How to repair MSi Twin Frozr heatsink Fans, or How to Fix Fans where there is no hole behind the sticker - - An Overclocking Community

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How to repair MSi Twin Frozr heatsink Fans, or How to Fix Fans where there is no hole behind the sticker

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post #1 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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There are tons of poor souls on the internets, asking "how to repair/replace/fix twin frozr fans" that they have 'broken blades/loud whining". You can also lube fans to fix fans that have gotten loud (you should regularly lube fans every 6-12 months, you'd be surprised how a fan you didn't even realize was loud, can be so much quieter).

And despite how expensive, rare, and seemingly irreplaceable and unfixable this fan is, these fans actually cool both quieter, and better, than almost any other stock aftermarket GPU fan out there. And unfortunately, while these fans are high quality in performance and sound, they are low quality in lifespan - running a 24/7 GPU work, will quickly kill these fans within a year.

And almost all the responses these people get, is bad advice from people talking out of their ass. "Just RMA it" - well you can't do that, because 'physical damage', as fan blades are, is not covered under MSi warranty, even if it isn't your fault that the fans or fan blades broke. MSi also asks $55 to 'replace broken fans', ie, they charge you how much it costs them, to throw your GPU in the garbage, and give you an entirely new one (yep, they replace it, which would be okay if you could keep the old gpu...).

However, I have unlocked the secret to the Power Logic PLD08010S12HH sleeve bearing fan that MSi uses, a fan made in China that is expensive as it is, that is not sold in the US, that you have to pay exorbitant shipping to buy yourself, that MSi does not carry themselves, and that MSi does afterwork so you actually can't buy specifically a replacement.

You can find a Power Logic PLD08010S12HH Dual Fan module (same model number), but it's not really a dual fan module - it's just 2 x Power Logics with a not-so-subtle Y-Splitter. But, in order to get 2 x 75mmx10mmx10mm PWM 4 pin fans with 35x35x35mm triangle GPU fan mount, this is the only thing out there.

So I'm going to tell you how to remove the fan head to your Twin Frozr fans (all Twin Frozr's use this fan, just each different TF version has a different fan head, is all).

Broke a fan blade by sticking your finger in one of the 2 places in the world a finger should not ever go? Pop off the fan blades, and swap them out, from either a Power Logic (either ask kindly someone who has broken twin frozrs and doesn't know how to fix them themselves, like I did) or buy a single Power Logic, OR you can actually buy a totally different 75x75x10mm fan, like the cheap Everest on Newegg, and use that fan head.

Your fan is starting to make a grinding, whining, or any kind, of noise? Pop it up, and lube it up, and your good to go! (See for how to do that).

So how to do it:

Note, that this isn't just for Twin Frozr II fans, but also any fan that doesn't have a cap at the end, but rather has hard plastic, ie every fan that isn't easy to open

As you can see, the TF dual fan module, has some work done by MSi so you dont see any y-splitter. Notice the 2nd fan has only 3 wires.

1. Remove the sticker so you know what your working with. Unlike most fans, you aren't going to have to recover anything, so feel free to scrape it off in anger. You don't even have to be particularly gentle, although be careful about the 'top', as if you've run your fan for a while, the sticker will burn onto the voltage regulator chip.

By 'top' of the frame, I mean very obviously the single frame thing sticking out, opposite of where 3 of them are sticking out (or 2 frame legs and the wire thing, it's very obvious).

2. There is glue holding together the plastic GPU frame, and the PCB. You need to break the glue, first. You do this by taking a knife, and very, VERY gently, sticking in between the PCB and plastic, and then stick it again, so you go all the way around...

EXCEPT the top and bottom! - the voltage regulator chip, which has a hole so you can see it clearly at the 'top', is very fragile, and WILL BREAK if you touch it with a knife in there, so avoid it. Also be sure to avoid the legs of the chip, just stay far away from it. There are electronics all around the PCB, but they are all pretty hardy, save for the voltage regulator chip. On the bottom, the PWM wires attach to the fan and are on quite delicately as well, you don't want to break those either.

Also, you can stay away from the obvious little transistors, they aren't going to glue the plastic frame to the transistors.

You don't need to be too thorough, the glue should break pretty easily. It's much more preferable you dont break the glue, and find out in the next step that it didn't break, then break your wires off or your voltage chip, just slight pressure on the voltage chip and it'll 'slip' right off the pcb.

