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Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head #302304
03/10/10 12:00 pm
03/10/10 12:00 pm
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QLD, Australia
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RetroRod Offline OP
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My mechanic friend has queried the notion that the T120 cylinder head requires retorquing as recommended by many posters to this forum.

I have referred myself to the 1972 T120 workshop manual and found no such recommendation for retorquing.

I have also perused the engine rebuild DVD prepared by Hughie Hancox. Hughie makes no reference to a retorquing of the cylinder head in his description of the engine rebuild.

It is also noteworthy that Hughie does not torque the head in stages, rather he torques each bolt individually to the required torque in one action. This is intereesting only because I have been told in the past that the torquing of cylinder heads is best done in a staged manner.

The question is this. Is retorquing of the Triumph cylinder head a myth developed from "injun Jim" type mechanics, and passed word of mouth by devotees? or, contrary to this, is the retorquing a requirement of a legitimate Triumph source, ie, a service bulletin.

I seek confirmation of not from my learned colleagues on this forum. RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
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Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302306
03/10/10 1:05 pm
03/10/10 1:05 pm
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Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
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If you have soft(not metal) rocker box gaskets,you'd better do it.Back-off each bolt slightly,then re-torque,and re-set valve lash.Do this as many times as it takes,until you get stable settings.
Re-torque the cylinder base gasket at the same ,just for good measure.

Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.] #302309
03/10/10 1:32 pm
03/10/10 1:32 pm
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Bordon, England
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Derry Hincks Offline
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What does the manual say?

Derry.


Derry.

1969 T100S under reconstruction
GSX-R750K2 (having been rebuilt from a crashed wreck)
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Pete R - R.I.P.] #302312
03/10/10 1:55 pm
03/10/10 1:55 pm
Joined: Oct 2003
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North Georgia, USA
RF Whatley Offline
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Retorquing head bolts is a standard automotive practice which includes starting in the center and working outward in ever increasing circles. The 3-cyl manual clearly shows this in their numbered head torque diagram, but doesn't say so, in so many words.

The standard practice to torque a head also includes increasing the torque in steps to the full torque value. In other words, if your final torque was 25 ft-lbs, then first torque everything to 15 ft-lbs, then go back at 20 ft-lbs, etc, etc, until full torque is achieved.

These 2 practices are usually best enumerated in the pamphlets included with the torque wrenches, not so much in the engine rebuild workshop manuals. All workshop manuals assume you are always following best shop practices. If you'll check, I think you'll find there is nothing in any manual about not rebuilding engines on the garage floor, not using Metric sockets on Whitworth fasteners, not prying side covers off with screw driver blades! But as we all know these "shop practices" are part-and-parcel all around the world, and used by Triumph "lovers" everywhere. laughing laughing

I'm not surprised that "Hoakie" doesn't talk about this. Heck the factory didn't even own a torque wrench! While at a friend's home recently helping him with his 1969 4-speed countershaft sprocket, I installed the 1-11/16 hex nut with a socket wrench. He turned to me and said, "Wow, in the video, Hughie just puts that on finger tight!" So just becasue you can make a video doesn't mean you have a lot of common sense.

All the best. bigt


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302314
03/10/10 2:14 pm
03/10/10 2:14 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,302
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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Originally Posted By: RetroRod
My mechanic friend has queried the notion that the T120 cylinder head requires retorquing as recommended by many posters to this forum.

I have referred myself to the 1972 T120 workshop manual and found no such recommendation for retorquing.

I have also perused the engine rebuild DVD prepared by Hughie Hancox. Hughie makes no reference to a retorquing of the cylinder head in his description of the engine rebuild.

It is also noteworthy that Hughie does not torque the head in stages, rather he torques each bolt individually to the required torque in one action. This is intereesting only because I have been told in the past that the torquing of cylinder heads is best done in a staged manner.

The question is this. Is retorquing of the Triumph cylinder head a myth developed from "injun Jim" type mechanics, and passed word of mouth by devotees? or, contrary to this, is the retorquing a requirement of a legitimate Triumph source, ie, a service bulletin.

I seek confirmation of not from my learned colleagues on this forum. RR


Better recommendation for retorquing, than any manual or video, is given by all the bikes with blown head gaskets a few hundred miles after assembly.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: triton thrasher] #302320
03/10/10 2:54 pm
03/10/10 2:54 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
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Asheville, NC
Mike Baker Offline
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And then there are those of us who, back in the day, just torqued them on and rode away happy and ignorant of the need to ever retorque. And never had trouble with it.
Just lucky? you be the judge......


