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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer: Everyone attempts this fix at their own risk.

So I noticed a strange rumbling noise coming from my case. The noise had been building up for a few weeks now, so off with the side panel and true enough my guess was correct the bottom graphics card cooler was making the noise.

Luckily for me the top card had a similar problem only a few months earlier so I knew exactly what to do even snapping a few pictures along the way.

So first order of business: take out the card. My PSU has the fan facing upwards so I all ways put something over it so no screws fall in.


To free the cooler from the PCB simply unplug the fan connector and unscrew the cooler body and GPU heat sink. I unscrewed the GPU heat sink last and did it by loosening the screws slowly and evenly. There are springs under the GPU back bracket. While they did not jump or even falloff for me I advise caution here.




Now the card should come off with minimal effort (the thermal paste might be a bit sticky). Put the card some were safe so we can get cracking on the main problem the fan bearing. Locate the rubber cap and take it off.


What you see now (if you are lucky) is the fan axel and locking disc as for me I only saw black gunk
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At this point some lube comes in handy. I filled the hole with some small machine oil stirred with a toothpick and cleaned out the gunk with a q-tip.





Despite the cleaning and lubing the cooler fan still would not spin freely. The rotor would have to come out. Unfortunately the rotor will not fit thru the hole in the cover so the cover must be removed. The screws holding the cooler together are smaller and harder to open. One of the screws is partially covered by the memory heat pad. Some force is required to split the cooler. The heat sink will now be totally free so you can use this opportunity to thoroughly clean it. Now back to the fan.



To get the fan to slide out you need to remove the lock disc which has a split in it and is removed by simply prying it out with small screwdriver. I say simply but in practice this is the hardest part of the entire operation as the hole is very cramped and the disc tends to spin around instead of coming of the axle. If the locking disc very worn or is damaged it can be replaced from a case fan as almost all computer fan axles have the same size lock disc.




Now that you hopefully you got the disc out in one piece so we can pull out the fans rotor. The black gunk is present here as well. Some lube and paper cleaned it right of.



You really can't go wrong with to much lube so the motor gets some to.



Now then let's slide the rotor back on and see how it spins.


Perfect. As good the day I first got it
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Now it's only a matter of reassembling the whole thing. It's pretty straightforward but paying extra attention to the locking disc so that it's properly in its groove, we don't want the fan to falloff in the middle of a gaming session now do we. It is all so a good idea to fill the bearing hole with oil before you put the rubber cap back on. So I clean off the old thermal paste. I use some disinfectant swabs. I know some of you are probably thinking that's not smart you should use pure alcohol. Perhaps but I've been using these for years and had no ill effects yet.




So a little bit of new paste, assemble and hey presto it's back running smooth wit it's twin.



And of course I forgot to plug in the fan header
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But after that no extra noise and good temps all around.

I like to thank everyone who actually managed to read thru my ramblings. This was my first worklog/guide thingy so excuse the bad writing and pictures
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Great tutorial for others who haven't done this to their cards. It's also best to do these to your case/heatsink fans in order to reduce noise and extend their lifespam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokin;14528142
Great tutorial for others who haven't done this to their cards. It's also best to do these to your case/heatsink fans in order to reduce noise and extend their lifespam.
Glad you liked it.
And yes this is very much the same thing a as a normal case fan lube job. With the exception that most case fans will run for a lot longer then 2 years before they start to bog down. Of course its possible that XFX used really cheap bearings and that is the cause of the short life span.
The top cards fan actually jammed for me. It was really surprising how fast the fan went from a bit noisy to OMG the fan stopped spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not step by step but yeah in principle.
 

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Very good tut. + Rep!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm happy to report that 6 months down the road the radeons are still running buttery smooth and I'm happy to keep them around even after my rig had a make over.

338
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Surprisingly the 360 rad is not as overkill as I expected. I still need to ramp up the fan speed to 1200rpm on full load.
 

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Thank You so much for this!!! I was given a Dell Studio XPS with a stock 4870 to fix and sell for a good friend... the Vid card sounded like there was a wood pecker inside lol I followed this and all good!!!
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