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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little about me, I live in the UK, I've built my own PCs for 11 years now been overclocking them since the DX2 66 age. I was a mechanical fitter for a few years but with little sheet metal experience. All the tools I've used for this mod are standard hand held. The basics I've used are a drill, jigsaw, set of files, and a multi-tool so no workbench machining. Also I'm a terrible photographer so I apologise in advance.

Now a little bit of background. The PC-60 was my first decent case I bought it around 10 years ago and it lasted me a long time but was looking a bit worst for wears and the 80mm fans were loud and not up to the job of current air flow needs. I had done some 'improvements' to increase airflow but they weren't pretty. So I got myself a phantom and the Lian Li was put up into the attic 2 years ago.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about improving my watercooling, I currently have a modded H70. I wanted to upgrade to a full system with a 3.120mm rad. I knew the project would take time as a final year student I don't have the time or money so I couldn't really have my computer out for any length of time. So I went back into the attic and pulled down the PC-60 and did some measuring and I figure I can just about to fit the rad I want. So I start to brain storm.

Warning: Due to time commitments and final year student and overdraft this project might go on till easter possible summer and updates will sporadic

Brief: Redesign the classic Lain Li PC-60 case to fit a 3.120mm 2.180mm radiator, improve air flow, and reverse the ATX while keeping an industrial theme.

Concept Model

Current Status: Abandoned due to faulty mobo tray

Project Check List
• Remove sound proofing (done)
• Fill/hide 80mm fan holes (done)
• Reverse motherboard and psu (done)
• Install 2.120mm fans in top (done)
• Install HD rack (done)
• Cable slot in motherboard (done)
• CPU slot in motherboard.
• Install 3.120mm fans front reconstruct front
• install 2.180 fan in front. (on hold)
• install 120/140mm fan in side panel. (done)
• Install side panel window (done).
• Install PSU exhaust port in base. (maybe v2.0)
• Install floor panel (done)
• Install LED lighting (on hold)
• Install Toggle switch for on/off and fan control/LED. (on hold)
• Paint internals and externals (on hold UK weather)
• Replace front panel clips (done)
• Install watercooling 10mm copper piping (on hold)


· Registered
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Intial State of the PC-60

It was bad, very bad.

Those holes are there for extra 80mm fans and the sound proofing was there because anyone who has had high air flow 80mm fans will tell you that they make a lot of noise. Like stnading in a mini wind tunnel type of noise.

Work Log Part 1:
First thing to do was try and get rid of the sound proofing. My advice is never put sound proofing on a case if you ever think you'll need to take it off. I used acetone/nail varnish remover and a blade scraper and several hours of work.

When I made my breif it was before I remembered how well engineered Lian Li case are. The base plate and up rights are all one piece so reversing the atx was more of challenge than I like. I make some brackets and drilled them into the base.

I then did my cuts into the base. Be kind this is the first time I've picked up a multi-tool and it's been 3-4 years since I used a jigsaw on wood.

I removed the base and then the 5.25 drive bay and support struts (again I hate Lian Li for there engineering).

I then try cut up said support struts with a jigsaw it wasn't pretty and I'm sure it was against any reasonable health and safety standards. What I wanted was a brace for the motherboard tray's glide slot. I then reassembled the whole thing with m3 screws and bolts and the nzxt hd cage in position.

Okay that's ugly but I had a cup of tea (I'm British) and a had a think. I decided I didn't need the full supports the HD rack would hold it in position. I also need to place 3.2mm holes in the roof as the base glide slot now needed to be in the roof.
So after some drilling and hack sawing the case looked like this with some added old componets.

Now I needed to fill in some of these 80mm holes. The motherboard tray was easy I just cut a rough 80mm circle from a 1.5mm sheet, then used chemical metal to fix it in place and sand it down.

I did the same to the top and the inside front plate. However when I then came to cut out the fan holes the action of the jigsaw ripped the plate out and wasted that effort. I have no photo documentation so that never really happened.
The top plate I decided to increase the size of the hole to allow a 120mm fan to fit in. I also need some aluminium so I cut into the case's side pannel and while I was at it cut into the external front panel.

I then used this free aluminium to make a 2.120mm fan slot and bought some louvre vent from a local DIY shop to make the top venting.

I cut out the internal front panel to ready it for a 3.120mm radiator but didn't take a photo. I need to decide one how to proceed on that point.
I made a nice slot in the motherboard tray to allow for the ATX cable I do need to add in a cpu back plate slot as well and possible further cable management slots. ( don't have a photo of this yet)

So some final picture of part 1 of this work log.

