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  1. #51

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    On Saturday I FINALLY got the control arms back with the new ball joints pressed in. Happy birthday to me!! It actually was my birthday, and I had stuff to do all weekend, so I didn't have time to work on the car till this evening. But I was able to bolt the control arms on, bolt the spindle on, and loosely install the CC plates and struts. Progress at last. Work is quite busy for me this week, so I don't think I'll have time to do anything more till the weekend, but it kinda looks cool with the wheels on.

    I do have a few observations. I was worried that the rear end would be much wider with the IRS and I would have fitment issues with the tires. Those appear to be just fine, and could even come out a few mm to look better. The front seems wider than the rear, this is only a quick eyeball test tho. But, I don't have rotors on the front either, so the tires will stick out a bit more. Hopefully I don't run into fitment issues, especially since the rims are only 17x7.

    This is the first time I have dealt with coilovers, and I'm not sure if I am doing it right. I have a 10 inch spring, and I have the the adjustable spring perch all the way up on the threaded slip-on on the strut. But, there is still a lot of play, as in I can still move the spring up and down. There is no pressure on the spring right now. I didn't bolt the CC plates down all the way, and that will account for some of the slop, but it sure seems like if the suspension gets un-weighted, like if I reenact the Dukes of Hazard, then when the suspension becomes weighted again it is just going to hit really hard. If anyone who has been there and done that can weigh in, that would be quite helpful. I feel like there is some obvious thing that I am missing, and I'm too tired to see it right now.

    Anyway, it feels good to make progress again. Its been too long. I like the look of the wheels tho, they have a sorta old school feel to them. They are kinda like a distant cousin of the Magnum 500 wheels, which I like quite a bit.
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  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking-Tall View Post
    Being that they're pressed in and not bolted in place, a 0.012" interference fit for ball joints doesn't sound out of order.
    You are correct. I took them to a place that actually does ball joints instead of my friends engine building shop and it took them such little time that they only charged me a case of beer. I wish I had gone there in the first place and saved 3 weeks of being idle. Not that I'm bitter or anything...

  3. #53

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    With your high offset, not overly wide wheels, you should not have any tire fitment issues on the rear. I believe the rear is just a bit narrower than the front, but not by much with the IRS. With the car on the ground, the fender arches are lower on the rear of an F/Z, so you want those tucked in a bit. I'd suggest seeing the car at ride height before you spend any money on spacers.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZephyrEFI View Post
    With your high offset, not overly wide wheels, you should not have any tire fitment issues on the rear. I believe the rear is just a bit narrower than the front, but not by much with the IRS. With the car on the ground, the fender arches are lower on the rear of an F/Z, so you want those tucked in a bit. I'd suggest seeing the car at ride height before you spend any money on spacers.
    I won't be spending money on spacers anytime soon. Or spending money on anything car related anytime soon because I'm broke at the moment. Boo. But, once I get the car on its wheels I can roll it around and do body work which is fairly cheap.

  5. #55

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    Cool. Wheels look great though!
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  6. #56
    FEP Senior Member Patrick Olsen's Avatar
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    So what are those wheels? They're nice looking - modern, but not so modern that they don't "fit" the look of the car.

    As for the coil-overs, it's been a long time since I had the 300# 10" springs on my car - like, almost 20 years ago. I don't remember how much play I had, but I would say it's not something to worry about. Do you have a sway bar installed? If not, having that in place will keep the control arms from going to max droop.

  7. #57

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    Very cool project!!
    Brian R. of Michigan
    83 TBird 5.0
    88 Ranger 2.3t
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...83-Tbird-build

  8. #58

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    It rolls!!! I ended up buying a longer spring, I went with a #250lb 12" spring. And I'm glad I did. I like how the car stands as far as ride height as it is. And I can lower the front a bit with the coilovers. And once it has the weight of an engine on the front it will sag a bit more. The rear looks just fine to me. Also, the front is very stiff. I can barely compress the suspension at all. The rear is a bit more plush, so maybe I'll have to go even lighter with the front springs. Time will tell.
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    It feels good to make some progress finally. The suspension isn't quite finished, I need to eyeball the alignment, attach the links for the rear sway bar, torque almost everything to spec on the front, get a bumpsteer tie rod end kit, and get a sway bar. Using the search function yielded little results as to what sway bars are good for our cars, and the stock 6 cylinder one isn't that far off from a GT sway bar. Am I daft to think of keeping the stock 6 cylinder sway bar, or should I invest in a new one? The other issue according to a thread is that the Fairmonts don't have all that strong of mounting points, so if you put a thick bar on it will cause problems. What says the community?

