That being said, the videos don't really make it look impossible. If I were to attempt this by myself I would probably just use a file and take my time. The videos name trimming the rail housing the scariest part. Obviously I don't
have the table-mounted drill, but according to a comment here the pipe can just be pulled out and placed back. With a sample of one it's quite hard to say how risky this is, but it is something that I could attempt by myself. Has anyone else done this? Another concern that I have is snapping the 0-track thing. How fragile is it?
Any other comments, advice or maybe mistakes that I could learn from? Has someone here totally botched this up, and how?
The one thing you must really be careful about is the alignment of the upper head. DO NOT bend it or apply undue pressure in any direction. And obviously, under no circumstance should you loosen the screws that hold the upper head in place.
The long thin track 0 thing is quite harmless as long as you make sure that you don't file off anything near the outer end. Just in the middle where it actually gets in the way. You don't have to remove very much.
I'd make sure you mark the rail before you take it out (make a tiny little cut into the top at one end, waterproof marker etc will easily wipe off), and make sure you get it back in in the same position and orientation.
You will have to take off quite a bit of material at the place with the two screws that aligns the head on the spiral gear shaft. File it off until you hit the back screw, make sure you file it off vertically and not slanted.
Before taking it apart, mark the screws, mark what goes where, mark at what position along its length the cable is clamped in under the transparent bit, and the way it goes around the PCB edge.
When you put things back together, don't forget to make sure that the little thingy that lifts the upper head when the drive is open goes in the right place, i.e. above and not below the metal part.
Be very careful about lubrication. If you can help yourself, don't use any at all.
Otherwise it isn't really all that hard, just a bit time consuming.
Honestly, it's really not hard, even with a modest set of tools. Just think about what each modification is doing, and think about the best tool that you have for the job, and take your time. Remember: you can always take more material off, but you can't put it back on.
If you have other questions, feel free to ask here!
I didn't realise that the rail was so important to alignment that it needs to be placed in the same orientation as it was. Presumably the same would also go for the bushing if it was removed, which is starting to sound like a pretty bad idea. I see why you used the table mounted drill thingie but I'm not sure where I could get access to one of those. I was hoping to keep the bushing unaltered to keep it a bit sturdier and in fear of frayed edges or metal dust getting in the way of smooth sliding, but it seems now that trimming it along with the plastic would be safer.
Perhaps I should ask assistance from someone with a dremel to get the material off near the two screws. That should also work for the base, just like in the video.
I didn't/don't like the idea of trimming the bushing, because it's what keeps the alignment. That's why I pushed it to the other end before removing plastic. You can get creative; anything you can use to push it down will work. I used a metal block to make make it stop moving when it was flush with the plastic, and that helps keep it in line. You might be able to use a good piece of metal rod, and light taps with a hammer to move it down. If you want to be super-awesome, use a hollow rod, so that you can have the rail still through both bushings to keep the axial alignment perfect while moving the bushing.
But, bottom line, just be careful, think about what's going on, and what impact your tool will have (don't use a flat tip screwdriver, because that will dent the bushing).
Also, my 5.25" drive is mid-cable and my 3.5" drive is at the end of it. I was thinking of cutting a line from the cable between them so I can just swap in random 3.5" drives without modifying them. Am I correct that the line to be cut is the second last on the cable, counting from the marked one?
EDIT: My friend finished the mod by soldering in the electronics, and it works fine.