I have had the urge to try this for quite a while now but the old smoker has been buried in the garage and doesn't get much use anymore. Well this weekend I am cleaning and playing in the garage and finally made it happen. Obviously this will only work with models where the whole lid opens. Basically all I did was remove the screws holding the lid on, rotate the lid around and drill new holes.
I need to get a better, thicker plate than what I have now. What is in there is 22 gauge steel I used as a baffle and tuning plates in the old configuration. It worked alright but wasn't a good seal around the firebox opening. Now in the RF setup I definitely need a better seal and thicker metal to keep that heat from going right out the exhaust.
I did a rack of ribs and some Spam today as a test. It worked as expected, poorly but maybe fixable. The diffuser around the firebox opening had too many leaks and the metal was too thin. I had to get a pretty hot fire and the temp gauge next to the firebox and exhaust was usually reading 300-350*. However, in the middle of the rack with an oven thermo and on the left, the temps ran right around 225*. I am hopeful that a thicker plate that is cut better to provide a better seal will force more of the heat down the cook chamber and allow for more even temps. I do still think it will eat more fuel this way but its all in the fun of experimenting. I also had to remove all of my "seals" around the lid to switch it around so now it leaks like a sieve again. In all though, it will be something fun to play with this summer.