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Dell 5160 Laptop Fan Intake Mod

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Old 12-27-08, 11:54 AM Thread Starter   #1

Join Date: Nov 2004

Lightbulb Dell 5160 Laptop Fan Intake Mod

My wife's laptop had been running slow and hot for a while. Was a bit uncomfortable to have this on your lap. I put a clean Windows XP install on it to get rid of old system cruft and decided to help the airflow a bit to allow it run cooler. This intake made sense to someone at Dell but the design didn't make much sense in my opinion - very restrictive. The fan was staying on and switching to high very often.

As you can see, the intake was very restrictive while the exhaust port was more than capable of allowing decent airflow.

Dug around my PC parts boxes and picked out an 80mm fan grill. With some modification, it would do the trick... cover the intake opening with enough of a grill to prevent items from hitting the fan while remaining low profile enough so as not to scratch the surface the laptop was sitting on. To cut out the bottom of the laptop case I had to empty out the case for the most part to access the intake port as well as be able to grind the metal parts without getting metal shavings on any of the components. I taped newspaper around the area to be cut to minimize debris getting onto the laptop case. Got the hole cut out and cleaned up with a Dremel(best hobby tool next to a Visa card).

Removed the outer ring of the 80mm fan grill and melted some slots in the case for the four cross-members to sit in and secured it in place with cyanoacrylate glue(super glue).

Also running I8fanGUI to better control the fans based on system temps. This laptop is running much cooler with the increased air flow and quieter with this application running the system fan.
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Old 12-27-08, 07:23 PM   #2

watchthisspace's Avatar 

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

That's a nice wee mod you've done there
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Old 12-27-08, 07:27 PM   #3
Folding for Team 32!

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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Hampshire

Very nice and clean mod there Dell just didn't want anything large making its way into the fan blades, not that you really have to worry.
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Old 12-27-08, 08:47 PM Thread Starter   #4

Join Date: Nov 2004

Thanks guys.

I kinda figured that was the case with the grill... sure does kill the airflow though. I'm sure some suit at Dell pondered liability there.
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Old 12-28-08, 12:10 AM   #5

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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Folding@Home in Downunder Australia.Victoria

Nice Fan Mod you did there to the Lappy, Allot less retrictive

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Old 12-28-08, 04:52 AM   #6

Niku-Sama's Avatar 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Deadford OR

dont compute naked ok?
that could be ugly.

i wish i could do something like this to my HP

Phenom II "X6 1605T" @ 3.00Ghz
Sythe Yasa 6 Pipe Cooler
Biostar TA890FXE
16Gig G.SKILL Ripjaws 9-9-9-25 2T 667Mhz
MSI R7870 TwinFrozr 2GD5/OC
Seagate 320Gig 7200.11
Seagate 1024Gig 7200.14
OCZ Stealth X Stream 600
LG LightScribe DVD Burner
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