So it's far from finished but I need to take a break from it as I have loads of uni work to do now plus I need to spend more cash on it.

Okay stuff to do.....
  • get new front pannel clips (old ones are broken)
  • do some more filing on the cuts, I'm looking at you side window (but need to confirm where I'm sitcking the 140 fan).
  • I'm not happy with the base brackets I made. I'm going to to put a base plate down I've a wicked idea for it.
  • install inside front radiator stand (haven't decided if this is going to be aluminium or tinted acrylic)
  • Install outside front panel again need to decide on aluminium or plastic, probably with 3 intake holes in it.
  • General cleaning up of metal edges.
  • Paint inside and out (thinking of using silver hammerite spray paint.
  • Buy the water cooling parts and use 10mm copper pipe
  • Install side window and side fan.
  • Install toggle switching for power on and fan control.
  • Install cable management. Thinking of using the drive bay cut up and chemcially bonded for zip tie rings.
This will probably get done in a couple of months time depending on time and money. I'm open to any suggestions so please advice.

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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got some new stuff in during the week, still waiting on the 1.5mm aluminium and the tread for the front and base plates.

Got some haribo from the nice overclocking shop in the UK. oh and some replacement clips.

More 9x9" Louvre venting for the front panel which I used the jigsaw and metal file on to clean up a little. I also cleaned up the side panel as it was looking very dire but don't have an image of this. Oh and rivets lovely rivets and some washers.

Heavy duty sissors worked rather well for cutting the venting down to size. I then drilled several holes into the venting and lined it up with the front panel. I used a few rivets to hold it in place, will need to strip it down when I come to paint it. Here's the outcome.

inside with new clips installed.

It looks okay from the outside might need to do a little bonding in the middle we'll see.

I dug out some old 2mm acrylic from the attic which I then cut up and drilled holes into. It's screwed in at the minute but will be using rivets and the washers to hold it in place after painting.

I've decided the hammerite paint will look bad so I need to have some new ideas on the paint scheme.

So this is what it looks like to date.

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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Still haven't got the rest of the materials so instead of working on my final year dissertation I've been playing around on CAD. Knocked up some paint schemes. I don't usually render my stuff so it's not great couldn't figure out how to get a pitch black slots with the LEDs working inside.

Image generated by GPL Ghostscript (device=ppmraw)
First attempt the yellow is more vibrant basically a bright yellow like warning signs.
Image generated by GPL Ghostscript (device=ppmraw)
I call this the JCB colour scheme again bright yellow and black
Image generated by GPL Ghostscript (device=ppmraw)
This is the one I'm liking, Brass and Alloy. I like the alloy blades in the brass fan casing. Would look good with the copper piping. Maybe some (warm) orange LEDs inside. It wouldn't be so reflective as it is in the image.

If anyone has any other ideas I open to suggestions, and it's a 2 minute job to change the colours and render it.

I might get even geeker and throw it in Ansys at uni to show the air flow.
Originally Posted by sinnedone View Post

I like the looks of this. It looks like if you would sit it in a corner somewhere pople might mistake it for a ventilation unit/duct.

Good job, cant wait to see how this turns out.
Yeah but I don't think I'm keeping the grills in silver. It could also end up bit raw steampunk but that's not the intention.

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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm kind of taken a step backwards today but the final outcome has been worth it.

A sheet of aluminium, some 1.5mm tread, m3-m10 tap set and some aluminium jigsaw blades. I've been using cheap metal blades and once I started cutting with these I instantly noticed a difference. Highly recommend getting them if you're working with aluminium.

First attempt at cold welding the vents togeather but when I came to sand it down it broke apart so I got some of the left over vent trimmings and cut it down to size.

I knew keeping hold of these books would be useful after getting my eReader.

It's messy. Going to wait for it to set properly before I clean it up. It feels pretty solid and you won't see this part of the case anyway.

When I turned the PSU around the screw holes didn't line up so here's a boring photo of me tapping the threads to hold the side panels in.
Once that was done I noticed there was a bit of the gap between the front cover and the side panels due to the piss poor job of the base brackets. So I stripped the bottom off again and marked out and cut the tread plate.

I masked up the holes then put chemical metal to fill them up. Let it dry and sand it down.

Measure and cutting, with the new blade the line was almost perfect really just need to draw file it as you can see below.
I thought I would need to file it more but the base fitted perfectly with a bit of pressure

Another cut and the base fits perfectly. Missing some pictures here but I basically made another load of holes in the base plate so I'll be able rivet it up. For now I've just used m3 screwsto hold it in place. Here's what it looks like covered up a load of my mistakes.

