The reason I want to do all of this is that I hate having the case cramped with the rad, it barely fits as it brushes the ram clips. .....
Have you considered mounting the rad to the outside of the case, rather than inside? You could put the entire rad+fan group outside, or mount each to either side of the case. (iow fans inside with rad out, or vice versa). It would be considerably easier than building your own external cooling tower (as I think is what I understand you're considering?).