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Cosmos Cruizer - Finally Complete!


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Ok, so I was hoping to have made more progress on this over the weekend, particularly some fiberglass work, but it just didn't happen. Still sanding and perfecting the surface because it has to be absolutely flawless. Any blemish on the plug will be transferred directly to the finished fiberglass piece. So better to try and eliminate all the issues now, than have to fix it later. :)

That, and this was the last great weekend weather-wise before the rains come this week, and I spent it with the kids doing Halloween stuff. :)

But I did promise pics, so here's my progress thus far...

When all is said and done, the side panel trim piece will be integrated with the new fiberglass panel, so it will all be one unit. So more preparation was done to the trim piece. Holes were drilled all along the inside edge to help facilitate the adhesion of the fiberglass to the plastic. Typically, the two materials don't stick to one another, so the holes will allow the resin to flow through the plastic. I'll add the fiberglass cloth to the back side as well to sandwich it together.


I bent a sheet of aluminum to match the curve of the side panel. The bend was very slight, all I had to do was set it over a 4" acrylic tube and apply a small amount of downward force to replicate the curve.


I set the trim piece face down onto the alu sheet. Here's a closeup of the curve.


Using the trim piece as a guide, I placed the plug on the sheet and marked it.


Here's a closeup again showing the curve of the alu sheet. It will serve as a backing for the fiberglass, and support for the plug.


I set the trim piece aside, then removed the plug from the sheet and applied contact cement to both parts, and put them back together. This was to ensure the plug didn't move while I added epoxy putty all around it, shown here.


Here's the plug in its current state. The putty is all smoothed out, and creates a nice curved transition between the alu sheet and plug. It's getting real close to being done! It will start looking a whole lot better once I get some primer on it and it's all one color.


Once I get a few coats of primer on it and sanded smooth, I'll have to polish it and apply a couple coats of mold release wax, so the fiberglass won't stick to it. Only then will I be able to start the layup process!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update on the plugs. I got a couple coats of epoxy primer on them a few weeks ago, and have been sanding them down, working my way up to 1000 grit. Not really sure when I will get to lay some fiberglass, as it's now getting colder out, and I will most likely have to step away from this project yet again for another build.

Anyway, here's a few shots...



Back when I can! :)

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  • 2 months later...

Ok, I think it's about time I got back on this project! :D After I wrapped up the Level 10GTS-M case, I was able to spend some time installing some newly acquired parts from EK. :twisted:


Yes, they were gracious enough to offer up some very cool products for this build, and I can't thank them enough. Here's a shot of what they sent me:


We got a CPU waterblock, motherboard blocks for the X79, Dominator memory blocks x2, ram module adapters (to fit the dominator blocks on my Crucial memory), a 250mm tube res, a 280 and a 420 radiator, and a dual pump top.

I had been searching for a WC solution for my Crucial Ballistix memory, and there are a few universal blocks out there, but I was very pleased to find out EK offers these adapters to fit the ever popular Corsair Dominator blocks. :) So the first thing I did was install them onto the Crucial memory.

They come very securely packaged in bubble wrap.


Opening it up we have two sets of adapters, with all the necessary thermal padding and hardware.


Here are the memory sticks with their heat spreaders which will need to be removed.


I had to be extremely careful not to damage the memory in the removal process. I found that pulling both sides off at the same time alleviated any bending of the memory stick.


Crucial uses some really tough adhesive on their thermal pads. It took awhile to get it all off the chips.


All four sticks cleaned off and ready for the adapters.


Applying the new thermal padding. The strips were too short to just lay over all the chips, so I had to cut them up into individual squares, one for each chip. Now for the other side.


Once the thermal pads were all on, it was just a matter of sandwiching the memory stick in between the two adapter plates and screwing them together. Two down, two to go!


All done! I had to install the ram onto the motherboard and add the actual Dominator blocks to see how it looked. Looks very nice along with the Supremacy CPU and motherboard blocks.


I'm super excited to be back on this. I'll be updating more consistently from now on, as this case is top priority! :)

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Planning out the plumbing on the backside of the Cruizer. I'm going with stainless steel tubing, to simulate automotive fuel/brake lines. Should look pretty sweet! But before running the lines, I had to figure out the best placement for the wc components. It's amazing that even on a cavernous case such as the Cosmos II, I still had to deal with clearance issues lol.


I'll be running two separate loops: CPU/motherboard/ram, and graphics cards. I got the 420mm EK radiator up top cooling the CPU loop, and the 280mm EK rad in the GFX loop. I figure the 680s won't be putting out as much heat as the processor, especially since I want to do some OCing this time. Both loops go into the EK 250mm X3 res, with one line connecting the res to the dual pumps. Then the two loops split off again from there. I'm a little concerned about the bottleneck there, but I'm trying to eliminate any unnecessary tubing where possible. And with the dual D5 pumps, I'm hoping it will be a non-issue. Lemme know what you guys think.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After designing out the plumbing in Sketchup, I've been placing the real parts in the case, to verify my plan will work as it is layed out. So far things have been lining up with minimal adjustments. :)

Here are the 280 and 420 radiators from EK. These things are massive, at 2" thick, but they fill the Cosmos II nicely. :)


Got my stack of 140mm fans plus a 200mm intake fan for the case.