I do it now, by the way.

Mike

Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Mike Baker] #302362
03/10/10 5:43 pm
03/10/10 5:43 pm
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Posts: 10,084
Boston, Massachusetts
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The out of crate set-up procedures provided to the dealer included re-torquing the cylinder base nuts and head bolts on the 250, 500, 650 and triple. It seems that The Triumph Corporation in 1970 must have seen Mr Hancock's video.

Beginning with the 1971, when some one replaced the proper head nut washer with that little one that was the diameter of the round head nut, re-torquing became a normal procedure. Until the head bolt washers were replaced with the earlier (82-2184) head bolt washers, the 4 inner head nuts were always loose.

Then with the introduction of the composite head gaskets, and also before the washer problem was corrected, re-torquing the head was done the 500 mile check and we did them when we did a tune-up.

It wasn't until Brian Jones moved down to L.F. Harris, and made the Harris Bonevilles, did he issue a bulletin correcting the problem with the 4 inner head bolt washers.

Of course we now have head gaskets that have not been annealed, rocker box gaskets that crush or squeeze out of place, and customers who don't believe the head torque on a 650 is 18 and 15 foot pounds.

I would guess your friend never worked on a engine where there were squishy gaskets under the head bolts.
John


Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302364
03/10/10 5:59 pm
03/10/10 5:59 pm
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Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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btour Offline
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Originally Posted By: RetroRod


I seek confirmation of not from my learned colleagues on this forum. RR


Not being a "learned colleague", I won't comment. laughing Except to say I have a copyright on my Injun Jim character.


Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: btour] #302407
03/10/10 9:37 pm
03/10/10 9:37 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline
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John,
Just to confirm: all unit 650s are 15/18 ft-lbs? My earlier manuals showed 15/25 and a later manual showed 15/18. I presume there was a service bulletion that reduced the spec from 25 to 18?


Bob Gregor
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Bob G] #302408
03/10/10 9:39 pm
03/10/10 9:39 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline
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Does the use of copper rocker box gaskets still require the 18 ft-lb spec?


Bob Gregor
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Bob G] #302428
03/11/10 12:02 am
03/11/10 12:02 am
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,084
Boston, Massachusetts
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John Healy Online content

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So as to waste more time I dug out all of the 650 workshop manuals:
Non Unit No11 1945 to 1955, No. 17 1956 to 1962, and all of the 650 workshop manuals through 1972.
Results
18 for the 3/8" and 15 for the 5/16"

Quoting from the 1945 to 1955 workshop manual, "The actual force required is 18 foot pounds (dry bolts); if tightened beyond this figure, distortion may take place."

Similar language is used in later manuals.
John


Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: John Healy] #302431
03/11/10 12:03 am
03/11/10 12:03 am
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Boston, Massachusetts
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Originally Posted By: bob G
Does the use of copper rocker box gaskets still require the 18 ft-lb spec?


Yes.


Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Bob G] #302433
03/11/10 12:05 am
03/11/10 12:05 am
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,329
Back on the mainland!
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Originally Posted By: Bob G
Does the use of copper rocker box gaskets still require the 18 ft-lb spec?


Yes.

afterthought: Dang it John...you're quick on the draw!! laughing

Steve

Last edited by JubeePrince; 03/11/10 12:06 am. Reason: afterthought

'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: John Healy] #302444
03/11/10 1:15 am
03/11/10 1:15 am
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QLD, Australia
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RetroRod Offline OP
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Hi John and others, a big thank you for your interest.

As per my thread, and following on from advice on this forum, to use larger diameter washers on the inner head bolts, I have now modified the head to use these.

mlab makes a comment about earlier days, when ignorance was bliss, that he did not retorqe then, and did not suffer a consequence, and I wonder how many others did likewise?

It has been said here that a blown head gasket will follow if the head is not retorqued. My experience was that despite three retorques, and with all parts within specification, the engine still blew the head gasket at 3000miles. Hence the discussion with my friend. This resulted in my posing the question here.

Despite my great respect for the opinions expressed here, no one has actually responded to the original question of namiing their source with respect to the need for retorquing the cylinder head, ie, the manufacturer's specific recommendation. RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302472
03/11/10 7:01 am
03/11/10 7:01 am
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Posts: 451
redondo beach, ca
Bob G Offline
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John,
Just as a point of trivia, I have an original factory manual from around 1967 (from engine No.DU.44394). It lists the head torque specs as 15/25.
I have another original manual, 1969, that lists the correct 15/18.

