This will be the 4th season for my 983. Have not needed to replace any parts. Although I did have to rewire the right blower, not because of a defect, but because my DH took a nap with the ash door open. Way overfired the stove, melted the blower wires, but everything else is still intact.
I have a friend that installed the hopper version for this season. He doesn't have any coal yet, so hasn't fired it up. If not for the expense, I definately would change to the hopper insert. Much easier to fill.