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Thread: Spy vs. Spy

  1. #1

    Spy vs. Spy

    About a week ago my sister gave me her old computer to clean up for her son to use. Its an old Dell 4600. Specs are a P4 2.4, 256mb of DDR, 64mb geforce 4 MX440, and a 40 gig HDD. not exactly your screaming gaming machine by even the standards of its day. After staring at the case for a while it occured to me that there is so much more i could do with this than simply clean it up (whipe and reinstall os) i started scroundging through my spare parts pile and ebay.

    So far, i have found a P4 3.0 ghz (ebay), Radeon 2600xt 512mb agp card (eBay), 2 gigs of ddr 400 (ebay), a 250gb hdd (spare parts), 400w PSU (spare parts), and a DVD burner (spare parts). Now again not exactly a screaming gaming machine but for less that $100 spent i would say thats a hell of an upgrade and brings this system up entry level gaming for modern games (Mainly i want this thing to run Left 4 Dead 2)

    The it hit me why stop there why not go all the way and give this crappy old dell 4600 case new life. My nephew loves spy vs spy so i decided to go with that. I dont have any drawings yet to show you what im planning so i'm just gona have to spell it out. This mod is gona put all of my skills to the test and going to require me to learn a few more.

    First (todays goals) are to get all the hard modding done. all the cuts that im gona need to make. First i'm gona need to cut out the big dell logos on both sides of the case. The left side will be replaced with a window the right side is where i'm gona try something a little different. I'm gona use a peice of plexi to replace the logos but im gona paint the back of it black (Oh yeah obviously this is gona be a black and white theme, black on the right white on the left) When i paint the panel i will mask of the edges then im going to use either uv leds or ccfl to endge light it. I'm thinking too about using clear uv reactive pain to put a message down before i paint the back black so it will appear when the leds/ccfl are turned on.

    Once the side panels are taken care of i plan on adding a little more ventalation to the front im going to move the HDD to the Flopy bay at the top and ditch both of the vertical bays they HDD are in now and replace them with a 120mm fan.

    Next is going to be the front panel and this is where im gona have to learn a new trick or too. First Bondo! Im gona smoth out the entire front panel from the drive bays down, the Power switch/leds/usb/audio/ will all be moved to a new front pannel im going to construct in the top bay (more on this later when i get) im also going to cut back the top lip (over the top drive bay) and bevel the floppy area so the case will flow a little better. Last thing im gona do is cut VS. into the front so that the 120mm leds can be seen through it. (probably gona be red)

    As mentioned earlyer i will be creating a new front pannel in the top drive bay, this will consist of this temp display a home made fan controler, one of these for a power switch. Im looking into a posible use for a key momentary swith, initialy i was gona use that as a reset swith but these dells dont have one (migth put it in for looks incase he swaps out for a real mobo later down the road). and A military switch to control the leds/ccfls.

    Here is where i think i went a little crazy, but the thing to remember about this mod is its not about the hardware in the system its all about how the finaly product is gona look. With that in mind i plan on sleaving everything. and i mean everything in black and white.

    The final part of this project will be paint and here is where i need some help. the plan is to sand everything down, primer, the paint and apply a clear coat to finish it off. My question is when do i need to wetsand? between primer and color? or between color and clear? or both? what sand papers should i use? Also if im gona finish with a clear coat should us use flat paints or glossy for the color? If i'm completely at home with a dremel and a jig saw but give me a can on paint and i get terrified lol. so any help with this will be greatly appreciated. !!

    I hope that gives you guys an idea of what im trying to accomplish here. I Have 4 weeks b4 my nephews Bday (May 10th) so until this is finish blue shift will be on hold (i still have 2 months to finish her) This weekend i plan on getting all the rivets poped and most if not all of the holes cut and hopefully the bondo work started so that next weekend i can start on the paint witch im sure will be the longest part of the project. i've gotten the new processor and half the memory in so i will set up a test bench later to test all of that, the rest of the parts should be due in this week.

    Here are some pics to start us off. there will be more this evening after i finish up at the shop so stay tuned this should be interesting.

    sorry for the poor quality pics sill cant find our real camera so you guys are stuck with my phone for now.

    this is what the case looked like when i opened it for the first time. I guess my sister wasn't kidding when she said i needed to clean it up.

    after i took the air compressor to it, much better now

  2. #2

    Spy vs. Spy

    Didnt get nearly as much done this weekend as i was hoping, im gona try to work on it some more tomorrow after work.

    I drilled all the rivets and got the case completely disassembled.

    While tearing down the case i realized that I'm going to have to do something about these bumps in the mobo. the come into contact with the right side panel and i'll have to remove them in order to get the plexi panel insert to fit.

    Removed the majority of the left side panel, i needed to get rid of the indents and the dell logo. This will be replaced with a clear plexi panel. I still need to clean the edges up a bit with some sandpaper.

  3. #3

    Spy vs. Spy

    Got all the new hardware for this build in and slapped it all together.

    Original Configuration:
    Proceesor: P4 2.4ghz
    Memory: 256mb DDR 400
    Graphics: 64mb Nvidia MX 440
    HDD: 40gb IDE
    ODD: CD burner
    Sound: Sound Blaster 5.1

    Current Configuration
    Processor: P4 3.0ghz ($20 shipped - eBay)
    Memory: 2gb DDR 400 (OCZ Gold cl2 (free) / Patriot cl2 ($26 shipped - eBay)
    Graphics: 512mb Radeon 2600xt ($55 shipped - eBay)
    HDD: 200gb IDE (free)
    ODD: DVD burner (free)
    Sound: Sound Blaster 5.1
    Wi-Fi: Netgear 108 wireless g card (free)

    with the exception of the sound card and mobo i swapped out just about everything on this system. Total cost was $101 for the upgrades including shipping.

    I installed XP on the system along with L4D2 and gave it a quick run through, just to make sure everything worked. I'm gona run prime on it probably Thursday along with Mark06 to make sure all the components are stable. Saturday and Sunday i'll be continuing the modding. I need to get every thing cut, sanded and bondoed so i can paint during the week after work and hopefully have everything done in time for his bday, but its gona be cutting it close.

  4. #4

    Spy vs. Spy

    Wet sanding is only used to keep the sandpaper semi clean with the finer grit stuff. Otherwise you'd be clogging it up and then rubbing the same material back into the surface that has already accumulated and embedded itself into the grit.
    So far what I've learned about sanding is only sand the primer if necessary. In other words if the surface is still rough or has marks or swirls in it. To me the real finishing sanding would be between the final color coat and before the clear coat. That smooths out any imperfections and lets you go back over it one more time to fill in any small areas and even up the paint coloring. After the touch up and final cure time, then comes the clear coat. The video I watched, the painter actually used a scotchbrite pad to just lightly go over the final color coat just before the primer to get any any tiny imperfections but I guess it depends on how anal retentive you are or how nice you want the finish to be.
    Bill Ownes at MNPCTECH has a great painting video on YouTube if you want to check it out. There's actually several good painting videos on YouTube and I'd spend a little time checking a few of them out.

    I like the concept though of Spy vs Spy. I always loved Mad Magazine and Cracked . I think they were both the pre-pubescent version of Rolling Stone magazine lol.

  5. #5

    Spy vs. Spy

    Bill OWENS. Sorry Bill.

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