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realshelby

Final Drive Minder

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realshelby

Much has been said about BMW Final Drive issues. I certainly would not feel good about a machine that left me stranded on the highway. On the other hand, if you can catch the problems with the final drive before they come to a catastrophic failure it is MUCH less of an issue. My '04 RT had 52,800 miles on it. I could tell something wasn't right, thought it was the driveshaft. When I pulled the drain plug on the final drive.....I knew where the vibration/noise was coming from! Lots of shiny, sharp metal particles. LST, I spent about $130 on parts and fixed it myself. That is less than the chain and sprockets I recently put on the V Strom. And it would have went thru at least two sets!

 

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION!

 

What if there was a way to see the small metal shavings from the bearings in between final drive service intervals? Caught early it is usually cheap to fix. CAUGHT EARLY IT WOULD PROBABLY NEVER LEAVE YOU STRANDED! The peace of mind on a long trip from checking the magnet and seeing no sharp, shiny metal would be priceless.

 

Below are pictures of some prototypes of a device I came up with to check for the dreaded shiny, sharp metal particles in the final drive oil. I have offered these to some members here on the board, some are running them now, some didn't want to try them. Really need to get a handfull into Oilheads with higher mileage or those that have had final drive issues and maybe suspect they were not rebuilt correctly.

 

Two views of the base and insert assembled as they would be in the final drive:

IMG_0555.jpg

IMG_0547.jpg

This view is of the "indicator" part threaded out of the base:

IMG_0552.jpg

I am using high strength magnets to insure the particles suspended in the oil will stay on the magnet even though they are at about the level of the oil when parked. This is a 19mm wrench the magnet is holding!

IMG_0553.jpg

This is one of the prototypes installed in my RT. This is a stainless steel version, most have been aluminum. I put about 450 miles on it yesterday and there was quite a bit of the dark sludge on the magnet. That is normal wear particles. You can clean the magnet and it will attract those same kind of particles as it sits overnight!

IMG_0556.jpg

 

 

The knurled handle makes it very easy to check at a fuel stop during a trip or just when you are doing a "pre flight". I make these totally at home in my shop. What do y'all think?

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dirtrider

Evening Terry

 

Looks good.

 

My only question is, seeing as the device sits magnet facing down unlike a magnetic drain plug with magnet facing up so the magnet could possibly slide out of the device & end up between the gears if the epoxy fails. Especially as the ferrous magnet probably expands at a different rate than the surrounding barrel.

 

The part the magnet sits in seems to be non magnetic (aluminum or stainless so magnetic attraction wouldn’t help hold the magnet in either)

 

Of maybe I am missing something & you have a positive magnet attachment like a pin or heavy press fit?

 

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realshelby

Thought about the press fit early on. These magnets are brittle by nature and I don't trust that process for that reason. The magnet is a slip fit in the bore. I push J B Weld epoxy into the bore and then coat the magnet with it. I have to push the magnet in to overcome the trapped air in the bore. Once that is done the magnet depth is adjusted and the end is coated with more epoxy. This type of J B Weld takes all night to set up. The magnet will break apart before it comes out of the bore. I even heated it with a propane torch to a temp much warmer than it will see in a final drive with no release issues. Since these are "prototypes" I am open to any and all thoughts, critizism, etc. I would like to get several in use and see who is the first to detect a metal sliver that would normally be unnoticed for maybe thousands of miles...

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szurszewski

Looks like an interesting idea. I'm a worrier, which makes motorcycling interesting and oxymoronical at times, so I think I'd enjoy something like this (let me stop worrying for a few miles at least without having to drain the final drive to check).

 

I'd be happy to try one out in my 96 R1100RT if you like - about 88,xxx miles currently - had a new crown bearing put in .... hmm... a few thousand miles ago (I could look it up if you like). Send me a PM if that's appealing.

 

josh

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GrayNFast

I would be interested. Y2K 1100RT with 42,000 miles.

Please PM with price and ordering info.

 

Dean

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ElevenFifty

Very interested - 04RT 117K all original - so far no symptoms of bearing failure but it's a high-miler and I've started changing oil every 3-4K.

