How do I mount a fan here?

By Mugsy ยท 11 replies
Nov 10, 2013
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  1. Help! (if pictures are not showing up, let me know.)

    I just bought a Cougar Pioneer ATX case. I liked the list of features but could find next-to-nothing about it online. Few reviews and almost no first hand accounts, but the price was great so I decided to take a chance.

    So far, the case seems pretty good, but with one MAJOR glaring exception: They mounted the (non-removable) internal drive cage right behind the screw holes for the front intake fan mount (see photos). The fact they didn't include a front intake fan was bad enough, but after running out to buy one, now I can't figure out for the life of me how to install it.

    Here is the front of the case with the faceplate removed:
    Four mount holes for a 120mm fan. Normal enough.

    But on the inside, the drive cage is about 1/4" away, blocking access to the screw holes:
    And as you can see, there are no spaces wide enough to squeeze your fingers through to insert the screw let alone screw the fan-screws to the fan once you miraculously insert them.

    The cage is welded into the case so it can't be removed to gain access to the case face:
    (I thought they might be Alan-nuts, but they don't go thru the bottom of the case.)

    Welded on top as well:

    As you can see in the first photo there is a 3.5" hole for a floppy (also blocked by the cage, and no hole in the case-face to access it. Bizarre)... covered by a knock-out plate that I removed so I could reach the screw holes from another angle. And there are "cable-management" holes on the sides that also allow me to reach behind the face-plate (barely).

    The screw holes are bigger than the fat fan screws, so I can't thread them into the metal from the outside.

    The last thing I want to do is resort to "twist-ties" or "cable-straps" that would allow the fan to rattle and not mount flush to the case. I've never seen such an !d!ot!c design flaw, and I'm almost tempted to return the damn thing over it. Any ideas on how to mount a fan here (short of Super Glue)?

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    Check your inventory that came with the case. If your inventory is the same as mine there will be extra long screws that are as long as the fan is deep. The screws will go threw both, front and back holes to mount the fan to the front side of the case.
  3. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 436   +29

    Thanks. No extra long screws, but there are these four long plastic "plug" looking things that were probably intended for that purpose.

    No clue how they would fasten a fan though. I'll try to post a photo of them tomorrow/Monday.
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    The plastic plugs work like a screw - so just put them in the same way and pull them through. Some difficulty, but they hold fans well and silently.
  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 436   +29

    Thanks. While the (minimal) instructions say nothing about mounting the front fan, the parts list does label the rubber plugs as "for fan, front panel".

    Realizing that if I inserted them "the easy way" from the outside in there would be no way to pull them through the other side with the cage in the way, I (miraculously) managed to carefully feed them through from inside the case and pull them through.

    The plugs are so soft (like rubber fishing worms) that I feared they would tear as I pulled them through the fan holes, but fortunately they did not. I was able to successfully mount the fan and can now continue my build (thank goodness.)

    Clearly, the "rubber plugs" were an afterthought by the manufacturer ("Cougar"). Their "solution" to mounting a fan where all the holes are blocked. It otherwise seems like a really good case, but I'm finding a few design flaws that are making the build really irritating.

  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    I wouldn't like the rubber tabs either, but I have dealt with a few cases that used them. I always seem to forget about them until I see them again.
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 436   +29

    My main concern is how to replace them if the fan goes dead and I need to cut/break the plugs.

    After mounting my fan as an "intake" (normal), the instructions for my watercooler suggest reversing the rear fan to draw in cool air from the outside. That would mean reversing the front fan as well after I've already installed it with those damn plugs.

    Shouldn't be a big deal. I'm leaving the fans as is. If an air-cooled heatsink is fine with warm inside air, so should my radiator.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    You should be able to reverse pull the plug through the holes when needed. The rubber used is more resilient than fishing worms.
  9. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 436   +29

    Unfortunately, with the drive cage in the way, pulling the plugs back out through the interior would be nearly impossible.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,703

    Thats not exactly what I meant. Working each corner of the fan you should be able to pull the fan loose from the tabs without cutting them.
  11. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Design choices on the case aren't related to the plugs. The plugs are very common actually, and are 'silent fan mounts'. Screws allow the fan to touch metal directly, transferring vibration and noise. The rubber plugs insulate against this and hence make the fan quieter.

    In regards to your water cooler - what is it? Usually you'd have a 12mm+ radiator to mount somewhere.

    Your front fan should be intake. Your rear fan should be exhaust. The watercooler can be mounted as exhaust on the inside of your case, or (if you have watercooling system holes in your case, and the cooler allows removal of tubes) on the outside. Side tan should be intake (optional), and a top fan is usually exhaust but can be either.
    GhostRyder likes this.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Fans don't fail to often or if they do its normally immediately. The only thing that even really does fail on a fan are the bearings which can cause rattles or sqeaking. Rubber mounts are very common because this reduces vibrations and can keep the fan quieter.

    As for the instructions, that's not the best solution, keep it on exhaust to keep hot air out, too much intake can keep warm air sitting inside the case which would cause temps in the machine to rise.

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