Thanks for the quick replies. I will try alternate wood.
Here are the answers to the questions posted above.
1. How far from the bottom are your air intakes? - About 2 inches
2. Is your charcoal basket raised up from the bottom? - about 2 inches
3. If it is then how high? - about 2 inches
4. What is your exhaust setup? - Instead of a 2 inch hole I cut 3 X 1 inch holes and added the same pipe fittings as the intake. I keep 1 capped most of the time and then can adjust the other two as needed.
Brinkmann Smoke N Grill