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Hard-Tube. FUN. Not really lol

Cptn Vortex

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Joined
May 4, 2007
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4,241
Location
Vancouver
So I managed to get the whole loop done in 3hrs. I couldn't get my bends to work with the Bending guide kit I got, for some reason it would always kink really badly, so I ended up doing the whole thing by hand...

Before:



Ugly mess:



First couple runs were easy and straight, with the long one needing a bit of a "S" curve to meet up to the top rad:



MUCH cleaner down in the pump area, this I am pleased with:



And I didnt take pics of the progress to get to this point, cause I was in head-down power work mode lol:



The bends could have been better if I could only get the guides to work. That one piece, from top RAD to CPU was a PITA. It took 3 tries! So hard to get the distance between bends right by just eye-balling it.

Luckily some of the bends on my screw-ups were quite good, so I re-used one for the CPU to GPU part. And the GPU to Res was a little more forgiving since I could rotate the Res a few degrees if I was slightly off.

Bends look a bit better from this angle:




Here's my take-away thoughts if you are thinking of doing this:

  • Go with 16mm OD tubing. I imagine it may be a little more forgiving to work with compared to this small 12mm OD
  • Buy plenty of tubing. I bought 6M, and ended up using 3M of it. I can imagine it would have been easier to quickly use up more if I hadnt gotten lucky on some of the bends
  • Dont worry at all about block order. I did a quick test. Fired up furmark on my GPU and let it run for 10 mins. The temps stabilized at 46c. Then I fired up multiple runs of wPrime 1024m. In my case the CPU gets to about 65c on the package. The GPU temp remained Exactly the same, 46-47c. So it's not like you are dumping extra heat from the CPU to the GPU, the coolant cycles way too quickly for it to make any direct impact.
  • Dont get coloured tubing! It's really tough to tell when the tube gets to the right temp!
  • Dont be too intimidated, it is totally do-able. Just take your time and don't give up.
 

Lysrin

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Mar 10, 2014
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3,216
Location
Nova Scotia
Looks like a nice job to me! And although the 16mm tubing might have been easier I think the 12mm looks nice and clean.

About the block order, JaysTwoCents did a pretty extensive video on this seemingly endless debate and came to exactly the same conclusion you did.
 

Lpfan4ever

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Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
3,118
Location
Calgary
Hard tubing is such a pain in the ass to get set up and has very little leeway. However it's much less maintenance in the long run, especially with no plasticizer to leach out and gum up your blocks. Congrats on getting setup though!
 

Izerous

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Feb 7, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Edmonton
I found it much easier to free hand it as well compared to trying to use those bending guides. Not sure i'd do it again I had a leak in my cooler unit (radiators/fans housed in separate case) and it was impracticle with the hard tube to drain it out to fix the leak. Soft tubing in there gave me that little bit of flexibility.
 

Cptn Vortex

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May 4, 2007
Messages
4,241
Location
Vancouver
I found it much easier to free hand it as well compared to trying to use those bending guides. Not sure i'd do it again I had a leak in my cooler unit (radiators/fans housed in separate case) and it was impracticle with the hard tube to drain it out to fix the leak. Soft tubing in there gave me that little bit of flexibility.
Yes, I am definitely not looking forward to the day I need to drain the system. I made sure to leak-test for over 24 Hours, and gave each tube run a couple shakes just to make sure everything was seated ok. Also tried flexing the case around just in case that could upset the tube seals.
 

Izerous

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Feb 7, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Edmonton
My leak actually occurred from a 90 swivel like a week after I had it running, there was just a little bit too much stress on the fitting itself and I didn't notice it until it was at the point of leaking a small puddle after the fact.
 

JD

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Jul 16, 2007
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Toronto, ON
Acrylic or PETG?

Since I noticed it in my own bends too, the 90 degree bends look a bit squished/stretched. I just ended up trying again and again until I managed to get them 'acceptable' to me, but even still, I'm not totally satisfied. Not really sure what the culprit is though. I want to say the ones that came out better were the ones that I left resting around the warm metal mandrel and letting it gradually cool off with the silicone insert still inside. I feel like the 'bad' ones were when I took out the silicone insert when it had only just cooled outside but the silicone was still warmish. Though I think the speed/force used while bending was part of it too.

Still a great transformation :thumb:
 

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