New "Old" Spirit

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
I saw this new Spirit - well, actually the OLD Spirit revived and brought back. This one is the three burner, the better version sporting a stainless hood.





Except for more stainless and less glossy black trim, it is very similar to the one I saw in Germany this fall:



You may agree with me that the glossy black looks cooler, although I am not as sure how well it would hold up under use.

So, you could say they just decided to squeeze a dime or two by further amortizing the setup costs on the earlier Spirit even though they now have a SPIRIT II. Maybe they felt that the older one with its closed cabinet might attract buyers put off by the squat hood and open cart of the Spirit II.

Two things on this model that I DO really like:
(1) Stainless flavorizer bars

(2) An inner hood heat shield that looks like it could actually be REPLACED!!! Miracles of miracles for restorers like some of us or for ANY owner whose inner shield succumbs to heat, grease and old age.

Note the special bolts (screws?) that hold the heat shield in instead of the spot welds previously used:



 
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Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Jon it looks to me as thought instead of spot welds, they are using rivets to hold the heat shield directly to the outside lid which is then bolted to the end caps. But, drilling out a rivet is a simple job and if you choose to replace the heat shield, replacing the rivets is a ten dollar rivet gun and a couple bucks for rivets.
I wonder if they did anything to belay the rust problem on the base of those. Probably not.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
You are probably right, Bruce. I will look more closely when I go back. I thought they were those special hex screws.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Jon: You could be right. But my guess would be rivets from what I can see in the photo. But, the rivets would be better than spot welds.
 

Stefan H

TVWBB Wizard
My concern on these is the rust issue on the cabinet floor. Not sure they are better than then the models from a few years ago. And if you look at the warranty details the cabinet is NOT covered with 10 years. The Spirit II however gets 10 years on everything.
"Old" Spirit:
- 10 years on cookbox, lid and burners
- 5 years on flavorizer bars and grates
- 2 years on everything else

Spirit II:
- 10 years on everything

However in Germany people prefer these over the Spirit II because of the closed cabinets.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
I'd be willing to bet lunch that those are pop rivets, the ring around the mandrel hole is a dead giveaway. Drilling those out still might be entertaining due to how close they are to hood sides. I'd reach in with an angle grinder and take the heads off.
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
It appears to me that the heat shield is riveted to a pair of brackets that are bolted to the lid skin and sides. Disassemble the lid assembly (lid skin, sides and heat shield), and it should be easy to drill out the rivets. But the schematic on Weber.com indicates the lid assembly is a single part number. So it would seem that if a heat shield is trashed, the options are get a new lid assembly or fab a new heat shield.
 

Stefan H

TVWBB Wizard
This external tank cover is needed because the European tanks don't fit inside the cabinet. And it causes problems with the cabinet. There have been countless reports that a full propane tank hanging on the outside causes the cabinet to twist/warp towards the right side. The cabinet is not strong enough to hold a tank. The European tanks are heavier since they hold about 25lbs (11 Kg) of propane. And Europe does not get the tank scales for the propane tanks.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Maybe not such a great deal for our European friends after all...

I went back to Lowes today for another errand and took some more pictures. It is clear that what I thought were torque screws are, in fact, rivets.



They are, just as J Grotz noted, riveted to brackets that then are held to the hood by the quick nuts that hold on the side pieces.



Really, that is still a big improvement. But, if Weber won't sell you a replacement of just the heat shield, then this improvement does the consumer (or restorer) no good. I certainly hope Weber will allow people to replace this part as needed since it is a high wear, relatively short-lived component much like flavorizer bars.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Another quick look at the new "old" Spirit

When I took the pictures of the rivets discussed above, I also looked briefly at a couple other things

New Knobs

The knobs are an update. I am sure for simplification and cost savings the two-part front with the snap-in red piece for the kettle logo has been replaced with a single circle with the kettle logo stamped/etched without color directly as part of the piece. Hard to say how well these will hold up. The old ones fade quickly but can be restored with polish and red paint if the chrome isn't too far gone.



The lower cabinet on this US version looks just like it did before. This one sports a revised black paint color, but I didn't see any evidence that it was improved. Should have been made of aluminum, but they expect the bottom to support the tank, so maybe that isn't feasible. Definitely doomed to rust out, at least in my climate and anywhere with much humidity.

 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Yah, unless they (or aftermarket) sell the liner separately, it does no good. I doubt they changed to rivets so they could be more easily replaced though. I am sure it is either a manufacturing cost savings move or durability/performance move.
 

Stefan H

TVWBB Wizard
I think the heat shield of the lid is the least concern since it is covered by a 10 year warranty. The cabinet will probably give out first. But I like the black color. Easier to restore than the grey color which you cant really match with paint available in stores.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Yep, good observation guys. Black paint is easy to match and more forgiving to redo.

I really like the ready removability of this hood heat shield. I would be surprised if Weber will warranty 6-year old grills where the hood itself is fine but the inner heat liner is all corroded as they all get in that amount of time. It would be in their best interest to offer the shield as a separate replacement part.
 
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JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
Ugh. Looking at the bracket & heat shield..... It's definitely designed for manufacture, not replacement or repair. Replacing the heatshield, even if you could just get the one piece, wouldn't be pleasant for most people.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Platinum Member
Ugh. Looking at the bracket & heat shield..... It's definitely designed for manufacture, not replacement or repair. Replacing the heatshield, even if you could just get the one piece, wouldn't be pleasant for most people.
I guess all I see is removing the two side pieces and off it comes. Maybe I am underestimating. The older grills with these heat shields had them directly spot welded to the hood. Live with it or cut it out. No other real option.
 

Bruce

TVWBB Olympian
Jon: I think what he is saying it still isn't an easy process for a regular grill guy to remove and replace the heat shield. Especially since you likely would not be able to buy just the heat shield if you wanted a replacement, you would need to get the entire hood.

Simply removing it however would be pretty simply in my opinion, even for the average DIY guy. I would think it easier than removing a welded one. I tried last summer on a Gold and it didn't go too well. I gave up and sold the grill with the heat shield in place. It was in good shape, but badly stained with burned on carbon/grease.
 

PDay

New member
Hi Stefan. I have a 2013 Spirit S320 and can confirm that a 5kg gas tank can be housed inside the cart body. Hanging the alternative 13kg on the side of the cart and fastening with a clip is really a 2 person job. I have notice some areas of rust on the floor of the cart but have polished this off and treated with WD40 to provide a shield. The issues is water ingress under the cart door. The appropriate weber cover does not reach the floor when on and can allow water to get in under the helm. However, it is million % better than the cover for the performer deluxe which only comes with one fastening so even in the lightest wind comes off.

I too have started to notice rust spots forming in the inside of the heat shield. There is a also a definite cold spot on the first burner behind the control knob.
 

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