First Modification to my Basic


#1

The first time the fan guard face loaded and restricted the exhaust, pumping smoke out of every crack in the machine and required cleaning the debris, I decided that fan guard had to go eventually. Today was the day.
Now I have had to clean it 3 times, it blocks cleaning the fan blades which had gathered such a deposit as to be out of balance and produce a hard vibration and loud buzz.

Thanks to Scott’s intrepid exploration, pictures, and advice, I was able to remove the top left cover of the machine and OMG - so easy to access everything on that side. I made a simple tool to pry back the 3 tabs on the cover…

Per Scott’s warning, I was very careful, and the force required was almost more than I was willing to put on those tabs, but nothing broke. It really is simple, removal and installation.

I pulled the fan to clean it good, and there… there was that redundant safety precaution that catches stuff and clogs up, restricts airflow (even when it’s clean), and requires that periodic PITA cleaning.
(Picture is after reinstallation of the fan. Note that the two rear thread bosses for the TEC have been shortened to give easy access to the bottom two fan screws, since a basic doesn’t have one)


Like Scott said, that bottom right screw is a bitch to get back in, but I managed it.

Enter a jigsaw and a metal cutting blade…

Good riddance.
All I know is the fan throughput is higher now, and I removed an inherent problem. The fan is running smooth as silk again.

Admittedly it will require that I am very careful not to yank the vent hose off and jam my fingers into a running fan, I am confident I can manage that.

Thanks for all your work Scott! :sunglasses:


#2

Tearing a machine apart is one thing. Taking a metal saw to it…

That took some guts.

You’re a trooper! I gave up on that sucker a long time ago.


#3

Naw, What you did was fearless. This little mod was nothing compared to what you have done.
It is also due to you that I was able to do it without damage. Your exploration showed me exactly what I was faced with. We all owe you for that!


#4

I am impressed. I have been cleaning my fan blades by contorting my arm inside the machine and rubbing the blades by hand, just by feel. I luckily have small girl hands :slight_smile: Pretty sure my warranty is up (isn’t it only a year?) so after getting my Christmas orders out I plan a cover off, fan out, silly honeycomb removal, project.

Have y’all tries cleaning your boards? I worry that the smoky tar buildup will create a trace of its own. I have some 99% alcohol and have thought I would perhaps use that to clean off the tar. I am mechanically savy, but not terribly electronically savy so asking about it before doing it.


#5

Warranty is a year. Not sure about the conductivity of the residue, @ScottW514. or others would probably know better than I, but I don’t think it poses an issue. Thanks to Scott’s exploration I learned that with care it is easy to remove the two side top covers without affecting alignment of the lid, which is anchored by the hinges to the back plate of the machine’s case and is independent of the two sides.
The right side stays really clean since the air flow is to the left, and you probably won’t need to worry about messing with that. The right side has the power supply, and I have no idea what if any capacitors that could hold a charge might be involved, so I would stay away from that unless I had the assurance of an authority.
I do know that since I removed the fan Grill the machine breathes better. Without the fan blowing directly into an obstruction it stays cleaner longer, and removes the eventual restriction caused by the grill. I am really happy with that grill removal and consider it a solid improvement. Much easier to clean the fan from both sides now without having to remove it. Better air flow, less turbulence, and a little quieter too.

Regarding cleaning of the boards, there are spray solvents specifically designed for cleaning electronics. Generally the method involves rinsing with a heavy spray that runs off carrying deposits with it. The solvent is quick to evaporate, so what I would do personally is prop the machine with the right side elevated so the rinse would run off and collect in the corner of the case where it could be mopped out. Even though it dries quickly I would give the interior extended time to ensure it is dry.

Clean is pretty, I’m not sure it is necessary to deep-clean the electronics. I probably will when I have to open both sides to replace the tube. There are many who run their machines more than I, so I expect to learn from thier experience.
I salute your proactive attitude. I think in general women have a little more finesse than a male Gearhead, so I am confident you can pull that off without a hitch. Let us know how it goes for you!