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1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:42 am    Post subject: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

I'm starting this thread to help me document the rebuild process on my 1800cc, Type 4 engine. Let me begin by saying that in no way, do I consider myself to be an expert, engine builder. Therefore, I humbly ask that if anyone sees something they think is wrong, or could be done better/more efficiently, that he or she please chime in. As stated above, the primary purpose of this thread is for documentation purposes, however I hope it will also help others in their future endeavors. I have gained a great deal of knowledge from the good people here on TheSamba over the years. I appreciate greatly, having a site that offers help and instruction for those with varying levels of experience, particularly when it is done a constructive manner. Thanks for checking in and helping out.

So let's get to it. This thread will be updated as things progress.

Let's start at the beginning. Many of you will already be aware of the troubles I've had with the engine in my bus. I decided last year to pull an engine that had approximately 1500 miles on it. I could not get rid of persistent low oil pressure issues. Upon tearing it down, I found there to be bearing clearance issues that were too great to overcome. Time to rebuild. Thankfully, I decided to tear the engine down before it failed in some catastrophic manner. In doing so, I managed to salvage some of the parts. I kept the Raby 9590 cam, followers, the rocker arms et. al. For the most part, everything else will be new, reconditioned and machined to tolerance. The case for the old engine was no longer viable. The engine builder that was originally slated to do the machine work, installed a gadget into the oil pressure relief passage, that could not be removed without extensive damage to the case. I had a case in storage that I had torn down about 20 years ago, waiting for the chance to be rebuilt. Upon inspection, I found the main bores in the case to be too close to wear limit tolerance to be comfortable. I did not see how it would do me any good to rebuild an engine with new parts, and have the case at 75-90% of life expectancy already used. The case was sent to Rock Jennings Enterprises in Washington state. Great guy, that really took the time to walk me through the entire process. He was gracious with his time and answered all my questions as they arose. This is no small deal, considering how valuable a commodity time is, particularly to an individual that has so few employees. I feel it is important to stress this point, as he was very particular about what was to be performed and what things he would and wouldn't do. I greatly appreciated the time he took to look at pictures that I emailed him, prior to shipping the case, to ensure that what I sent him was even worth working on.
The case was decked for cylinders, align-bored, all the gallery plugs were drilled and tapped, and I had Rocky weld the ear for the breather tower back on. His work is beautiful:
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A couple of months have passed since I first received the case. I wanted to make sure that I was free from distractions, before I dived into putting the engine back together. Eliminating some of those distractions involved restoring my old Essen trailer, and rebuilding the valve body on the transmission of a newly acquired 1995 EuroVan Camper. So this past weekend I decided to embark on cleaning and prepping. I started by using a set of nylon brushes to clean out the oil galleries:
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This step is critical and we'll get a better look at why in a little bit, once we get to the crankshaft.

I used Castrol Super Clean to flush the galleries and get rid of any residual machining debris that might have been left behind. The case was squeaky clean:
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However, I feel compelled to mention that the cleaner tarnishes the aluminum. This isn't of particular concern to me on the majority of the case. However, I wanted to make sure that I had not caused myself any headaches, so I polished the case, wherever machine work had been done. I'm not overly concerned with the appearance of the rest of the case, as most of it will be covered with tins etc. Ready to start installing plugs and cylinder studs:
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I used Loctite 565 thread sealant to install them all:
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While I was prepping/cleaning the case, I also spent a little time with the lifter bores. Here you see that there was some mild corrosion, pits etc.
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I know it can be a little tough to tell from the picture above, but I assure you that they needed some attention. My apologies, not a great shot. I tried to get a better shot in the image below, showing the results after polishing the bores. As I stated earlier, I had the opportunity to rebuild the valve body on my EVC. I bought some Bench Buddy Brushes:
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They helped immensely! I used them to do all the lifter bores, as well as the bore for the distributor drive. Much smoother!:
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white74westy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

With the preliminary work done on the case, it was time to start turning my attention to the crankshaft and rods.

The crankshaft, rods, and the remainder of the rotating assembly were taken care of by Titan Engines in Ocala, Florida. I travel for work and happen to be in Ocala a few times a month. I stumbled upon Titan, purely by chance. I'm happy that I did! They ground down the crank and polished it. They also reworked all the rods, including new wrist pin bushings, and finally they balanced the entire rotating assembly.

