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Just another old bug being 'Freshened Up'
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vernonc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:12 am    Post subject: Just another old bug being 'Freshened Up' Reply with quote

This is the story, with pictures, of my two year long effort to ‘freshen up’ my ACVW. You will find it a little ‘wordy’ but that’s just the way I am; if you don’t believe me, just ask my wife. I’m going to post this in sections so that you all have a chance to comment or tell me to shut up and go away.

Well, they say that 'any journey’ starts with the ‘first step’ so here’s mine for those who might be interested. I thought a little background on me would help the story make more sense.

Now, I was born and raised in West Virginia…..you know… the Mountain State. Home of Hillbillies and Rednecks; where the definition of an ‘old maid’ is ‘an ugly sixth grader’. Well, we catch a lot of flack and are the brunt of many jokes but we still like Volkswagens.

Anyhow, I started fooling with cars when I was ‘bout 13 when my older bother and I did a lot of ‘dirt track’ stock car racing. Then I started fooling with, mostly, British cars like MG’s, Triumph’s and Austin Healy’s. Years later, a good friend bought a Porsche; a 356 I believe it was. Anyhow, helping him work on the Porsche opened my eyes as to what ‘good engineering’ really was. After getting a degree in mechanical engineering and working a ten year tenure with DuPont designing machinery, I’ve come to learn that the term ‘British Engineering’ is an oxymoron. In my opinion, nobody can hold a candle to German engineering; the Swedes come close with the Volvo but then they sold out. Heck, if it weren’t for some German engineers, we’d probably still be blowing up Vanguard rockets at Cape Canaveral instead of having had men walk on the moon and having probes roaming around on Mars. But, I digress; guess that’s part of getting old……can’t seem to remember what I started talking about. Anyhow, the reason I got into VW’s was my love of good engineering and design and….. I couldn’t afford a Porsche.

I’m a ‘middle age’ man (at 71 maybe I’m being a bit optimistic) Rolling Eyes who has owned and enjoyed ACVW’s for many years. I bought my first, a ’61, in 1962. Since then, I’ve owned a ’65, three ‘66’s (two bought new), a ’68 plus a ’74 bus which I purchased new. Over the years, I’ve put hundreds of thousands of miles on these cars and loved every minute. Of course, this was back when they were ‘just cars’; whoever thought that they would quit making them? I must admit that, mostly, what I did then was maintain and drive them. The only ‘restoration’ I’ve done was on the ’65 which included new heat channels; I’ll never do that again. I did rebuild an engine for one of the ‘66’s and the ’68 I repainted and install a new interior, however, I lost it in a flash flood more than twelve years ago. Since then, I’ve been ‘bugless’. Sad

Anyhow, about ten years ago, the wife and I decided to ‘sell everything’ and move aboard the paddlewheel riverboat that my two sons and I built over thirty years ago. This has nothing to do with my post except that, after some of my previous queries on the Samba, some of you have pm’d me asking about the boat. They saw that my location was mile 81 on the Ohio River and that I live on a boat so here it is if you’re interested.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I’m showing this more to illustrate that I no longer have a nice garage and all the tools that I use to have when I owned the other VW’s.

In 2010, I decided I wanted another VW so I went on the search using the Samba classifieds. Since I no longer had ‘proper facilities’ (or, perhaps, the time left), I searched for an ‘all original’ car that did not require any rust repair or other ‘major repairs’. I didn’t want something that someone else had repaired because I wouldn’t know what kind of or how good of repair they had done. It took two years and looking at several before I finally found ‘the car’. Here are the pictures the previous owner sent to me; it’s a 1969.

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The paint is original. Yes, when I went to look, I lifted the rubber and checked all areas which indicate a repaint. The right front fender had been ‘dinged’ and repaired with a less than proper paint job; not a deal killer.

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The drivers ‘seat bottom’ was slightly yellowed and the owner said it “won’t clean up”………? You couldn’t tell that anyone had ever sat on the other seats and the headliner and door panels were perfect. The carpet had some ‘slight wear’ just left of the clutch as you can see.

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Good undercoat job and I saw no signs of rust or repair except the slight surface rust under the running boards. The car was originally sold in Pennsylvania and was now in New Jersey. Yes, the ‘rust belt’. The owner said there was no rust and that there had been no repairs made. The owner, also, said the car had just over 41000 original miles; a little hard to believe but I had to check it out even though it was over 400 miles away.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here’s a shot of the engine and yes it’s the original.

