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E-Z LOK Fan Mod

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 


First off, let me say that I'm hoping you guys will find this mod as useful at I did. It's nothing too spectacular, but it could hopefully open up the door for some new ideas for chassis mounting, or at the very least fix some stripped holes. If you're like me, you may frequently change or move things around in your rig, and when it comes mounting fans I've always loathed inability for the average fan manufacturer to use a plastic that withstands multiple mounts/dismounts. If anything, you can be rid of your traditional fan screws and their tendency to strip (yes I'm talking to you AP-15)

To start, you will need :

  • EZ LOK part number 260-006-BR (50 pack)
  • 6-32 x 3/8 screws, your choice on color and type
  • Screwdriver to drive chosen screws
  • Household oil, or fishing reel oil
  • BIC lighter
  • Drill with a 3/16 drill bit in chuck
  • Small hammer, preferably a gunsmith or jewelers hammer with a plastic/brass end
  • Gunsmith block or similar
  • A Practice fan
  • Any other fans you want to modify after you gain confidence






First, start off by drilling your holes in the fan body. I run the bit all the way through, as I usually E-Z LOK both sides. On each side make sure the hole is straight, but move the drill in the slightest circular motion. This opens up hole just a tad more, to help avoid cracking of the fan body later when expanding the LOKs.




Next, rest the fan on the gunsmith block or other equivalent non-marring surface. Place the E-Z LOK in the hole and tap in gently with the hammer, checking to make sure in is going in straight. When fully seated the flange will sit about a mm above the fan body, as seen in the last picture.








At this point, take your reel/household oil and sparingly drop the smallest of droplets into the brass fitting. You should not really even see a whole drop fall in, the idea is to just barely wet the threads. Then, thread your 6-32 screw hand tight into the pressed in E-Z LOK fitting.







This next part is critically important. Take the lighter and apply heat to the protruding screw head, taking care to try to use the blue part of the flame and stay away from plastic. Keep the fire on the screw head for at least 10 seconds!. The goal here is to conduct heat down into the brass E-Z LOK, so the plastic around it softens slightly. After heating, quickly start tightening the screw in with your screwdriver. This will expand the E-Z LOK and set it into the housing. Some squeaking and friction is normal as you tighten the screw, the oil aids in smoothing this.







That's it! Do this to the remaining holes and you will have a fan complete and ready to mount with any style 6-32 screw you choose.


Edited by theChisel - 11/6/12 at 10:27pm
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post #2 of 10
That, good sir, is an awesome idea! +rep
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks man thumb.gif

It was trial and error to find the right process that wouldn't crack the holes of the fan body. I actually sacrificed a fan or two, but they are still perfectly useable as radiator mounted fans with pass-through bolts. I figured that if anyone wanted/needed to try this mod, they could now do so with relatively low risk of hurting a fan by following the above steps.
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post #4 of 10
Awesome guide! It looks clean too.
What purpose does the oil serve? To make the screw easier to screw in? Or am I missing something?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Correct, the oil serves as a mild thread lubricant. The brass EZ-LOK's have a tendency to squeak with friction as you run the screw through them to expand them for the first time. During my first attempt at this, I didn't like how hot this friction made the nut, regardless of the fact that I was heating it with a lighter. I'd rather the heat come from an external controllable source, as opposed to stressing the brass threads themselves.

There are better options, like Boelube for example, but I simply used what I had on hand. Apply the oil sparingly though, the last thing you want is a mess biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 10
Ah, I see. Thanks for the info. +rep for the guide

Also, can these be used to mount rads with a long screw or do the inserts have a limit to the screw length?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
No prob man, thanks!

The inserts have no limit, you can run any 6-32 screw completely through it until it hits something on the other end. As far as mounting rads, those are usually pre-threaded. Are you speaking of a type of scenario where the original threaded holes on the rad are damaged and would need the insert so there is something to fasten a screw to again?

Shoot me an example
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Just an example of a way to use these inserts to their potential :








Two screws are able to support the pump on the back of this 120mm fan, very sturdily in fact.
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post #9 of 10
I really like this mod but those inserts are darn 'spensive!
Scratch that! Used the product number I find them for $8.00 for 50!
Edited by S3ason - 11/23/12 at 6:46am
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
That's a pretty good deal thumb.gif

I spent a bit more to buy them locally, but the price was worth not having to wait. Also, if you are considering ordering, there is a flush fitting version of this nut that works well if you plan to run plastic fan filters, etc.



240-006-BR

Also, straight from the E-Z LOK page, "Hole size requirements may vary depending on a number of factors, including material and tools. We recommend that you test your particular application before ordering. We gladly supply free samples."
Edited by theChisel - 11/23/12 at 2:39pm
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