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View Full Version : Alienated! Alienware Mod



Tovas
09-24-04, 07:21 PM
About a month and a 1/2 ago I picked up a killer lil deal. An Alienware case, 650w PC Power and cooling PSU, Floppy, DVD, and a ton of case fans for less than 150.00

http://img67.exs.cx/img67/1122/78_12_s.jpg

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/1898/000_0070.jpg
various misc goodies mentioned above

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/5424/000_0022.jpg
close up of PSU

After getting the case I started to have a few ideas going threw my head and i desided to strip the case, drill down the main chassis, take it all apart and send it to the sand blaster for a nice naked look!

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/9290/000_0017.jpg
all blasted and sprawled all over my floor before my girl friend gets home *note the fan shrouds have been cut out*

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/1456/000_0018.jpg
close up of the 5 1/2" case stripped

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/4290/000_0019.jpg
close up of motherboard tray

The next step is to polish the chassis rivet it all back up and get down to business. The plan is to put a hard lined water cooling system in this puppy. Either stainless steel lines or copper lines chome plated. I also plan to custom cut the power supply lines and hard line these also. Kinda give the inside of the PC an sporty cold air induction under the hood look. Between the hardlines and the componets I plan to use blue silicone tubing and Oetiker hose clamps

http://www.dripworksusa.com/products/oetiker.jpg
clamps

There are other numerous things I want to do, but first things first, I need to get this puppy polished and clear coated. I know this is going to be a long project between the full time job and my daughter on the weekends, but I think itll be a really good time.

Please dont quote the pictures I dont want to kill image shack also looking for someone to possibly host pics if possible.

Please comment away and give feed back! all ideas welcome!

:sn:

WejRepus
09-24-04, 07:28 PM
not bad... how'd you get your hands on that case? very tricky if is do say so.
however, i find them to be WAY too huge... i know someone who bought an alienware system and i cant really stand the sight of the thing. but it looks like you are going to make it much more bearable

wfarid
09-24-04, 07:35 PM
that is a pretty killer deal... geez how did u pull that one?

Tovas
09-24-04, 07:35 PM
not bad... how'd you get your hands on that case? very tricky if is do say so.

Found it on ebay. The auction was literally up for 40 seconds when I found it the guy had a buy it now option and I grabbed it.

:sn:

DaWiper
09-24-04, 07:53 PM
Wow! Something out of the ordinary. I will follow this thread. Good luck! Can't remember to have seen any Alienware mods before, but then again I'm just a seminoob in the modding business.

Drec
09-24-04, 08:05 PM
:drool: @ your PSU

lil layzie
09-24-04, 08:18 PM
:drool:
Lucky! That PSU is worth more than $150 alone. :thup:

Nightingale
09-24-04, 08:31 PM
Nice snag I must say. I see lots of modding potential in these things if I could get my hands on one for reasonable costs.

Aphex_Tom_9
09-24-04, 08:35 PM
I modded my old-style Alienware case a little. Cut out some grills and a hole in the top for radiating :D but this promises to be more interesting.

Remove
09-24-04, 09:53 PM
Now this is a mod I would really like to be able to do.


.....starts hunting for alienware case.....

Electron Chaser
09-24-04, 09:54 PM
:drool:
Lucky! That PSU is worth more than $150 alone. :thup:


Yeah no kidding it not every day you buy something make $60 bucks on the deal, and get a free case and various goodies besides. Nice find :eek:

Tovas
09-24-04, 09:55 PM
Did a lil work got a satin finish what do you guys think? I think a satin would prolly look nicer than a polished. The polishing could leave a wave looking effect to it.

http://img76.exs.cx/img76/8898/000_0076.jpg
Before...

http://img76.exs.cx/img76/7231/000_0072.jpg
after...

:sn:

Tovas
09-24-04, 11:02 PM
This could be bad, or extremely difficult at the least. Seems the blaster used numerous types of media... Some digging in pretty deep into the metal of the case.

http://img52.exs.cx/img52/3091/000_0080.jpg

any ideas?

:sn:

Remove
09-24-04, 11:07 PM
Bead blast with pure bead media only. Light once over should clean/clear it up.