I started with the crank:
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Before I put the first rod on the crank, I made sure to clean all the oil passages with nylon brushes. The image below is after one pass:
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As you can see in the next image, the brush below is how they appear when they haven't been used:
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Unbelievable just how much junk you'll find when you start cleaning these things!!! I worked the passages from both directions with a brush and brake cleaner, until there was no more residue left on the paper towel. Here's what it looked like after the initial cleaning:
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Yuck!!! That is some gnarly stuff right there. Hard to imagine how that could do your newly assembled engine any good! Glad to have done it and know that stuff won't be floating around when we fire this puppy up.

Rods went in the ultrasonic cleaner to help remove oils and debris left behind from the machine shop:
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Next step is to prep the rod bearings for any potential clearance/fit issues. I cleaned them with brake cleaner, and then applied permanent marker to the edges. This will help me determine if there are any edges that need to be chamfered prior to the final installation:
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Once I had done that, I moved on to installing the bearings in the case. This will allow me to scribe both sides of the bearings to help when it comes time to install the crank. It also allowed me to check the oiling hole alignment on the case and the bearings:
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I think they all look pretty good! I know its a little tough to tell on a couple of them, because the angles were a little tight, trying to get my phone in there to take the pics.

One thing I did notice was that the center main bearing was sitting a little proud of the case. I've read that it isn't all that uncommon on the Silver Line bearings, and that others are having similar issues. I will sand them down. Not sure if you can tell from the pictures below. It's not horrible, but still it's an issue that will need to be addressed:
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Time to put the crankshaft assembly together:
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Rods, cam gear, distributor gear installed:
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That's it for now. I am going to attempt to get deck height measurements so that I can send them off to Len Hoffman in order to get compression ratio in line. I'll post up results and updates as they come.

Thanks again for checking in! Cool
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orwell84
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

We seem to be going through parallel builds, if not parallel lives. Glad to see you are back at it and making good progress. The too long center main thing has been an ass ache. Keep in mind that the bearing shells are supposed to sit a little proud of the saddles. It took many rounds of sanding, torquing them in the case, measuring, sanding again to get them close. Most recently I checked them with plastigage in case I was getting imaginary measurement.

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

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


What a PITA. Hope you have an easier time with it.
That crank is cool.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

orwell84 wrote:
We seem to be going through parallel builds, if not parallel lives. Glad to see you are back at it and making good progress. The too long center main thing has been an ass ache. Keep in mind that the bearing shells are supposed to sit a little proud of the saddles. It took many rounds of sanding, torquing them in the case, measuring, sanding again to get them close. Most recently I checked them with plastigage in case I was getting imaginary measurement.


What a PITA. Hope you have an easier time with it.
That crank is cool.


Thanks man! It'd be a whole lot easier if there were more of us in closer proximity to each other! Might be a lot more fun too.

I know I've heard it here a million times before, but there's something to be said for the number of hours that go into making these engines right. I'm not talking about people that throw them together and hope for the best. Certainly, there's plenty of them out there and they have good luck. However, for the most part, that's not the case. Bearing in mind that I (we) don't do this for a living, collecting tools and learning to use them takes time. I wish I had a shop with all the tools, gadgets and gizmos, set up the way I like. Even then, one can certainly understand why people like Jake Raby, Skillz with his conversions, and others charge as much as they do in order to be able to put their names on the product. Being able to stand behind these engines, given the state of the parts supply and quality must be quite an endeavor.

Keep at it. I look forward to reading about your eventual triumph and victory, and hope to share the same news on my end!
Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

It is incredibly time consuming for sure, especially having kids underfoot during the pandemic working from home, etc. I have found myself checking things with a micrometer while being in some endless virtual meeting from work. Kids seem to show up with demands just as you are teetering a bore gage inside the case squinting at the numbers. I had this whole schedule for getting back in the road. Itís out the window. If I put a blowtorch on my neck, I will miss things and I am trying to enjoy the build part.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the time you are taking to write this up and taking all the pictures. This is a project I need to do as well with all the parts I have collected. Keep it up! Thanks
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

Keeping with the tradition of putting one foot in front of the other, I've continued to chip away at this little project. What seemed so daunting the day before, is met with a sense of tremendous relief and satisfaction upon completion, only to be met with the same emotions the following day; knowing that I'll have to do it all over again, and not sure what surprises await me, just around the next corner. What a roller coaster ride this can be! I'm trying to take my time and enjoy the ride. So far, so good!

