Originally Posted by foxer
Ok, I put my Traeger together and used it with the standard control. Now I want to install the digital control and I'm finding the Traeger instructions lacking. Any tips? I think I got shorted a bolt and nut.
I realize (after the fact) that this post is quite old, but I thought my recent experience might be useful to anyone else installing the Traeger digital thermostat unit in an older Traeger grill. We bought our Traeger Texas Grill in 2000, but in 2012 decided to upgrade the three level control unit to the new digital thermostat unit. I discovered two critical issues.
1. The instructions for installation pertain only to newer model Traeger grills and reference construction details of the grills that are not found in the old models. The diagram of how to install the RTD (Resistive Temperature Detector) probe is very confusing to someone with an older grill because it has a different construction. For older grills you have to drill two holes in the horizontal lip along the left end of the grill. One hole is for the RTD Probe and signal cables, and the other hole is for the mounting screw. the probe should be in a vertical position in about the center of the left end of the grill. You also have to drill an approximately 3/16" hole through the two layers of sheet metal between the cooking chamber and the pellet chamber to run the wires from the RTD probe.
2. The older model grills have a large gap (approx 2.75") between the left end of the drip pan and the left wall of the grill cooking chamber. The RTD probe is mounted vertically into the lip along the left end of the grill wall and is directly in the path of the hottest air flow from the fire pot in the lower chamber. Because of this, the RTD probe registers between 20° and 90°, hotter than the actual cooking temperature of the grill as measured by the original thermometer that was mounted in the grill cover about 4" from the smokestack vent. The new controller limits the maximum temperature when set on HIGH, as registered by the RTD, to about 450°. At this point the cooking temperature of the grill will only be about 360°. With the old controller, it could achieve 450° or more. To correct this problem, I fabricated a sheet metal baffle to completely block the large gap at the end of the drip pan. This changes the air flow so that the RTD probe doesn't read abnormally high and allows the grill to reach its normal maximum temperature at the original thermometer.