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Thread: Steering Rack bushings . . .

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    Default Steering Rack bushings . . .

    Hey guys, i just bought a set of MSA poly. bushings for my 73 steering rack. I had no trouble getting the old ones out, but now its almost impossible for me to get the new ones in!! they are cut just like the old ones, and when i put them on, they have this HUGE gap between the two ends that should meet!! I'm having a FIT trying to do this job. Does anyone have any ideas as to what i can do?
    Do i have to have the LCA's off in order to do this? (I got the poly's on so i wouldn't think so.) I am honesly going to just throw these things out and put the old POS's back in! Has anyone tried using these?
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    I've done some reading up on the boards, and it seems like the MSA haven't had too many problems. I'm going to put on some grease i had from my last poly upgrade on my 240sx and hopefully that will solve the problem. If not then I'll live with the stock ones until i swap out my engine.
    Another question . . Can I replace the steering coupler by just unbolting the 4 bolts and then sliding the coupler out and the new coupler in?
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    Registered User ta240's Avatar
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    On the one bushing that is thinner I believe it has a correct direction to it. If it has a huge gap, rotate it 180 and then slide it on.

    -Trevor
    Last edited by ta240; 04-28-2007 at 11:53 AM.
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    trieed that and it STILL doesn't go on correctly. I think when i pull the tie rods it should give me a little more play in setting it up. I'm hoping at least. I'm going to be tackling it in like 2 hours, will post results. Hopefully MSA will be helpful if this doesn't fit right.
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    Biafra for President e_racer1999's Avatar
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    i plan on getting the full set tomorrow. let me know what solution you come up with, or i'll let you know my solution.... one way or another
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
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    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    U going to be at the shop? I am getting off of work around 7pm and will be home at 7:30. If ur in the area, i'm only 10 min away from the shop. Maybe we can tackle this problem together. 2 minds together are better then 1 alone. haha
    I'm hoping a little poly grease and some tweaking will set them in place and make it work.
    Last edited by New-to-240z; 04-28-2007 at 02:43 PM.
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    Default Figured It Out!!!

    Well, after talking to a few guys and heading down to MSA, I found that boiling some water, letting it settle then dropping in the bushings for about 5 min make all the difference in the world!!!! From what i gather, because poly is made at such high temps it can handle the heat from the water and it makes it very pliable, and then after about 10 min it returns to it original state. So, that helped me squeeze them in there and get those lips over the tops.
    Anyway, I was still wondering if i can just unbolt the steering coupler and swap them out with the poly? Or is it more indepth then just that?
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    Biafra for President e_racer1999's Avatar
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    i haven't done the steering coupler yet. i would assume it's just the 4 bolts, tho

    and i plan on leavin the orange area around 4, so i'll miss ya off work. sorry
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
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    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    its all good man. Maybe next time before i head out to SD i'll let you know and we can meet up at the K-Kart racing track or something. (I think its the Dromo-1 track actually.) Later
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    Biafra for President e_racer1999's Avatar
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    for sure!
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
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    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    For what it's worth - When I replaced my steering wheel bushing (78-280z) with a poly one, I stripped the bottom steering wheel u-joint bolt by having the steering rack in tight and the steering coupler bolts tight before bolting on the u-joint. I had the groove in the splined shaft on the rack lined up properly, but it seemed like the tension pulling the steering shaft up away from the steering rack, pulled the bolt against the splined shaft. Reccomend you tighten u-joints first before rack or steering coupler.

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    i did the steering coupler at the same time as the rack bushings. otherwise those bolts would have NEVER made it back in there.

    and a side note, don't try to put the bolts in the other way (from the bottom) because they will hit the steering knuckle
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
    IZCC Member #14186

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    so your telling me i have to unbolt my steering rack AGAIN in order to put on the steering coupler? Please say it ain't so!! What if i put some soapy water on the old coupler and then some on the new coupler to squeez it out and back in? Only reason i ask is because it was a pain in the ass to put on the steering rack bushings. Splease, let me know what i should do. I'll be tackling this sunday night.
    Did heating some water and putting the bushings in there help you with the steering rack? Or was i just making it to hard on myself? hgaha
    (Also, did you notice a big difference in vibration with the poly coupler compared to the rubber?)
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    oh heck yes the boiling was the ONLY way i could get those buggers in! my car won't be driveable for at least another 2 months, so i will let you know when i get to driver her

    as for the steering coupler, it's not squeezing it in that's the problem, it's getting the bolts back through! aye aye aye!