 

DH

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realshelby
I would be interested. Y2K 1100RT with 42,000 miles.

Please PM with price and ordering info.

 

Dean

 

These are prototype units and not for sale. I posted to show my idea and see if we could get some of them out there for testing durability and function. Each unit has been slightly different as I make improvements. I am going to order more material to machine more of these...it looks like there is interest in the theory/design. If I get buried in requests...I'll have to let everyone know. For now I could still handle a few more inquiries for gineau pigs...err Beta Testers!

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realshelby

Response has been really good. To the point I am going to ask to hold off on the pm's till I give the go ahead for more. I intend to do more, I am going to be out of material to machine to cover the responses so far. I am ordering more but it will be late next week before I get it.

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taylor1

2002 RT 26,000 miles Seems like I may be in that critical milage range. Would love to have one. Please keep us posted !! Thanks

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bobbybob

Just thinking (not good)....the heavier debris pieces might fall to the the bottom of the drive and stay there, missing the magnet altogether....?

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realshelby

Bob, good point. That will be proven right or wrong with the testing. What I can tell you is that I am using neodymium magnets with a pull force of 4 lbs! Look at the picture in the first part of the thread with the magnet in the end of the "minder" holding the 19mm wrench. Talking with the magnet people we figured the neodymium magnets would be the right choice for this reason. If the metal shavings get anywhere near it the force of the magnet will attract and hold it till the owner removes it. In theory at least. If you could see how much of the dark grey fine sludge that it collects ( like the drain plug magnet ) you would be impressed! My biggest surprise was what happens when I clean the magnet and let it set in the bike overnight without moving the bike....there will be dark grey stuff on the end of it! One the the possible issues with the neodymium magnets is heat. At 176 degrees F they can start to lose magnet force. That is one reason I want use aluminum for the unit-acts like a heat sink to pull heat away. Testing so far has shown the final drive is not getting any where near that temperature. I have ridden two up at 75mph in mid to upper 90's and have found the heat not to be an issue at this time.

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ESokoloff
......Since these are "prototypes" I am open to any and all thoughts, critizism, etc. .....

 

How about a lower profile on the knurled handle & cut in a groove on the top for a coin screw driver?

Less material needed & less of a snag potential.

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realshelby

Eric, I don't see much of a snag potential as is. The height is 1" and that makes it very easy to use gloves to screw in in/out. But, I am going to make one like you describe to see what I think of it. The idea of using the coin to loosen/tighten so you can then remove it with fingers is valid. Good input!

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tallman

Are the magnets strong enough to pose any risks for plastic cards?

Some carry a cc in the riding jacket sleeve pocket for gas stops, so stopping and checking w/jacket on could put it right next to magnet.

Probably not, just wondering.

 

Edited by tallman

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realshelby

They are strong....not anywhere near that strong! I did pose a similar question about whether it would have any effect on the ABS sensor. Should have no effect on it either. The majority of the magnets used are 1/8" diameter and either 7/8" or 1" long so there really isn't much mass to them. The factory drain plug is not much further from the ABS sensor and probably has about as much magnetic "field".

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DFWBo

Let me know when you need another tester!

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Deadboy

I have an 04 with 72K if you need another tester....interesting idea.

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realshelby
......Since these are "prototypes" I am open to any and all thoughts, critizism, etc. .....

 

How about a lower profile on the knurled handle & cut in a groove on the top for a coin screw driver?

Less material needed & less of a snag potential.

 

Ask and Ye shall recieve:

IMG_0559.jpg

 

I have made several different stem heights on the indicator shaft. The originals were 1" tall. The longest one in photo below is 3/4" and I think that may be a better all around size than 1". Even the middle sized one here is easy to remove/install by fingers only. Not sure if the "coin slot" is going to be a big benefit, I'll have to study on that.

IMG_0560.jpg

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Selden

I like the short one with the coin slot best — might even consider buying one. What size wrench is needed for the hex section; 17mm?

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BerndM

Hi Terry

This is a great idea. Are you going to possibly make one to fit the 2005 RT which has the plug facing rearward at the 9 0'clock position?

I don't know where the plugs on later years are and if they are the same size. I know at some point after 2005 the plugs migrated to the bottom 6 o'clock spot.