3. Now that you broke the glue, pry the thing off using tweezers. Enter from the middle-left or middle-right. It's much better to use tweezers here - using a knife/razor will apply pressure to all of the plastic frame and potentially break it, even if you broke the glue and especially if you didn't. With tweezers, you are lifting right by the base of the plastic frame, instead of applying pressure to the frail edges of the frame, and if you broke the glue it'll pop right off.

If the plastic frame is resisting, like you feel it pushing back when you do this, it means the glue didn't break. Go around, very carefully, again with a knife, and try again.

4. If your fan is just making noise or you want to lube it up, all you need to do is put lube inside here (sometimes the plastic o-ring here will be in the fan hole, sometimes on top of the copper round thing in the plastic frame, hence, a pic of 2 frames where the o-ring is on it, and not).

5. The rest is like popping the fan head off any fan. You'll find a plastic o-ring holding the fan in place, so it doesn't fly off when you turn on the fans. Hold your thumb over half of the hole, because it will FLY off and you'll never find it again if you don't (I'm serious, I just lost one), and use a knife to violently dig in behind it, and 'drag' it out. You don't really need to do this perfectly.

Sometimes, you might find 2 plastic o-rings, as I mentioned in step 4, in which case just pull both out.

Note: my thumb isn't over the hole, just so the picture could be clear.

6. There you go, fan off. Make sure you have enough lubrication if you are replacing the fan blade, especially if it's coming from a fan that was dried out or heavily used.

7. Put it back together.

I'm not sure if you should glue it back or not, because while the frame does sit very, very tight, I'm thinking the high RPM of the fan might just wiggle wiggle wiggle a bunch and cause issues. It's up to you if you want to glue it, but if you do, avoid a glue that melts it, and just put a tiny dab slightly in, so you can break it in the future if you have to get back in.

Be careful when putting the frame back, you can actually **** up the legs on the voltage chip quite easily. Set the fan down, bladeside bottom, and push the plastic frame, very slowly and deliberately, back onto the PCB, and be sure you dont squash onto the legs of the voltage chip. DO NOT WIGGLE IT BACK ON!

Or grab it with both hands and push the frame down with both thumbs.

**** *****es. Get reps.

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post #2 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:24 AM
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Thanks for the info!
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post #3 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 07:44 AM
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Just curious -- how many fans did you break in the process of figuring out how to open them? That fifth photo is concerning, and you seem to have learned a little disturbingly too much about the things that can go wrong.
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post #4 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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A nice man at Dahlsys : sent me a dual fan module that he took off his own Twin Frozr II.

He had posted on the linked webpage, that he mounted 2 x 120mm fans onto his Twin Frozr II heatsinks. I emailed him, despite it being a 2 year old post, if I could get his twin frozr ii fans from him. I actually emailed, and registered to so many forums to PM someone, to contact around 20-30 people who said, for whatever reason, they took off their Twin Frozr II fans. Surprisingly only found 1 report of a guy replacing it with a water block, but that guy was the only to respond.

I initially PM'd him hoping I could just buy it from him, but he PM'd me saying that the fan blades were fine and he still had it, but the motors were worn down/broken. So I started looking into seeing if I could replace the fan heads, I knew nothing about it but it seemed like it shouldn't be too hard.

So I had this physically, fine, twin frozr ii fan module, that didn't work because the motors were screwed up (actually the problem was the grease wore out on it, i think he just implied the motors were broken, and had said they were making too low sound and not spinning), that I could play with. Since the module didn't work anyways, and I have my own twin frozr ii fan module (which works fine but 1 fan has broken blades), I basically was free to screw around with it and it was okay if I broke it in the process.

The first attempt, I just tore apart the fan, and broke it completely in the process of trying to get the head off, as you can see in the pictures. But it allowed me to see how it was all connected, and I noticed there was glue, and I noticed that the plastic frame stuck in really well into the pcb. So I was really delicate, and figured out how to pry it open.
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post #5 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:46 AM
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Yeah, I figured it had to be at least one that needed to be sacrificed to get to the root of this. smile.gif That sort of reverse engineering was really the only way any of us was ever going to learn.

I (and I'm sure many other MSI owners as well) appreciate your unrelenting efforts here -- good work! thumb.gif
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post #6 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 09:54 PM
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Blimey, this is exactly what I needed. My primary cards top fan has completly stopped and the second one is starting to grind as well. I've swapped them around so they are at equal temps but I'm gonna get to repairing them when I have time. In worst case scenario that I break one of the fans or they stop working altogether then I'll just strap two 120's to the HS, I have no warranty or ability to get spare parts down here in NZ.