    Pretty soon I'll be installing the subframe connectors. I also picked up Cobra brakes front and rear, so I have my work cut out for me now. Gotta rebuild the front calipers, strip them down and paint them. Then I'll have to learn how to make my own brake lines, and try to figure out how to get the e-brake to work. Lots of work to go....

  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
    So what are those wheels? They're nice looking - modern, but not so modern that they don't "fit" the look of the car.
    The wheels are 2015 (or close to that) premium V6 Mustang wheels. A guy bought a new V6 Mustang and went for some aftermarket bling bling wheels, and these sat in his garage for a year till his wife made him sell them. I got the rims for $200 total, another $100 on some OK used tires, free mounting and balancing at the shop I used to work at 15 years ago, so not a bad deal. I think they look great, and it just like you said, they look fairly modern, but with a hint of old school.

  10. #60

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    You don't want to gauge anything with your front suspension without the weight of an engine, whether it be stiffness or even the alignment. So, i'd put that on hold until you have one.

    Cool deal on the Cobra brakes. You and i can learn how we're going to make the parking brake work together. As for front sway bar, I haven't really abused my car too much yet, but i think the '87-93 GT unit is too harsh. I dialed it back and went to an '83 TRX one. It's the same diameter as the one Ford used in the '93 Cobra.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  11. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZephyrEFI View Post
    You don't want to gauge anything with your front suspension without the weight of an engine, whether it be stiffness or even the alignment. So, i'd put that on hold until you have one.

    Cool deal on the Cobra brakes. You and i can learn how we're going to make the parking brake work together. As for front sway bar, I haven't really abused my car too much yet, but i think the '87-93 GT unit is too harsh. I dialed it back and went to an '83 TRX one. It's the same diameter as the one Ford used in the '93 Cobra.
    When I say alignment, I only mean I'm going to eyeball it. I need to ask MM which tie rods to get, because the stock ones aren't long enough. They are barely on the threads of the steering rack and the wheels are still a bit pigeon toed. The plan is to eventually get the car running and driving and shake it down, try to work out and problems that might come up where I might have to take the suspension apart, say if I want a different spring rate. Once I feel comfortable that I won't have to take it apart again then I plan on getting an alignment, getting it bumpsteered, and new tires because the ones I have now will probably be worn.

    I don't think the parking brake should be THAT hard to do. It seems simple. I need to start looking on Ebay for the cables that attach to the calipers, then go from there. But before that, subframe connectors.

  12. #62

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    One thought i had about the parking brake was, LMR has "Fox rear disc swap" parking brake cables. I don't know if they would be any better than regular SN95 application ones for us though.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  13. #63
    FEP Member
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    Upgrade the front sway bar to at least a Mustang GT one. Cheap and easy. And make sure the entire front end weight is in place and roll the car back and forth before torqueing the front suspension parts. Some may bind otherwise. Looking great!

  14. #64

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    Well, after some research I think I'll go with the MM sway bar. Its similarly priced, and its hollow. People have warned about a sway bar that is too thick and therefore harsh, so hopefully the MM one will be good. I'm not sure what end links to get tho, because my car will be lowered, but not too much. I also need a bumpsteer kit, and I wasn't sure which one to get with the setup I have. I emailed MM a few days ago, but haven't heard back from them yet. Once I get those two things the suspension will be completely done. I think. I hope.

    In the meantime, I've been painting the brake calipers. The rear ones I picked up were in good shape, but the front ones not so much. The Cobra they came off of caught on fire, so the paint/glaze (whatever the coating is) was charred so I stripped it off, and painted them red. I need to paint the Cobra letters white and then the brakes will be done. At the wheels that is, I still have to make the decision on whether or not to run manual brakes, then choose a master cylinder, then learn how bend and flare and make my own brake lines. I'd like to find a car that had manual brakes from the factory if possible, because as I have researched the pedals were different as the manual brakes need more leverage for obvious reasons. Anyone have a manual brake pedal lying around? I have a SVO pedal set I could trade..