With the last light of day I finished off the side panel with the last fan hole.

Finished by dressing up with a file. Who needs rubber u-channel raw metal is pro.

This is the state now. Like I've said I've gone a bit backwards. Need to refit the hard drive rack haven't decided if I'm fitting it to the tread or cut into the tread and fit it to the base plate. The base is also about 3mm higher so I've filled in the holes on the motherboard support and will be redrilling them. Need to make the front radiator plate as well now I have the aluminium. Should be ready for painting soon if we get some good spring days.

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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally Posted by loud681 View Post

Looks awesome so far!!
Thanks. I've been doing some bits and pieces nothing major. Mostly I've been cleaning everything getting it ready for final build.

HD rack back in. The slight squint was driving me mad but I've gotten the verniers on it and there's only half a mil difference from the side of the cage so I guess I'm going to have to live with it.

Shot of the holes I put in the base to allow for the HD rack screws. The base needs a good sanding down before painting but this photo is more down to the camara flash.

Cut the front fan/radiator plate fits nicely in the cases front plate.

Mark out and pop the holes.

I drilled the rad plate in situate with front plate so the holes lined up.

Front shot with the plates screwed togeather will probably be rivetted on final build.

Back shot and the clips do still fit in.

I've decided that I don't like the front grill the way it is and there was a good offer on a pack of 5 9"x9" vents so I've ordered them. I want this cross piece back on the front panel. I know I cut it off to begin with. My defence is it was not centred. There's some small stright lines on both sides to make squaring it up easy and I've held it in place with masking tape.

I clamped the panel flat to a bit of wood and throw on a load of chemical metal. This became brittle when it set and snapped when I came to file and sand it down. I tried in once more with the same effect.

So I used ultra strong steel ardite.

Epoxy wins. Front shot of it all clean up

The rear shot.
At this point I had been looking into some radiators. I decided I really really want a 2.180mm which should just fit in the front with about 50mm play. Trouble is I can't find much other than overall dimensions so this is just guess work at the minute. Still I threw togeather another CAD model.

I bit over kill to cool down a single CPU but I will eventually be cooling 1 and than 2 gfx as well.

Trouble is to fit the 180mm fans in I need to increase the cut out in the front panel so this got rid of those holes I drilled for the rad plate earlier. I had to do the hole process again and this is the front plate which now seems to be made mostly of epoxy rather than metal. Oh dear, still it will be fine the paint will hold it all togeather.

This is yet another shot of the rad plate and front plate bolted togeather. I haven't cut the rad plate out yet. I haven't decided if I'm going to wait to buy the watercooling gear or to drill out a single 140mm hole for the ty-140 fans I've got and throw in my modded h-70. It will probably be april before I get the new gear, not far so will probably hold off for now.

I also cleaned up the top fan plate a little more, holes are more rounded now,

So yeah nothing really major but it's coming along nicely. When I get the new venting I'll throw it together and take a snap shot of it. Probably will be April before I do anything major to it now.

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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay so a little mini update on the Lian Li. I got the new motherboard

Marked out where I'm going to cut the motherboard tray and at this point I decided I'm going to throw the new motherboard into my NZXT until the lian li is finished. The rest of this post is about me doing that but I do use some aluminium u-section I striped from the Lian li so I'm counting it as part of the project

Old setup with a modded H70 but I've decided that I don't like the majoritiy of the water below the pump which really shouldn't be sucking fluid.

quick strip down and clean (love the kirby hoover) should probably do this more often.

Cleaned, should probably re-lap it when it goes into the new computer as the corners are still lower than the centre.

Into the new board it goes

I like this panel I'm use to plain silver i/o panels.

Okay this is the u-section from the lian li I've cut them to size and drilled the holes in to hold the fan and to keep the mounts attached to the case. I had pre-done these but when I came to fit it I need to drill them again to offset the fan from the centre.

I wanted it like this but those 140mm fans were hitting the memory

After shifting the memory into the other two slots and a slight movement of the bracket the fans just fit with about 5mm to spare.

Hosing complete. Now at this point it's taken be about an hour and half to fully strip down and rebuild the thing, I've done this alot. I then spend the next 2 hours trying to bleed the H70 radiator. Getting air out of 1/4" holes is horrible.

Fully fitted

Close in.

And a slight modification to the bracket so I can get the lid on (ooops).

Okay so updates on the Lian Li will be delayed got to finish my final year dissertation in the next 3 weeks put I might get the new panel on the front and get these new feet on it.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay so time to have another crack at the front panel. So it looked a bit like this...

