View Full Version : Project: Chevrolet

01-02-2006, 05:45 PM
The first thing that you should know when following this project, is that, I am a complete car nut. Also note that I am a devoted Chevy guy with a certain longing for Corvettes and hot-rods. I have well over 75 1/18th scale models of various cars, but about 25-30 of them, are Corvettes. So, now that we all know where my inspriation comes from, lets get started...

I recently decided to build myself a second system because I'm a greedy little bastard :D Actually, I have alot of friends who like to come over and play on my LAN and I just never seem to have enough computers for everyone...

Well, I went out and bought a few fun things, and now I'm ready to take this case:
and do a complete restoration/customization. It will include:

Abit NF8 Motherboard with AMD 3100+ Sempron Processor and 6-channel audio codec
Radeon x700 256mb AGP video card
Western Digital 120gb 7200rpm HDD
2gb DDR400 RAM
Many, many cooing fans/accessories...

I started by dissasembling the case and then using Krylon Semi-Flat black paint to give the whole thing a facelift.

I painted the grills on the face aluminum. They were a pain to take off and put back on because they were attached using bent, metal tabs which were in small spaces...

The next order of business, seeing as this is a Chevy car themed case, was something that I COMPLETELY ripped off of Tech-Daddy's "Boss FX-57" build. I added an aircleaner to the CPU fan If you ask me, it even looks like a carburator... a little bit...

Its a pretty simple process. You just attach a fan grill to the CPU fan and run some zip ties through the middle ring. The air cleaner won't really fit otherwise.

You then install the base of the air cleaner onto the grill and attach it using the zip ties.
Clean and simple, just how I like it...

I went to a sign shop a few days ago and had them make me a template of the Chevy logo, often referred to as the "bow-tie" and placed it on the side of the case. I covered the entire thing in blue painters tape to add some protection for the paint (which is actually being used as a primer), but also to provide alot of contrast to the black template.

When cutting into the metal, I found, that its a good idea to have LOTS of light, so I got out my artificial suns and had at it.

Also, a cool little thing I found while @ OSH was this Dremel cutting kit. has EVERYTHING that you could need to cut metal, plastic, human flesh... I mean, fiberglass...

So, here's the logo cut out.
Looks good, now for filing.

While working on the project last night, my dad sort of got into it and helped me out. We decided that just having a little logo here and there, and having chrome parts and sleeving wasn't enough... No, we needed an engine. Not just any engine, but an engine that started a revolution. I give you, my very-small-block Chevy engine:

I set it next to the case to see how it might fit, and wouldn't ya know, it does, but JUST barely...

It's held down using four, very small machine screws, which provide, surprisingly, alot of support to the thing. I do however want to find some very small washers for the screws as I have a tendency to over build things and want to make sure that when I tilt the case on its side, that that thing isn't going anywhere... Oh yeah, the engine actually turns over and spins, just like a real engine, and those fans infront of said engine, will, I'm hoping, make the engine turn via the fan.

The last thing I did was install ym shiny new PSU. A 600watt unit with a nice chrome finish and shiny, steel wiring all of which is now hidden in the top 5-1/2" drive bay.

I will have more pics, progress, and finally clean this little log up tommorrow, but I have to rush off to work in a little while, so I wanted to get pics up and ge the party started :D

01-04-2006, 03:49 AM
Ok, got off of work about an hour ago and got to playing again.

So, I went to Fry's today to try and find the last of my LED fans, but to no avail... What I DID find however, truly takes the cake. Ladies and (mostly) gentlemen, I give you, my cup holder/cigarette lighter combo:

It was right next to where my fan was supposed to be... It was like I was ment to find this thing. Now all I need are two slightly longer screws than what I have, and she'll fit like a glove...

Also, I went ahead and finished *crosses fingers* all the sleeving and wiring for the case. Here's some more pics:

One last thing, I noticed that I didn't post this ealier, it's another window, this one is right where the model engine is at.

Yes, I am still filing it... I'm a perfectionist... mostly... (lazy perfectionist?) I promise more pics and an update tommorrow whent he mobo is goin' in and the last little tweaks and touch-ups will happen.

01-05-2006, 02:56 AM
I got done finishing some sanding on the panels and decided that I'm just going to strip them and start over as far as the paint is concerned.

I installed the mobo and finished the wiring. It makes a dam loud beep when it starts up, so I'm going to see what I can do about that... Wiring looks soooo good... Also, went to the sign-shop today and am having them make me a vynil of the new Chevy slogan "An American Revolution" and it will appear just as it does in their commercials and ads.

One last detail: On the model engine, I'm going to be running clear tubing into the waterpump and thermostat housing. The light from the fans should reflacet off of it, making for a cool effect and a little more detail.

01-07-2006, 01:54 AM
Ok, I'm back, and I'm updating/finishing this thing, kinda...