I have been trying to get the short block built up, in order to give Len some data in order to help determine desired compression ratio. To begin, I started by getting the end play set. I installed the shims that I had left over from the previous engine, installed the flywheel and mounted a dial indicator:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I had my youngest help me take the following picture, showing that the end play is at 0.003":
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I'm satisfied with the results, and I'm glad to have that off my plate of things to do.

Next was to install pistons and cylinders, along with the shims that Rocky provided, after the case was decked. He sent 0.020" shims:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Next I installed the #1 piston and liner, without piston rings. I used 1/2" drive sockets on all four studs to bolt the cylinder down. I brought the piston to Top Dead Center (TDC), and readied my depth gauge micrometer. I was a little take aback to see the the piston was pretty much dead flush with the top of the cylinder:
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Having a brief moment of non-belief, I repeated the same steps for #2, and amazingly got the exact same results:
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I'm not sure why, but as abovementioned, for a fleeting moment, my brain nearly went into "Oh crap!" mode. Took a step back and sent Len my results. My initial reaction was to say, well if I remove the 0.020" and replace it with a 0.060" shim, then I'll be okay. Thankfully, having a second set of eyes, or in this case a brain Rolling Eyes Laughing Len stated that he would make sure to leave a 1mm (0.040") step in the heads. In theory it should give me a nice tight deck height of 0.040" or reallllllly close to it. After much discussion with Len and based upon the cam profile (Raby 9590) heads with the larger valves, etc. I'm hoping to keep the compression ration around 7.7 : 1. This decision was made based upon suggestions that I read, made by Jake in the past that stated the optimum CR for a bus being kept between 7.7-8.3 : 1. (Edit - based upon using his cam, and a set-up that closely resembles a Camper Special.)

Onwards!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

orwell84 wrote:
It is incredibly time consuming for sure, especially having kids underfoot during the pandemic working from home, etc. I have found myself checking things with a micrometer while being in some endless virtual meeting from work. Kids seem to show up with demands just as you are teetering a bore gage inside the case squinting at the numbers. I had this whole schedule for getting back in the road. Itís out the window. If I put a blowtorch on my neck, I will miss things and I am trying to enjoy the build part.


No doubt!!! ^I'm with you on all fronts Laughing

I've tried to get a little participation from my children along the way. The idea is exciting to them. The actual doing, not so much. Not to mention the heat. The past couple of days have been well above triple digits in heat index. We're seeing days with over 85% humidity and temps in the 90's. Not exactly enticing to the younger crowd, particularly when they can run around with the neighborhood kids or even sometimes take a dip in a neighbor's pool to cool off.

As far as the time factor, my major concern is always based around feeling like I'm ripping them off. Should I have spent that hour doing XYZ, instead of fooling around with the engine. I have to keep reminding myself that the endgame is getting them out and about, camping and enjoying our family unit, before they grow old enough to venture out on their own.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
Thank you so much for the time you are taking to write this up and taking all the pictures. This is a project I need to do as well with all the parts I have collected. Keep it up! Thanks


Hi Shawn!

Thank you very much! I'm incredibly happy to hear that. My hope all along is that it will at the very least serve as jumping off point for others. If we all learn something along the way, all the better. Thanks again! Look forward to seeing what you come up with. Cool

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

Another fairly productive day. Spent a little time going over my findings with Len, and after some back and forth, we've made a couple minor changes. There was some misunderstanding about the size of my engine...no biggie. That's why we keep talking and making sure we're doing things properly. Understandably, Len thought I was building a 2L instead of a 1.8L Here's what we came up with:

.040 deck = 6.8cc's
Piston dish = 10cc's
Chamber volumes = 50.2
That adds up to a total unswept volume of 67cc's

66 x 93 = 448.4cc swept volume

448.4 + 67 = 515.4
515.4 / 67 = 7.7:1

I'm going to eliminate the 0.020" shims and add 0.040" shims. Len is going to machine the step on the new heads to 0.020" which will give a total deck height of 0.040"

I ordered new shims for the cylinders as well as flywheel shims to replace the old ones used in the mock up.

