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Old July 29, 2011, 05:42 AM
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Default Modding a mid tower Lian Li case

I plan on getting a Lian Li PC-A05FNB and I would like to do a couple of mods to it but since I've never modded before I wanted to ask some questions to the community about it.

I would like to paint the interior black, instead of it's current silver look (even though it does look good). I'd also like to add two 120mm fans to the bottom of the case and maybe an additional 120mm to the top as well. Finally, I would like to somehow turn the SSD/HDD cage around without losing the fan that's behind it and also make it more airflow friendly, like making it a mesh cage or buying a more similar airflow friendly cage, so it still keeps the SSD/HDD's cool

My questions about these mods are:

1) How easy or hard would it be to do this mod myself or would it be best left to a professional? If leaving it to a pro then who am I looking to contact for this job?

2) If I do this mod myself, what type of materials etc would I need to accomplish these mods?

3) Since I don't own or know anyone who does own tools, is it possible to hire them for a couple of days or a week (spread over a period of time needed to complete the project) to do this mod myself?

4) How would I go about making the cage more airflow friendly or buying one that's similar to the original?

5) Finally, can anyone recommend any standard and/or slim 120/140mm fans, with filters, to replace the stock ones that come with the case? I'll be buy additional ones to use with the mods as well, of course.

I've attached some pics to help identify the areas within the case I wish to mod to help you guys out.

Thanks for your time and enjoy a wonderful day
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Old July 29, 2011, 07:12 AM
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xlilmissmjx, nice little case you have.

As for tools first off:

Buy a drill corded version will last you many years. and drill bits.
Files, rough, fine and round
Hacksaw
a few clamps bar "F" type say 2 - 6"-12"-24" with these tools you can do a lot.

As for painting inside, I like it it silver but. You would need to drill rivets out so you can paint each panel and then re-rivet, overall not hard but a lot of effort.

Fans on bottom should be easy, first check if you have clearance between fan and motherboard. I think will be tight for bottom connectors and then cables are over fan.

As for HDD cage, you want to turn 90°. That would be a bigger mod to allow air flow, but doable.

So that should give you something to ponder
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Last edited by Toyoracer; July 29, 2011 at 06:26 PM. Reason: more info
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Old July 29, 2011, 08:41 AM
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Lian-Li cases look great by themselves ... Personally if you want the interior black and want to keep the professional finish the only way to do would be to have it powder coated. I'd pay for that in a heart beat ... but I like the silver.
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Old July 29, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Check out Mnpctech's thread on tools and videos for case modding here:

Mnpctech's Guide to Tools For Case Modding.

Its 9 or 10 pages, but there are some really useful tools and ideas in there. Lots of links as well. There is also a link to downloadable and printable templates for cutting out fan holes.

Definitely worth taking a look at.
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Old July 29, 2011, 10:31 AM
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I really appreciate all the advice so far guys, great job and thank you so much

Edit: After seeing the additional info from Toyo I've decided to only do 2 mods. Those mods will be adding the additional fans to the bottom (with shields if necessary) and seeing if turning the SSD/HDD cage 90° is possible as it does look like the trickier part of the 2 mods.

My plan I've got in mind on how to do the 90° cage spin is to detach it from the metal fan housing, turn it 90° and support it from the bottom of the optical bay, but I do see an issue with this idea. The issue will be whether or not the optical bay can handle the extra weight, so some type of extra support might be in order. If anyone has any suggestions for this then I'd love to hear them.
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Last edited by xlilmissmjx; July 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM. Reason: focused thoughts and asking for additional advice
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Old July 29, 2011, 10:58 PM
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bumping this thread so everyone can read the edit on my last post.
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Old July 29, 2011, 11:11 PM
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well hanging off the optical bay and use an angle plate to mount from side to front support should work. Show photo from top down on HDD cage and one of inside front panel to get an idea, thanks

by the way excellent photos shows great detail
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Old July 30, 2011, 12:52 AM
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I can't take the credit for the pics as I got the photos from Lian Li's website, these guys not only make sweet cases, they take sweet pics of them too

Currently the only way to take the HDD cage out is to take off the front panel, unscrew the 6 screws holding the cage & fan housing to the front of the case then take it out of the case from the inside. Taking off the front case panel isn't what I call ideal so I was thinking of reversing those screws so they screw into the case from the inside of the case itself which would mean taking off the other side panel if i need to take the cage out in the future to put in/take out any SSD/HDDs. This leads me to my idea of turning that cage 90° so I don't have to take the cage out at all, which it may seem minor but it's what I'd like to see happen.

My thoughts would be to suspend the HDD cage off the 5.25inch optical bay where it angles back in to make a 3.5inch external bay and have braces suspended from the top sides of the case (so it doesn't ruin the top of the case in any way) to the HDD cage. I do have one concern about this method though, vibration. So my question here is, will this method cause too much unwanted vibration and therefore take out my chances of having any convenience for myself in putting in/taking out any SSD/HDDs?

If you guys have any other ideas for how to do the 90° cage spin then please suggest them, I'm happy to hear them so I consider all options before doing this mod.
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Old July 31, 2011, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlilmissmjx View Post
I can't take the credit for the pics as I got the photos from Lian Li's website, these guys not only make sweet cases, they take sweet pics of them too

Currently the only way to take the HDD cage out is to take off the front panel, unscrew the 6 screws holding the cage & fan housing to the front of the case then take it out of the case from the inside. Taking off the front case panel isn't what I call ideal so I was thinking of reversing those screws so they screw into the case from the inside of the case itself which would mean taking off the other side panel if i need to take the cage out in the future to put in/take out any SSD/HDDs. This leads me to my idea of turning that cage 90° so I don't have to take the cage out at all, which it may seem minor but it's what I'd like to see happen.

You cant do it that way. See this pic here?




That bracket located on both sides of the HD cage by the fan mount with 3 screw holes each? That bracket is threaded. So if you happen to reverse the screws and screw it in from the inside - well it will still screw into the bracket. But it wont be connected to the case itself.

It'll just flop.

If your adamant of cleaning it up per se, is to grab a set of nuts and screw from your local HD/Rona/CT that has a smaller diameter and a tad bit longer than the original Lian Li screw. Although its counter-intuitive since you still have to take the front panel off to keep either the nut or the screw from turning while you un-screw everything off.

And i dont think its possible to turn the cage 90 degrees. Seems to me the shape is rectangular, so if you happen to turn it 90 degrees, it will pertrude and you might not be able to close the side of the case.

Unless you of course cut the brackets off.
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Old July 31, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Re-reading why you want to turn HDD cage - more air-cool - the fan blows across HDD's the sides contain air-flow, so you won't get better. Hdd's are rear install, so front cover does not have to come off ( GPU would for bottom drive need to be removed )

You would need a different cage if you really want to turn it.

@ Prolab makes a good point of the case width (210mm) HDD's with 90° connectors will be tight fit.

Now the mounting bracket is for the fan housing using thumbscrews from the front. HDD cage is riveted to fan mount, so you would drill out those to change cage, and then have to mount SSD somewhere else because it would block to much air-flow, maybe 3.5" bay.

So a lot of custom work for no gain in air-flow or ease of use.

Looks like the fan mod would be it. Custom length cables would be the best mod you could do, better air-flow and looks
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