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migrating water cooling to full tower case

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Mar 14, 2002
seattle, WA
Hey all,

Thanks to the advice I got from this forum, the test run of my water cooling setup is working beautifully. I'm running with an eheim 1048, one of the older mcw372 waterblocks (with replaced fittings), and a heater core I got at the scrapyard. I've got all of this up and running in my generic mid-tower case with vinyl tubing and a 120 mm muffin fan blowing crazy air onto the heater core.

Now that I've convinced myself that this is a viable, long term cooling solution, I'd like to migrate into a full tower case, silicone tubing, and move to a quieter, 120 mm panaflo push-pull sandwich like Hoot and Dodgeviper have shown pictures of in their rigs. Nobody ever seems to post pictures of the _front_ of their rigs, though, so I'm not sure exactly what's been done to clear the way for the 120 mm fans. Do you all cut out just the metal on the front panel and then leave the plastic front off? Or did you actually cut through the plastic (and with what tool) as well? The case I'm thinking of getting is the aopen hx-08 ((holy smokes there's a lot of room in there...) and it looks like running without the front panel isn't an option.

Also, I've been looking at different ways of making a shroud for the heater core. One possibility seems to be just to use one of those project boxes you can buy at radio shack, cut holes for the water intake/outtake , and cut holes for and mount the fans on the outside of it. The only question I have is whether or not this will actually insulate the heater core too much, being completely surrounded by plastic. I would hope that the airflow from the fans will still be enough to keep it cool, but I'm not sure, and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

So to sum up -- do you all cut 120 mm holes the plastic front of your cases, and can I make an effective heater core shroud out of a pvc radio shack project box?

thanks so much! case link


Jan 8, 2002
depending on the size of their shrouds and cases. most people if they dont have the room leave the radiator outside of the case. But seeing you have the room to put it in their yes i would cut a hole for the 120mm.