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TACKtech Corp. > Articles > Hardware > eXtremeReviews.net Guides

Front Panel Fan-Hole Mod (TTID #260)

Author: eXtremeReviews.net   Views: 3,783 /  Created: June 28, 2004
* republished with permission from eXtremeReviews.net

Author: James Pardoe
Editor: Stan Bloch


In this guide you will learn how to fit a fan into the front of your case to improve appearance, and airflow. Before writing this guide I looked on the internet to see if I could find anyone who had figured out this simple mod, but found no one! So as well as looking great and improving cooling, your new mod will be unique too!

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So lets get started shall we?

To begin, you are going to need the following items:

  • 1 - drill
  • 1 - 4mm drill piece
  • 1 - 80mm hole saw (can be found at your local DIY store)
  • 1 - ruler
  • 1 - pencil
  • 2 - sheets of sandpaper (around 200grit and 600grit, although any will do)
  • 1 - small file
  • 1 - fan grill ($1 at Newegg.com)
  • 2 - spare front case panels
  • 4 - fan screws
  • 1 - role of masking tape
  • 1 - LED fan ($5 at Newegg.com)
  • 1 rainy day

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Contents Panels Fan Grill
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Hole Saw Fan Screws Masking Tape
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LED Fan Drill Bit

Step 1:
Take your two front panels and line them up together as they would be when inside the case. Then take your masking tape at wrap it around the two panels neatly, so that they are attached to each other.

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Step 2:
Take the ruler and pencil and make a straight line from one corner to the opposite corner, do the same for the other two corners. You should end up with a cross in the exact center like so:

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Step 3 (The fun part):
Attach the 80mm hole saw to your drill, making sure that it is securely fastened. You may wish to wear eye protection for this, as plastic may fly off. TAKE CARE, we are not responsible for any injury you may incur whilst performing this mod. If you hurt yourself, it’s your fault!

If possible, clamp the two front panels safely before drilling. Line the hole saw up with the center where the two pencil lines meet, and slowly begin to cut through. If you rush this, the plastic will melt and you will end up with a bad finish. The slower, the better. When the drill has cut all the way through it is likely to lurch forward, so be ready for it.

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Step 4:
You should now have two panels with a perfect hole in the middle of them, if you don’t…well, let's just hope you do!

There will be a small amount of melted plastic around the edges which will need to be removed. So take your sandpaper and smooth down the edges using the rough paper first, then the finer paper. Take your time; a smooth finish will look much better in the long run. It is best not to use any type of file in place of sand paper, as they are too course and are likely to distort your circle. Once you are happy with your hole, move on to step 5.

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Step 5:
The LED fan that you are using is likely to be larger in width than 80mm, so the edges of each panel will prevent it from sitting snugly behind them. To solve this problem, you need to line up the fan with the panels and draw a line around the edges, like so:

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Then cut or saw away the extra pieces of plastic off, and use the small file to tidy it up. You may wish to remove the masking tape at this time and work on one panel individually, but don’t forget the marks that you just made on the tape. File a notch in the plastic where the marks were made so that you don’t loose your place.

Step 6:
Get your drill and insert the 4mm drill bit. You will need to make four holes in your panels, through which the screws will go to attach the fan and grill.

Place the fan in the correct position up against the panels and then place the drill through one of the fan screw holes. You then need to drill carefully through each of the four fan screw holes. Make sure that the fan is kept in the same position throughout this time. You should end up with two holes in each panel.

Step 7:
All that is left now is for you to put everything together. Simply place the fan up against the two panels on the rear, and place the fan grill at the front, and use the fan screws to screw through the fan grill, through the panels, and into the fan.

Place the front fan panel into the case and plug in the fan and you’re done!

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If you carry out this mod, please send us photos of your work! We may even publish it.


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