    the other thing we were going to do was unbolt from the spline that's attached to the rod on the rack and slide it down (if that makes any sense)

    but now that your steering rack bushings have molded to the steering rack, it SHOULD just be a matter of unbolting them and rebolting them when you're done. the hardest part for me was getting the bushings on all the way, so now that that's accomplished you may be able to just unbolt them and go
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
    IZCC Member #14186

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    well, hopefully with some WD-40 and some elbow grease i can put the bolts back through the coupler with no trouble. If so i might just do what you were saying by unbolting the rod from the rack and pull it down to work with.
    what r the Tq specs for the bolts on the coupler? and for the rod bolts by the rack?
    Just incase, since i STILL don't ahve the FSM yet.
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    All questions few answers ddezso's Avatar
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    I did the steering coupler bushing on my 70 Z easily by just undoing the 4 bolts. I also took off the airbox for access.
    1970 240Z
    HLS3014160

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    torque for the rack bolts is 25. as for the steering coupler, i don't think torque is important.


    and i did have a b1tch and a half on installing that coupler, so if there is a better way PLEASE TELL!!
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
    IZCC Member #14186

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    Default Oh memories...

    You guys are going to make me dial up my therapist reading this thread....

    I don't remember much as to my first Z, BUT I REMEMBER THAT COUPLER WAS A PIA!!!!

    Holy crap, it was a sonofabitch. Thank God the Z I have now had it done before I got it.

    I am interested in any feedback that is on the coupler, I didn't know the boiling water trick and will use that upon doing the rack bushings... (if they need it, I have not really checked...)

    Have a safe Cinco De Mayo all, good luck to De la hoya, I can't wait for the fight.

    ~Brian
    When you are on the downside of advantage relying purely on courage...
    It's possible.

    Brian
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    When I did the rack I had more of a problem those bushing than the coupler. I thought I had the wrong ones and bought a different set only to find out I had the right set to being with...lol
    The coupler was done without to much of a hassel and with the rack bolted up. And don't think that even if there is eight holes in that thing that they all will work. I had the coupler in only to have to pull it out and move the sleves (sp) over one hole to get everything to bolt up.
    1973 240Z "Grandpa"
    1975 280Z "Zahara"

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    Not enough Zs yet! nwcubsman's Avatar
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    I'd love to hear your results in feel after you finish the steering coupler. I decided against changing it because I thought the damping of the rubber would be preferred. Please let me know your first thoughts. Much harsher?
    Bryan
    ___________________________________________
    12/72 240Z, HLS30139612
    2/73 240Z, HLS30149546
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    When I changed mine out I also changed the front springs and shocks. Added a ST swaybar. along with the bushings. the only thing I have not changed out is the lower control arm bushings and ball joints but thats coming.

    The first run around the block was like a different car I like the feel. Yes I do feel more of the road but not so much that I mind.

    My 76 is all stock and I can't wait to upgrade the bushing on it as well.
    1973 240Z "Grandpa"
    1975 280Z "Zahara"

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    Not enough Zs yet! nwcubsman's Avatar
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    Yes, I have changed out the front bushings, except the steering coupler. That is where my question is aimed. Sorry if I misunderstood your comments.
    Bryan
    ___________________________________________
    12/72 240Z, HLS30139612
    2/73 240Z, HLS30149546
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    Slacker Cethern's Avatar
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    Not a problem.
    The poly bushing does bring a lot of the road feel to your hands, But I do like the overall feel the steering feels tight not as loose as it did.
    All this work was done to my 75. And my 76 feels loose/ sloppy but then it is old..lol and needs a list of things.

    I would guess that the stock rubber bushing would give up to 1/2 in play at the steering wheel.
    1973 240Z "Grandpa"
    1975 280Z "Zahara"

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    I'll post results on sunday afternoon. I'm going out for cinco de mayo so i won't be very . . . . uhh . . . cohearant (sp) hahaha Thanx for all the feedback guys.