Naturally,I have been screwing up and torquing my 66 Bonnie and 67 TR6C to 25 ft-lbs and my 69 Bonnie at 18 ft-lbs. I never could quite figure out why the different specs, it didn't make much sense to me.


Bob Gregor
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302477
03/11/10 7:52 am
03/11/10 7:52 am
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scotland
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Originally Posted By: RetroRod


Despite my great respect for the opinions expressed here, no one has actually responded to the original question of namiing their source with respect to the need for retorquing the cylinder head, ie, the manufacturer's specific recommendation. RR


Frankly, my dear Rod....



When I try the torque wrench on the head bolts and they are looser than recommended torque figures, it is self evident that they needed to be re-torqued.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: triton thrasher] #302481
03/11/10 10:12 am
03/11/10 10:12 am
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 28
NSW, Australia
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I re torqued after initial ring bed, I have the later washers and all bolts needed about the same.
15 and 18 by the way.
Ran the old narrow washers before and the 4 middle ones would always be (a lot) looser, and they dug into the head surface, from me being a smart arse and over tightening the head bolts a bit.
I made a tool to cut the dishes flat again from over tightening over the years.
Since I've bought a nice flat TR6 head and all is back to beautiful again.
KK

Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: triton thrasher] #302482
03/11/10 10:22 am
03/11/10 10:22 am
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QLD, Australia
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RetroRod Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: triton thrasher


Frankly, my dear Rod....



When I try the torque wrench on the head bolts and they are looser than recommended torque figures, it is self evident that they needed to be re-torqued.


Cannot argue with that logic TT!!

However, perhaps the question I might have posted was why the bolts loosen when torqued onto a solid copper gasket that will not compress? Can we then all agree that we retorque for no other reason than to retighten loose bolts.

If JH is to be believed, and I do believe him when he says that: "Beginning with the 1971, when some one replaced the proper head nut washer with that little one that was the diameter of the round head nut, re-torquing became a normal procedure. Until the head bolt washers were replaced with the earlier (82-2184) head bolt washers, the 4 inner head nuts were always loose."

As I read JH's comment, it seems to me implicit that the four inner head bolts did not come loose after Brian Jones' recommendation to change to larger washers.

If then the four outer bolts had not been a problem and, with the loosening problem of the four inner bolts resolved by the use of larger washers, why then does the need continue to retorque the head?

Am I to assume that on the post '71 cylinder heads, that have the larger washer on the inner bolt, and using a solid copper gasket, the need for retorquing is eliminated because the the bolts do now loosen? RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: ] #302484
03/11/10 11:02 am
03/11/10 11:02 am
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QLD, Australia
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RetroRod Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Kirstykimberlee
I re torqued after initial ring bed, I have the later washers and all bolts needed about the same.
15 and 18 by the way.

KK


Hi KK, thanks for the input.

I agree with the torque values you offer, but not sure what you mean by ".....and all bolts needed about the same".

Are you saying that all the bolts were loose and needed the same amout of retorquing? ie, they were all loose and at say 12lbs/sq ft and needed to be retightened to 18 lbs/sq ft, or perhaps all required 1/2 a turn to reobtain the correct torque? RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302490
03/11/10 12:35 pm
03/11/10 12:35 pm
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NSW, Australia
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Yeah mate, ALL the bolts required the same re torquing, rather than the inner ones being more loose because of the lack of GAIN or HOLD gathered by the bigger washer.
This isn't coming from me BTW it's what I learned from reading by JH and practiced it.

KK

Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Bob G] #302496
03/11/10 1:41 pm
03/11/10 1:41 pm
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Bordon, England
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Derry Hincks Offline
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RF, John give us an idea of how many head bolts currently move on re-torquing an engine after a build. Does it happen on every engine, every other or more?

Also if a bolt moves do you recheck it later?

What periodicity do you recommend for checking and do you prefer running time or heat cycles?

Finally do you advocate slackening off before re-torquing?

Derry.


Derry.

