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modding an old case for new parts (build log)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
hey everyone, I currently have one of the cooler master HAF series cases, its a good case, but not quite cutting it for my needs, its a little to fat for where i'm going to place it, has tons of bays for HD's and Drives, super ventilated... but for my watercooled rig, with only 2 hard drives and no dvd/cd drive ( call me crazy ) but... its just not as flashy as I would like, I have to mount my radiator externally, dust magnet ( have to keep the computer on the floor ) and hides all my pretty parts, and for all the features and the price of the case ($100) it still feels cheap...

So, instead of going out and buying a new case, I got this beauty of a case for $20. ( as well as some old computer parts )

standard width case, cool plexi door that hinges off, (super easy to take on and off) but its an older case, and all the drive bays are for the older type of mounting, the hardware that was in the case dates it around 2003-2005, and for the color... its... unique?... i'm guessing it used to be neon yellow, but has faded into this green yellow color... needless to say, it will be painted.

The goals for this case mod will be
- paint external and internal
- remove bay drive/hard drive mounting slots
- keep everything internal ( mount my huge radiator inside the case, not external like on the HAF )
- keep the case as clean looking as possible, while still being flashy


One thing I am concerned about is airflow... this case has none...

there are two smaller fan slots in the back, and in the front, and lucky for me, I have 2 fans that fit them, they are semi loud, but compared to an external radiator with 6 fans on it... i don't think it will be that bad.

Steps:
1. is mounting all my components into the case where they will fit and find out where they will go.
I have a mo-bo that is in the process of RMA, so i'm using it as a temp part in the case.
2. (today) gonna plan on drilling out the rivets holding the bay drives in, and hopefully, mount everything else in the case

Obviously, the PSU unit its top mounted, so i tossed my unit it, although I may flip it upside down (see pic below) to allow the wires to be more towards the back, and the red part of the PSU will be more visable, as well as the fan will be on the bottom, so could help the ventalation a bit.

Mo-Bo fits fine, and there is plenty of room for my GTX 580, ram, water block, etc.

Everything seems pretty straight forward, except for mounting the rad. In the pictures below, i'm going to remove the drive bays, and am planning on mounting it vertically on the right of the mo-bo, where the bay drives were.

the case has a door to cover the drives, so since that will be empty, i'm going to place a fan there to keep the air moving in this thing.

History: my computer build process has been, weird, everything i have i got either used, or new for cheap, so despite all the hardware, i'm not spending a ton on this, and won't be spending much on the case mod either ( its not going to be flawless and a crazy case mod like some on here, deff a budget mod. )

and for those who are wondering, specs
i7 2600k @ 4.5ghz
Full XSPC water loop
GTX 580 water cooled
either an Asus p867 evo, or P67 Sabertooth mother board ( have both, not sure which to go with )
60gig SSD 500gig HD
etc...

so... Questions for the readers
1. What color should I paint? (all one color) i'm thinking yellow ( running blue/UV lights in the case )
2. I currently use screw hose clamps for my tubing, but have those plastic "click" clamps... are those secure/leak proof?
3. What do you guys think?

and ofc, any tips, ideas, comments, etc are welcome.

PICS
(first one is my current set up)
359


550


700
Edited by ClaytonGFinley - 1/30/12 at 8:16am
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was planning on drilling out the rivets, but may end up going to get a cheapo $10 dremel to make it easier....
post #3 of 23
I would recommend getting one of these guys, Ive heard they are the equivalent of a dremmel but without the hefty price tag and you can use the bulk rotary discs off of ebay to save some major money

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-RTX-B-Rotary-Storage/dp/B000MUSLCC
 
Project Sophos
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel 3930k Asus P9X79 Deluxe  EVGA GTX 670 2GB 2670-KR EVGA GTX 670 2GB 2670-KR 
RAMHard DriveCoolingCooling
G.Skill Sniper 16GB  Western Digital Caviar Black 1Tb EK Supreme LTX CPU Plexi/Nickel waterblock EK GTX 670 Plexi/Copper waterblock  
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
EK GTX 670 Plexi/Copper waterblock  Dual Swiftech 655-B Pumps with Bitspower Top Two XSPC RX480 Radiators Windows 7-64 bit 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
3 Dell S2340L 23" Cooler Master 1000w Silent Pro Custom Oak Desk Logitech G700 
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AMD 1100T 3.3Ghz @ 4.012Ghz Asus Sabertooth 990FX Sparkle GTX 560TI EVGA Geforce GTX 460 Fermi 
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Patriot G2 Western Digital Caviar Blue Western Digital Caviar Blue none - their ancient 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-Supreme LTX CPU Water Block - Acetal EK-VGA Supreme HF High Performance GPU Water Bl... Tejava glass bottle Swiftech MCP-655B 
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Masterkleer 1/2" ID 3/4" OD tubing Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit Windows 7 64-bit I-inc 22" 
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Samsung ECC 2Rx4 PC3 10600R E1-P1 Western Digital Black Western Digital Blue Western Digital Blue 
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Project Sophos
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel 3930k Asus P9X79 Deluxe  EVGA GTX 670 2GB 2670-KR EVGA GTX 670 2GB 2670-KR 
RAMHard DriveCoolingCooling
G.Skill Sniper 16GB  Western Digital Caviar Black 1Tb EK Supreme LTX CPU Plexi/Nickel waterblock EK GTX 670 Plexi/Copper waterblock  
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
EK GTX 670 Plexi/Copper waterblock  Dual Swiftech 655-B Pumps with Bitspower Top Two XSPC RX480 Radiators Windows 7-64 bit 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
3 Dell S2340L 23" Cooler Master 1000w Silent Pro Custom Oak Desk Logitech G700 
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AMD 1100T 3.3Ghz @ 4.012Ghz Asus Sabertooth 990FX Sparkle GTX 560TI EVGA Geforce GTX 460 Fermi 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Patriot G2 Western Digital Caviar Blue Western Digital Caviar Blue none - their ancient 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-Supreme LTX CPU Water Block - Acetal EK-VGA Supreme HF High Performance GPU Water Bl... Tejava glass bottle Swiftech MCP-655B 
CoolingOSOSMonitor
Masterkleer 1/2" ID 3/4" OD tubing Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit Windows 7 64-bit I-inc 22" 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
I-inc 22" Logitech k-300 Gaming Keyboard Thermaltake Toughpower 775 Watt Power Supply Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadOther
Logitech G700 Eh they're useless Scythe Kaze Master Pro 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel Xeon E5-2670  Intel Xeon E5-2670  Intel S2600CP2 Headless 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung ECC 2Rx4 PC3 10600R E1-P1 Western Digital Black Western Digital Blue Western Digital Blue 
OSPowerCase
Centos 7x64 EVGA 750w Bronze Fractal Design Core 3500 
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post #4 of 23
I bought mine from a pawn shop for 20 bucks. It has served me well thus far too!
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
There is a store called "harbor freight tools" (not sure which areas they serve) but they sell basically throw away tools, cheap stuff you buy when you only are going to use it a few times then throw away when you are done. they have a $10 kit that has a unit plus some cutting wheels etc.

