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DIY PC Mod Guide: Installing Cooling fan hole in PC panel

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Aug 1, 2015
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Hi Everybody! I mentioned I would share some of my DIY PC & Case Modding guides. This guide takes you through the steps for installing PC cooling fan as top exhaust in your case. I'm also offering a discount to all TechPowerUp members for PC & Case modding supplies HERE



Suggested Supplies & Tools

*Measuring Square or Ruler.
*Small Flat head screw driver.
*Phillips screw driver.
*120mm wire fan grill for tracing (Or download printable template below)
*Center Punch.
*Paint Pen or Marker.
*Drill press (or Hand Power Drill)
*Arbor for 4.5" Hole Saw Attachment to Drill Press or Hand Power drill
*4.5" Bi-Metal hole saw attachment.
*Two Large C-clamps (if you're using Drill press.
*Block of wood, to fit under the top panel.
*Hand punch as shown here for making the screw mounting holes, or you can use a power drill.

If you don't have access to a Drill press, you can use Hand Power Drill. Minimum volts for Cordless Power Drill is 18V, but 24v would be ideal for cutting into most PC cases.



Download Fan Grill Hole Templates PDF File, http://www.mnpctech.3dpixelnet.com/picture_library/mnpctech.com_80_92_120_140_fan_grill_templates_rv2.pdf

Before printing, you must select "None" for page scaling in your print dialogue box!



We're using Lian Li PC7-plus mid tower case for this tutorial.



Using Measuring Square to determine center location of the fan hole.



Draw outline around the 120mm wire fan grill



Now you have the exact location outlined for the Hole Saw guide bit.



Unscrew and remove the top panel.



Bi-metal hole saws are specialized attachments that allow you to drill large diameter holes. You need an Arbor (sold separately) that fits your drill in order to use a hole saw attachment. Here are the conversions for using a hole saw for the most popular PC cooling fans. For this guide, we're using 4.5-inch hole saw for 120mm cooling fan.

80mm = 3-inch hole saw
92mm = 3.5-inch hole saw
120mm = 4.5-inch hole saw
140mm = 5.5-inch hole saw



If you don't have access to a Drill press (pictured below), you can use hand power drill or a cordless drill. Minimum recommended volts for cordless power drill is 18V, but 24v would be more ideal for cutting into most PC cases.



In this guide I'll be using my bench top drill press. Before making our 120mm hole, You'll want to find a piece of wood to place your panel upon, before using the hole saw. This will help prevent the top panel from bending and drilling into your work surface.



I've placed pieces of acrylic material under the C-clamps, to prevent the panel from getting scratched or damaged. You can use scraps of thin wood or thick cardboard. *Tip: Apply Cutting Oil or WD40 to the edges of the Hole saw, to help prevent heat build up as it cuts the aluminum.



Next step is making the fan mounting hole. Take your time.



You will need to drill the fan screw mounting holes next. I prefer using 1/4" size drill bit.



Use Round side hand file to debur the edges of the opening



You can use sandpaper as alternative to hand file.



Peel off tape and inspect work. You may want to use Medium grit sandpaper to give the edges a once over...



Install your PC cooling fan and grill. Stand back and admire your work!
 

rtwjunkie

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Very nice guide!
 
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System Name custom
Processor i5 3570K @4.2ghz
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Cooling aircooled
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Video Card(s) MSI GTX 780 reference
Storage 2tb Seagate, 256gb sandisk SSD
Power Supply 850W Antec HCG-M
Thank you! This will come in handy on my buddies power mac g4 mod
 
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Thanks! Guides like this could be very useful to members here.
 
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Nice & complete guide. Something pretty simple but oh so useful to have served up like this, I bet, for many people.

Also holy necro :D But that's fine.
 
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Benchmark Scores idc
Nice & complete guide. Something pretty simple but oh so useful to have served up like this, I bet, for many people.

Also holy necro :D But that's fine.
If not for this necro I wouldn't have seen this, this is actually something I've wanted to do in a couple of my cases for a while, since the fans can blow air down on the VRM- useful for keeping the caps cool for 24/7 work. :)

Will definitely take a look at the guide.
 
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