    To whoever cares . .
    When i changed out the steering rack (to poly), the tie rod ends (new stock), LCA bushing (poly), and ball joints (new stock of course), and sway bar end links and bushings (poly), and TC rods (poly); the road feel has improved GREATLY!!! I will say that i drive on some pretty bad roads and sometimes it pisses me off becuz of how much the steering wheels shakes. BUT, when i'm on that smooth road going 70 . . . . she's right where she belongs.

    Next will be the spindle pin replacement, then the rear LCA bushings (to poly), Mustash bar ( to poly), and diff mount (all aluminum or stock; haven't made up my mind). All done at the same time since I'll have it all out. I will report back on the final product.
    (PS i still have stock springs and just stock replacement shocks. So this will be a good way of reviewing the differance in poly to rubber bushings.)
    -1973 240Z
    First car over 20 yrs old ever owned.
    LOVING IT!!

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    I jus bought a set of the MSA Bushings and having the same issues,
    how long do you boiling them and at what temperture?

    I already got the old ones with no prob but the ends of the new ones don't touch each other when I slipped them on.
    Is that a problem or can I just simply Torque / Squish them down to shape
    by tightning the clamps down at 25lbs?
    Speeding is fun,
    As long as you out run,
    The cops! ! !

    ~Z~ Seek Truth

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    once they're on there, you'll prob have about 1/2" between the 2 ends. you will have to torque them down to get them to squish.


    oh, and it feels MUCH nicer with those bushings in there. SOLID feel.
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
    IZCC Member #14186

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by e_racer1999 View Post
    once they're on there, you'll prob have about 1/2" between the 2 ends. you will have to torque them down to get them to squish.


    oh, and it feels MUCH nicer with those bushings in there. SOLID feel.
    Thyanx I'll get right on it ^_^
    I don't think my buddies mom would of like us using her cooking pot to make
    "Rack Bushings"
    Last edited by WingZr0; 09-09-2007 at 03:21 PM.
    Speeding is fun,
    As long as you out run,
    The cops! ! !

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    haha, ya i used my grandmother's pot to boil mine lol
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
    IZCC Member #14186

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    Ya mine didn't seat properly till I torqued them in - then perfection. The coupler seemed to be a matter of jiggery/pokery but was possible with the rack in place (nipped alot of skin off my fingers though).
    End result was dramatic - I thought I had something wrong with the rack befor I did the bushings - when finished it was like a new car. Solid road feel, that was 7000 miles ago, still great.
    Cali 4/77
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    WOO HOOO !

    Rack Bushings installed

    Ruby's still sitting though

    ~Z~
    Speeding is fun,
    As long as you out run,
    The cops! ! !

    ~Z~ Seek Truth

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    I replaced mine yesterday. I had the same problem. They should be directional, one side is higher than other. I started on the passenger side. After seeing the huge gap, I unbolted the drivers side. After flipping over and around, I decided to go with what looked to best fit top bracket. After I tighten everything theres still a gap,,but not almost an inch.

    As for the steering coupler,,it is for many years of models. You have to change the metal sleeves to different holes depending on your model. I have a seventy- three. At first I thought it was a wrong coupling. Then after a little exaimanation, it was obvious to rotate the sleeves around to next holes. It was very easy compared to the rack bushings.

    Now that I've completely changed out all bushings for whole car,,new tires, new struts,,,,things have vastly improved. However I still have a vibrating steering wheel. Is it just because it is 35 year old technology,, or is there still a problem? Did I overtighten the steering coupler, and rack bushings. My spaces on the rack bushings ended up on top side. Where's did you fellas?
    "73 240Z MT

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    wheels balanced?
    Jason King
    6/72 240Z / HLS30 89646 (Yellow)
    1996 Infiniti I30 *I finally have all Nissans again!*
    1971 510 4door (wife's car)
    IZCC Member #14186

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    As unfortunate as it may be, if you want to vintage race, go Euro....If you want to race for real, stick with the Z!

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    if it vibrates when slowing down, it could be bad tie rod ends or warped rotors.
    --Dave aka Dogma420 My Gallery
    Early '72 red 110 / white (10/71)
    HLS30 56895

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    Still got Vibrartions on mine even after having alignment done because right
    front tread is seperating, drifts to the right.
    Other than that my steering is way more responsive but a little harder to turn now ~_^
    Speeding is fun,
    As long as you out run,
    The cops! ! !

