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Mod By: Ryan Williams [06.16.03]
Edited By: Trevor Flynn

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Custom Front Bezel

Now here is the part where things start to get really interesting.  The original front bezel was completely uninteresting and just had to go. Moving into some new territory for myself I decided to attempt to make a custom front bezel to replace the ugly plastic stock setup.

This was probably one of the biggest challenges during the entire mod in terms of conceptualization, but the actual implementation turned out to be easier than I thought.  Below is the ugly piece of 18 gauge sheet metal that I started with.


Now for the really interesting part.  I'm lucky enough to have access to an "English Wheel" which is a tool used mainly in custom car fabrication shoppes.  It's great for making nice smooth curves in metal and below you can see the results of some time on the wheel.  Notice all the dust in the air, that is not a dirty camera lense, there was some grinding going on nearby.

After I had the curve the way I wanted it, I cut out a peice of sheet metal which I MIG welded onto the curved front to form a top.  I then used the 4 inch grinder to knock the welds down to a nice smooth finish.

The next step was to come up with a design for the air intake for the radiator.  I didn't just want some boring round hole, I needed somthing that would make the case stand out.  So with my sharpy marker in hand I sketched a sort of flaming/teethy orifice in the lower portion of the bezel.  I proceeded to get a rough cut out with the air grinder and then smoothed the flames up with a die grinder and a bit used for porting cylinder heads.  Once the air intake was done I followed the same steps in making two slots for 5.25" drives on the upper portion of the cover. 

Here's the front after I smoothed my welded seam with some "Body Metal" (an aluminum body filler).

And here's a shot with the window cut out for the side panel. From there it was off to do some more powder coating, all the while hoping that "Body Metal" wouldn't react with the heat and majorly fux0r things up.


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