Radiator Housing Completed!

posted Nov 17, 2012, 10:09 AM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Nov 17, 2012, 10:09 AM ]
Finally, an update! 

I'll start with a continuation of the efforts to repair the bottom of the case. This Steelstik stuff is neat... but I don't think I'll use it anymore.  It ended up being a gigantic pain to 'clean up', and I am not certain it's any better than the bondo I was using before. So... lesson learned! 

It comes in a play-doh like bar, and you pinch off pieces of it, then mix it together to form a hard-setting polymer in a few minutes.

My process was to take a piece that I pinched off and roll it between my hands so I ended up with a long 'snake' of putty, then lay that along the seam I wanted to seal and press it in with my thumbs. I learned quickly that I needed to keep my hands wet at all times, or it seemed to have a preference to bond to my hands rather than the aluminum surface.  I did my best to press the stuff flat, so that I would have less cleanup work after it dried:

I let that dry for 24 hours just to make sure it was completely set, then went at it with an old fashioned sanding block and some 100 grit sandpaper. After 15 minutes of desperately sanding it, I realized I wasn't getting anywhere and opted for something with a little more power... my dremel and a sanding flap wheel that came with it. That worked a little better, but it still took me about two hours to get it to this point:

... and it still has some distance to go before its ready. I'm planning on filling the remaining holes on the bottom so that I end up with a smooth surface, and I'll most likely go back to bondo for that. Much easier to work with, same result. 

Anyway, on to something more 'pretty'... I put the final touches on my radiator housing! First, I found some black screws that actually fit the M4 holes pre-tapped into the pump top. The screws were not quite up to par with the MDPC screws I had been using thus far, though... so I went looking for a solution, and found these little numbers:

They're sort of like the MDPC brainwashers, but they also sport a cap, for a completely enclosed look. Found 'em at my local hardware store, of all places! Nifty! 

Here's the framework for the housing with the pump installed now (don't mind the mess in the background, the wife had me pulling down christmas ornaments... ):

And for the final piece... when I was planning and fabricating the radiator housing, I intentionally left a small 2mm gap between the radiators. I did this because I quickly realized while working with them that they weren't "perfectly true"... each had a slight lean like they were twisted or something, and it made it so the bottom of the radiators met when they were next to eachother, but the top corners did not. They're skewed by about 1mm, maybe less. Normally you'd never notice, but normally you aren't sitting these guys back to back... so yea. 

To fix the gap, I searched around and eventually found some stock neoprene rubber. I went to work tracing it over the radiators and cut it out to get this:

And applied to the inside of the radiators:


Now there's a nice air-tight anti-vibration seal between the two radiators. Couldn't have worked out better! Glad the radiators had that distortion... if they didn't I probably would have just put them directly against each other, then thought of this down the road and wished I had done it. 

And at last... here are some pictures of the radiator housing completely assembled!

Phew! Finally a large portion of this mod is done, and arguably the most complicated piece. The completed radiator housing, along with the completed case wall and top designs, puts me at probably 25% done with this mod. Finally getting somewhere! 

Next up, continuing to fix up the case... then maybe the reservoir!

Thanks for following!