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How my last rebuild was done.

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Feb 7, 2005
Kenosha, WI.
The guys in my gaming guild were interested in what I did with my last rebuild, so I typed this up for them. Thought I'd share it here as well.


The first task was of course to take everything apart. I drained the
coolant, and removed the hoses and water cooling components first.
Then I took everything else out of the computer until I was left with
a bare case. The front panel and both side panels were removed to
fully expose the skeleton of the case.

The first mod was to get rid of the front 3.5" drive cage. Rather than
screw it into place, I was unfortunate to find that it was actually
riveted into place. I had hoped to be able to just remove the cage and
save it, should I use this case for a project down the road where it
could be used. But the case mod gods thought it was a better idea that
I just get rid of it. So out came the dremel and some pliers. After
some cutting and bending the front cage was ripped out.

Next order of business was to make sure there was space to route the
wiring along the back frame. A few more cuts here and there, and I had
a nice open back frame to mount some wiring on. I also enlarged the
front openings for the wiring coming off the front panel so I could
route it easier.

Next I needed to do some wire consolidation. One of the things that
was annoying about the wiring in the case was the two front rheostats
had independent power input leads. So I spliced them together into one
molex connector. The other annoying "feature" was that the output
headers on the rheostats were kind of short. Plugging in rear case
fans required having the wiring hanging loose in the case. A slight
eyesore. So I added a good 16" of wiring to the output going to the
rear fans, and routed it along the back of the case. The top exhaust
fan was incorporated into a single power input with the rheostats as

I then placed the inverters for my case lighting in the 3.5" removable
drive tray using some double sided mounting pads. I then wired them up
to a single power input, along with the inverter for the EL Rounded
cable. The idea was that a hard drive would be mounted directly above
in a 5 ¼" bay effectively hiding the inverters and the wiring.

Now it was time to place the WC components in the computer. I started
with the BIX. The panaflow fan and shroud were mounted using long
screws, screwed directly to the radiator with the fan mounted so as to
pull the air through the BIX. The full assembly was then mounted in
the bottom front of the case using mounting adhesive giving the
radiator a half-inch standoff from the front of the case. Once the
front cover was placed on, there would be a good 3 inches from the
front grill to the actual radiator. I hoped this would help keep the
direct airflow dissipated and thus not suck in as much dust. The fan
was then wired up the left Rheostat.

Next came the BIM2. One of the nice things about the BIM2 is the back
side of it has a built in shroud which stands the fans off a good ½"
from the rad core. I decided to mount the fans on the BIM2 so that
they would pull the air trough through the rad. Mounting the fans left
a gap about a ¼" wide between the fans. I closed that off with some
adhesive insulation cut to size. The assembly was then mounted over
the 80mm rear exhaust vents. The fans where then connected to the
right rheostat header on the back side of the case frame.
Then the TDX block was reseated on the CPU, the old thermal compound
was cleaned off, and a fresh layer applied (AS5). The block was
tightened down nice and securely. I also "flipped" the orientation of
the outlet barb to be on the right side of the inlet rather than on
the left. That was to insure the bend from the outlet into the BIM2
wasn't terribly radical.

Then came the Vid card. The Specialized BFGtech cooler was removed,
and the thermal compound cleaned off (I don't know what kind of
compound they use at BFGtech but this stuff was a PITA to clean off).
I cleaned the bottom of the Maze4 to make sure there was no residue,
inserted the mounting screws, applied some AS5 and mounted the block
to the card. Next came the BGA sinks. These were from OCZ, they were
adhesive but did not appear to stick that well to the RAM. The sinks
could be moved, almost like the adhesive was acting more like a
thermal paste than actual adhesive. They held on though and I will
just keep an eye on them. I don't think they will just fall off.

A special note here: If you are planning on, or have your pump mounted
on the bottom of your case or the bottom of a drive bay, consider
using Velcro to hold it in place. Velcro does a couple of things. It
makes moving the pump nice and easy, it holds firm, and also acts as a
great insulation from noisy vibrations. I placed the pump on the floor
of the case obviously with Velcro.

After looking at the components, I realized that once everything was
installed, the computer would be pretty busy with a bay res installed.
And it would defiantly cause some headaches with routing the tubes
since the PSU was going to be so close to it. So I decided to leave it
out. This meant I had to change my "floor plan" for how I was going to
route the tubing. This actually turned out to be a good thing.