    Lastly, what size output is the steering column? As in the part that connects to the steering shaft. I can't find a definitive number anywhere. I assume it is a one inch DD. I think it will be worth my time to just buy a new steering column. I don't want to have to try and work through the rats maze of wires that the stock column has between the ignition, turn signals, hazard lights, and wipers. Plus the wipers are only low and high, I'd like to have an intermittent setting as well. I'm looking at the Summit Racing ones:

    https://www.summitracing.com/nv/part...r-nk/overview/

    I think the wiring headaches I'd save is worth the $225 or so. Plus, most of the universal wiring harnesses use the GM column plug, so it the two things would play nicely with each other. In theory of course.

  15. #65

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    I never thought of needing different sway bar end links. I just slapped the stock ones in and went. I don't think you need special ones.

    Not sure about the other stuff.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  16. #66
    FEP Senior Member Patrick Olsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrath of kyle View Post
    I'm not sure what end links to get tho, because my car will be lowered, but not too much.
    You can order the normal length ones, and then just cut 'em if you decide it's worth the effort. The end links aren't anything complicated, just threaded rod with a spacer tube around it. If the links are too long, you just figure out how much shorter they need to be (you want the ends of the sway bar level when the car is at rest) and cut the threaded rods and tubes as necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by wrath of kyle View Post
    At the wheels that is, I still have to make the decision on whether or not to run manual brakes, then choose a master cylinder, then learn how bend and flare and make my own brake lines.
    Years ago I read some advice from a guy who went by the name "skod" on various Mustang email lists and forums - he advised to use 37deg AN single flares. (See ancient mailing list thread here - http://yarchive.net/car/brake_lines.html.) They're painfully simple to make, and you can take the connections apart and put them back together without issues. You use -3AN male-to-male connectors, and -3AN tube sleeves and tube nuts.

    Now, if you want to make your own brake line from end-to-end, then the AN single flares won't help, since you'll need to make whatever double or bubble flares are necessary for the prop valve or master cylinder or whatever. But if you're splicing lines, the AN 37* flares are great.

  17. #67

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    I'd like to think that I would have thought of simply cutting the sway bar end links if it was in front of me, it seems like a no brainer. But I didn't think of that until you mentioned it. I ordered up a QA1 hollow sway bar from Summit, and I ordered up the bumpsteer kit from Griggs racing. Once those things get here the suspension is complete. I also ordered the lizard skins insulation and I prepped the interior to get sprayed. Like usual, I have a question.

    My car was sitting in a garage for 30 years with all sorts of junk in and on it. The roof had a dent that I simply hit with my palm and it popped out. Now that I have the headliner and the cardboard piece out, the horizontal roof supports are about 1/2" from the skin of the roof. I'm wondering if this is normal, it sure doesn't seem like it should be, because when you put any bit of weight on the roof it bends and buckles. But it pops back into shape once the pressure is removed. Can anyone chime in if they have had their headliner out?
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    I'm almost finished with rebuilding and painting the calipers, and I went to install the rear brakes for good and I ran into a problem. I can't fit the caliper over the new pads and the rotor. I have compressed the piston all the way into the caliper, but I'm still about 5mm shy from there being enough clearance to fit the caliper on. ZephyrEFI, you have the same brakes, did you have any issues?

    It does feel good making progress again. Especially progress that you can see. The interior is prepped for lizard skin, and I installed the new rear window that was broken. Plus I found out a way to re use the factory steering column. Ron Francis Wiring makes a harness for foxbodys, and it comes with the factory connectors for the turn signals, ignition, and stuff like that. At least that is the impression I am getting after looking at their website. I'm going to email them soon and make sure. The only reason why I wanted a new steering column was because I didn't want to try and sort through 25 wires trying to get the turn signals, hazards, ignition, and wipers working properly. That sounded like an absolute nightmare. Hopefully I have found a solution. The RFW harness is more expensive, but still cheaper than a new column and the uncertainty if it will fit properly and then painting it and all that jazz. This is just much easier, provided the wiring harness is what I think it is. Although I still have to take out the column shifter for the automatic, or get lucky at the junkyard and find a floor shift steering column. Sadly, the 4 Fairmonts at the pick and pull are 90 miles away in each direction.

