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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, welcome to my first ever full case mod: Los Fuegos (the fires). Don't be fooled; although this is my first mod, it will feature a phase change water chiller, hand crafted rack mounts, a full paint job, LED circuits, water cooling, and more


Brief Summary: I will be modding the Lian-Li A71. Beautifully crafted and stylishly understated, this large case is perfect for my case mod aspirations. Here is a brief summary of what I will be doing:

  • Construct and paint a custom hard drive rack to mount my 2.5" drives in a 5.25" bay
  • Mod CD drive
  • Construct a phase change water chiller system!
  • Paint the interior and various components
  • Cut the side panel and mount an acrylic window
  • Cut fan ventilation holes in the side panels
  • LED wiring, switch circuits, etc.
  • Finishing touches
  • Overclock!
Here is my latest general shot:




Enjoy!


Table of Contents:

6/2 - The old rig with new monitor
6/2 - Component List
6/2 - Hand made hard drive rack - construction stage
6/3 - Priming and Painting the CD Drive
6/7 - Planning Stages: 3D Model Layout
6/8 - Stealthing the CD drive
6/9 - Hard Drive rack primed, painted, coated, and drives mounted
6/27 - Some new components!
7/14 - Test coiling
7/18 - Completed evaporator coil and acrylic sheets
7/23 - Some more chiller components
7/25 - Acrylic failure and component layout
7/26 - Drilling and tapping the acrylic
7/27 - Gluing the acrylic
7/29 - New mobo, naked gtx 280, receiver troubles, and flare fittings
8/1 - The brazing begins!
8/2 - Brazing video and big brazing update!
8/9 - Hole saw, polishing the acrylic, and some more brazing
8/11 - Huge update! Drilling, cutting, brazing, soldering, bending...
8/16 - Case feet, bottom intake fans, joint repair
8/16 - New reservoir mount design
8/17 - Constructed reservoir mount, small painting, and some LED tests
8/18 - Painting the case and mounting the gtx 280 water block
8/20 - take two of the color coat, foam padding, WC gear, and test fitting
8/22 - mini update: fan wiring, mobo tray, and thermostat
8/23 - huge update: LED/fan wiring, underglow lighting, reservoir work, mounting phase unit and reservoir, and more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So that you all can see my old setp (although the monitor is new):

Check out this baby, my new Samsung T260 25.5". Ignore the mess of a computer on the right, that one's gettin the boot to make room for Los Fuegos haha
 

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So what are your plans for the case? Are you going to paint or powder coat the inside or outside? We need details
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the list of components for my new build (water cooling components will be added later):

Case: Lian-Li PC A71
CPU: Intel Q6600
Mobo: Gigabyte N650SLI-DS4
Video Card: EVGA GTX 280
PSU: Thermaltake TR2 RX-850W
Hard Drives: Intel 80GB SSD + Toshiba 80GB HD
Memory: 4x1GB Crucial Ballistix
CD-Drive: Generic CD/DVD burner

And a picture of the case so ya'll know what I'll be working with:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by TDN1979 View Post
So what are your plans for the case? Are you going to paint or powder coat the inside or outside? We need details


Sorry, details on the way! Just give me a few minutes to get things set up, im slow
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Maytridy View Post
Sorry, details on the way! Just give me a few minutes to get things set up, im slow

Just to remind you, please edit posts instead of making a new one if you have more information to add.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Roger that, I'll do my best to keep things clean here
I just have to make separate posts for each update so that I can add it as a separate page in the table of contents so people can browse my log more easily. I really like how CR and some of the other guys have their logs really nicely organized so that people can browse easily
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here we go on constructing my 2.5" to 5.25" hard drive rack. I will be making this rack completely by hand from scrap metal purchased at Lowe's. This will hold my two 2.5" drives and will slide in and out of a 5.25" bay. This way, I can remove all of the traditional hard drive racks from the case to make lots of room.

Haha, ignore the terrible CD's in the background...I promise that they're my brother's. He has always had pretty bland taste in music


Here is the hard drive rack that came with the case. As you can see, I have cut out the bottom two racks with a dremel tool. I will be using the mounting brackets for my new bay mount.
^


Here are the brackets after being cut, trimmed, and sanded. This took me quite a while since I have pretty limited tools! Just using a dremel, hack saw, hand file, and power drill

^


Next I began cutting the sheets of aluminum using a simple hack saw. I picked up these aluminum sheets at Lowe's the other day...just to realize that my local hardware store has them for $5 cheaper

^


Here we have one of the panels cut and filed. Took quite a while to sand it down to size since my hacksaw sucks pretty bad

^


Closeup of the panel. It took me an incredibly long time to cut this and then hand file it straight!
^


Here we have the elbow piece that I will use to fasten the panels together. Also picked this fine piece up at Lowe's
^


