Cajun Bandit Steel Door for WSM 18.5 -- Not Good


Eugene A

Hello, Everyone:

I purchased the steel door for my WSM 18.5. I followed the instruction on the manufacturer's website. I installed the door.

There's a gap on either side of the latch, along the top, so big that you can see inside the smoker. To add insult to injury, when I reinstalled the handle and latch on the aluminum door that came with the smoker, I may have stripped the threads such that the latch is secure, but the handle is loose.

I thought that the door was supposed to fit snugly against the outer wall of the smoker such that there wouldn't be any gaps? Did I get a defective door?

Please tell me that I didn't waste my money, that there's a way to fix this faux pas. :(

To add insult to injury, I just found out that I can't replace just the latch and handle -- it comes as a package (door, handle, latch assembly)...$32.50 with shipping.

This foray into the secondary accessory market has been a disaster, unless one of my brethren or brethrenettes can steer me in the right direction.
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You sure they sent you the door for the 18 1/2 and not the 22 1/2? Unlikely, but who knows. I have the 22 1/2 WSM and got the CB door and it fits like a glove.
Ditto what both James and Cliff said. My 22 WSM CB door fits real snug and I've found CB customer service fair and very quick to respond to all inquiries.
Get the compression latch for the door. once you add the thickness of the new door a lot of people have a problem with the original latch. I messed mine up. Cajun bandit will probably replace the door if its messed up. Maybe post a pic? It could be just that the latch is broken?
Weber once sent me a new door with the latch assembly for my 22.5"wsm free of charge. The bushing in the handle had stripped out when i was trying to tighten it. Give it a try.
Everyone that has commented so far has a 22'' WSM. Any 18" owners have success with cajun bandit door? I was thinking about investing.
How old is your WSM? Cajun Bandit has two doors available for the 18.5 according to the year of manufacture. I bought one for my 18.5 and it seems to fit well but my old latch, and I have the old style round handle, doesn't pull the door up real tight. I'm going to get a compression latch for it.
I bought the Cajun bandit door for my 18.5 WSM. Mostly for the cosmetic appearence. There are some minor gaps that I was able to get slightly sorted out by bending the door. There is a small leak at the top of my door, but it doesn't bother me too much. The fit was definitely not 100%. I'm sure a gasket kit applied to the door would fix the problem, I never though my ribs or brisket turned out bad enough to worry about it.
I understand your frustration exactly. I just knew it was the door. I hope this helps.

I have the 18 and 22 inch doors and mine did not fit real tight. The center section looked perfect but was not. There are many post here about the center sections slightly out of round. I had to tap on the center section just a little with a hammer lightly and adjust the door like this.

Take your time and think twice before you bend. I over corrected several times by just a little. Look at the inside fit if that makes sense not the outside. Or like others have said the gasket.
I did the compression lock also had had the file to center some for it to close right,so be ready for that to. My 18 is an older version but the new 22 worked fine. I am very happy now. I think you should look at the hinge for the lid next from Unkown BBQ that is my favorite mod.
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I also purchased the door for my 18.5 with the latch installed and have gaps at the top even after putting on the Nomex gasket. I have contacted them twice with no response. Thus far neither their product nor their customer service impressive.
CB door gap

I bought the gasket kit and door last year. Used the door twice last year and it did leak some and figured the gasket kit would fix it. I installed the gasket kit just 24 hours ago and will see if it leaks this weekend. Im thinking its going to. Here are some of the pics. Thoughts?

CB door gap by Berner9, on Flickr
CB door gap by Berner9, on Flickr
CB door gap by Berner9, on Flickr
That is pretty much how mine looks as well Andy. I installed the gasket this past Saturday and haven't fired the cooker up yet. I'm planning to this Saturday and I'm thinking that there is still going to some leakage around the door. It's also frustrated me that I've sent 3 emails to CB and they have not responded.
I think that will probably won't leak. I had to install the compression latch. You might be able to bend the door to fit. It looks slightly too flat to me.
I know I'm talking about the 22.5 and you have the 18.5, but my Cajun door was a terrible fit. It had huge gaps after installing the nomex gasket kit. My weber latch broke almost immediately as well. I purchased the compression latch and the fit was still awful. So I started bending the Cajun door and after about 25 - 30 tweaks and bends on each side, it finally fits with no air leaks. It was a pain and I wasn't happy about the whole situation. I was going to purchase a door for my 14.5 too, but after all the hassle with my 22.5 I decided against it.
My door was way out of round on my 22. 4 inches from center going both ways was almost flat. I even heated it up with a cutting torch and tried to bend and fit it to circumference of the WSM. Still hand a huge gaps on both corners. Called CB and they made it right. There customer service was spot on.
I bought a CB door for my 18.5" WSM several years ago. It wasn't a good fit. I tried warping it into shape a couple of times without much luck. I contacted CB and they said they would send me another door. They never did and I never heard from them again. So, I tried again to warp it and did so successfully. My 18 has been running with it ever since. But, when I bought the 22.5 WSM last year, I did not buy a CB door for it.
They are great at CB. Send them an email and I'm sure they'll send just the latch. Might pay a little extra for processing and shipping but whose fault is that. I just did the same thing with the CB stacker. I did not think I would use the charcoal ring and heat deflector. Later I decided it might be nice to do smaller smokes on the kettle. I contacted CB and they arranged a special invoice to get the additional parts. It cost me about $15 more to do this, but it was my own fault for not ordering the package.

The people at CB are great to do business with. I'll be a lifetime customer.