Case Upgrade for AquaStealth

July 10, 2002
I have been thinking of changing my water cooler setup. So in went the parts order (more water tubing, purple ice, and inlets) and out came the tools.
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Page 1: Introduction

<B>Introduction :</B>
When I did my article on the <a href="">AquaStealth</a> water cooler I was hesitant about getting a new case for the setup. I had an idea of how I wanted to setup the cooler, but I ended up using a case I already had. Everything did fit into the case, but it was very tight and left no room for expansion.
Just recently I was able to find a case that fit the idea I was having on how to setup the cooler. It would require some cutting on the case, but I have wanted to do this for some time and so out came the tools.

<B>Mark and Cut :</B>
The following is a series of photos showing the sequence of events from the original 80mm fan mounting in the upper back of the case to the completed case cutting. I won&#8217;t bother showing and explaining the actual cutting as that has been done many times and probably others will do it again.

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/CsBckNw.jpg">Area To Change</center>

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/CsBckTp.jpg">Area Taped And Marked For Cutting</center>

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/CsBckHl.jpg">Hole Cut (using a fine tooth saber saw blade)And Cleaned Up (a little filing with a dremel)</center>

The next photo is the final setup after adding an additional case cut to feed the power cord for the water reservoir/pump. These last cuts were done with tin snips and the edges were covered with a plastic edging trim to protect the power cord from cuts. None of this plastic trim was used around the blow hole as it is on the back of the case and is covered by the fan shroud.

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/BlwHlCt.jpg">Fan Shroud Mounted</center>

<B>Mounting the Equipment :</B>
The 120mm fan was mounted to the radiator then to the back of the case with the air flow being pulled across the radiator fins and vented directly out of the case. This allowed me to not worry about trying to hold the fan/radiator setup while placing long screws through a fan shroud, case back, fan, and into the radiator mounting holes; a very difficult task alleviated.

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/RadMnt.jpg">Radiator/Fan Mounted</center>

The Reservoir/Pump was attached to a 3 ½&#8221; to 5 ¼&#8221; adapter mount using velcro, placing the whole apparatus in the empty area behind the top four front 5 ¼&#8221; bays. I had replaced the two reservoir/pump straight inlets with 45° inlets, making attaching the water tubing easier (no tight bends to restrict water flow).

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/PmpMnt.jpg">Resevoir/Pump Mounted</center>

<B>Conclusion :</B>
As can be seen from the old photo, my system setup was crowded and would not allow for any additions. The water tubing also blocked my ability to change cables, memory, etc.

<center><img src="/~nivram/setup.jpg">Old Setup Installation</center>

I now have a much neater installation with plenty of area for additional hard drives for a raid setup. Cables are easy to move around without the fear of knocking a water tube loose and shorting out my system. It took me a whole day to do the complete modification of the case and another day to move the equipment from the old case to the new case.

<center><img src="/~nivram/NewCase/NewerPC.jpg">Newly Completed Installation</center>

Although the case is a full tower, the footprint of the case is nearly 3 inches less in depth and 2 inches in width. I did some rearrangement of my desk and I now have more desktop space and I see a much neater setup.

NOTE: Just prior to this update on my case I began to notice that my CPU temps were beginning to rise from a nominal 42° to 50°C. When I moved the equipment I drained all the water cooler components into a bucket and noticed several small black paint chips, what appeared to be some white joint sealant pieces, and I believe some small metal filings. I thought I had done a good purge of the system during the first build, but I guess I will have to do a better job next time. After the rebuild I began to get my normal 42°C temperature readings.

SPECIAL NOTE: I will have to admit that I believe I fried my original CPU. When I switched the system on after the rebuild I got an immediate overload signal on my UPS. Before I could flip the power switch off I smelled that ugly electronic burning odor. Luckily it only took out my CPU and a friend came to the rescue so I could write this article.
I had thought I attached the water cooler correctly. The motherboard settings must have changed, so that my previous setting for overheating shutdown did not work (after getting it working again I checked the BIOS setting and found them not set). Oh well, now my friend will get an upgrade to his CPU for being such a good friend. <


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