is as good as Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator, but after a bad experience with my first can I have since found this Rustoleum product to work fine as long as you take the time to REALLY shake it up EXTRA WELL.
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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
The massive stainless steel cabinet parts, side trays, and the huge condiment shelves - well, the latter not done yet - didn't require any near as much effort. They are all real 304 stainless steel, and even after 24 years still look amazing. All these needed was some washing and scrubbing with a non-abrasive foam pad and Bar Keeper's Friend.

Stainless Doors Before & After.jpeg

I know not everyone likes Bar Keeper's Friend, but it works for me, so I will enjoy it in an application like this one. You can see the left looks almost new.

Here's a couple more Before and After pictures:


Back Stainless BEFORE 1.jpeg

Same part, close-up:

Back Stainless BEFORE 2 CLOSEUP.jpeg


Back Stainless AFTER.jpeg

Meanwhile, all my black parts have been cleaned, sanded in the bad spots and treated with Rust Reformer. They are all curing in my air-conditioned home office. (My wife is gone on a trip, so I can get away with a little more :coolkettle: !) Note the wire rack bottom for this cabinet grill. This allowed the cabinet to breathe rather than trap and pool water like later painted steel flat bottoms do. This design may not be as "handy" since small things could fall through, but it is much better for preserving the life of the grill. Wire racks are a pain to redo, but this one seemed, at least, to be thicker and better made. It did not have a great deal of rust on it, probably because of being inside the cabinet rather than being continuously exposed like on open cart grills with wire racks.

Black metal parts drying from rust treatment.jpeg

Wire Rack rust treated drying.jpeg
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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
The proof will be in the pudding of whether I can find and get all these parts back together as a complete working grill😲!

Taking it apart got it out of the elements, but it is hard to keep the parts accessible and not go-mingling them with too many other projects😧…
Very nice and inspiring job there, Jon... It's a complex grill but I'm sure you'll get it back together. Those patch panels you had made look great. I assume they were waterjet or wire EDM cut.

:ROFLMAO:I know what you mean by co-mingling... I store things where they fit. So I literally have grill parts with truck parts, lawnmower parts, and all sorts of other things.

-John (Boston)


TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Not the least bit jealous. Happy. I was truly contemplating simply taking a power saw to it to break it down and trash it. So I am truly glad to see it getting the "spa treatment" here

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Not the least bit jealous. Happy. I was truly contemplating simply taking a power saw to it to break it down and trash it. So I am truly glad to see it getting the "spa treatment" here
Larry, I really appreciate your encouragement. I am going to do my best to pull this altogether even if it takes me the same amount of time @Dave in KC can rehab and flip 40 grills🤣. I hope you will be open to a question or two as I get to the manifold/burner aspects. Most of all, I thank you for being willing to sell this very cool old grill to me along with the extras you accumulated.


TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
My pleasure Jon. BTW I am still holding onto the other front fire box piece over here as well. I have to look in my back garage too, Not sure but I am wondering if I squirrelled away some other parts for that beast that I scrounged along the way

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian

Well, I didn't exaggerate when I said that this would be long drawn-out thread. After being bogged down with many other problems and using what little time I had for grill projects on my "Platypus" Platinum One-Touch, I have finally resumed working a little here and there on my dream of reviving this classic 1st generation Summit I bought from Larry - @LMichaels.

Finally have most of the black pieces painted gloss black over the rust treatment, and I have put some of the frame bottom together. I think these pictures might help those who have never seen one of these first - and by far best - Summits appreciate the rugged construction Weber used over 20 years ago. (I hope Weber will go back to this drawing board and incorporate that ideal when they develop the next Summit.)

You can see here that Weber used double thick pieces for the vertical frame pieces and unlike the Genesis used a fair amount of round tube framing as well. The weld is for the integrated side frame piece; the two side frame pieces connect with round tubes using bolts. Note the reinforcement bracket Weber used to help allow for a tight fit without bending the frame piece. (I replaced regular bolts with stainless):

Although the frame is regular - albeit thick - steel, the cabinetry panels are 304 stainless. Weber used a wire rack for the bottom. This allows the cabinet to drain readily and stay dry, although it does limit what you can store in the bottom. I don't expect to put much in here, but I will be looking for a couple Rubbermaid plastic boxes to hold anything I do store underneath.
One oddity this grill had was that the front tube that holds the weight of the two doors no longer had the internal plugs to bolt the tube to the frame side. It had been replaced with a long, threaded metal piece that allows you bolt both sides. @LMichaels do you remember the story on this? While I don't like the look as well, it does allow you to put more tension and help support this tube that has to do double work. This is before bolting on, so the tube is not centered:
Bolts attached and doors hung. I like that these doors have a twist mechanism with pins that holds them firmly in place so that they don't pop open unwanted as later ones that rely on magnets so often do. Only problem is that these pin pieces were made of plastic - not a great choice - and one is broken. I am eventually going to try to make a replacement, hopefully out of stainless. Since there is a top and bottom pin and only one is broken, the door still stays shut right now.

(Yes, that is part of my crazy toy collection in the background. You can see my prize Seaview submarine from the 1960s show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. This toy was made by Remco and came in the "window box" that you can see part of. It was my absolute favorite Christmas toy! :giggle: I worked with a printer to faithfully reproduce these boxes, piece by piece. Another money loser project...)


Closer look at the door and my replacement decal. The lighting makes it look too light, but it is actually very close to the original which had faded away after over 20 years. I made this decal starting with the graphics that another member shared for the regular Genesis gauge decal and which I modified and stretched for use on these Summits and some early Platinum and Gold grills that also used this frame. I do sell these and some others, so if you need any decals PM me for details.


Working on the top of the cart and then it will be on to the firebox and hood. If I am lucky, maybe before Christmas I will finally get to grill on a classic, 1st generation Summit!



TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Great work Jon. I am looking forward to the end result which includes a M-R Ribeye with some great grill marks.


TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Good work Jon. Nice to see the old classic coming around. Sadly I got discouraged with it and Weber's lack of support and let it languish. Good on you for for bringing it back