Thanks for the input. Now for the lid...
So the Maverick worked like the charm. Drilled a hole that was 1/2" instead of 3/8" but the washers took care of that.
My latest question is now with the lid. I was cruising along with the other mods until I tried to attach the fiberglass rope to the lip of the lid to close the gap at the top of the smoker. I was afraid that it'd have a hard time sticking to I took the advice of others and attached the rope first with some screws, roughly 4" apart, figuring I'd have an easier time of adding the silicone if the rope was already more or less in place.
I didn't have any sandpaper or roughening device on hand so I couldn't rough up the surface, and I probably used too much having never worked with the silicone before, though it was also somewhat of a pain trying to get it to look good, while wearing gloves to guard against the obvious dangers of the fiberglass. And while I perhaps could have gotten away with not using the silicone, the lid now looks terrible.
So I could either try and remove some of the silicone, replace the gasket for a new one, replace the gasket and insulate with something else, or keep the gasket and perhaps wrap it in some tin foil, since that would keep the excess silicone (and any loose fiberglass shreds) away from any food.
Has anyone else butchered the rope? I'm just waiting on some stainless steel wire to attach my charcoal ring to my 13" charcoal grate, then I'll reattach the lid handle and I'm ready for a pre-Memorial Day maiden voyage to test it out this weekend with some Cowboy lump mixed with a few briquettes before I can hopefully cook it next weekend using Ozark Oak.
I'll post more pics, as I owe some folks here for suggestions to a newbie.