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Upgrading Xbox Fan to 80mm fan (v0.1)

Tutorial written by : GuySmilyASP
Last edited: September 20, 2003

An 80mm fan is an excellent way to increase the cooling power of the xbox while decreasing the noise level. You could also use LED-lit fans to bring some life to the back of the xbox.

Necessary Parts:
Xbox (Open, drives removed)
80mm fan
Diagonal Cutter or Dremel
Soldering iron (suggested)
Electrical tape/Heatshrink tubing (suggested)

1. Remove stock fan
First disconnect the fan power cable from the Xbox motherboard. The stock fan has two clips holding it down on the sides of the fan. A flathead screwdriver can be used to pry the clip open, or you can use your finger. Open one clip and pull that side up, then repeat for the other side. Pull the fan upwards to remove it from the case. The fan may come halfway up but feel like it is still stuck. Pull one of the clips again and the fan should come free.

2. Cut 80mm fan
Decide which way you plan on mounting the fan. I suggest the fan blowing out of the xbox with the wire coming from the top left corner, the same way the fan normally is arranged. The direction is normally labeled on the one of the sides of the fan.

Round down the two right corners of the fan as much as possible, keeping track of the air flow direction and wire placement.

(Note- All descriptions of fan position are looking from inside the Xbox case). Most fans have a 'support bar', which happens to clip in to the old fan clips quite well when trimmed.

Cut the support bar about half way down, and smooth it out with a sanding bit or sand paper, or just cut it smooth with a diagonal cutter. Push the fan down onto the Xbox clips. It may take a lot of force. Try putting one corner of the fan under a clip before pushing the next one down. If the clips snap or cause problems for you, you can secure the fan to the shielding using twist/zip ties through a screwhole in the fan and putting it through one of the holes in the shielding.

3. Cut hard drive case
You need to cut the hard drive tray from the center of the circle on the left side to slightly past the warning sticker, then up to the top.

You should remove the hard drive before cutting if you plan on using a dremel, but this will require a T15 screwdriver (a T10 might fit also). With the 80mm fan inside the Xbox, put the hard drive tray in to see if it fits, or if you need to do any additional cutting.

4. Connect fan to power source
There are two easy ways you can power the fan. You can connect the fan to the hard drive cable, or you can plug it in properly and do the 12v fan mod.

Using hard drive cable:
The top of the power cable can be popped off, exposing the wire underneath. If you don't want to (or can't) take the cover off, you can also tap into the wires themselves. Solder the red wire from the fan to the orange wire on the Xbox power cable, and the black wire from the fan to the black wire on the Xbox cable beside the orange cable. If you have a 3-pin to 4-pin molex connector, you can use that as well.

Using "12v fan mod" method:
Cut the fan's black wire off close to the 3-pin connector. Strip a centimeter (or 1/4 inch) or less off of the black wire. Tape the exposed wire to the case. If you want, you could solder the wire to the case instead, in which case there isn't any need to tape it except for physical reinforcement (so you don't rip the connection if you pull the fan out).


Enjoy your new cooling system. Please send me any questions or comments.

Tutorial written by : GuySmilyASP



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