I played with mine today. Surprisingly, it could get over 700 degrees before the mod. Hot enough to burn the bottom crust before the top cooked. I decided to modify it anyway because the top element would go off during cooking. I figure if I could turn it up to "11" after putting the pizza in, I could keep the top element on and not have to finish the pizza under the broiler of my conventional oven.
Unfortunately I ran into a couple of snags. In the process I've removed and replaced pretty much every screw except the one that retains the thermostat knob.
I'm currently at an impasse until I can figure out what to do.
The dial under the control knob is reverse threaded. While trying to reassemble the machine after bending the tab, I inadvertantly completely unthreaded the dial until it fell out. (I'm calling the copper colored piece that the tab is attached to the dial). Out of it fell a ceramic pin (which I found) and I think I glimpsed some sort of tiny cylindrical black part, but I couldn't fine it afterwards. I'm guessing it is some kind of spacer or retaining feature for the ceramic pin. You can see the bottom half of the ceramic pin in Villa Roma's last picture. Its what "connects" the dial to the bimetallic strip contact.
So I don't know if I'm missing a part. When I try to reassemble the machine the knob doesn't engage the dial unless I unscrew the dial to the point that it is floppy. If the ceramic pin were longer, or there were some type of spacer in there I think it would solve the problem.
The other problem I have is that in the process the nut that was brazed onto the lid (for the screw shown in the 2nd picture) broke off. I can't believe how tenuously it was originally attached! I think I can get around that just by drilling a hole in the lid, getting a longer screw, and just putting the nut on from the outside. I never said it would be pretty.
Finally, the insulating sleeve on the wire to the "on" light floats and leaves bare wire exposed. I don't know if electrical tape is safe inside there with the temperatures it will be experiencing.