Thanks again for your efforts.

Your Shelby....69 or 70?

I had 2 of them, both 67's, a GT350 and a GT500. Should have kept them!!!!

 

Regards

 

Bernd N6RMC

Edited by BerndM

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realshelby
I like the short one with the coin slot best — might even consider buying one. What size wrench is needed for the hex section; 17mm?

 

Hex is 19mm ( actually 3/4" which is the size Hex bar I buy the material in. 19mm fits fine, and I have to use metric since is is a BMW! )

 

Do you like the "coin slot" or just that the height of the unit is more appealing? Problem with coin slot is it takes an extra step in machining. I already have more steps than fingers and toes to count them! Maybe more than one style.....I am thinking about it.

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realshelby
Hi Terry

This is a great idea. Are you going to possibly make one to fit the 2005 RT which has the plug facing rearward at the 9 0'clock position?

Bernd N6RMC

 

I don't know anything about the 2005 to current 1200 series final drives. I read somewhere that the crown bearing is separate from the rest of the final drive assembly as far as lubrication? At any rate let's see what happens with the version I am working on now. If there is a way to adapt the idea, sure, I would be interested in prototyping one.

 

My GT 500 is a 1969 #214

Edited by realshelby

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rustyfingerz

i also like the shorter version w/coin slot.

would not have any problem with test.

perhaps sending back pics/mileage history between

oil changes.

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ESokoloff
.... The longest one in photo below is 3/4" and I think that may be a better all around size than 1". Even the middle sized one here is easy to remove/install by fingers only.....

Thought about this a bit more & ease of handling (outside of the mating nut) may favor the 3/4" size (tho aesthetically I prefer the stubby).

 

 

 

 

I hope this works but I have a two negative thoughts that hopefully are unfounded.

 

(1) It may turn out that the normal sludge overwhelms the magnets ability to pick up the heaver chunks.

 

(2) Long strands of sludge stuck to the magnet could make their way into the gear or bearing.

 

Not sure if these are viable, just throwing it out there.

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Tad Loving

I have a 2006 RT with 36000 miles, as if you needed another tester. That said I would be glad to either test or buy which ever comes first and works for you. The shorter version is visually more appealing but the original looks to me to be more functional. I like simple, no tools required.

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Selden
Do you like the "coin slot" or just that the height of the unit is more appealing? Problem with coin slot is it takes an extra step in machining. I already have more steps than fingers and toes to count them! Maybe more than one style.....I am thinking about it.

The coin slot means I don't have to dig into my tool kit to remove the plug.

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Skywagon

I like the long one, and if it is tough enough, I will finally have a place to hang my helmet!

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cris nitro

I like the 3/4" version w/o the coin slot. I would also like to be a tester.

Cris

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realshelby

The coin slot means I don't have to dig into my tool kit to remove the plug.

 

With the knurling on the handle and the way the o-ring seals the unit should only ever need just your fingers to remove it. But, the "coin slot" seems to be a popular topic and I am ordering some tooling to make those properly.

 

I don't think the build up of sludge will be a problem. It would take a long time to get that much on it plus I imagine this will get cleaned off regularly by most owners when they inspect it. The "long strands" of sludge are only strands when in a magnetic field and turn to minute particles when dispersed. No danger to any gears.

 

The Helmet Holder version: may have been written "tongue in cheek", I am not sure. BUT, I am going to try it out tonight because it would be a good place if the D-Ring goes over it ok. Plenty strong for that. I like the idea!

 

There were only a few 2005 1150's made. This device fits only the 1100-1150 style final drive. If you have a 1200 R bike, it won't fit.

Edited by realshelby

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Skywagon

Was serious about the helmet holder...hope it works.

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realshelby
Was serious about the helmet holder...hope it works.