If i got one, I would end up cutting out the entire front side, and mount my fans in there, so to allow air to be brought in and through the radiator.

I'm thinking of going a yellow/blue scheme on the paint, as i kinda like the look of the yellow, and already have blue lights and tube wrapping.

If all goes well, I'll have the system ready to paint tonight, and hopefully put it all together tomorrow evening. and while i'm at it, i'll go get some new thermal paste, since i'm gonna need to clean and remount the GPU/CPU blocks. ( i hate computer downtime )

Also, if i got a dremmel, I can mod my 580 shroud to fit back on the card, and still use the stock fan and be WC'ed as well ( universal block on it )

and as for the HD's, i'm using a 2.5" ssd and a HDD, but i have a special bracket that holds 2 of them in one HD slot, so i'm gonna drill holes and mount it somewhere inside the case

Ideally, I want as minimal amount of wires and hardware showing through the plexi as possible.

Also I want to add a T line valve, so I can easily drain the system with just a turn of a knob.
Edited by ClaytonGFinley - 1/30/12 at 10:10am
post #6 of 23
I actually have that same case. I did yellow and white.


P1010009.jpg 58k .jpg file

P1010007.jpg 55k .jpg file
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klipsch pro-media 2.1 
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Update! I gutted the insides, mounted the mo bo I will be using, and also mounted the radiator, by drilling some new mounting points. I'm not too sure that the rad will be as shown or rotate it so that the air pushing flows through the case , which will require another custom mount, but I think it will end up working but not look as neat, but probably would not pinch the tubing as much, so I suppose ill just end up doing that if I can find a decent way to mount Tue rad. Planning on getting a fully working mock up, and will dissassemble this weekend and paint. I'm doing a rough mock up right now, so once, its done being fully mocked up. I'll find ways to improve the set up.

Anyway, I'm hoping to finish the mock up tomorrow. Pics in the morning.
post #8 of 23
Can't wait to see the pics.
I have the exact same case that I am planning on overhauling this summer.

Look forward to seeing what you do. biggrin.gif
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Alright, so here are some pictures, to make everything fit somewhat decently, I had to drill out all the rivets that hold the bay drives in, as well as the ones holding the top plate on.
I will either have the top plate held on by zip ties, or possibly some thumb screws if I have any left over.

As you can see, the power supply is on the PSU rails, and the pump/res is sitting above the rad ( only place i had room for it ) I need to drill a few more holes so I can mount my hard drives above the PSU unit, and I did flip the PSU so it can help draw out more air ( fan on bottom now )

I do have a DVD drive, which i could make fit in the case, i'm just going to not put it in, I rarely use it, and everything is easily downloadable these days.

Only thing Thats left to do is
- rotate the rad ( if possible )
- Get the 580 water block on, and loop tubing all hooked up.
- hook up all the cables
- re assemble the case

The above will be pretty straight forward, except this case has ZERO cable management, and I don't have a modular PSU, so keeping clutter down and keeping the system looking decent will be a big challange ( which is why the hard drives are going above the PSU, to hide them, and to keep down wire clutter from being seen. ( don't have the time or tools to proper sleeve the wiring )

the reason I had to take the top off is its the only place that I have right now where I can put the rez/pump, and to fill it, i need to take the top panel off. But, i can take the whole case apart in about a min, so it allows me to get to everything very quickly unlike the other case I have.

My mother board has its own on/off button, and i'm tempted to just use that instead of wiring up the on/off button to the front for now. i'm still not happy with the look that i've got going so far, but i'm 99% sure its just the case color (ugly mustard) once I get it all cleaned up and painted, i'm sure it will look alot more attractive, but worst case senario, I can always throw everything back in my old case.

Sorry for the crappy pic quality, couldnt get the lighting right
700

700
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
i think the real test for my build will be temps in this case compared to my old case, i can pretty much bet everything I own on higher temps, but the question will be how much higher, an OC'ed i7 and OC'ed 580 usually pumps around 50°c while hard core gaming... i'm expecting a good 5-10°c increase with this case. Everything is still in the safe zone, but if its ever a problem, back to the other case you go.
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