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Thread: GIGABYTE 30th Anniversary Mod Challenge -- Rehab

  1. #1

    GIGABYTE 30th Anniversary Mod Challenge -- Rehab - [Updated August 7, 2016]

    Introducing Project: Rehab, my entry for the Gigabyte 30th Anniversary Mod Challenge. The idea for this build has been rolling around in my head for a couple months now and this seems like the perfect place and time to put it in writing.

    The name and the plan: I've decided on calling this build Rehab because part of my goal is to take a Fractal Define R4 that has served me well over the years and rehabilitate it. Give it fresh, new looks, updated hardware, updated style. It's going in dirty and coming out clean.

    The design and theme: I love the R4. So much that I actually have 2. But it's interior is dated compared to today's cases where they have dropped the drive bays in favor of room for loop setups. So the interior will be gutted and replaced by an interior setup that allows for a custom cooling loop, an inverse board, and mounting the GPU vertically to show it off. The theme will be based on old school hot rods from the 30's. Chrome and billet and automotive themed parts, and the case is definitely getting an old school flame job.

    More info will definitely be coming as I start tearing into the project, but for now, let's meet the patient back in her heyday.

    Last edited by InsolentGnome; 08-07-2016 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Don't forget to submit your pictures by today to be eligible to win the build kit!!!

    Sign in to your GIGABYTE Mod2Win Profile.
    Go to ABOUT MY MOD tab.
    Click on the EDIT MY MOD button to add or change your Build Concept.
    Give your Mod a name and clearly describe what you are building.
    Upload hand drawn or CAD rendered files to visually describe your concept.
    Click UPDATE to save and submit.

  3. #3
    First things first, she's got to be gutted and cleaned up.

    My accumulation of parts.

    Some things I'll reuse, some are getting trashed. Luckily on the R4, the side panels are interchangeable, so flipping a windowed case is just a matter of swapping the doors around.

    Let's talk upgrades. I'm not 100% on all the hardware yet, but I do have some nice bits to start off. But let's look at what we started with.

    Yep, not even a GPU. So sad. We're definitely going to be making a nice jump with the new hardware.

    To start off, we've got a Gigabyte Z-170X-UD5. Full ATX and tons of goodies.

    And for the PSU, I just snagged a Corsair SF 600. 600 watts in a SFX footprint. I won't be able to SLI, but the small footprint allows me to be creative with it's placement.

    For radiator duties, I'm going to use up the extra Hardware Labs Nemesis GTS360 XFLOW I've had laying around from my Shinai build. It didn't fit the layout in that case, but I think it'll be perfect here.

    That's all the hardware so far, so it's time to start tearing into the case!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Once the drive cages are out, we can see if our XFLOW is going to fit and what sort of engineering will be required for it to work.

    Definitely fits, definitely needs a panel to hole it in. Put that on the list of things to do.

    And since I'm flipping the case, the MB tray has got to go.

    I'm collecting a pretty impressive pile of extra parts.

    Now it's going to get interesting. I'd like a little more room to move things around in the case, plus my idea needs a bit of an angle, so let's split the case front to back.

    Marking out the centerline.

    A little bit of dremel work and she's split down the middle.

    I'm planning on something special for the top left panel, so I'm just using the rail for a placeholder to hold it all together for now.

    That's the progress for now, but hopefully soon it'll start taking shape!

  4. #4
    You ever have one of those weeks where you're just not motivated at all. Jeez. But continuing on...

    Fractal has some nice braces for the corners to keep thing square, but they're a little ugly and bulky so I made replacements out of 2mm Al.

    Turns out, mine are a little ugly too! But I'm just using these as temps, I'll do up something nice with the CNC.

    Since we've cut a bunch of stuff out, I probably ought to put some parts back in. New floor out of 2mm Al.

    And a roof panel out of 2mm Al too.

    I'm using 2mm aluminum for a few reasons. Mainly, I have it, but it's also great for structure and thick enough to tap good threads in. This is some 6061 alloy, great for these pieces, but for some others...well, I'll get to that.

    My first cuts on the back panel were rough and just to let me split the case. I went back and thinned them down a bit. They aren't going to be important for structure, but they do help clean up the corners and the left hand side will still hold a side panel.

    Next was a new back panel. This is where the 6061 alloy sucked. There's a very slight bend because of how the case splits. The bad thing about 6061 is that it doesn't like to bend, at least not large pieces of 2mm. It took some effort getting just the few degrees of bend I needed.

    Here's the case as it stands now...

    A couple of inches at the back makes the R4 seem roomy.

    Last but not least, I did get some more hardware figured out. For pump duties, I'm going with an Alphacool D5 and top. Looks boring, but I needed the side outlets for what I have planned.

    I did go a little more flashy for the CPU block though and snagged a Heatkiller.

  5. #5
    More updates. It always seems like the first part of my builds are soooo boring. Blah, blah, blah...look at this random piece of metal. But, hey, more pieces of metal!

    I opened up the front to get rid of some bends and make room for my 360 radiator. Went with my trusty 2mm Al for the fill piece.

    Since it won't flow much air like this, I guess I'll cut out a spot for the radiator.

    And set up the radiator with a couple of random fans laying around as temps. Hmmm, just finished hacking 3 CM Elite 130's, looks like I've got 3 CM 120 fans.

    Rather boring from the front, but I'll be working on a grill so it really won't matter. Functionally, it's perfect.

    I've still got some cleaning up to do on the outside, but let's move to the interior for a bit.

