DIY CM Fan Mount in NZXT Tower

7/12/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments

I hate it when manufacturers use proprietary products for anything. Hardware, software, etc.  I understand why it makes more sense on their end to do it that way, but it just ends up hurting the consumer.  We want to be able to just buy the products we want and to have them not only work, but work together.

I just recently came into an Amazon gift card that I wanted to blow, so I bought an NZXT Phantom tower with new LEDs and as many fans as it would hold.

I'm a fan of Cooler Master, so I went with them over NZXT fans.  I would say this is a big mistake, but like I said, I wanted Cooler Master fans, so I got what I wanted, except for the 140 mm fan on the front, NZXT is the only one I could find at that size.  Other than that, I got 3x120 mm fans from CM and 3x200mm fans, also from CM.

Fortunately the 120 mm fans all fit nicely.  NZXT has a nice cable management setup that includes pre-wired fan controls with individual fan speed/LED dimmer sliders at the front top of the case.  My issue came into view when I went to mount the 200 mm fans.  Despite the multiple bracket placement on the CM fans, and multiple mount placement on the tower side panel, there was no arrangement that would allow me to properly fasten my fan to the panel.  I could literally get one screw in at most.

A combination of laziness  and stubbornness made me refuse to send in the fans and re-order NZXT fans with the proprietary mounting.  I found several tutorials online for various fixes that involved too much extra hardware or risked damaging the case more than I was comfortable with, but I found my solution fairly quickly.

Because the tower didn't come with 200 mm fans in all the available mounts of that size, they had shipped it with dust screens in the place of fans.  These dust screens were the same circumference as the CM fans, but also had the proper NZXT mounting placement.

Unfortunately the screen is actually manufactured into the plastic instead of just being adhered to it as a separate layer, so it couldn't simply be peeled off.  After some slightly tedious, but pretty simple work with a razor, I had cleared out all of the screen pieces.

The spokes of the remaining web of the dust filter also perfectly lined up with the fan, so I was in business. 

The next step was to apply some epoxy to the dust filter, but obviously not too much, because epoxy can cause much bigger problems than it solves if it gets somewhere you don't want it, like, say... in a fan.

I mostly just needed it in the center, but also beaded it down the spokes that matched up with the spokes of the fan.

After making sure I had beaded enough to adhere the two together, I used twist ties to fasten the to as tight together as I could (pretty easy with twist ties if you just twist them really tight)

The epoxy I used was supposed to dry in 5-7 minutes, so I didn't have to wait long.  I removed the twist ties and everything was pretty secure.  I fastened it to the side panel using the brackets on the dust filter and it worked as well as logic would seem to dictate. 

End product is a pretty slick looking set up if I do say so myself.  I have a lot more space than my old tower, so I may need to look at continuing to fill it before long.  I'm not really hurting for any upgrades, but I've been running without an optical drive for years now.  I might be interested in a blue ray drive, but we'll see.

End product from the outside.  I'm a fan.

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