I had to install my own clips and washers to keep the shield in place. I was trying to run w/o the shield and during our learning curve we were getting too much smoke out the door. Found the best way to avoid this was to reload when down to coals only but it takes awhile to know when it's at this stage. So, we reinstalled the shield for 2 seasons with my own fasteners. Just recently installed the smoke hood and thought that's the end of smoke, but when I was out of town last week the Mrs switched over to oil. She did remember to pull the smoke plug for the oil channel but when she decide to go back to burning wood she installed the plug in the wrong hole....lotsa smoke! The damper adjustment for us was to get the setting that best avoided the rumble that we semed to get when too much air was involved during a prolonged burn. Limiting the air intake not only resolved that for us but seemed to extend the time the load would last while still getting gasification. You'll figure all this out during your own learning curve.