1969 T100S under reconstruction
GSX-R750K2 (having been rebuilt from a crashed wreck)
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: Derry Hincks] #302542
03/11/10 7:31 pm
03/11/10 7:31 pm
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I do it because I am just an old worry wort. laughing

I like to ride, and to ride to places that are far far from home. I worry that a failure will happen, and of course it will be dark, and cold, and I will be tired, and perhaps a bit tipsy, and everyone I know it world will be snug in their bed.

RR,

Think what the torque figure is measuring or indicating or what effects it. In other words we want torque to be a measure of clamping force, but other things effect it. Besides thread strecthing, there is resistence to turning (dry or wet) (oh gee another reason not to want oil down stud hole. torque figure is for dry hole, but never mind the trivial), perhaps added resistance from PRT squish which will change through heat cycles. ie things will change through heat cycles and vibration. And you want a nice even pressure.

Also as John Healy has pointed out the actual clamping force happens when the engine heats up. That is why those seemingly low figures work.

Now if all the bolts had been replaced by studs and nuts which some people do, torque would be more accurate and consistent measure of clamping force. Perhaps.

Fortunately, all this is not so exacting. But one would not want to try for too much torque. Bad Joojoo.

Just because some people get away without re-torquing, does not mean that it is not a good practice. Perhaps everyhing was perfect on their setup.

Now the (solid?) copper head gasket you talk about should be annealed and then it is relatively softer, and would it not, should it not squash a bit, when heat is applied to engine and things expand? Is that not what we want to happen to seal any slight inconsistencies? The copper will get (more solid) through heat cycles. So we re-torque to keep things consistent, until the torque stays that way which it will, (unless you have too small washers).

Now you have a 71, and the rocker box bolt goes into the head bolt, so just taking off rocker box bolt may loosen torque on head bolt, also conversely, you have to keep the torque on rocker box bolt less than torque on head bolt. And you want to re-install rocker box bolt before setting valve lash. Also the allen that the inner head bolt takes is real wimpy, (which is why I switched to 73 like set up) making getting the right torque guessy.

Anyway, this gives you some things to say to your buddy, which is what it seems you are looking for. Of just tell him it is an Injun Jim thing. Just a bit of voodoo blessing, a ritual sacrifice of time, which you want to honor, so as not to offend the Triumph Gods.

Last edited by btour; 03/11/10 8:39 pm.

Bob, Lifetime bike: '71 T120R, bought in '71 at Ken Heanes, England.
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: btour] #302590
03/11/10 10:44 pm
03/11/10 10:44 pm
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RetroRod Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: btour
[

Not being a "learned colleague", I won't comment. laughing Except to say I have a copyright on my Injun Jim character.


Yeah, sorry about that copyright breach btour, but the title did so suit the point I was making. I better leave poor old Injun Jim out of it next time. RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: btour] #302591
03/11/10 10:57 pm
03/11/10 10:57 pm
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QLD, Australia
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Originally Posted By: btour
I do it because I am just an old worry wort. laughing

Just because some people get away without re-torquing, does not mean that it is not a good practice. Perhaps everyhing was perfect on their setup.



Hi btour, always a pleasure to have you join the discussion.

Laziness is a terrible affliction and it is this that drives me to find new ways of doing things. Despite my likewise worry wort nature, I have half convinced myself that I will not retorque this time around.

The good news is that a compression leak is not going to leave me stranded. Of course the worry wort in me will have me check compression values from time to time. No doubt any reduction in the compression values will have me running for the tension wrench. RR


'72 Bonneville
"He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." - Don Juan Manuel
Re: Retorquing of the T120 cylinder head [Re: RetroRod] #302595
03/11/10 11:38 pm
03/11/10 11:38 pm
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Boston, Massachusetts
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OK, OK...

500 Mile Check as recommended by Triumph on a Service Bulletin

I can stand to be corrected, but my recommendations for copper head gaskets is re-torque after cool down from initial start-up.

BUT there is a big caveat on the 1971 and later models: The inner head bolt washers must be changed to the earlier ones AND the push rod tube height must be correct. Otherwise the inner four head bolts will ALWAYS be loose when you check them... This, even though you used a copper head gasket.

Because we were racing these things, we had been using the thicker washers before they were recommended. A lot of what finds its way into Service Bulletins is a reflection of what is happening, or implemented by dealers during service, at the dealer level. Not all comes from on high!
John

I will add the set-up instructions that were supplied in 1970 to the dealers recommending re-torquing the head bolts during initial un-crating and set-up.
john
edited to add 1971 and later models

Last edited by John Healy; 03/12/10 12:04 am.

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