I had ordered a bunch of Tygon from Frozencpu and I apparently wasn't
thinking because they only sell the 1/16" wall stuff. In other words
KINKVILLE. Luckily I had about 3 ½ feet of the 1/8" wall stuff and
about 6 feet or so of green UV Danger Den tubing. Well I had wanted to
go with a completely clear tubing setup, but it was quickly evident
the thin walled tygon wasn't going to cut it. So I went with
alternating sections of the green and the thick walled Tygon tubing.
Which I think ended up looking kind of neat. The section of tubing
from the Maze4 outlet back to the pump was going to be a roughly 270
degree loop and is where I wanted to situate the T. I decided however
to actually use a Y barb as it would better follow the flow of the
curve. The position wasn't the most ideal for draining the system, or
filling for that matter, but I did like the way it looked.

All the hoses were routed and clamped up. I added in the power supply,
connected the pump, and started to fill the loop. It took a while as I
thought but eventually I got it filled, I let the pump run to bleed
the lines as I checked for leaks. There was a slight leak from the
inlet barb on the TDX, this was due to the hose clamp being partially
off the tubing, I repositioned the clamp and leak solved.

While the loop was running I then put in the CCFLs. Two 12" rods, and
two 80mm round lights. I stuck one on the bottom of the BIM2. We will
see how it looks there, I may move it if looks ugly.

Once the big bubbles were out, I added in some Zerex. If you haven't
bled a system with an additive in it, or have and wonder why certain
things happened… Products like Zerex and water wetter lower waters
viscosity. This has a side affect of reducing gas bubble sizes with
gases suspended in the water. Some people incorrectly identify this as
"cloudiness" of their coolant mixture cause by substrates or
pollutants. What actually is happening is the air bubbles can no
longer form large bubbles, the water isn't viscous enough to support a
large surface skin, and thus the air is now moving around in VERY
small bubbles. In my practice this makes getting the air out of your
loop much more effective, and in the case of a non res setup, it can
also make it take longer, however your loop will be very devoid of any
air pockets or bubbles. The bubbles are much smaller, and are more
easily moved by the water. In a Reservoir or at the top of your T
line, you will probably see what looks like soap suds. This is just
the air reaching the surface and is normal.

I fired up the fans, and at full blast there is some serious air being
moved. Once the computer is reassembled I will dial in the fans to
acceptable performance/noise levels. I mounted the 3.5 to 5.25 bay
adapters to the hard drives, and mounted them in the bottom two 5.25
bays. Then I put in the Optical drive, and fit in all the bay covers.

I let the loop run all night, and all day. No more air, and no leaks.
Looks like we have a winner…


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Senior SMP Gawd
Jan 15, 2001
Not bad stuffing all that in that little area.Personally I would have used 1 Rad at the top that accepts 2x120mm fans..From the looks of your case changing ram might be a project in patience.....Otherwise good job


Feb 7, 2005
Kenosha, WI.
It looks more crowded that it actually is. The Ultra X-Connect cables are actually the biggest pain to work around, they don't liek to bend too much. They look great under UV lighting though.

Ideally a 120.2 rad mounted top side would have been "cleaner" but I really wanted to try a dual rad setup. I think it came out looking and performing very well.


Senior SMP Gawd
Jan 15, 2001
Ya I just like to look in and see the main board and be able to set my coffee on the back of the video card LOL..Which I could do in my case..But we each have our own preferences..And U getting that done shows more patience then i would have lol..


Feb 7, 2005
Kenosha, WI.
Yeah, the total build took two days.

well 12 hours of that was bleeding the air out.

Puttin in the tubbing took maybe an hour tops, including tightening the clamps and all that jazz. Getting all the power cables plugged in took 4 EVER. I really love the looks and performance of the Ultra X-Connect PSU. And the cables are very heavy duty, all shielded, but they are a bit of a pain to work with when space gets tight. That's my only complaint about this PSU, which is probably the pretiest looking PSU I have seen on the market.


Feb 7, 2005
Kenosha, WI.
LOL, the MOBO is all black so it doesn't show up well in the pics. Trust me it's there.