Trying the fans out on the 280 rad, and placing it in the case.


The top 420 rad will go up top, but just barely.


As you can see from the side, the radiator will need to be mounted lower into the case so it fits below the bezel. The Cosmos II only has provisions for a 360mm radiator, so I'd have to cut the top panel anyway.


Lastly, here is a shot of the Koolance quick disconnect fittings I'll be using to connect the custom manifold, along with the Koolance 1/2" pipe adapters and EK 90º elbow fittings.


And I've got more fittings on the way! I found some really awesome push fittings from E22 that will be a perfect fit for this project...


They also carry the 12mm rigid tubing I'll be using along with these fittings. So as soon as I get those in, I'll be able to get the custom manifold together and mounted on the hardware. Can't wait! :)

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Got a little bit more work done last night on the rads. :)

I cut out the top panel to fit the 420mm EK radiator. You can see the size difference between it and the stock provisions for a 360mm rad.


Here is the radiator set in place with a couple fans to check height clearance.


I also checked the lower radiator clearance. To do this, I set the fiberglass form into the case to give me an idea where the actual fiberglass piece will be. Right now the rad is resting on the form, so it will need to raise up just a bit to clear. I still have about 1/4" room above the fans on top, so I think I'm good.


This weekend, I'll file the edges down and get the mounting brackets made up for this rad as well as the lower 280mm rad.

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Ok, I got a crap-ton of work done on this case over the weekend. :P

Firstly, I got the top radiator mounts made. After measuring how far the rad could go, I cut and bent these four mounts.


These will mount to the center fan holes on each side of the rad.


And it fits into the case thusly. I still have to add holes to the brackets where they will be fastened to the case.


Using my flexible curve to simulate where the top piece will be, you can see how much clearance I will have over the fans once it's all said and done.


Here's a front shot of the rad & fans.


Now comes the major part of the update. I took the plunge and got the side panel laid up with fiberglass today. It was pretty warm the whole weekend, so I figured I'd give it a go. Here's a shot of all the materials I had to acquire: Resin, catalyst, gel coat, curing agent, cabosil (a thickener), assorted brushes, mixing cups, roller, dispersing pump, measuring squeeze bottle, mixer, gloves, and not shown are the paste wax and PVA mold release.


And of course, the fiberglass cloth. I got some heavy duty strand mat and 4oz cloth.


Before I could start any of this, I had to prep the form. After sanding up to 1000 grit, I used some meguire's car polish on it. Then I waxed the whole thing four times. After that, I sprayed it with 2 coats of PVA mold release. That was Saturday.

Sunday morning I got the fiberglass cloth pre-cut and clamped the side bezel down around the form.


After everything was set up and ready, I started brushing on the gel-coat. This was the point of no return, since the cloth had to go on as soon as the gel-coat was tack-free. Then each subsequent layer of cloth had to follow non-stop until it was finished.


After the gel-coat set up, I mixed up some resin with the cabosil thickener to make a paste, then worked it into the tight corners and overhangs where air bubbles were sure to form.


After the paste, it was time for the first layer of fiberglass. Starting with the heavy duty strand mat, I layed it over the form and added the resin.


This took a good two cups of resin to saturate the mat.


Next layer was the 4oz cloth. Procedure was the same, adding resin where needed, saturating the cloth.


After three layers of cloth, I added a few scrap pieces to reinforce the corners and overlap the joints. Then I mixed up one last small batch of resin, this time with the curing agent, which helps the final surface cure without being tacky.


After a few hours under the heat lamps, it was rock hard and smooth. Time to demold! I turned the form upside down and removed the aluminum sheet, exposing the layered foam.


After working the edges, it became apparent I was not going to be able to save the form, so I proceeded to remove it one foam layer at a time.


After two layers of foam, I was able to pop the remaining piece of the form out of the fiberglass.


And there ya go. Thanks to the 4 coats of wax and 2 coats of PVA, I had no trouble with sticking.


behold! A one-piece fiberglass side panel!


Now this thing is not totally without its flaws. Upon closer inspection, there are countless air bubbles and a few spots where the gel-coat was too thin. But I can mix up some more of the resin paste and fill those areas back in. And I will undoubtedly have a bunch of bodywork to do before this thing is ready for paint.

But I think for the most part, it came out really well considering this was my first fiberglassing adventure. :)

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Spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning up the side panel. I had to remove quite a bit of fiberglass and resin around the edges where the panel mates up with the case. Small oversight on my part, as I should have taped those areas off so I wouldn't glass over them. Ah well, a few extra hours of work and it now fits back on the case. I also exposed all the bubbles just under the surface so I could fill them in with more resin paste. I should be able to do some filling at some point this week, as it is supposed to be warmer.

along with the cleanup, I managed to make a mold of side scoop I made a few months ago. If you recall, I carved the shape out of foam, then covered it with bondo.


I prepped the scoop in the same way as the side panel form, sanding to 1000 grit, polishing compound, 4 coats of wax, 2 coats of PVA. I glued it down to the back side of the same aluminum sheet I had the side panel form on. Using the epoxy dough, I covered the scoop and let it set up overnight.


The next morning, I popped it out of the mold. After a bit of cleanup and prep on the inner surface, it will be ready for fiberglass. I'll be able to make both scoops from this mold.


Work continues...

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