Tovas
09-24-04, 11:23 PM
I hate to say it but if im going to have to pay the money again to have someone blast this thing I may as well go ahead and buy this

http://images10.newegg.com/productimage/11-125-444-11.JPG

and just mod it slightly the cases are the same size. The Alienware case is actually a Chieftec BX series. You may have seen me freaking out in the case section looking to buy one of these. Thats because the blaster is an id10t that jerked me around for 2 weeks about getting the case back never answered the phone or anything and it was 60 miles away so i was ready to count my loses on it. No way im going back to that stick.

For the amount of elbow grease id have to invest in this by hand i think i may be better off getting the Chenming or something else in aluminum. Sux0r ive already spent this cash on having this thing blasted only for it to be a loss, but such is life...

Ill inspect the other pieces, take a good look at them then weigh my options either way this project is going to be completed. I really wanted to do this part of the mod by hand but with this crap Ill prolly be better off with aluminum modded slightly.

:sn:

Nightingale
09-24-04, 11:42 PM
yeah the old style Alienware cases were chieftec cases which is why they became so popular . Anyhow I just think the shape of the front has alot of potential. The unique shape has me thinking some kind of reactor(whats been turning in my head is a mako reactor project, but haven't had the time to really work on my chieftec FF7 project even though I have the polycarbonate and just got a big arse 5'x5'x1/8"piece of acrylic free(has some hazing on the front but nothing some novous polish can't take out). Also if you want to strip it yourself just buy a cheap sandblasting kit from like an auto store and do it yourself. Last time I checked a cheap gun runs about 30 bucks at walmart. Just pick up a bag of silica dust or other sandblasting media and have at it. You should be able to setup your own booth with some scrap wood and some plexy for a window. This is assuming you have an air compressor or have acess to a compressor.

Edit* helps if I read the whole post first. If you want to buff out the metal quick use a die grinder and a polishing kit like those used in polishing of autoparts.

Tovas
09-24-04, 11:52 PM
Well I have a Dremel. Do you think the small Dremel grinding bits would take care of this with out making it worse? Bad thing about the Dremel is ill spend so much money on there bits I could pay for the case I pictured above off Newegg for 55 bucks.

:sn:

Posidon42
09-24-04, 11:59 PM
Being a person that has done this polishing mod already, you are going to want to do what nightingale suggested. Go to your local hardware store and buy two 8" (or larger) polishing wheels, a course, medium and fine tube of polishing compound and a bench grinder if you don't have one. It cost me about $50 for all of this stuff and the results are amazing. Too bad it is just sitting in my basement collecting dust right now. If you want to see how it turned out, check out the pics here (http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/steaven_m/album?.dir=65f3&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos).

Tovas
09-25-04, 12:14 AM
dang Posidon42 that is nice. Could you link up an example of the wheels you used?

:sn:

Hamspiced
09-25-04, 12:19 AM
for perfect look you cant sand blask or that will happen... glassbead is what you need to blast with... its a bit pricey but it lasts longer and has a better result.. i suggest sanding t by hand or palm working up from 300-1500 then wetsand and polish with mothers.

Nightingale
09-25-04, 12:49 AM
heh dremel will take you weeks of work, probably make your hands bleed, give you carpel tunnel, give you headaches, probably lead to a few scratches from the bits shattering etc when they wear down, and the bits themselves will cost you more then the larger industrial counterparts such as buffing wheels and compounds.

Last time I looked a bench grinder will run you 20 bucks if you find one of those tent sales or you can pick on up at a garage sale occationally. Here are some examples of the wheels and supplies you will probably end up getting if you go this route http://www.jestcoproducts.com/buffing_kits1.html which runs 35 for a whole set to get you a mirror finish. You can also go with a die grinder and get a cheap $20 one and then get a polishing kit for it. I am pretty sure you could probably order everything you need off of harborfreight for pretty cheap. I have ordered a few things off there and its probably not the best place, but its cheap(some of the stuff is also cheaply made so just watch).

Tovas
09-25-04, 01:19 AM
Well even more bad news. I dont know what I did to pee off the gods of modding this week but ive sure done a good job of it. Youll find me in church Sunday begging for forgivness and tithing 10% of my bank account.

Was picking everything up to put away and SNAP!

Oh well this is easier to fix than you think you know why? because my current case, is about to become my Alienware case.

I just ordered a 5 dollar 8 inch bench grinder off the ebay and the polishing kit listed above. I should be back in business next week.