One piece cut and filed.
^


After a few afternoons of work (many hours!), I have all of the pieces cut and filed. It took forever to drill the holes in order to get the outside screws to lay flush with the metal (not the screws here but the screws that will fasten the elbow pieces to the panels), but I'm really glad that I took the time. Things are shaping up nicely! With the panel on the left, you can see how I have mounted the brackets.
^


Here we have my two hard drives plus some hardware.
^


Oops! Haha, must have gotten sleepy. I drilled the holes on the same side of this one... fail
^


Here we have the two drives mounted! They slide in and out of the brackets very nicely thanks to the rubber grommets - very snug fit - those babies aren't going anywhere!
^


Beginning to assemble the parts. If you look at the left panel, you can see how I've made the screws come flush with the outside on the elbow pieces. This is so that the whole unit will slide smoothly in and out of the 5.25" bay This took me hours of hand work but came out really nicely.
^


Closeup of the mountage
^


Another closeup
^


Here is the unit partially put together (not all of the screws are in) You can see my 280 on the floor there in the background
Can't wait to boot that baby up when my new PSU gets here
^


Here's how the whole thing fits into my 5.25" bay....perfect fit!
Ah my handcrafted beauty
^


Another shot with my CD drive (which will be painted and modded later
)
^


Next I'll be sanding this baby down and giving it a paint job. I'm thinking about capping the ends with some modder's mesh and throwing some red LED's in there to make it glow
Please leave comments, feedback, or ideas and check back tomorrow for updates!

EDIT: I'm looking for some scrap pieces of modder's mesh or one 5.25" cover from the antec 1200. Let me know if you want to sell me some!
 

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looking good mate, good luck with the project
If you like my worklogs you can use the same app I use to easily create them (its an app I wrote) WorklogCreator


linked in my sig

the only thing I do manually after posting the worklog is I get the direct numbered link to the newly posted update, and add that url and a description to the second post of the thread, which acts like a table of contents to the entirety of the worklog.

if you use the app it requires .NET 3.5 be installed, and if you have any questions please post them in the worklog creator thread (where the link in my sig takes you)
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the kind words chickeneater, hope to see you back soon. Big thanks to nafl for offering to sell me some of his modder's mesh...we'll see some of that much later on


CR - I'll definitely check out your work log creator once I get my PC booted up. I'm on my macbook for now. Thanks a lot, much your work has inspired me to do this build!

And on with the updates! Today I got down to business with my CD drive. I'm going to pull off the front cover, sand 'er down, prime, paint, and clear coat it, and then try to mount one of my Lian-Li 5.25" slot covers onto the front of the drive so that it will match up perfectly with the other bays. Gonna look sexeh


But alas, all of this means nothing without some pics!

Here we have the boring old original drive, old faceplate and all. Thing is pretty lame....IDE
I'm worried that my IDE cables are going to be too short for me to hide them well and I would like to not have to buy new ones, heh. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Anyways, here we are, try not to gag

^


So I sanded the thing down and brought it outside for some nice prime time
^


Work it baby, work it
^


And now we have the paint layers. I'm really happy with this matte black, exactly what I was hoping for. Couldn't really get the stickers off, but they won't even be visible once the drive is mounted in the case.
^


Here you can get a bit better idea of the gloss level...pretty diffuse. Perfecto
^


I'll be throwing down a layer or two of clear coat later tonight and I'll let that dry for a day or so before I start messin' with it. Figured pics with the clear coat wouldn't be very exciting since it's...well...you know, clear.

Here's the faceplate that I'll be attempting to (and hopefully not failing at) mounting onto the front of the drive.
^


--

I'll hopefully get the hard drive rack primed and painted tomorrow, so check back again soon for updates on that!

--
 

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Wow!

Subbed, and nice idea with stealthing the DVD drive, I have done that to mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hey guys, thanks for all of the comments! keeps me motivated to hear that people enjoy the same stuff as me.

@fedex: to be honest, I haven't gotten to try it yet
. I can't get the Win 7 install DVD to burn properly.

I'll be back tonight with some updates, I've got some big ideas in the works for this mod!
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Maytridy
View Post

hey guys, thanks for all of the comments! keeps me motivated to hear that people enjoy the same stuff as me.

@fedex: to be honest, I haven't gotten to try it yet
. I can't get the Win 7 install DVD to burn properly.

I'll be back tonight with some updates, I've got some big ideas in the works for this mod!


K, Sweet. Hmm thats weird how the Win 7 install DVD wont burn properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea, it was odd but I finally got it to work...for some reason the third time was a charm! crashed on me the first two times


anyways, I'm now running Windows 7! love it so far
and to answer your question, this SSD flies
it's freakin' smooth as butter. We'll see how it runs once I get a bunch of programs loaded up

just installed 3ds max 2010, I'll get some renders up of my plans soon!

EDIT:

had a pretty busy day today so I didn't get to do much modding, but I got Win7 up and running. I'm starting to model my case in 3ds max so that I can nail down my exact plans. Here's the basic shell of the case, more tomorrow!

 
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