 

It does! Didn't take a pic but might do that. Helmet is about 2" from the ground when bike is on the sidestand. Being under the right side case it is protected from a rain shower to some degree. Being that close to the ground if for some reason it came off it wouldn't hurt it. I have been know to simply put my helmet on the ground beside the sidestand just so it won't fall off the bike and mess it up, this is better. :)

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taylor1

Greetings realshelby, I am sure your phone has been ringing off the hook as this is a great idea. I also know that you are very gracious as having made these and sent them at your expense to some of your fellow forum followers. I think if you decide to produce and sell them, you should double the cost. You now have a multi tool. Pre maintenance / helmet accessory

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Skywagon

PS. looks like we are in the same city...be happy to assist or comeby

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ElevenFifty

Installed the one you sent today ... after playing with the magnet a bit;~)

 

great work - set a price. If you don't have a PayPal account set up to receive funds, you might want to do that ... If you hadn't just sent me one to examine, I would have bought it based on your first post! Can't wait to read the first report of one of these 'catching' the bearing failure early.

 

Thanks again.

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mrsoup

This is a great idea but I question how well it will work for the intended purpose- This in NOT meant to put a damper on the project.

Please let me relate my experience...

 

With 54,000 miles on the 2000RT I pulled the drain plug and took it to the BNW dealer for inspection as I was leaving the following week for a 7,000 mile trip and wanted to be sure that all was well inside the final drive. It had only the gray 'hairs' with no metallic particles visible, dealer said all looked good. I put in new fluid and left Indiana with peace of mind.

At 57,000 miles(3,000 later) the final drive puked in Oregon leaving me stranded in a campground 6 hours from a dealer willing to help with my dilema.

 

My point is: If this new magnet had been installed prior to me changing the final drive fluid, would it have captured evidence of the impending failure that the drain plug missed? I hope the answer is yes, but I am not sure that there was any flaking of the bearing at that point- how do we know?

 

Perhaps my case is out of the ordinary- I would love to see this device save many the grief that I had on the road...

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realshelby

With 54,000 miles on the 2000RT I pulled the drain plug and took it to the BNW dealer for inspection as I was leaving the following week for a 7,000 mile trip and wanted to be sure that all was well inside the final drive. It had only the gray 'hairs' with no metallic particles visible, dealer said all looked good. I put in new fluid and left Indiana with peace of mind.

At 57,000 miles(3,000 later) the final drive puked in Oregon leaving me stranded in a campground 6 hours from a dealer willing to help with my dilema.

 

mrsoup, good question. The answer awaits from those now testing the device. Until the first pieces of metal show up on the indicator we can't say if/how much warning it gives. I have a good feeling the results will be positive. What I have in the quote box above from you says it all. While not all of us leave on 7000 mile trips there is a majority of owners here that put that many miles on in a season. I don't doubt that at 54K miles the magnet looked OK. 3,000 miles later you are stranded. 6 hours from a dealer. That is what this device is all about. If I were on a trip I would check the final drive minder at least once a day, especially on high mileage days, if not at the occasional fuel stop. What if at 1000, 1500, or even 2000 miles into the trip you found a sliver or two of metal on the indicator? Wouldn't be too hard to find an auto parts store to purchase a cheap drain pan and gear oil. Put the pan under the final drive and drop the oil. If you see quite a bit of stuff on the magnet and in the oil you have a decision to make. Fill the final drive with oil and ride off ( after recycling the oil at the parts store of course!). Now you have to make a decision on where/when to fix it. Literally you could have 1000 or more miles of use to get to a shop for repairs before the normal onset of symptoms of final drive failure occur. Beats sitting in the campground or along the road on a dark rainy night. The ability to buy time to control events like this instead of them controlling you is what this is about. Peace of Mind!

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philbytx

+1

I do appreciate Terry's thoughtful consideration and for, what I believe is, a handy check tool. I have one installed on mine and it takes 20 seconds to check it. I actually do it after every ride now, given that the shortest ride we take is about 100 miles.

 

All I currently see is the "black spot" on the end of the magnet and just wipe it off and put it back. Given the year of my bike (2003 model/2002 build) and being anal and all, I LOVE IT :thumbsup: !

Edited by philbytx

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Armando

I have an '02 with 40k on the clock. When can I buy one?

 

 

 

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realshelby
I have an '02 with 40k on the clock. When can I buy one?

