Ive always wanted to modify the Dragon to accept two 120mm cooling fans in the front and two 92mm cooling fans in the rear. The standard Chieftec Dragon mid has four 80mm cooling fans. Im a firm believer in positive pressure cooling, this means the intake cfm (cubic-feet-per-minute) exceeds the exhaust cfm. Your case stays cleaner and requires less maintenance. I decided on two Panaflo L1A 120 x 38mm and 92mm fans mated to a Sunbeam 20 watt, 5.25 fan control. They put out extremely large amounts of air, while using less power and producing less noise than other fans. In order to outfit the Dragon with two 120mm intake fans, I replaced the lower front portion of the chassis with 12 x 6 piece of sheet metal to accommodate the larger fans. I fabricated another mounting plate to the rear of chassis for two 92mm exhaust fans. You make a lot of fan holes when case modding is your business. A Knock out Punch consists of a punch, die and draw stud. (See photo) It operates manually using a wrench, (I recommend a 20 length socket wrench) to turn the threaded draw stud into the mating threads of the punch. This draws the punch into the die, shearing a hole in the material being punched. It requires a pilot hole large enough to insert draw stud through. It only takes a few minutes to make a clean hole. I use a 4.5 punch for 120mm fan holes and 3.5 punch for 92mm. I use a Roper Whitney Hand Punch to make clean ¼ fan mounting holes for MNPCTECH fan silencing grommets. The fan holes are outfitted with MNPCTECH ¼ wide rubber u-channel to give them that professionally finished look. Since the 120mm fans will occupy where the HD cages used to mount, I had to modify the HD cages to continue using them. To keep both HD cages removable I joined them together with pop rivets. Next time your cleaning dust from your Dragons fan filters (do you clean your filters?!) peer beneath the lower 5.25 bay, see that tiny grey tab? That guides your upper HD cage into its locking position. I had to replace this tab with an 8/32 round head machine screw. The screw is fastened with a nut on the top and bottom so the head protrudes a ¼ beneath the bay. This is so the HD cage lock can grasp onto it. Now the upper HD cage can attach to the lower drive bay. I couldnt re-install the HD cages just yet because the 38mm thick 120mm fans were in the way. No problem, I grabbed my Dremel and cut a notch that runs 1-3/4 horizontally and 2 vertically in the lower front portion of the HD cage. Now the upper HD cage will clear the first 120 x 38mm. The shelf that originally held the lower HD cage inside chassis was re-attached to the bottom of the upper HD cage with pop rivets. Its offset 1-3/4 towards the rear of the case to clear the bottom 120mm fan. Although the HD cages have been altered fit alongside the 120mm fans, theyre still removable like Chieftecs engineers intended.
The paint formula for Harley Davidsons famous Orange color is a trade secret. We had to do some experimenting. The closest match we could find is Popsicle Orange. I painted the top and side panels Black Glass Enamel first, then added 4 coats of Orange Enamel to the lower sections to create a two tone paint job thats reminiscent of the classic Harley-Davidson gas tanks. Modding partner, Lin Anderson airbrushed a stellar rendition of Harley Davidsons 1903 logo that leaps off the left panel.
For mobility, the chassis was outfitted with machined aluminum castors from Lian Lis V1000 case. The castors looked to pre-mod for my tastes. For a truly custom look, I added a pair of billet machined aluminum flames. The base of the flames was cut to follow the arc of the front wheels. I think they look mean.
The rumble of the V-Twin*
I like incorporating three dimensional features into my cases. I encourage the viewer to reach out and touch what they see. The V-Twin engine is an old aluminum trailer hitch cover I found. I polished the cylinder heads by hand. I then smoothed over the bezel with fiberglass filler so engine was recessed into the door.. The flames were cut with a Dremel. I twisted the tips with a pliers for a more three dimensional effect. Be careful, the flames may cut you if youre not careful! I painted the entire bezel Gloss Black Enamel before handing it over to modding partner, Lin did airbrush the realistic looking flames.
No point installing two 120mm intake fans if they cant breath. I replaced the vented portion of the Dragon bezel with a grill made from MNPCTECH Honeycomb Modders Mesh. The Honeycomb design allows 70% airflow. I wet-sanded and polished the steel mesh before clear-coating it to prevent any oxidation. I formed the grill shape with a needle nose plier. It fits snuggly onto the backside of the bezel where the factory vents were joined together. The grill is adorned with an authentic 2003 Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary gas tank emblem I bought.
Flight of Freedom*
Harley Davidson started painting an art-deco "eagle" design on all of their gas tanks in 1933. The "eagle" would represent the company's ability to fight the struggles of the depression. I knew Id incorporate an eagle somewhere into this project. I dont get excited about adding windows unless its a design thats never been done before. I liked the idea of an illuminated eagles head protruding from within inside the case. I sent the panel to Chris Baltar who runs customwatercuts.com in California. Chris first cut out the eagle design into the side panel. He then cut a 1.5 thick sheet of 6061 aluminum into individual pieces that make the silhouette of an eagles head. These pieces were cut a 1/8 smaller than the window design Every piece was wet sanded and polished by hand. The pieces are mounted on a 12 x 12 sheet of ¼ clear acrylic. Twelve Orange leds reside in the edge of the acrylic to illuminate the eagle design.
HD 100th Anniversary CPU Fan Grill*
The base of 120mm grill is a honeycomb and flame design milled from 1/8 thick aluminum. I painted it matte black. The Harley Davidson shield was cut from 1/8 thick acrylic with a Dremel. I opened the center portion of the shield for and attached honeycomb modders mesh for added ventilation. The shield was painted Popsicle Orange. The 100 graphic was made from a Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary decal I bought at a local dealer. The acrylic HD shield was attached to the aluminum grill with ½ alum stand-offs and acorn nuts.
The Orange acrylic window in the upper portion of the chassis has the same 100th Anniversary logo laser etched in the side.