I wasn't happy with it, the there was a horrible gap in the middle and it didn't sit right. Also the screws were not aligned.

More venting, it was not in the greatest condition (discribed as much on ebay), but it was cheap and I was going to cut it anyways.

Used sissors to cut it both top and bottom both pieces uniformed. Dressed it up with a file.

Using the front panel as a home made sheet breaker. This could of gone seriously wrong.

Luckly it didn't and I finish up the corners using another home made breaker using a stright edge rule. The bend is not perfect but it's pretty good for winging it. I drill in some holes in the side this time a but more striaght.

Long shot of it all finished.

That's expoxy in the centre it won't be viewable under a coat of paint. I choose the gap in the middle because I was going crazy trying to get 0.5mm sheet metal filed straight. There is some damage to the vent at the bend but meh.

These will be replaced with rivets.

See the bend doesn't look bad at a distance. I'm probably going to paint this a brass colour with the final build.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've used a lot of liquid metal and auto filler on this. Trouble with using it on two thin sheets like this is that when it dries it goes brittle so if you bang the case it just cracks. Though you`re right if I don't like the gap after painting I can just fill it.

Just need some good weather after this snow so I can start painting.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
just got a bargin on some OEM AP181 fans. Got two for under 20 quid postage and packaging. Also weather is starting to pick up so I'm thinking about painting but might hold off on that until after my exams in early May. I also need to fit the rad, ports and switchs before I do a final paint and I don't have them.

So I've started pricing up my equipment.

The copper tube is a 6m length I don't think I've missed anything but I'm sure I will have, possibly get some new 120mm fans as well as deciding on the nuts and bolts. Paint cost is missing and might need a hole saw to fit the fill port. I decided not to go with the fan controller I'll plug the 120mm fans into the motherboard and the 180mm I'll replace the existing switchs that come with the fans with silver toggle switches.

I'm really really tempted to buy the 7950 looking around there's about forty quid difference between it and the 7870. The plan is to get it water cooled and then the cost of water blocks are identical so I feel robbed spending that much on a block for a cheaper card. One option is to get the card and to keep costs down ignore the water block for now but that will mean I have to screw around with the tubing again at a later date and having the 2.180 rad cooling just the cpu is the definition of overkill.

The other slight problem with the 7950 is that my second monitor is a old school VGA output while my main monitor is DVI so if stuff doesn't work out I might lose my second monitor if it's not compatiable.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay first sorry for the really really long delay in the update. I've been busy, then I was skint then I was busy again.

Last weekend I had a crack at finishing off the case with poor results to the point were I'm going to finish this mod here as version Well here's what has happened.

I got myself a MSI-990FX-65 motherboard, an FX-8350 and a HD 7950 before running out of money for a bit. I had been doing some priming on some of the case parts.

Finally got the WC parts due to funding I went with the 2.120 rad and simple 3/8 tubing.

Some GT 1850s along with filters and grills came a day later.

Some shots of the silver and copper paint from halfords. I like the effect but due to having to paint in an unsheltered area outside the finish is very sub par. First o'shizzle moment.

Built up pretty nicely.

Figuring out placement of the loop.

res and d5 pump in place.

Everything in time to fill up and test the loop.

While running the test I try putting in the switching only to find that the upper extraction fan is in the way of the power headers so have to take that fan out. Second arh shizzle moment..

24 hours later no leak.

I like the toggle switching suits the case.

Plug everything in, Turn on Woot nothing goes bang, power phase LEDs all lit up looking good, wait no signal to monitor what? Check the gpu is all correctly slotted in and the power cables are all slotted in. No luck, try an old GPU card still no look. Try another PSU, memory slot no no no.

Well I might as well take some pictures before I take it apart again.

I do some more debugging and I can't get the GPU to send a signal to my monitor with that motherboard. Tried a load of stuff and the board was working in my Phantom. I try my old gigabyte board and the gpu in the case tray and no go. I check the stand offs are all clear and the motherboard is clear of the tray. Can't get it to work. I then try the MSI motherboard back in the phantom still won't work but the gigabyte board gets a signal so that's now all up and running.

I seem to remember that I use to have an issue with the PC-60 pulling on PCI cards due to some sort of misalignment which was one reason I upgraded the case in the first place but then forgot about the issue. Whatever it is I couldn't find the fault and now I'm in the process of sending back the MSI motherboard back for RMA.

So sadly this is where I finish "Case Mod: Industrial Revolution v0. (Lian Li PC-60). It's been an experience and I've learned loads for when I come to do my next case mod on the phantom in 6-12 months time. I'll lurk around trying to get new ideas. Thanks for reading and subbing.
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