He, also, claimed that he only collected low mileage cars but that he had found a bus he wanted and had to sell something before he could buy it. He said that this was the highest mileage car that he owned. After I got there, I found out that he wasn’t kidding. He had one with a little over 29000 and one with just over 35000. His ‘pride and joy’ was an early ‘70’s model with just over 6000 miles on it. Seems someone bought it new, put it in a plastic bag and stored it in an airplane hanger. Somewhere along the line someone had racked up the 6000 miles before he bought it; alas, he wouldn’t sell it or any of the others. Crying or Very sad

Long story short, I bought the car. Then, there was one of those moments when, I wish I had a camera with me. He ask me how I planed to get it home and I informed him that I intended to drive it….after all, it was only just over 400 miles. You should have seen the look on his face! Rolling Eyes Anyhow, it was obvious that I had more faith in the car than he did but 400 plus miles later, I pulled into the marina parking lot without the car missing a beat along the way. Dancing

Well, that's all for now. I'm starting to get a little horse and you all are, probably, getting a little sleepy. It's up to you now to say if you want more or should I just take my marbles and go home. Laughing

mort
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"Those who don't read newspapers are un-informed. Those who do read newspapers are mis-informed." Will Rogers

'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386


Last edited by vernonc on Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Steve22
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ever been to the Sternwheel Festival in Marietta?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know how a vdub turns but how do you get a stern wheeler to turn?
I tend to agree with you on German engineering Laughing .
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story--great bug and great boat!

I swam that river from New Albany to Louisville with my brother when I was about eleven years old. My mother would have had a cow, had she known.

I have always liked green bugs. Yours looks pretty good. But I wonder where you park it--at night and in the winter. That car looks as if it had been garaged for many years, after all.

Tim
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vernonc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve22 wrote:
ever been to the Sternwheel Festival in Marietta?


Well Steve22, I've been going there for 30 years and , Lord willin', I'll be there this year 'cause it's the 40th anniversary. If you're there, look me up.

mort
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"Those who don't read newspapers are un-informed. Those who do read newspapers are mis-informed." Will Rogers

'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386
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vernonc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

flierbob wrote:
I know how a vdub turns but how do you get a stern wheeler to turn?
I tend to agree with you on German engineering Laughing .


Well flierbob, my steering wheel is a bit larger than the VW; it's 4 feet in diameter. The reason for this is I'm turning 26 feet of rudders. There 2 forward of the paddlewheel that are each 10 feet long and 2 aft (that's behind if you're a 'landlubber') that are each 3 feet long. And, no, there is no power steering.

Thanks for backing me up on the German engineering and, no, I'm not German. Ironically, my heritage is British. Embarassed

mort
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'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386
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vernonc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Donahoe wrote:
Great story--great bug and great boat!

I swam that river from New Albany to Louisville with my brother when I was about eleven years old. My mother would have had a cow, had she known.

I have always liked green bugs. Yours looks pretty good. But I wonder where you park it--at night and in the winter. That car looks as if it had been garaged for many years, after all.

Tim


Tim, thanks for the compliment and to answer your question, this will be revealed if you all want me to continue with my story.

mort
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'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to hear more of the story whenever you're ready. You're right to live on a boat too. I hope you don't have to pay 'mooring taxes' instead of 'land taxes' as a result... goddamn tax bastards. And yes German engineering is good. I'm not German, my wife is - I'm Irish living here. I've often been stuck in the middle of technical architecture, product design, engineering and test, marketing and sales and there is an insistence on trying to get things better that is admired here particularly in the engineering side ... and that I admire although I know when to apply 'good enough' also. As clearly does my missus, cos she married me Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Rock on there Mort with the next episode.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your car sounds a lot like my '70. Original engine, etc. down to the paint! Green is one of my favorites. That engine looks pristine. Is it the 1500 or the Single Port 1600 like mine? Heck, it even has the cable between the flaps on the shroud to the snorkle on the air cleaner. Great car there. A rare find that you should be proud of. Keep it as nice as you can. From the looks of that showboat, I'm sure you have the technical ability to do so.
Lucky bugger. You should have waited, though. I have a Porsche to sell in the spring. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the color.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, maybe, a second installment will be acceptable. Laughing

After getting the car home, I did some more checking.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is the original spare tire and it’s never been on the car; I could tell from the bolt holes after close inspection. There’s not even any cracks in the sidewalls and is, probably, still filled with German air. (That’s a joke folks.) d'oh!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here’s a shot of the trunk area with the cardboard liner removed. The extra wire you see is one I installed to supply fused power, directly, from the battery to an amplifier for my mp3 player. More on that later.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here’s a shot of the odometer after I got it home and drove it for a couple of weeks.