 

Good things come to those who wait! This is a prototype device developed to see if it can make a measureable difference in roadside failures. Really need to have it in the field for a while. I have already made changes based on input from gineau pigs..errr beta testers. Bringing it to market.....will depend on several factors!

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mrsoup

Your point is well taken, Terry.

 

If I had the option to check for debris without draing the fluid I may have been able to make a decision before it failed. Being able to check at a gas stop would be awesome!

 

Now with another trip planned for 2012 and 84,000 on the clock.... What are the chances that I will have a repeat of the first incident? From the information that I have it is not uncommon for a rebuilt unit to have issues again.

I think I need one of these when you are ready to make them available.

 

 

 

 

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DiggerJim
This is a prototype device developed to see if it can make a measureable difference in roadside failures. Really need to have it in the field for a while. I have already made changes based on input from gineau pigs..errr beta testers.
Why? Field tests to prove an impact on roadside failures will require a lot of time - the incidence of failures isn't that high...unless you've got a thousand out in the field you're not likely to see any real statistically relevant data.

 

Instead what you need to do is make sure it causes no harm and then let the market decide if it wants them. Which I would suggest it has already done here. A foreshortened field test to drive more beta test input on design is all you need.

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realshelby
Field tests to prove an impact on roadside failures will require a lot of time - the incidence of failures isn't that high...unless you've got a thousand out in the field you're not likely to see any real statistically relevant data.

 

Instead what you need to do is make sure it causes no harm and then let the market decide if it wants them. Which I would suggest it has already done here. A foreshortened field test to drive more beta test input on design is all you need.

 

Very True. While I can't put a thousand in the field to gather relevant data I do need the time to develop the process and design of the unit. Causing no harm has been high on the list. I have already developed a new technique for installing the magnets. Don't know if it was needed, and it adds extra work, but makes it bulletproof. This was brought about from owner input, as was the "coin slot", the various heights of the stem, etc. I have over 1000 miles on my unit, and as the miles add up with no problems I can look at this from a marketing standpoint. I want to do it right or not at all.

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realshelby

2nd batch of the prototypes went into the mail Friday. I will take one more round of volunteers, pm me if you want to try one ( name, mailing address ). I'll post again when I can't take anymore. Below is a picture of my helmet hanging from the Minder on my RT. I have been using it all the time to hang the helmet when security is not too much of an issue.

IMG_0573.jpg

I had been using 1/2" diameter material to make the shaft that holds the magnet. I also bought some 5/8" material to make some with. I really like how the "Fat" ones are easy to use. They probably are not as good to hang a helmet from as the D-ring might be a bit tight. Pics below are some different versions.

IMG_0577.jpg

IMG_0576.jpg

IMG_0574.jpg

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DFWBo

My testing begins today. I plan to check it daily on overnight trips (like I do my tire pressure, fluids, etc.) and when fueling when not on overnight trips.

 

I think it's an ingenious idea!

 

Thanks RealShelby

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Gruesome

Did you set up a paypal account yet? I understand it's just a prototype, only meant for test purposes, and probably could make the bike explode at any time ;) , but some people might want to donate money anyways.

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cris nitro

My official testing begins this weekend. Installation was a no brainer and it looks great.

Thanks, Terry.

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realshelby
I understand it's just a prototype, only meant for test purposes, and probably could make the bike explode at any time ;)

 

Well, I tried to keep the stories quiet about the explosions. Looks like someone leaked the details........

 

I have enough volunteers now to get a good feel for how to make these so no more volunteers for now. We'll have over 30 in use. I need to look into the 1200 series final drives to see what I might come up with for them.

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eddd

 

I checked mine today. Not sure if this is normal.

 

standard.jpg

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realshelby

Eddd, looks normal to me. Except those threads look SAE instead of metric. That can and will lead to a problem......

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Gruesome

The minder arrived. Thanks, Terry! Installation worked without problems on 2002 R1150GS. (Outer screw fully seated without bottoming out or hitting anything, ditto for magnet insert.)

The oil looked still fresh (only few hundred miles since oil change). Now waiting for bad things to happen...

(Maybe a better way to look at this is treating it like a dip stick. You're not necessarily expecting to see black sludge/no oil at all/a milky white water+oil mix every time you check the motor oil.)

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