I pulled the case apart again today, in order to closer inspect rod bearings. After removing the crank, I managed to get a couple of pictures of the case parting line. Pretty happy with what I saw. I apologize for the first picture...kinda tough to take the picture and hold the light at the same time:
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


With that behind me, it was time to take a look at the rods and bearings. I removed them from the crank and was fairly pleased with what I saw. I don't think there going to require a ton of work. They all looked like this one from the side profile:
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No real significant amount of pen markings were missing from the sides. Once I opened them up, I noticed a little wear at the edges:
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'll have a go at them tomorrow. Once I'm satisfied, I'll put them all back together and use assembly lube for the final time before installation.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

What are you checking on the rod bearings with the red sharpie. Glad you got the center main sorted. Did you end up having to sand it?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

do me a favor. Pull the rod bearings and take good clean shots of the bearing saddles, especially at the part lines. Post them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
do me a favor. Pull the rod bearings and take good clean shots of the bearing saddles, especially at the part lines. Post them.


Can do, will do. Itíll be a little later today. What are we looking for?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

orwell84 wrote:
What are you checking on the rod bearings with the red sharpie. Glad you got the center main sorted. Did you end up having to sand it?


Hey brother!

No sanding required, which was a welcome relief!

As far as the rod bearings, Iím mainly concerned with radial clearance on the crank. Not sure if youíve been using Jim Martinís build thread as a guide? Good information there. It is Type 1 specific, but I figured Iím here, may as well give it a look see. Howís things going for you? Still marching onward?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

white74westy wrote:
SGKent wrote:
do me a favor. Pull the rod bearings and take good clean shots of the bearing saddles, especially at the part lines. Post them.


Can do, will do. Itíll be a little later today. What are we looking for?

scribe marks. I want to see how the shop measured them. The scribe marks will tell me how skilled that craftsman was - or how sloppy, and if you might want them checked. Being totally honest someone really leaned into sanding the sides of those rods. Be sure to check the side clearances.

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

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

white74westy wrote:

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


Notes about this image. First of all looks like you are doing a nice careful job. Yay! BUT, for people looking and not having done this work before:

Setting end play with a dial indicator in.001" is a pain. You have to do so much math calculating back and forth between .001" and .01mm and the calculations have to be done in both directions. The conversion between inches and mm creates an error factor, as does measuring the shim thickness because more than likely you're not using new shims with markings on them. You can convert most of the math to .001" but the shims are still size in .01mm as is the spec for nominal end play.

With a dial indicator that measures .00mm the math is so easy and removes sources of potential errors.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:

scribe marks. I want to see how the shop measured them. The scribe marks will tell me how skilled that craftsman was - or how sloppy, and if you might want them checked. Being totally honest someone really leaned into sanding the sides of those rods. Be sure to check the side clearances.



I really appreciate the honesty!!! That's what this is all about. I'm trying to ensure that I put together the best engine I can. These types of things must be checked in order to do so.

Unfortunately, I could not see discernible scribe marks. At one point I thought I could, but then I wonder if its not just my eyes playing tricks on me. Cross hatched, yes. Scribe marks, maybe. Any attempt to take pictures was futile. Can't get anything to show up in the images.

I checked the side clearances on all the rods:

#1 0.016"
#2 0.014"
#3 0.015"
#4 0.016"

Thankfully all within tolerance.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

germansupplyscott wrote:

Notes about this image. First of all looks like you are doing a nice careful job. Yay! BUT, for people looking and not having done this work before:

Setting end play with a dial indicator in.001" is a pain. You have to do so much math calculating back and forth between .001" and .01mm and the calculations have to be done in both directions. The conversion between inches and mm creates an error factor, as does measuring the shim thickness because more than likely you're not using new shims with markings on them. You can convert most of the math to .001" but the shims are still size in .01mm as is the spec for nominal end play.

With a dial indicator that measures .00mm the math is so easy and removes sources of potential errors.


Hi Scott,

Thanks for checking in! I couldn't agree with you more! Life would be so much easier if that were the case. Unfortunately, the tools that I have access to are standard, rather than metric. Thankfully, my books have both units of measure listed and it helps in keeping things straight.

The metric system is far superior IMHO. Just have to do the best I can with what I have, and I don't mind a little arithmetics. Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

I prefer metric too. Unfortunately all my tools are in inches. I feel like I finally am getting a sense of these measurements. I might consider switching to metric micrometers if I ever splash for a good set. You can also google converters that will give you a closer conversion than the rounded ones in manuals.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: 1800cc Type 4 engine rebuild - 74 westy Reply with quote

take a photo of the rod halves on one rod, the bearing saddles specifically. I'll tell you where the scribe marks are. You have to know what to look for.
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