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


 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
I have never had much success at that because (A) I am a collector rather than flipper at heart and (B) I never have time to work much on either! I am trying to reduce my level of over-employment so maybe this coming year will finally be different. It is not all work. I have a 50-year-old house with 50-year-old problems, and I am involved in a variety of family, church and other things that all demand time.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yah, Jon, do what you can and hope for things to change down the road. At some point you will have time and barn full of display grills and finally be able to devote some time to cranking out some nice rehabs to spread to grateful customers all around central Indiana.
 

Brian B Atlanta

TVWBB Guru
I have something like this and it works surprisingly well. No more numb finger.
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I have one it works great on those crap rusto high heat nozzles and other cans which is why the last 2 grills I used the high heat Krylon which have the good nozzles. Love to have the compressor but for my use ain't ever get my money out of it.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Step by Step

The September 15 tax deadline knocked me out of much work on my Summit, but here’s a few things that I have made progress on:
Installed the LP gas connector, upgrading the bolts and nuts on the bracket to stainless. I did some polishing on the brass but didn’t go all out. The regulator is new.
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Larry - @LMichaels - was able to pick up and add a matching side burner to this grill when he owned it. Great addition. I am sure it saw some use, but sitting out in his yard and later mine, was probably even harder on it:
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Like almost everything on this cool, classic Weber, the parts are pretty rugged and the 304 stainless cleaned up well. This side burner (also used on some early Platinum grills) is a cut above the ones on a Genesis from this time period:
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You can see that one of the black rubber bumpers is missing. Hoping to find something that will substitute at Ace.
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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Metal Shop

I mentioned earlier about the broken pin in one of the cabinet doors. They are made of plastic - which eliminates rust - but obviously isn’t the strongest choice. So, it wasn’t surprising to find one of the four pins had broken off above the door level.

I took the plastic pin pieces out from that door to see what I could do. I picked up some metal rod of the same diameter at my local Ace. Using a cheap vice I bent the needed right angle bend, hammering 🔨 a little to get it as close to the original as possible (to fit back in the mechanism). It felt like I was in metal shop - a class I never had the chance to take but wish I could have.

A cutoff disk and a little grinding, followed up with a coat of Rust Reformer and then satin black paint, and voilà:

The middle piece is the intact original plastic one; the broken plastic piece is on the right, while my metal “replica” is on the left:

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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
DETAILS

Not much time for my Summit, between upcoming October 15 tax deadline and working hard in my shop to make it useable again. I am trying to be ready for colder weather so I can keep going this fall and winter. Still, I did a few small things on this project on the back burner, and I think the details do matter.

I posted earlier that the side burner lid had a missing rubber bumper. I was able to track down a bagful of almost perfect matching ones on Amazon. When I tried to remove the remaining original, it crumbled. Perfect time to put new ones on both sides:

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I also worked on the knobs and igniter covers. They were faded beyond making look original again, and the one igniter cover didn’t match as it was light gray rather than the darker gray everything else is. So, I am going out on a limb by painting them. Krylon’s gray is very close. This igniter was the one that was originally light gray:

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LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Amazing work. Odd thing about the side burner fade is it's much newer than the rest of the grill (may not show it on mfg date) but I had the grill for a few years when I found the burner. It was brand new in it's never opened box.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Larry,
The igniter cover and knob on the side burner we’re both the darker gray and not in bad shape. The black metal trim, I think, looks perfect with no fade at all. I am guessing you had to replace one of the main igniter covers somewhere along the line and that light gray was all that was available. The main knobs, of course, saw the most use and exposure to the elements. It seemed like painting was the best option.

Since it is a keeper, I can always repaint again. The color I found is a very close match to the unfaded undersides of the parts.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I replaced the actual igniters a few times in that thing, but I don't think the buttons or anything. Just the actual spark housing and ceramic pieces. I don't recall replacing any plastic pieces on it though
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Picking Back Up and Results Using Carbon-Off

It’s been a long hiatus, but I am back on this project, at least in a limited way. My priority is to get parts finished that can be worked on inside, as weather is close to shutting me down until spring.