If you could make a video showing how you broke the glue and took the bottom off it would be really appreciated. After that part its just like any other fan to lube and get going again

The Dangers of WEP (Click to show)
Originally Posted by 3930K go_quote.gif

Holy crap you were using the epitome of unsafeness WEP? That's like using a few pieces of toilet roll as a wall against a nuke. Not good enough.
People and 60Hz (Click to show)
Originally Posted by CallsignVega go_quote.gif

People are still going on about this 60 Hz vs whatever stuff? lol

I'd like to see a guy show up with a 60 Hz IPS panel at a quake tourney and play against the guys with 160 Hz CRT's. He would get utterly destroyed. I can't even use 60 Hz monitors non-desktop anymore, makes baby jesus cry.
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post #7 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Ah I suppose I can mock a video up, but breaking the glue is just delicately sticking a knife all the way in between the PCB and plastic, and then pulling it out. You can jiggle a bit, but I'd err on being more careful than hasty. Simply pull the knife out, and then stick it in again slightly lower, repeat all the way around while avoiding the voltage chip and it's legs, and the wire solders. Most of the capacitors are pretty hardy so it's okay to sort of scrape them and such but obviously you want to be careful.

I just got my gpu back, but when I put the replacement header on (seeing how it came from a set of twin frozr power logics that started to grind out due to drying out lube), it doesnt seem to spin as silently as my intact fan on the dual module.

I'm going to try to get a bit of mineral oil on it for lube. There's already some lube in there, but I think it needs a dash more.
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post #8 of 78 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know why glue didn't work, but what I did was took the extra module I had, that didn't work, snipped off at halfway in the wire, the fan pcb, then stripped the 3 wires and the 3 wires to my original fan module, twisted each corresponding wire together, wrapped with tape so they dont contact eachother, then wrapped all 3 together with tape so it wasn't some huge thing and so they were all svelt and all.

Worked just fine. Not sure why glueing the wires onto the solder contacts didn't work, I actually even put some glue on the wire contacts of this PCB (i did it after I just broke off my own pcb from the wire contacts because i realized how frail they were, then i decided to do this wire-attachment mod and was worried maybe that glue would screw things up, maybe i just didnt glue the wires on correctly who knows).

So now everything is working fine. I dont know what I could submit as a pic, I mean just looks like it should - a normal twin frozr ii fan heatsink smile.gif

Except if you look closely behind the 2nd fan you can see a bit of scotch tape wrappd around the wire, but it's hard to notice and whatever. Mission accomplished. Man I was just sweating this entire time, I bought a Twin Frozr II almost 2 years ago, it was a lemon and had to be underclocked to as low as it could go, 400mhz/1400memory from 751mhz/1800mhz, or else it would artifact really badly (it was a weird problem, sometimes i could overclock it and it'd run fine, then suddenly it wouldnt work, and it had to be severely underclocked, so after a month or two i just settled on always having it underclocked).

I couldn't really afford a 2nd GPU to use as a placeholder and waiting a month with no GPU was just not really possible. All I did/do was play sc2, so I didn't really need a strong gpu, a gtx 460 underclocked to half is still a very powerful GPU. I didn't know what I was missing though, and I didn't realize I could get a decent GPU for $20 (4850) off ebay used, but I finally got aorund to RMAing the card after 2 years when a friend let me borrow his 460 (he let me borrow on condition i sell it for him when im done, he was across the country).

Then not even a week after I got my RMA back, I stuck my finger in and broke the fan. Yes, I could just let it wobble and be loud, or I could have just taken off the fan, but I was quite irritated by all of it. Nice that I got around to fixing it, I don't know what I would have done if the nice gentleman from Dahlsys didn't gift me his set of power logics. I probably would have bought a power logic fan for $10 and stripped the wires like I did, if I couldnt figure out how to replace the fan blades.
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post #10 of 78 (permalink) Old 02-22-2013, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for the info, but this doesn't appear to related to the Twin Froze III (Hawk) Fans. I removed the plastic from the plastic piece with the 3 screw holes and it was just a solid part below it. I suppose I could still try to rock it apart, assuming it's still only glue that's between them, but I wouldn't be able to see the chips to avoid damaging them.

I rocked the fan up and down and twisted it a bit and the RPM moved from a 1000 (sometimes the fan wouldn't spin at all) and it seems to be okay for now as it goes back up to 4200 RPM when the card is under load, but it's noisier than before.

There is literally no info for these fans that I can find and I can't even seem to purchase them, even from ebay (just similar looking ones from evercool and antec but I want the original ones). Can you think of a way to lube it without pulling it apart? Gonna use the very outdated AS5 I have lying around to see if the temps can go down a bit so the fans can slow down.

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