Up until now, it seems like all I’ve done is brag about my ‘find’ and you’re right. I’m very proud to own this car but, I have to admit, finding it was more luck than skill. I’ve said many times, in my lifetime, that ‘I’d rather be Lucky than Good anytime’. Really, the only time Lady Luck has ever let me down is when I play the lottery. Sad

Okay, whoever (or is it whomever) has taken the time to get this far is wondering ‘what did he have to pay for this little guy’? Well, after a lot of ‘back and forth’, I paid $8000.00. Some will say I paid too much and others may think that I did okay. For me, it matters not what anyone else thinks. It’s the car I wanted, it fits my criteria and, most of all, the deal just ‘felt right’. Since then, I’ve been, completely, through the car and, last Summer, drove it over 4000 miles with not one problem. I know I did alright. End of discussion.

Now, I didn’t buy this car to make a ‘trailer Queen’ out of it nor to just show off at shows. I bought it to drive. As my ‘tag line’ says; “a daily driver, just not everyday”. My wife and I intend to travel, hopefully, on a bunch of short, let’s say, three to five day trips. I intend to ‘run the wheels off’ this little guy and, now, his name is....... Elwood. Dancing

Okay, as the old time Disc Jockeys used to say; "Keep them cards and letters commin'"

mort
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"Those who don't read newspapers are un-informed. Those who do read newspapers are mis-informed." Will Rogers

'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386


Last edited by vernonc on Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats an amazingly well preserved car. a virtual time machine. I say price was quite fair for that low miles and condition.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luv your bug and your story ... look forward to more of your posts (and photos, as i would like to know what parts are correct for my 69, haha).

Amy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story...I live on the river as well in Russell, Ky., but I work for WSAZ in Huntington, WV..... Smile
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-Zodiac-
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whats up with the ATF warning light? was it an auto stick, is that a replaced gauge, or do beetles just have the light even though they don't need it?

Also very nice looking beetle, I like the color aswell.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stop... you're killin' me. That trunk is pristine. It should belong in a museum, but hey, I'm with you, cars were meant to be driven. If you babied it, some yoho would get his hands on it later and turn it into a Baja. Just take extra good care of it.
There's a poster on here (RosemaryT) who's been searching for one like yours & is willing to pay 10k to get it. Wanna make a fast 2k? Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

-Zodiac- wrote:
whats up with the ATF warning light? was it an auto stick, is that a replaced gauge, or do beetles just have the light even though they don't need it?

Also very nice looking beetle, I like the color aswell.


WOW! I'm glad you pointed that out Zodiac..........now, maybe, I can quit shifting. d'oh!

In all seriousness, I don't know why it's there; I just know that it's a standard shift and always has been and, if the gauge has been changed, they were very neat about it. Maybe some of the more knowledgeable folks will weigh in on your question but, thanks for the sharp eyes.

mort
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"Those who don't read newspapers are un-informed. Those who do read newspapers are mis-informed." Will Rogers

'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386
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vernonc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jlex wrote:
Stop... you're killin' me. That trunk is pristine. It should belong in a museum, but hey, I'm with you, cars were meant to be driven. If you babied it, some yoho would get his hands on it later and turn it into a Baja. Just take extra good care of it.
There's a poster on here (RosemaryT) who's been searching for one like yours & is willing to pay 10k to get it. Wanna make a fast 2k? Smile


jlex, thanks for the kind words and the tip about making a fast 2k.

However, the person who buys Elwood will have to deal with my widow. Laughing

mort
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"Those who don't read newspapers are un-informed. Those who do read newspapers are mis-informed." Will Rogers

'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386
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vernonc
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have time for one more post today. Shortly, the wife and I will have supper then watch an old movie. That's what we do on cold Winter evenings on the Gambler. Popcorn

Okay, to accomplish our goal, I need to ‘freshen him up’. In other words, I needed to get him back, as close as possible, to his condition when he left Germany. After all, he was 44 years old.

