Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Case Mod for Internal Radiator

Tags:
  • Water Cooling
  • Cases
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
Share
March 8, 2012 5:53:26 AM

I have a Phantom 410 case by NZXT and I was hoping someone could help me figure out how to mod it so that a 240mm rad could fit in the bottom part of the case next to the PSU. The 2.5" bays are split into two sections, and I've figured out how to remove the lower one so that I have enough room for the rad, shroud and fans. The problem is that I can't figure out how to mount the radiator to the chassis. Ideally, I would like to have the radiator sitting on the floor of the case with the fans on top pulling air through, but I can't find a guide for how to mount the radiator straight to the chassis. Maybe I should try to just mount the fans on the bottom pushing air through the radiator? I'd need two sets of screws to do that, one to mount the fan to the case, the other to connect the fan to the radiator (this seems tricky, as I wouldn't be able to screw in the later type of screw). The other problem is that there is a perforated portion of the floor for a bottom mount fan that the radiator will be covering (and then some) - unfortunately, the screw holes for fans are far too large to be of use for securing the radiator.

Any ideas, or maybe links to a guide for how to generally mod a case for an internal radiator? Should I just punch out a similar 120mm pattern in the floor next to the factory one, or do I need to free up more open space to allow air to flow through the radiator? How on earth am I going to mount this thing over the pre-existing mounting holes for a fan? How do I even make threaded holes in metal; is there a special drill bit for this? Can I get the right bit for the particular screws used on black ice radiators?

More about : case mod internal radiator

a c 190 K Overclocking
March 8, 2012 8:29:42 AM

I'm off to sleep now cause I work nights, but check out the W/c gallery, theres a few phantoms in there and possibly links to build logs, post a pic of the bottom area of the case here though and I'm sure you'll get some answers before I'm back on later
Moto
m
0
l
a c 337 K Overclocking
March 8, 2012 2:03:39 PM

Welcome to modding, where there really aren't any guides. It's a matter of figuring out what will work best for your build.

Couple suggestions-

1. Cut holes for your fans and mounting holes, and mount from the case floor, up, like this: case floor, fan, rad...using screws from underneath the case through the fan mount holes to the rad. Make sure you have clearance under the case to pull in cool air and not carpet.

2. Drill holes for standoffs. Get screws the size/length needed for standoffs and that fit your rad. Cut standoffs (aluminum piping, copper tubing or PVC tubing- any small diameter will work) and insert machine screws from bottom of case, through standoffs into rad. Mount fans on top to either push or pull.

3. Standoffs without tubing- essentially the same method as above, but simpler. Get screws that fit your rad and appropriate height for your plans as well as washers and nuts. Run your screws and washers through the bottom of your case and ensure you thread a nut/washer on before you thread into your rad. Mount your rad with screws as usual and once they are completely threaded into the rad, thread the nuts down tightly to the inside floor of your case. They will act as the standoffs. This is the method I took when I side mounted my rads on my case build.

m
0
l
March 8, 2012 3:34:46 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
I'm off to sleep now cause I work nights, but check out the W/c gallery, theres a few phantoms in there and possibly links to build logs, post a pic of the bottom area of the case here though and I'm sure you'll get some answers before I'm back on later
Moto


A Phantom case is not a Phantom 410 case; for starters, the former is full tower and the latter is mid-tower. Finding a guide for how to do this to a phantom case would be unhelpful, and furthermore it would be unlikely that you would need to do such modding in a full tower case. I'm more trying to find out how to just mount a radiator to a case wall - I know I have to drill some holes and whatnot, but I need a bit more guidance.

Rubix - thanks! That pretty much answered my question. Mounting the radiator like that doesn't cause excess vibration? I know the screw will be held in place by the nut, with the radiator screwed into the portion of the threads above the nut, but it seems a little vibration-y to me (conceptually, I guess). I'll have to leave a certain amount of space between the rad and the nut so I can tighten the nut down after the rad is attached to the screw - what does this mean as far as the intake holes I'm going to drill? Am I good with just punching a bunch of holes in a square pattern, or do I need to cut out a solid piece of metal for maximum airflow? Given that there's going to be a bit of space between the rad and the floor of the case, I don't think that'll be necessary, but I thought I'd ask you and see what you thought.

EDIT: Oh yeah, this just popped into my head - you really think it should go case floor, fans, rad? I'm thinking case floor, rad, fans. I suppose, though, that this would all be easier to do with your method...probably wouldn't even need the nut. I could just drill out the holes for the additional fan, then put two fans over those holes, and put the rad on top, running a screw from outside the case through the fan into the radiator. Sound good? That means my rad will be in a push config... :/ 
m
0
l
a c 337 K Overclocking
March 8, 2012 3:42:58 PM

My ADHD is running amok trying to read your questions...so many questions, ideas, answers, what if's all tossed in together. I'll have to come back and try to sort through these to try and make sense of them.
m
0
l
a c 190 K Overclocking
March 8, 2012 3:48:21 PM

Forgive me for not checking the exact model of your case before posting that advice,
but as Rubix says, modding (and the issues we run into along the way) doesn't really come with an instruction book,
its mostly a lot of lateral thinking to reach a desired outcome.
The last part of your edit, yes you can mount the rad directly to the case floor, and its up to you whether you have the fans in push underneath, or in pulll on top, different rad's prefer different set ups so check which yours performs best with before deciding, it hurts to pull an entire rig apart just to turn a couple of fans around :p 
*Edit, @Rubix, nice diagram man :) **
Moto
m
0
l
March 8, 2012 3:58:19 PM

LOL alright yeah that last post was a morass...I'll try to itemize and simplify.

