Unboxing and planning
Powder coated parts
A huge box, says the UPS guy.
Measuring internal dimensions
Planning every step while this case was still normal
This is my plan of what it would look like.
Top and mid panels removed
All the big pieces are from this scrap material. I have no idea what it was originally for when my friend gave it to me. All I was thinking was: great, I only need to bend 2 sides. It turned out to be a very bad decision later in the build.
Thanks to mnpctech, I downloaded their fan template, printed 3 copies of 2x120 file and taped them together to make this 480 radiator compatible. Fan/radiator screws holes were really hard to make. we don't have a lot of tools here at my friend's garage, so we marked all fans holes, then drill 2 holes on 2 of the opposing quadrant points, then a milling bit, then file all the edges straight. At least as straight as possible. If I had a milling machine, all these screw holes and fans holes may take 10 min, at most, operating by hands. Hydro cut may be a even better solution. But we got to stick with we what we had.
The top piece was the same type construction, use 2 bent edges from the scrap material, and use angle aluminum (1/8in thickness). I/O shield and PCI slot bracket holes drilled as well.
Angle aluminum cut to fit existing structure, it turned out to be more difficult to match than expected.
Original top panel as reference to mark rivet holes. Some turned out to be unusable since we changed so much on top panel.
Motherboard tray roated 90 degree and flipped side. Originally, if you face the case, motherboard try is on right hand side, and all PCI-e slots are horizontal. Now, when you face the case, MB tray is on left hand side, and all PCI-e slots are vertical. I would say it is the same way as FT-02, RV-02 and TJ-11 from Silverstone.
Another thing I want to point out is the MB tray is not a square, but very dann close. Originally, it is above the mid plate, now the bottom edge is about 1/8 in or 3mm below the mid plate. My mid plate is at the same position as the original panel, except being thicker.
If you want the MB tray flush to the rear panel, this sacrifice has to be made. All the rest are flush against each other. I might need to drill 2 holes on the edge you see now because when I was building my system later on, I realized MB tray does not feel solid enough since only top were fastened, and only 1 rivet on the bottom edge. Any way, you should see more detailed later in this post.
Flipped the top panel to mark cable routing hole, which turned out to be extremely useful.
If you haven't noticed, this is the drive cage from bottom compartment. My original plan was to mod the existing structure right underneath optical bay, and above mid plate. Flip two walls upside down would work, but that makes all drives upside down. That made us to switch the two walls, then more problems appeared. When I almost give up placing any hard drive above mid plate, I saw the drive cage from bottom compartment, and this is how I mark my drill holes.
Transfer the hole pattern to the bottom of optical drive cage.
4 holes drilled, but at the end when I was assembling, none of them was used. Why? 2 of them were interfering with hot swappable cage, so I made 2 new holes. Installed hot swappable cage, then I realized I did not install front fan. Took it apart, isntalled front 200mm fan, hot swappable cage would not fit; when I transferred the hole pattern I did not leave enough space for the front fan. We had to make 4 new holes to fit hot swappable cage. If I show you this cage now, it has about 12 holes on top and side.
Parts back from powder coating
The finish looks really good.
This is why I like powder coating over painting.
Top panel finished as well.
Top panel unwrapped
The piece in middle is factory finish. They look almost the same finish.
I have to say powder coating finish feels just like factory finish, and it should be a lot more durable than painting. Best part is if you have all the equipment, you can do all this in 2 hours from sanding, spraying powder, to baking in oven and cooling off. I just wish I had a junk oven that I can play with. And because I don't have one, all the pieces cost me $60.
Still looks stock.
But something seems missing.
Now the internal is totally different.
Top panel is what you usually see on the back of a computer case.
Harddrive cage from bottom hung under hotswappable bay.
Rampage IV Extreme, i7 3930K cooled with Corsair H100 in push and pull configuration with 4 120mm Cougar Vortex PWM fans
Looking through PCI bracket at Cougar Vortex PWM fan
Fan cable routing method works as expected.
Without custom length cables, it look really messy.
A closer look at the harddrive cage
Orange blade fans replaced with black ones.
With top cover
Without top cover
All supplies needed for custom cabling
A close look at silver plated wire
PSU 12pin to PCI-E 8pin + 6pin
Motherbaord 24pin to PSU 18pin + 10pin
Custom cables installed, from left to right:
PCI-E 6pin, PCI-E 6pin, PCI-E 8pin, Motherboard 24pin, CPU 8pin
PSU side short run loop