Cwmr- just read your reply(s). Cool glad you found a better fitting drum. Sounds like your first one was tweaked or something and getting stuck. Snug is one thing but having to yank and pry is another. As for your concern of lower rack cooking too hot, it's really not an issue. Sure whatever's down there will cook a little faster, but you can use this to your advantage, or by running a drilled diffuser(pizza pan, whatever) you can pretty much eliminate that small difference altogether. Just don't put the rack super low and you'll be good. Fwiw I think I got about 7" between my grates. Anyway, have fun and don't over think it, UDS building and Q is sposta be fun after all.
UDS'-55&16, Akorn, Bar-B-Q Kettle, Drum Grill, miniWSM, cobweb-covered gasser. I'm JD.