1) Does your proposed mount rattle? The only thing holding the rad in place is the pressure between the screw and nut - seems rattle-y.
2) If the mount order is case wall, fans, radiator, do I really need the nut? If I'm going to cut out a bunch of holes in the case wall and mount everything on top of the holes normally (i.e. with screws that run all the way through the case walls, fans, and radiator), I don't seem to need the space between fans and case wall that adds extra airflow.
3) What do you think of case wall, radiator, fans? If I did this, could I still just drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of the case, or would I need to cut out large, completely unobstructed portions of the case for the radiator?

The biggest question I have is whether or not punching a bunch of holes in the bottom of the case is sufficient for good airflow. Do fans need to be completely unobstructed, to achieve maximum airflow? Do radiators need to be completely unobstructed to achieve maximum airflow?

For some reason, it seems as though the perforated bottom wouldn't be a big deal for fans sitting on top of the perforations, but might be a big deal for a radiator sitting on top of the perforations.
m
0
l
a c 337 K Overclocking
March 8, 2012 5:22:21 PM

Quote:
1) Does your proposed mount rattle? The only thing holding the rad in place is the pressure between the screw and nut - seems rattle-y.


Mine don't rattle or move. This might depend on how well you do this.

Quote:
2) If the mount order is case wall, fans, radiator, do I really need the nut? If I'm going to cut out a bunch of holes in the case wall and mount everything on top of the holes normally (i.e. with screws that run all the way through the case walls, fans, and radiator), I don't seem to need the space between fans and case wall that adds extra airflow.


You don't need the nut unless you are going the standoff method...otherwise, the fan takes the place. Maybe I am missing what you are asking?

Quote:
3) What do you think of case wall, radiator, fans? If I did this, could I still just drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of the case, or would I need to cut out large, completely unobstructed portions of the case for the radiator?


So are you not mounting these in the floor? I guess it depends on what you actually want to do, and you might have to experiment for yourself on what works best for you.

Quote:
The biggest question I have is whether or not punching a bunch of holes in the bottom of the case is sufficient for good airflow. Do fans need to be completely unobstructed, to achieve maximum airflow? Do radiators need to be completely unobstructed to achieve maximum airflow?


Again, it really depends on mounting method. You want as much airflow through the rads as you can get, but if you already have fan cutouts, why do you want to make more?

Quote:
For some reason, it seems as though the perforated bottom wouldn't be a big deal for fans sitting on top of the perforations, but might be a big deal for a radiator sitting on top of the perforations.


It's the same either way...airflow is determined by the fans and radiator design. I think you are really over-thinking this way too much. If your fans have the ability to move adequate airflow without obstruction...the same applies to your rads.

I think you should really decide on how you want to do this, and stick with that. If it requires seeing what works best in terms of mounting, only you can decide that. Otherwise, it's really hard to sort out what you are asking since you are asking so many questions about relevant and irrelevant information, depending on when and how you are asking it.
m
0
l
March 8, 2012 5:51:03 PM

rubix_1011 said:


Quote:
3) What do you think of case wall, radiator, fans? If I did this, could I still just drill a bunch of holes in the bottom of the case, or would I need to cut out large, completely unobstructed portions of the case for the radiator?


So are you not mounting these in the floor? I guess it depends on what you actually want to do, and you might have to experiment for yourself on what works best for you.

Quote:
The biggest question I have is whether or not punching a bunch of holes in the bottom of the case is sufficient for good airflow. Do fans need to be completely unobstructed, to achieve maximum airflow? Do radiators need to be completely unobstructed to achieve maximum airflow?


Again, it really depends on mounting method. You want as much airflow through the rads as you can get, but if you already have fan cutouts, why do you want to make more?



Ok cool, you answered pretty much everything except for the confusion I quoted above.

The problem is that the Phantom 410 case only has a cut out/mount for one 120mm fan on the floor of the case. Right next to that perforated cutout is a semi-removable ( :D  ) hard drive cage. My proposed plan is to remove that cage, thereby freeing up an additional 120mm of space next to the pre-existing fan cutout.

As it stands, the case only has a cutout for ONE 120mm fan. I'm going to make a cutout, similar in fashion, right next to the pre-existing perforated cutout and mount a 240mm radiator over both.

My main question now, since you've answered the other ones so well: is a standard perforated cutout for mounting fans (i.e. a bunch of small holes in a square, fan-sized arrangement) going to limit airflow?

Inserting standoffs doesn't seem like it would help - the fans have to pull air into the case from somewhere, and unless I make another perforated cutout there will only be one. I mean, I have to make some holes in the case for the other fan to pull air through, right?

Perhaps I should mention that there is ground clearance for air intake through the bottom of the case - it sits an inch or two off the tile floor it is standing on.
m
0
l
a c 337 K Overclocking
March 8, 2012 6:30:23 PM

If you are going the standoff method, the air will be pushed or pulled from around and under the rad anyway...you wouldn't need to cut holes. If the rad or fans are not going to be resting flush to the floor, suspending them up gives you the access to the airflow they need.
m
0
l
!