How bad did I screw up my radiator?

1Wolf

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
413
Ok. I'm an idiot and I'm embarrassed that I need to post this.

NZXT Kraken Z73. I'm not even exactly sure HOW I managed to pull this off but I was attaching my fans to my 360 radiator and the radiator to the case and somehow I managed to miss the screw hole JUST right and the screw went through the fins of the radiator. It didn't "feel" like it missed. I felt just a tiny bit of resistance on the screwdriver and backed the screw out then reset it and it felt like the screw threads had bitten properly in the hole. They didn't though. It was the screw spreading the fins of the radiator and biting into that soft aluminum that I was feeling. When the screw starting giving more and more resistance I figured out something was amiss. But by then I'd put the screw through the radiator. Worst thing is that I was stupid enough to do it twice. Because that one set of holes wasn't quite lined up that meant that the screw in the opposite corner did the same thing.

I removed the screws, and carefully cleaned up the aluminum filings left over with a damp rag. On visual inspection it just looked like the screws "spread" the fins enough to make small holes. It looked like I'd run a drill bit through it. The spot that the holes were in would be covered by fan frame anyway so I'm not sure how much cooling they would have provided.

I know that the liquid doesn't move through the actual fins and I don't see anything leaking.

Do you think it will be ok? Or do I need to pull the pump and get an entirely new Z73? I feel stupid enough already but hopefully this mistake will be more minor and I'm more worried than I need to be.

Thanks for the help and advice :)
 
Last edited:

jthomas

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
237
It's probably fine. A small amount of bent fins isn't going to make any real difference as long as none of the tubes got damaged.
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
5,890
It looks terrible, just the thought makes my stomach turn. Get a new one. :p

It's probably fine. A small amount of bent fins isn't going to make any real difference as long as none of the tubes got damaged.
^^ This. If you didn't hit the tubes, it's fine. Mostly cosmetic damage (air don't flow around there too well, anyway).
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
52,024
Pressure test it with a garden hose or however you can make that happen and see if it leaks. No leak, no problem. If it does leak, you can likely braze the holes, just have anyone familiar with basic plumbing fix it.
 

1Wolf

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
413
Thanks to everyone for chiming in with the info & advice. Maybe it'll be ok then. It sat for a couple days and I didn't see any indication of any moisture on the outside so I went ahead and finished assembly so hopefully it will be ok. The couple of holes through it doesn't appear to be near any of the lines so I guess when turn it on the first time I'll just have towels at the ready and be ready to shut it down and kill the electricity real quick ;)
 

travm

Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
978
Ok. I'm an idiot and I'm embarrassed that I need to post this.

NZXT Kraken Z73. I'm not even exactly sure HOW I managed to pull this off but I was attaching my fans to my 360 radiator and the radiator to the case and somehow I managed to miss the screw hole JUST right and the screw went through the fins of the radiator. It didn't "feel" like it missed. I felt just a tiny bit of resistance on the screwdriver and backed the screw out then reset it and it felt like the screw threads had bitten properly in the hole. They didn't though. It was the screw spreading the fins of the radiator and biting into that soft aluminum that I was feeling. When the screw starting giving more and more resistance I figured out something was amiss. But by then I'd put the screw through the radiator. Worst thing is that I was stupid enough to do it twice. Because that one set of holes wasn't quite lined up that meant that the screw in the opposite corner did the same thing.

I removed the screws, and carefully cleaned up the aluminum filings left over with a damp rag. On visual inspection it just looked like the screws "spread" the fins enough to make small holes. It looked like I'd run a drill bit through it. The spot that the holes were in would be covered by fan frame anyway so I'm not sure how much cooling they would have provided.

I know that the liquid doesn't move through the actual fins and I don't see anything leaking.

Do you think it will be ok? Or do I need to pull the pump and get an entirely new Z73? I feel stupid enough already but hopefully this mistake will be more minor and I'm more worried than I need to be.

Thanks for the help and advice :)
as long as you didnt pierce the tubes its all good. Wont even effect cooling much/at all, the fins are still there, just moved a little.

Did you put in the microwave to try and fix it? No? Confirmed, not an idiot. Dont be embarrassed, people building boats put screws through the hull all the time, oops, take it out, fix the hole, move on. In your case you didnt make a hole in anything important, all good.
 

1Wolf

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
413
Update. It appears everything is ok. Had towels on-hand in case of emergency. Unbolted the radiator and swung it outside the case, fired it up, and all appears well. Left it run for a good 15 minutes and no signs of any leaks or moisture that I could see or detect. Bolted it back into the machine and fired it up again. Still good and no leaks that I could see.

Thanks again to everyone for the help and advice, and thanks also for the kind words. I'm sure some of you have "been there" before but I sure felt dumb. Its one of those things we all do where JUST as you finish doing it you say to yourself "Oh s***, I can't believe I just did that...son of a ****!".

Thanks :)
 
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