After I pray to god and sacrafice a chicken... Im thinking chicken ranch pizza from Snappy Tomato Pizza :attn:

:sn:

clocker2
09-26-04, 09:23 AM
Having already media blasted the chassis why not just take the next step and have it powder coated?
Blasting is a prerequisite for this process anyway and the finish ( not to mention the range of colors) is top-notch.

Tovas
09-30-04, 01:48 AM
Thanks Clocker but im really looking for a slicked up look. I may have it painted or power coated and use it for the daughters computer. Paint it up nice and pink and put some Hello Kitty graphics or Care Bear graphics on it and let her enjoy it. :eh?:

The grinder and the wheels came on monday and my friend who also has a grinder have been going to town on the case. Im grinding everything smooth and hes polishing it up. Its a good time and a great excuse to hang out and talk systems and drink a beer or 2. :beer:

The case should be done by the end of the week. Ill prolly start a new thread for the case I think it might be better to let this thread of failures die. :cry:

:sn:

Nightingale
09-30-04, 08:37 AM
glad your starting to have some luck with this case finally, and for added insurance good luck to you lol. Keep us posted.

Optimus Prime
09-30-04, 11:04 AM
no offence but if you aren't going to use the alienware case for the mod i would just ditch the project completly and get in on the next go round. Everyone and their sister has a chieftec/chenming case and i dont think there is a single orignal thing left do with these.

Tovas
09-30-04, 09:33 PM
The inside of the alienware is a Chieftec. exactly like the one found here:

http://www.chieftec.com/products/Workcolor/BX01.htm

which is the exact same dimentions as the Antec and Chenming. The only difference is the 5.25 inch drive bay is slightly more narrow. Since Chieftec did not use the standard drive rails used by them and the manufacturers listed above they were able to go a little smaller on the size of the cage. Instead of the rails screwing on to the drive the new series simply uses 2 screws on each side of the drive. In turn the cage simply has a slot that these screws slide in to as you can see from the pictures. The drive locks into place from the back of the drive cage instead of the front.

All of the Alienware "skin" sections are a perfect fit onto the case. My Antec side fits perfectly on the side of the Alienware case, and vice versa. It will still be the Alienware case in essence. The only differnece will be, instead of the Alienware shell being mounted to a Chieftec case. It will now be mounted to an Antec case.

:sn:

Optimus Prime
10-01-04, 09:19 AM
cool mod on.... I was thinking that you lost all of the parts of the alienware in your little fiasco but it seems you still have the plastic goodness. my bad lets get this goin then. :)

SniperXX
10-01-04, 11:08 AM
I cant wait to see this done.

Tovas
10-02-04, 10:25 PM
I just spent all day finishing up the case. Ive got everything finished except for cutting out the fan shrouds. It started getting cold, and dark out so ill cut the rear shrouds out tomorrow. Im not going to cut the front out yet cause im going to have at least 1 120mm in the front for the water system.

I also ordered up all the stainless lines, and the blue silicone tubing that will connect between the hard lines and the actual water cooling components last night. These will be for the power supply and the water system. I know its going to be a pain in the @$$ to sleeve the PSU in stainless but its going to look so sweet.

I also went to Home Depot today. I got all the P-clamps that will be used to anchor the hard lined PSU lines to the side wall of the case.

I also purchased various gromits, O-rings, bolts and some sealing washers. These lil guys have a rubber backing made onto them if your unfamilar. I have elected not to use the standard Antec, Cheiftec, Chenming fan mounts. Instead I am going to use the above parts mount the fans to the back of the case. I think this will give the case a harder more industrial look, so I think it should look pretty good.

Anyway enough of the talking you guys want pics.

http://img72.exs.cx/img72/5438/000_0099.jpg
the front all put back together everything is a tight fit

http://img72.exs.cx/img72/2803/000_0100.jpg
shot from the back *i tried to get the cat or the GF in this pic, neither would bite*

http://img72.exs.cx/img72/6616/000_0103.jpg
note on the back of this picture the extra holes I had to drill into the back of the chassis. The holes for the screws to secure the case sides are higher on the Chieftec panel than they are on the Antec.

http://img72.exs.cx/img72/7940/000_0104.jpg

http://img72.exs.cx/img72/9825/000_0105.jpg
Here you can see the front mounted USB ports theres 2 on each side no firewire. You can also see some of the cutting i had to do to mount the front facia to the chassis.

All said and done to get the panels to mount up I had to drill a total of 12 holes, and cut 9 slots into the chassis. I think its looking good.

