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Project: '88 Camaro Cooling

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Over the next week or two I will be attempting to finally get my other rig together and running. Having "stalled" on my custom acrylic case, I opted for one of those Monarch Lian-Li deals and am now beginning to cut into a perfectly beautiful $200 retail case. I'm not doing much but figured I would share nonetheless. Right now there are only two projects on this one:

1. Custom H2O system
2. Side panel cut-out/window.

The custom H2O system is using a '88 Camero heater core (why...cuz that's what Pep boys had...lol) that will be mounted internally. It happened to be 160x160 (measured after I brought it home) and as luck has it it will fit nicely...just needs a shrowd. Well, that will be a little later and there'll be pics as I am actually using two 120's to feed it (about 180 CFM total) so it got a little more complicated. What I can tell you now is that the entire air flow will be independant of the case air and the ducting/shrowd is transparent green plexi. Hopefully it will look good when done. Other bits include a DD12V-D5 pump, Storm block, Danger Den cylindrical acrylic res. and 1/2 UV tubing.

The panel is a bit more of a curse at this point. I don't want to just cut out most of the panel and make it a big window...I want some style to it. Thing is the layout doesn't do much to help me in that manner. There is a large vent area in the lower 1/3 that either needs to be avoided or removed (though this is the intake are for the side fan, not that it is really going to be needed, but more air is always better...you can see part of it in the first image). Secondly, the above mentioned cooling system is going to be in the bottom region of the case, below this vent area. So if I want to see it I have to have at least a second small window (but I might not have room...stack up is getting tight between the 160 wide heater core, the plexi and the mobo tray). I'll probably cave in and just do the simple thing but we'll see. Until I start making chips I would love to hear any ideas you guys may have.

For now I'll post just a few picks. First two are of the case. Note in the second if you look in the case you can see that the lower PSU cover plate is installed and intact. The next pic is the reworked plate to allow for the exhaust of the H2O system. I'll add a few more tomorrow of the res and pump mounting (you may have seen my thread asking about the pump location...it stayed in the HDD bay).

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post #2 of 52
That's a sweet case, Bindusar. Good luck with all the modding and hopefully you'll get a sweet rig out of it.
    
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post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Well it's been a pretty busy week with the New Year and all but the rad box is done. First, I had to drill and cut for the fans (yeah, old school dremel action...no 120mm holes saws here) and then started working with the plexi. Sorry that the second tumbnail isn't showing correct, but the link still works.


That second image is of the back panel of the enclosure in the vise. You can see in the corner of the case there is a white block. Well that houses the two RPM adjustment screws for the fans. You will see in other images that I just have the holes in the case to fit a jeweler's phillips screwdriver. As I want as much of the warm air to go out the back, I made sure to fit the block and wires close to the panel to minimize leaks. Yeah, overkill, but WTH.

Pictures of me cuting plexi on a saw aren't very interesting but if you want them proof that I did this I can still take a shot of the mess in the basement and the saw covered in green plastic shavings. Anyway, so I have this next, an image of a trial fit before making the top panel, and then a trial fit in the case after the top was about done.


After that I added some more pieces to the top to "hold" the heater core down (so that I can lift the enclosure by the hoses without worry of dislodging it) and that was that. I also added a second piece to the top where the hoses exit as it is kind of close to the end and I didn't want to risk cracking it. When looking at the images you can see how the core rests on two pieces of plexi at the front and back, leaving only the core as the route of air flow. You may also notice the support pieces I mentioned that keep it from lifting inside the enclosure as well as the little gussets used to strengthen them. In the last image of the back of the case you see my beautifully machined exhaust panel and you can see where the two holes are for adjusting the fan RPM's as well as the now black (used to be white) riser blocks added to the feet of the case to get the necessary clearance for the fans. Well, here it is...


Now if I could only figure out what to do with that side panel. No creative ideas for a pattern guys?
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post #4 of 52
wow that looks really good,
    
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post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Lessons learned on this one...do not use the watery instant fusing acrylic solvent. Being a solvent it evaporates quickly and as such creates positive pressure in the applicator. The second you begin to tip it (I was using a syringe) so that solvent is entering the applicator, the pressure pushes it out making for easy spills which of course ruin the finish if it gets on the safety paper or on the show surfaces. The better option is to use the gel solvent. It is thicker and can string and/or ooze out when pieces are put together, but you won't have to worry about it running somewhere you don't want it and have it ruin a finish surface. Both options don't leave "clean" joints (read...no imperfections seen) unless everything is flat and all is completely covered. Darn, none of the shot i have up there show what I mean. I'll take a shot tomorrow and post it so you guys can see what I am talking about in case I'm not making much sense.
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post #6 of 52
Good to know, How did you cut the plexi? I want to work more with it, but I can't seem to cut or machine it right, it ends up cracking on me.
    
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post #7 of 52
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I'll take pics of the saw tomorrow for fun. Basically a new, fine (I think 90 tooth) saw blade that has seen nothing but plastic. With the dremel I use an actual 1/8 carbide endmill...must be VERY careful with that. One slip and the blood will flow quite quickly. Carbide burs can also be used. The key I have found is to never cut things close to edges such that the stress can cause a crack (those holes for the hoses caused me some great stress, but they drilled great via a spade drill). Usually drilling holes causes it because the drill flute breaks through the bottom, grabs and pulls exerting undue stress at that one point where the acrylic is thicker since the drill pulled through. No good way around that but take your time and use sharp drills. Finally, the specific material makes a difference. Some acrylics are more prone to cracking than others. Don't ask me which is which...no clue. All I know is I got this stuff from a guy at work. He found a bunck of plastic sheet material being pitched and grabbed it. He had blue too, but it wasn't transparent. He has some that is around .060" thick that you can practically bend over on itself without it cracking.
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post #8 of 52
ahh okay, thanks for the tips! I used to work with some lexan and acrylics back in hs, but haven't since, lol a whole year and a half.

I like the endmill idea for the dremel, I could see that being use full for cutting cases as well, maybe not with a dremel but with a rotozip.
    
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post #9 of 52
Quite the craftsmanship on this- I love the green plexi rad box! I would have never thought to do it that way Nice job!
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post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Got a few more pics of the wiring. Not done yet but getting closer. Unfortunately with the desire of UV highlights I am keeping some of the wiring in the open and managing other parts. With the water cooling air flow really shouldn't be an issue with 3 120's administering case air flow (4 if you count the PSU). So here is where I am at now...


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