    My reason for splitting the case in such a weird way was because I want the interior to resemble two areas of hot rods, with the outside resembling, well the outside. The two areas for the interior are the engine bay and the interior. And since they don't really combine well, I need to make a divider to cut the interior in halves.

    First up, I need to make a structural member up front for everything to tie in to. I had been thinking about running the divider to the front panel, but the 360 takes up so much of the panel that I wouldn't have had a lot of area to work with and it would have made it weak. Enter some 3/4 Al square tube.

    For the end caps, I just cut 3 sides of the tube off and hammered the remaining side over. Sometimes finesse isn't needed. These end caps allow me to put a screw in the top and the bottom to hold it.

    Next up was a piece of .05" or 1.25mm 5052 Al. The thinner size makes it easier to work with, but the clincher is the 5052 alloy. Bends super smooth and that was important for this piece. The engine bay side was nothing special.

    But for mounting the divider, each side got 2 bends.

    This allows me to mount the divider to the back panel and wrap around the structural member up front, keeping it clean, while also giving me tabs to mount my interior side panel too. As an added bonus, I've got about an inch of room for cabling and most of my screws for hardware will be hidden from sight.

    And screwing it all together.

    Since most of the structure was done, I took a minute to work on some component layout.

    The engine bay side.

    I used a roll of vinyl for the res, lol. Still up in the air about it's placement.

    And the interior side.

    Another possible res location. Though this side works better for the radiator outlet, I'm thinking a set of gauges would look pretty trick on this side.

    Till next time!

  6. #6
    Tek by Design Heath MJ Coop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Ridgefield, Washington
    Looks great so far.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Heath MJ Coop View Post
    Looks great so far.
    Thank you sir!

  8. #8
    Back with more!

    The bottom panel of the R4 was a mess. Well, a mess for me. Bumps to support the PSU, filter guides, fan grills, they kept my bottom panel from setting right and were generally eyesores. No one is going to see the bottom, but I still want it to look good, so I trimmed the panel up.

    It keeps the rails and the original screw holes for the feet give me nice spots to attach my new floor panel.

    Speaking of the floor panel, that's part of the reason for things dragging. That and Overwatch and No Man's Sky. I liked the way things were laying out, but the tolerances for everything were trash. That's what I get for designing on the fly with a tape in one hand and a jigsaw in the other. The cutouts around my brackets were horrendous. So I went back and re-made my floor for a better fit.

    I also re-made my back panel for a better fit too. And then proceeded to drill 5 mounting holes on the wrong side of a line. Uggh. I'd have a pic of it, but I was a bit frustrated. Luckily that panel will be painted so I can fix my boo boo with some filler.

    I also re-vamped the top panel. The random piece of Al floating around the top wasn't cutting it for me so it had to go. But since I still have to mount to that panel, I stiffened it up. First with some epoxy and a piece of .025" Al.

    Bonus of this is it allows me to easily fill the fan grills in the top panel.

    A little bit of sanding and the panel will be ready to go.

    Also got some more of the hardware in. There are a few pieces left, but important stuff is here.

    Firstly, the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX1070. Debated between this and a G1 Gaming GTX980 Ti and it was a tough call. I love the shroud on the G1 980 Ti and since I'm not putting the GPU under water, that's important. But the 1070 has similar performance, is the new gen, and was a $100 less. I can buy a lot of paint for $100.

    Intel i7 6700K. I7 vs. i5, i7 vs. i5, i7 vs....ah screw it.

    16GB x4 of Avexir's Raiden DDR4 RAM. I've always like these, though I'm gonna have to tone down the color a bit. That's a lot of white to stick on an all black board.

    So far for drives, I've got a 240GB OCZ Vector 180. I'm hoping to add one more 500GB Vector and maybe a m.2 drive. Gotta go fast!

    And every cool whip has to have a nice set of shoes, right? MNPCTECH billet case feet. Only the best feet around. I'm mixing the full size case feet in the back with the mITX version in the front. It's not a huge difference, but it'll give the case some stance.

    Till next update, thanks for following along!

  9. #9
    Sanded NavyChief's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Arlington, TX
    Looking great!

  10. #10

    And the metal work continues....

    Changing the top panel gave me a bit of a problem, where to attach the MB tray/divider. Since it originally tied to the aluminum panel floating in the top, I had to figure out another way to keep it solid. Decided to build a brace so that the screws in the back panel and one in the bottom would keep it solid.

    With that taken care of, I started finalizing the top panel. The goal is for half the top to mimic an old 30's hood without the side panels and include a hinge in the middle so it's functional. Something similar to this.

    So I started with a piece of pipe.

    1 1/4" black iron pipe. Normally we use it for gas lines in a house, but I've got different plans. What I want it for is a form. First task is to cut a section to fit in my frame so I can get my radii for my corners. Little dremel and grinder and the corners are shaping up.

    With them pretty well smoothed out, we can start to see where it's going.

    The next job for my black pipe is the form for the bend of the hood. It was a bit tricky since the bend is at an angle. Normally I'd cut a piece close, bend it and then trim it down. For this, I laid the angle out on a sheet of .04 aluminum by squaring the case up on one side of the sheet and using a marker to mark out the other side, then I bent the whole 2' piece.

    It's a start. Stupid me bent the panel the wrong way the first time and it went pretty easy. Re-bending it the other way made it twice as hard to get a good bend. But once I got close to the angle, I started trimming it down here and there to it's final shape.

    There's a bit of trimming left but I'm going to wait till I get it mounted to do the final shaping. I think it turned out pretty nice.

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