The first item on the agenda was to change oil to the 30 weight Valvoline Racing oil that I’ve run in all my vehicles for over 50 years (without a lubrication failure even in my ‘dirt track’ racing days). Second, adjust valves to .006, install cork valve cover gaskets and glue them to the covers. Next, re-do the ignition system with new cap, rotor, condenser and points (Echlin from NAPA) and wires (Belden from NAPA) and NGK B5HS plugs. I set the points to .016 and the timing to a static 7.5 degrees BTDC. While I had the distributor out, I checked for wear (none detected), checked the advance plate and vacuum advance. All was good. I, also, serviced the air cleaner and changed the transmission oil to 80/90 weight. So far, so good.

Next were the hoses. I replaced all vacuum and fuel lines with German, cloth covered line from Wolfsburg West. I removed and cleaned the carburetor and re-installed it with the same settings as when I disassembled it. After all, the car had been running fine. I cleaned the ‘screen filter’ in the fuel pump. The plastic fuel filter was replaced with a metal one and anchored to eliminate pull on the carburetor outlet fitting. I, also, safety wired that fitting to the carburetor as per a suggestion on this site. Please, don’t be too hard on me for not moving the filter out of the engine compartment; remember, I’m too old to be crawling around on the floor to change a filter. Shame on you

I didn’t check the compression because the engine ran so good, and just ‘felt right’, that I couldn’t make myself believe there was any significant loss or a weak cylinder. Besides, I sold my compression gauge when I sold everything else to move….well, you know. Rolling Eyes

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The engine compartment as it looks now; and yes, the rest of the hoses are original. I know that the belt has been replaced (it’s one of those funky ones with the ribs on the outside but it’s a good belt). Since I was not getting gasoline fumes in the cabin, I did not replace any of the fill or vent hoses on the tank. They all looked like new.

Okay, engine and transmission is taken care of. The next item, for me, was steering and suspension. I didn’t like the tires that were on the car (they were the kind that, when cold, felt like they had flat spots); took several miles before the ‘thump’ was gone. So, I removed them, sandblasted and painted the wheels (original colors) and bought new tires…..Generals. Remember their slogan, “Sooner or Later, You’ll Own Generals”. Well, I do and they’re great. A trip to the alignment shop was next. They not only checked the alignment but, also, the ball joints, tie-rods and steering damper. All were good; another indication that the 41000 miles on the odometer was probably correct.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Next came the shock absorbers. I removed all four and checked them; there was a steady, ‘even pull and push’ on all of them and no signs of leakage. I re-installed them; they might even be the originals…..don’t know for sure though. While there, I cleaned off as much of the dirt as I could and applied fresh, Rustoleum paint with a touch of new undercoat. The paint work was not all completed when I took these pictures; It’s done now. I, also, removed the axles, washed out the old grease, inspected the CV joints, re-packed them with Moly grease and replaced them. I did find a small crack in one of the boots and replaced it.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


While I had the axles out, I removed the ‘stub axles’, bearings and seals. I cleaned, inspected and repacked the wheel bearings (again with Moly grease) and re-installed with new seals. I repeated the work on the front hubs and found one bearing starting to ‘score’, so, I replaced it along with new seals. I tightened the adjusting nuts to remove all ‘play’ in the bearings then backed off 1/8 of a turn; wheels rolled smoothly and ‘felt right’ (I didn’t have my dial indicator, but you all know what happened to it, so I couldn’t check the way the book said); anyhow, job complete.

Well, that's all for today folks. If I get a good nights sleep and, if I wake up in the morning, I'll try to post some more tomorrow. Thanks, and good night. #Sleep

mort
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"Those who don't read newspapers are un-informed. Those who do read newspapers are mis-informed." Will Rogers

'69 sedan, low mileage, all original.....currently being 'freshened-up' for road trips and daily driving...just not every day

Freshening-up link http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=617386


Last edited by vernonc on Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy smokes! Well done sir. You got a great deal on a super car. just drooling over the trunk photos... Original tape holding down the wires, beautiful cardboard glove box with no water stains! This is a time machine. If the ATF speedo gives you any concern about the actual miles- it's likelier that is has fewer than more! Great reference-quality car for the discerning '69 restorer!
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EverettB wrote:

I wonder what the nut looks like.



'62 L390 151, '62 L469 117, '63 L380 113, '64 L87 311, '65 L512 265, '65 L31 SO-42, '66 L360 251, '68 L30k 141, '71 L12 113, '74 ORG 181

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