    ~Z~ Seek Truth

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    That seperating thread is a killer on steering wheel vibration...and it seems it only happens often enough that you totally forget about that being a possible solution to the problem! That's why I like Les Schwab up in NW USA because they do free balancing/rotations as long as you buy your tires there. They will also resipe the tires if it's ever needed again for free--if you originally had them siped. I very much recommend siping--it seemed to help quite a bit in the rain helping me grip the slick road better.

    Another thing to consider after all suspension has been gone through, steering rack stuff, tires/wheels balance/seperating, brakes, alignment, is that if you've ever had a front end wreck, that could also factor in. My first Z that I had had a heavy front end wreck (and it was repaired very nice on the outside when I bought it)...but they could never repair the unibody back to original, kinda like a scar on a human. That's always a possible, a bad one at that.
    --Dave aka Dogma420 My Gallery
    Early '72 red 110 / white (10/71)
    HLS30 56895

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    I had the same problem with the gap on the rack bushings. Mine was not an inch and was only on one side. I might go back and do the boiling trick to see if I can close the gap. My bushing kit is Prothane from Black Dragon so it isn't just the MSA kits with the gap problem.

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    of the Silver Shield Soc. dogma420's Avatar
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    an alternative to boiling is to soap up the rubber part, or spray with hairspray so it goes in real easy. The hairspray, once dry, also locks it in place, so to speak.
    --Dave aka Dogma420 My Gallery
    Early '72 red 110 / white (10/71)
    HLS30 56895

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    I hate to dig up such an old thread (I can already hear the collective groan of readers everywhere!), but I figured this was the best place to discuss my issue rather than start a new thread.

    I upgraded to poly bushings after I replaced my ball joints and outer tie rod ends, and when I installed them I prepped them in hot water first (as discussed here). I also added some multi-purpose chassis grease to get them into place correctly. They went in fine, and the gap where they were cut closed easily.

    However, now the steering actually feels slightly loose! Having my girlfriend turn the steering wheel while in the garage, I can see the steering rack actually moving back and forth in the mounts slightly, maybe several mm. This is apparent when I drive because there is a slight floaty feel in the steering, and I think this movement of the rack allows the front end to wander with the road more than usual when driving straight.

    Could this be because of the grease? How much movement should I expect with poly bushings?
    Last edited by Inf; 10-05-2010 at 10:25 AM.
    -Andrew

    03/72 240Z HLS30-70xxx - R.I.P. 2011/01/04

  39. #39
    Mid-life Crisis Sailor Bob's Avatar
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    Not much - you've done something wrong. Something not torqued down maybe?
    Cali 4/77
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  40. #40
    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    You may have the wrong bushings. There is a different spacing between the ears on the 280 rack (on one side only), requiring a wider bushing to fill the space. The ES kit for 280 and 240 are different only in this one bushing if I recall correctly. If you use the 240 rack bushing on a 280 rack, you get room for movement.

    Ask me how I know. I did the bushing replacement several years ago as I also changed the rack. I then went for a drive. Made a left turn, and when my wheel returned to "center" it stayed about 10 deg left of center. Car is going striaght! Make a right turn, now the wheel sits 10deg right of center. Car still going straight. Rack was shifting with each turn. Had to go through the grief again with the right bushing. Turns out the rack I swapped was for a 280.
    Last edited by zKars; 10-05-2010 at 01:52 PM.
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  41. #41
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    I'm certain I torqued everything down to factory specs, I'm pretty religious with the torque wrench.

    I don't think my problem is nearly as severe as what you're describing zKars.

    I can't say if I have a real 240 rack or if a PO had swapped it out for a 280 rack.

    Should the mounts on the crossmember be the same for the 240 and 280 (assuming someone swapped my rack...)? If so I could just get the 280 bushings, I suppose.

    I'll get down and take some measurements as soon as I can, the mosquitoes are out in full force around these parts, drives me crazy in the garage.
    -Andrew

    03/72 240Z HLS30-70xxx - R.I.P. 2011/01/04

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