  18. #68

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    Maybe you have GT pads and Cobra rotors? The GTs and Cobras use the same calipers, just with different backing plate brackets, and pads.

    As for the steering column, look for a '79-86 Mustang one. They are the same, but there was a change for '83 i think it was where they changed the way the steering wheel is attached. Early columns are splined and later ones use flats. So be prepared for that if you go that route. I would think once you get the trim off the column, sorting out the wires wouldn't be that big of a deal. Are they all cut or something?
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  19. #69

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    So I go the sway bar today, and I went to install it. And of course if fought me. Everything seems to be fighting me with this car lately, especially the rear brakes. Which I will get to later.

    The good news is that the width of the sway bar is good. But I think I'll need a few things to make the sway bar fit properly, because as it sits right now it hits the struts and it seems to be far too high when it is level. Some Mustangs, I'm not sure of the years, have a drop bracket that mounts the sway bar lower and thus makes it a better and more level fit. Kinda like the ones in this thread:
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...y-bar-brackets
    I'll try and grab a set of those from the junkyard. I don't think that will help with the sway bar making contact with the struts tho. The Griggs K member pushed the wheels forward, so I'm pretty sure I'll have to move the sway bar mounting points to match it. Perhaps I need the sway bar relocation kit as well? It sure seems like I do, can anyone recommend a kit that worked for them?
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    On the bright side, the steering column was quite easy to clean up and remove all the auto column shift stuff. It was only a few bolts and a clip and the shifter and shaft came right off. I really don't want to sort through all the wires for the various things and try to make them talk nicely to a new wiring harness, so once the RFW catalog gets here I can browse it and buy a harness that has the factory Ford plugs. That will be money well spent if you ask me.

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    This weekend I will hopefully get the lizardskins spray gun from my brother and get the interior done, then I can swap the pedal box out and start putting things back together on the interior.

  20. #70
    Mike1157
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    I'd say that your roof dent bent that support structure down. Even though you can pop the skin back up w/ your hand, the support will not follow. Clearly, it's supposed to be tighter, you can see that it was at one time as there is no paint in that area.

  21. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1157 View Post
    I'd say that your roof dent bent that support structure down. Even though you can pop the skin back up w/ your hand, the support will not follow. Clearly, it's supposed to be tighter, you can see that it was at one time as there is no paint in that area.
    Unfortunately I agree. So I think I'll just shove crap in between to make up that space. I don't see any point on trying to do anything else. The supports are solid where they are now, so just add something to make up the distance and call it good. No one will see it underneath the headliner, which will be a bit lower than usual, but oh well. I'm 6-1, so I shouldn't hit my head on it.

  22. #72

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    I finally got some time, and the spray gun for the lizard skins and got the interior sprayed with the sound control. Tomorrow I'll hit it with the ceramic insulation heat barrier stuff.
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    I also started working on stripping the paint and undercoating off the floorpans. Another few hours with the wire wheel and it'll be good to go. Then I get to try my hand at welding with the subframe connectors. First I need to lengthen them, and I went to a metal store and found the exact size. Unfortunately they only sold it in 10' lengths. So I'll try a few more places and hopefully get lucky. In addition to welding in the connectors, since the new K member pushed the control arms forward the sway bar needs to go forward as well. I unbolted the brackets and ground the new area down to metal then primered it with welding primer. I'd take a picture, but there is a whole bunch of crap on the hood right now. So, I just need to fire up the welder now. And also learn how to weld. A friend of mine has done some welding so he's going to give me a hand. It looks easy to do, but hard to be good at. On a related question, those of you that are experienced welders, what settings on the welder would you recommend? I have a Lincoln Electric Handy MIG, and it only has 2 toggle switches: Low-High, and 1-2. And a dial 1-10. I'll try welding some scrap stuff first so I don't ruin things, but a starting point would be nice.