All major components have been installed and are waiting for power and the last of the wiring.

Last night, it occured to me that I have no exhaust fan(s). I needed to find a way to rectify the situation without taking three steps backward by cutting holes into the case again... I found a solution. I bought three 40mm fans and grabbed the spare bay cover from my new Cooler Master Centurion case which is a black mesh and then bent the small amount of mesh at the top that was curled over. The new fans fit nice and snug, with no extra attachments.

I had a few vynils made for me, including a bunch of little 3/4" Chevy logos. I placed one on each fan. They are still visible through the mesh, making for a cool little effect.

The three little fans in the top bay can suck nearly 90cfm combined. These things are loud, but I'm usually wearing headphones or playing loud music when I'm at my computer, so no biggee.

And now, a few pics of the "completed system." I still need to go get RAM for it, a video card, another red LED fan, and a CCFL that will be mounted from the top of the case, letting the light shine down onto everything in the case. also, things have been cleaned up just a little since this photo was taken.

Thanks for all the support you guys. Alot of great ideas, alot of support and encouragement. I have yet yo install the acrylic and a few other small things, but those are probably weeks away from now, so until then, thanks.

01-09-2006, 01:54 AM
Right now, I'm looking into the new two-way mirrior acrylic from AC Ryan. I'm going to use it on the cut out areas (logo and engine viewing window). Basically, the idea is that when the computer is off, there will be a mirror and when the system is powered up and the CCFLs come on and LED fans kick on, there will be a mirror. I think that the reflactive surface would contrast very well with the black and also make for a really cool effect.

I decided to rearrange a few of the power cables, making the window cut outs look less cluttered than they are in these pictures. It actually looks alot better. It's little details like knowing how much of the mechanical construction to show, and how much to hide that makes this case what it is. It's not the Chevy logo cut into the side, or the model engine inside that make this case what it is, its the little things like the exhaust fans, the new PCI bay covers, the chrome sleeving, all of these little details are what truly sets a good build apart from a great build.

Could I have done thigns better? In a word, yes. Sure, I could have stripped the chasis, powder coated the frame, done a crazy candy paint job and given her some bigger and better components, but I decided not to. I want to show what 2 weeks worth of spare time and a little effort put towards the details can do.

My next project will be the refurbishing and customization of an old IBM 1600 Desktop that I found downstairs last night. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it quite yet, but since there aren't too many people doing desktop style cases, I think that I can have some fun and have alot of room for being unique.

Stay tuned.

01-16-2006, 03:56 AM
As promised, I do not dissappoint :D

OK, first things first. I added another fan into the mix. This one is equipped with Blue LEDs instead of red because I have 4 Blue LED fans lying around... I actually kind of like the new two tone look more than I thought I would.


It pushes air straight into the air cleaner, acting as a sort of ram-air induction would on a hood scoop.

While I was at Fry's a few days agao buying the memory, I saw this interesting little heat speader amde by ThermalTake. A cool little piece. It has 5 blue LED's the light up The ThermalTake name and 8 different lighting modes/patterns. It can eb had for a mere $18 and is a decent piece. Definitely adds some flavor into the mix.


The light was a little too well concetrated in certain areas, neglecting in others, so I grabbed some clear 3/8" tubing that I had and sanded it using 220 grit paper, then cut it in half, making a half-pipe shape and placed it ontop of the LED assembly, sandehiching it with the metal with "ThermalTake written on it. Looks alright... Could be better, but it works. I was looking into having a place here in Sacto laser cut "Chevrolet" into a small piece of metal to replace the ThermalTake piece, but its dammed expensive...

Also, there's a switch used to cycle through the different light modes, which I decided to custom mount in my unused 3 1/2" drive bay.


On the opposite side of my pimp-ness windows, I put a lighted, chrome license plate frame with the Chevy logo embezzlled (sp?) on it and put a dark red plate with checkered flags for extra bling. I wired it into the cigarette lighter, which would probably never be used anyway...


It gives off the PERFECT amount of light. Just enough to illuminate the side of the case and show a little on the ground infront and in the back, and is by no means over powering, even in a completely dark room.

Finally, I got my acrylic panel with my special tiniting. Oh how I have longed for this piece! It's attached via automotive window tape (the stuff used to by shops when caulking is not an option). There is about a 1/8" gap between the "window" and the metal. I think it just makes it cooler.


The way that this "tint" or mirror works is that the side with the most light will be reflected, hence the mirror when the system is shut down, but when the system fires up and the lights come on, that's when the show begins.


Not a very good pic, but it shows you that the lights inside are doing thier job well. When everything in the box turns on, the mirror becomes a window, allowing you to see everything inside. Pimpness :D

I installed a blue 6" CCFL on the underside of the powersupply, which is the ideal spot for the subtle light effect that I wanted, plus it sort of hides it :D

Until I get some better pics,