I have the cast aluminum parts at my sand blaster, after I was dissatisfied with my grinder efforts on the hood end caps. The inside was good enough for me, but there was too much missing texture coating on the outside. Sandblasting leaves a somewhat textured finish closer to original than I could get by grinding off the remaining texture.

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While I am waiting on the sandblasting, I tried to take advantage of the mild afternoon Wednesday to tackle the remaining carbon buildup on the two porcelain coated steel firebox parts I hadn’t been able to complete. The last one I worked on was also the first one I had started on months ago - the infamous front of the firebox. Back then, I had already cleaned this part pretty well before taking it to the sheet metal shop.

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One last area, though, proved almost impossible to de-carbonize even with a razor scraper. This is the top of the curved metal of the firebox that rests directly on the frame:

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I decided to give a try to the product “Carbon-Off” that has been mentioned on our board. The can suggests “wipe on - rinse off.” For something as bad as this, it’s a lot more like wipe on, soak, razor scrape and repeat and repeat again. However, in the end, Carbon-Off got the job done where others failed and well enough to suit me:

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If you have realistic expectations, I think Carbon-Off can be a useful weapon to have in your arsenal.

Getting the carbon off revealed the extent of a rust spot on the middle top of this finished part that you can see. I guess I will rust treat and cover with high heat black spray paint. There aren’t any donor parts for this rare piece.

Looking forward to finding a way to paint the cast aluminum parts in spite of worsening temperatures and finally to assembling the firebox and hood. After that it will be just internals to at last reach the goal line🙏!
 

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Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Another Furniture Picture!

I won't even try to explain all the stuff pulling at my life right now, but I managed to find a very tiny window in the relatively mild late afternoon to drag out the last of my porcelain coated steel parts. This is the LONG drip tray extension that rests below the porcelain coated firebox front and back parts. Underneath it goes the same drip tray/liner and metal holder as used on Genesis x000 and Silver/Gold/Platinum grills. When I bought this grill from Larry @LMichaels , he was kind enough to throw in some extra parts he had accumulated in trying to keep this Summit functional. One duplicate was one of these drip tray extensions, so I actually have TWO of them:

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Here I am late this afternoon trying to get them clean enough to bring in the house. The one toward the back that looks cruddy, actually cleaned up slightly better than the front one. Both got clean enough for another "furniture photo shoot!":LOL:

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Neither of these are "perfect" after 24 years, but they are made with pretty thick steel and silky porcelain coating. They look to have plenty of life left. I am hoping two will last me for the rest of my grilling days. There are few replacement parts available for these old Summits, and this unique part is definitely not one of them. Having a spare is a huge blessing. @LMichaels, if you uncover any more squirreled away Summit parts, please do let me know!:coolkettle:
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Another Furniture Picture!

I won't even try to explain all the stuff pulling at my life right now, but I managed to find a very tiny window in the relatively mild late afternoon to drag out the last of my porcelain coated steel parts. This is the LONG drip tray extension that rests below the porcelain coated firebox front and back parts. Underneath it goes the same drip tray/liner and metal holder as used on Genesis x000 and Silver/Gold/Platinum grills. When I bought this grill from Larry @LMichaels , he was kind enough to throw in some extra parts he had accumulated in trying to keep this Summit functional. One duplicate was one of these drip tray extensions, so I actually have TWO of them:

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Here I am late this afternoon trying to get them clean enough to bring in the house. The one toward the back that looks cruddy, actually cleaned up slightly better than the front one. Both got clean enough for another "furniture photo shoot!":LOL:

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Neither of these are "perfect" after 24 years, but they are made with pretty thick steel and silky porcelain coating. They look to have plenty of life left. I am hoping two will last me for the rest of my grilling days. There are few replacement parts available for these old Summits, and this unique part is definitely not one of them. Having a spare is a huge blessing. @LMichaels, if you uncover any more squirreled away Summit parts, please do let me know!:coolkettle:
I will be going through the back garage. Hopefully we have a decent enough string of weather that I can spend some time out there. I've got a crazy time coming up though. I just finished a mixer for a customer, then I have another in process on the bench pre-sold. 3rd one the person is buying from me. And then yesterday daughter's water heater died. Now they want me to install a tankless unit they bought at Menards. And we've got 2 of the kids with us this weekend (grandson 12 and little Lily 18 mos). Fun times LOL
 

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