Step 1: Remove the cooking grate and rock grate
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PHOTO 1: Remove the grate and rocks
Lift off the cooking grate and set it aside on newspaper. Scoop the lava rocks or ceramic briquettes into a bucket.
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PHOTO 2: Remove the flame bar
Pull out the rock grate and set it aside. Lift off the vapor bar or flame spreader. Remove any lava rocks or briquettes that have fallen through the rock grate.
Renovating a grill involves three steps. You clean grease and grime off the grill. Repaint oxidized and faded parts with high-temp paint, and replace worn-out parts (get replacement parts at most home centers). Your grill may not look exactly like the one we show in the photos, but the components will be similar. Caution: Before doing any work, disconnect the gas supply or propane tank, and wear gloves to protect your hands from incredibly dirty grease stains.
Start by removing the cooking grate, warming rack and lava rocks as shown in Photo 1. If the lava rocks are more than a year old or saturated with grease, replace them with new lava rocks or ceramic briquettes. The rock grate holds the lava rocks or briquettes above the burner. Under the rock grate there will be either a vapor bar or flame spreader, which protects the burner from dripping grease. Remove the rock grate and expose the burner as shown in Photo 2. The burner will be held in place with screws or retaining clips hooked into the venturi tubes.
Step 2: Test the igniter
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PHOTO 3: Check the igniter
Hold a mirror behind the igniter collector box and push the igniter button several times. If you see a spark, the igniter is good. If not, replace it (Photo 5).
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PHOTO 4: Unhook igniter wire
Pull the igniter wire off the end of the igniter button. Unhook the burner retaining springs from the venturi tube holes with a pliers.
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PHOTO 5: Remove the igniter assembly
Unscrew the igniter collector box from the burner. Pull out the collector box, electrode and igniter wire and set aside.
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PHOTO 6: Remove the igniter button
Remove the igniter button. Either squeeze the igniter retaining clips together, or remove the retaining nut, and push the igniter free from the control panel.
Next, test the igniter electrode for a spark (Photo 3). When you push the igniter button, the electrode in the collector box sparks and ignites the gas. If the igniter wire sheathing has worn off, cover the exposed spots with electrical tape and retest. Most igniters fail because the spark never makes it to the electrode. If the igniter doesn't work, replace the entire igniter assembly. Photo 4 shows how to disconnect the igniter wire and remove the retaining clips from the venturi tubes, which carry gas from the control panel to the burners. Remove the igniter collector box from the burner (Photo 5) and the igniter button (Photo 6) from the control panel.
Step 3: Remove and clean the burner assembly
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PHOTO 7: Remove the burner
Pull out the burner, sliding the venturi tubes free from their mounting slots. If the burner has heavy rust or is rusted through, replace it.
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PHOTO 8: Clean the venturi tubes
Push a venturi cleaning brush or large pipe cleaner into the end of the venturi tubes to clean out spider webs (a common obstruction) and other debris.
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PHOTO 9: Poke open clogged burner holes
Open clogged burner holes with a small wire or finish nail, and scrub the burner clean with a wire brush if it’s dirty or rusty.
The burner assembly is the heart of the grill. Remove and clean it as shown in Photos 7 – 9. If the burner or venturi tubes have excessive rust and the burner holes are rusted through, replace the burner assembly. These assemblies can be expensive.
Step 4: Scrub the grill body
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PHOTO 10: Scrape the interior
Loosen cooking buildup from the grill hood and body with a plastic putty knife. Scrub the inside of the grill with soap and water.
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PHOTO 11: Scrub the interior
Remove stubborn interior buildup with an oven or grill cleaner. Work outside so you don't breathe the cleaner fumes.
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PHOTO 12: Scrub the cooking grate
Scrape the cooking grate with a wire brush or grate cleaning brush. Soak the grate with oven cleaner to remove stubborn buildup.
Once you pull out all the parts, remove grease buildup from the body (Photo 10).Remove stubborn grease film with an oven or grill cleaner (Photo 11). Clean the viewing glass with a glass cleaner. Dislodge buildup from the cooking grate with a wire brush or the special grill cleaning brush shown in Photo 12.
Step 5: Restore the exterior
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PHOTO 13: Refinish the wood
Sand the wood slats with 100-grit sandpaper. Stain the wood to restore the color and seal with Danish oil or linseed oil.
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PHOTO 14: Restore the painted finish
Sand the metal exterior with 220-grit sandpaper to remove rust and oxidation. Spray the grill with a high-temperature barbecue paint.
Scrub down the wooden slats with sandpaper, and recoat them with a matching stain (Photo 13).After the grill interior has been cleaned, remove grease from the exterior with soap and water or a degreaser. Sand any oxidation off the grill body with 220-grit sandpaper, and touch up the paint (Photo 14).