Repair.IT of course – Corsair H100i liquid cooling standoff

There is a kit from Corsair that would contain the standoffs that we could use to replace the one that broke.  We checked a couple of computer shops but these were not in stock, with no information about when the kit might be available.

The results are in – the majority of votes (being one) are to “repair.it” – great, another use for my machinery.

Alright – lets get into it.  The standoff that had the screw stud snap off, has a M3 thread, i.e. metric 3mm thread.  I happened to have M3 machine screws in my cupboard of different lengths.  I chose to use a 20mm machine screw.  First thing is to put the standoff in my lathe chuck, then face it off.

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Face off in metalworking terms means to make the end face flat, i.e. remove the remaining threaded portion.  Next, I use a 2mm centre drill – to start a hole in the end face.  A centre drill is used to put a starting hole exactly in the centre – as it means.  If I start with the 2.5mm drill that I will require, I may end up with an off-centre hole.  After doing this, I followed up with the 2.5mm drill that was needed.  To work out what hole is needed to tap a particular size thread, we refer to a tapping chart.  To tap a M3 thread, I needed to drill a hole that is 2.5mm in diameter.  Actually a 2.46mm drill would be ideal – but these don’t exist, hence the nearest one being 2.5mm.

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The above photo shows the standoff after tapping.  I use cutting fluid on the tap as I am tapping, backing off from time to time as recommended.  After tapping is completed, it is necessary to clean the tapped hole – I use a duster spray on a thin nozzle to blow out the metals bits.  Next step – to screw my M3 machine screw into the tapped hole.

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Now I cut the end off with a hacksaw, the length needed is not so important as long as it is similar to the original – it does not have to be exact.

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Then the end is cleaned up with a metal file.  I try a M3 nut to make sure that the threads will engage without difficulty.

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This photo shows the two side by side, the repaired standoff is on the right – you can see the different silvery screw.  Yes, the one on the left – the bottom thread appears slightly bent because it is – it shouldn’t be that way though, but I won’t try to straighten it.  Great – I have “repaired.it“.  Overall time it took – about 20 minutes because I did not want to rush.

[Note]  When using metalworking machinery – it is always important to be safe.  Wear eye protection – the little bits of metal can be so small that you might need a magnifying glass to see them, especially when spraying into the tapped hole.  My lathe does not have a very low speed, the minimum speed is 100rpm, which is a bit too high, so it is necessary to tap manually.  I disconnect the power plug to the lathe, then install a spindle handle so that I can manually turn the chuck that is holding the standoff – in this manner, I can hold the tap handle in my right hand and turn the chuck with the left.  When working manually on machines like this, it is so easy to forget what you are doing and accidentally hit the power button – often with disastrous results.

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