So after reading the whole thread on Partial Mash setups AND reading BYO's great into article I just had to jump in and try my hand at it. After all the posts detailing the woe at Home Depot, Lowes etc. I was a little worried. But I came up with an easy solution and wanted to share it. Get the SS braid and keep the facotry spout. When I opened my victory cooler I saw that the spout had some threads showing thru past the nut. I bought a 3/8 FIP to barb adapter, Clamped on my SS braided hose and screwed it to the treads showing, levaing the entire fatory spout and seal intact. Worked GREAT!!! and all done for about $20 including cooler (target had the 2 gallon of $9) I you do this don't tighten the FIP adapter very much. There's not much of those plastic threads showing. Hand tight will be fine cuz if it "leaks" its just some more wort enetering the spout. I admit that it's a little bit of a PITA to stand there and hold the spout open while collecting wort but since this is just a partial mash collecting less than two gallons on each sparge it's not that big a deal. Check the pics.
BTW does has anybody had any luck finding a 3 gallon cooler? Target only had 2 and 5. and I'm already thinking about the 5 gallon!