I didnt go for a as polished look as Posidon42 *your case looks sweet as hell btw* so we left the case a little rougher. Which should be a good match with the stainless lines that will be in the case.

:sn:

magick_man
10-02-04, 11:04 PM
wow that is sweet shiot.
i wish i could get my hands on an alienware skin like that.
i am definately going to follow this mod.
ROCK AND MOD ON!!

~Magick_Man~

Tovas
10-02-04, 11:23 PM
Thanks Magick. I dont really see anything in this mod that is going to be ground breaking or totally out of the ordinary. Except maybe a hard lined PSU. I know others have done there water cooling system with hardlines. Though I dont remember seeing anything in stainless.

Im just doing a mod im really passionate about, and hopeing it turns out beautiful. And possibly inspire a few people along the way the way I have been.

Hehe Its funny when people ask me why im doing this they all say the same thing.

"Why are you doing all this to the inside of your computer if no one can see it?"

And I reply back. "Because Ill see it, Ill see it even when Im not even looking at ill be able to see it." "Because Ill know its there and thats what matters."

And thats what its ALL about guys. Thats why WE do it.

:sn:

Tovas
10-05-04, 02:08 AM
This changes things. I just got a new offer extended to me by Intel.

http://img19.exs.cx/img19/6627/intel2.gif

Im not sure how much it will cost. Every purchase bundle ive seen them sell has gone for 199.99 at these events. I dont see this selling that low. I wont know what its selling for until I go to ICC on Nov. 1st... this could be fun. I might need more stainless.

Quailane
10-08-04, 05:31 PM
Geez, I want to go there!!!!!!!!!

SniperXX
10-09-04, 12:50 AM
Geez, I want to go there!!!!!!!!!

Ditto, how do you get to go?

Tovas
10-17-04, 04:07 PM
Just takeing the pics from my fan dampener mod and putting them in here for completeness

http://img46.exs.cx/img46/517/000_0153.jpg


http://img46.exs.cx/img46/6504/000_148.jpg


http://img46.exs.cx/img46/6605/000_149.jpg


http://img46.exs.cx/img46/361/000_151.jpg


http://img46.exs.cx/img46/6612/000_155.jpg


http://img46.exs.cx/img46/3709/000_0155a.jpg


http://img31.exs.cx/img31/4420/000_0156.jpg


http://img31.exs.cx/img31/1492/000_0159.jpg


http://img28.exs.cx/img28/8099/000_163.jpg


http://img28.exs.cx/img28/4368/000_0164.jpg

:sn:

Wicked Klown
10-17-04, 09:06 PM
Ok what made you place the exhaust fans on the outside of the case?

Tovas
10-17-04, 10:37 PM
Ok what made you place the exhaust fans on the outside of the case?

Cause I like them there. :D

:sn:

SniperXX
10-19-04, 09:08 PM
I had mounted the fans on my Antec on the outside back when I used my big Antec as my main case. I did it like 3 yrs ago and your one of the few I have seen do it. I liked it on the outside because on my mod it gave me the space I needed for a massize heatsink mod type thing I was working on.

Tovas
10-20-04, 02:52 AM
I had mounted the fans on my Antec on the outside back when I used my big Antec as my main case. I did it like 3 yrs ago and your one of the few I have seen do it. I liked it on the outside because on my mod it gave me the space I needed for a massize heatsink mod type thing I was working on.

I agree Sniper. Its going to look nice and clean with the water cooling system inside. Hell even if i wuss out for a few months and stick a fat heat sink on it, its going to help the over all cluter out.

:sn:

magick_man
10-20-04, 09:57 PM
and doesnt the back of that alienware shell extend beyond the end of the actual case?
it shouldnt look too bad
you might want to get the little organizer thing alienware has to stick back there and it might make it look more natural.
just my .02 cents
linky (http://www.alienware.com/GearShop_Pages/Gear_Shop_Detail.aspx?ItemId=11443)
it is totally optional but i just think it will help the over all looks of the rear.
so hurry up and get something done ;)
we want to see some progress.

~Magick_Man~

Maximus Faticus
10-20-04, 10:14 PM
you might want to get the little organizer thing alienware has to stick back there
~Magick_Man~
Yeah those things are pretty cool. I think he has one already though. It seems like I remember he had a picture of it on the first page.