  23. #73
    Mike1157
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrath of kyle View Post
    I finally got some time, and the spray gun for the lizard skins and got the interior sprayed with the sound control. Tomorrow I'll hit it with the ceramic insulation heat barrier stuff.
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    I also started working on stripping the paint and undercoating off the floorpans. Another few hours with the wire wheel and it'll be good to go. Then I get to try my hand at welding with the subframe connectors. First I need to lengthen them, and I went to a metal store and found the exact size. Unfortunately they only sold it in 10' lengths. So I'll try a few more places and hopefully get lucky. In addition to welding in the connectors, since the new K member pushed the control arms forward the sway bar needs to go forward as well. I unbolted the brackets and ground the new area down to metal then primered it with welding primer. I'd take a picture, but there is a whole bunch of crap on the hood right now. So, I just need to fire up the welder now. And also learn how to weld. A friend of mine has done some welding so he's going to give me a hand. It looks easy to do, but hard to be good at. On a related question, those of you that are experienced welders, what settings on the welder would you recommend? I have a Lincoln Electric Handy MIG, and it only has 2 toggle switches: Low-High, and 1-2. And a dial 1-10. I'll try welding some scrap stuff first so I don't ruin things, but a starting point would be nice.
    #1. You are gonna have to be careful about heat soak now that you have coated the floors before welding in the new SF connectors. While it won't be too much of a problem because of the distance between the bottom of the frame rail where you'll be attaching the connector to, and the newly coated floor, it'll still get hot there. Too much heat..............fire!!

    #2. Probably the worst "first job" to try and tackle welding is the laying on your side, under the car SF connector. The metal on the frame rail is galvanized, and unless you get that properly ground off (with a flap wheel) you're in for a fun time. Galvanizing can be sufficiently removed with a few passes with said flap wheel, but you'll still have to be prudent. It gets too hot and literally explodes into molten little blobs/balls that always manage to find some open piece of clothing to shoot into.

    #3. Flux core (if that's what you're using) will make a spattery, smoky mess of the underside of your floor. Couple that to the white cobwebs that'll form when you weld unprepped galvanized metal, and you'll have a bit of clean up in front of you after the welding is complete.

    #4 As for heat setting, and wire speed,...the door of your welder has a chart. Because the SF connector material is probably .125 wall, It's probably gonna be the high heat setting, and between 3-5 on the wire speed, but that is always just a starting point.

  24. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1157 View Post
    #1. You are gonna have to be careful about heat soak now that you have coated the floors before welding in the new SF connectors. While it won't be too much of a problem because of the distance between the bottom of the frame rail where you'll be attaching the connector to, and the newly coated floor, it'll still get hot there. Too much heat..............fire!!

    #2. Probably the worst "first job" to try and tackle welding is the laying on your side, under the car SF connector. The metal on the frame rail is galvanized, and unless you get that properly ground off (with a flap wheel) you're in for a fun time. Galvanizing can be sufficiently removed with a few passes with said flap wheel, but you'll still have to be prudent. It gets too hot and literally explodes into molten little blobs/balls that always manage to find some open piece of clothing to shoot into.

    #3. Flux core (if that's what you're using) will make a spattery, smoky mess of the underside of your floor. Couple that to the white cobwebs that'll form when you weld unprepped galvanized metal, and you'll have a bit of clean up in front of you after the welding is complete.

    #4 As for heat setting, and wire speed,...the door of your welder has a chart. Because the SF connector material is probably .125 wall, It's probably gonna be the high heat setting, and between 3-5 on the wire speed, but that is always just a starting point.

    Perfect!! Thanks Mike, this is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I'll have the car up on ramps so hopefully it won't be too hard to weld underneath the car when the time comes.

  25. #75

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    Just to clarify, according to this thread the trunk lid from a 4 door will fit my boxtop, correct? My trunk lid is fixable, but for the time and effort it'll be easier to just get one that isn't banged up and rusty. The worst rust on the car is on the trunk lid, kinda weird.

    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...t-fit-Fairmont

    There is a Zephyr that just popped up at the pick and pull this week and I plan on pillaging it for many things. Hopefully the fenders are good and have the vent things, because I like those.

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