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Discussion Starter #21
First Round of Frame Assembly

Finally some actual progress, or so it seems to me.

Assembly_01.jpg

Engine perches go in first before lower control arms.

Assembly_04.jpg

Next I set the upper control arms into place. I tightened them down half way on the adjustment travel.

Assembly_06.jpg

The lower control arms were then installed.

Assembly_07.jpg


Assembly_08.jpg

And now for the unpleasant part of the programme. Compressing these always makes me nervous. Well this time my trusty ol spring compressor failed. I was almost to the point where I could install it as it was very compressed, I just needed about an inch more. I had this on the moving blanket with my left hand holding the coil spring from turning and my right hand was operating the ratchet to tighten when the threads in the block gave out. Now the potential energy of this compressed is immense. The threads failed but in about 2-3 inches of skidding down the threaded rod welded them to the rod and stopped. 2-3 inches of sudden expansion doesn't sound so bad, but because I was holding on really hard with my left hand to keep it from turning the shock wave and sudden movement of the spring pulled my shoulder out for a moment and it popped back in. In about the time I thought, hymm that's novel, the intense pain quickly ensued. Yes I did scream my head off for about 7 seconds as it was frightfully painful. Darn near passed out. My shoulder still is very sore.

I ended up renting another spring compressor to finish this. As a side note the coil springs are powder coated as well along with new isolators for the top.

Assembly_10.jpg

How I loathe thee, let me count the ways.... But they are in.

Assembly_12.jpg

New shocks.

Assembly_13.jpg

At this point I felt more comfortable having those loaded coil springs in there.

Assembly_14.jpg


Radius arm rods (strut rods). A couple notes on some things. In already having done this on the 1966 LTD, I've learned that reproduction parts aren't always the best. If the original rubber bump stops clean up ok, I'll reuse those instead. On the bushing side, I've had nothing but problems with Raybestos and AC Delco bushings. They crack and split in two when tightening them. They are absolute rubbish. Through a good car chum pal of mine I was able to procure NOS Moog bushings for the 1966 LTD and this car. They do not split upon assembly.

Assembly_15.jpg

These take some wrestling to get in. The trick I learned is to use a ratchet strap on the lower control to pull back slightly to line the bolt holes up, then release the strap and tighten everything up.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
First Round of Frame Assembly Continued

Assembly_16.jpg

Assembly_17.jpg

These are the caliper brackets. These to were powder coated.

Assembly_19.jpg

Assembly_20.jpg

Well I never thought I'd use aircraft safety wire again and I certainly never thought I'd be using it on an Automobile. I find it amusing.

Assembly_18.jpg

Next items are the idler, centre link and tie rods.

Assembly_24.jpg

Assembly_23.jpg

I still have to rebuild the power steering gear. I'll probably start on that tomorrow.

Assembly_28.jpg


Splash shields are installed next. These were powder coated too. I applied a little silicone sealant between the shield and the spindle to seal out water ingress onto the hub seal area.

Assembly_31.jpg

Finally starting to look like something.

Assembly_32.jpg

The messy part of the programme.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
First Round of Frame Assembly Continued

Assembly_33.jpg


Assembly_36.jpg

I found this a trifle annoying. You have to remove the rubber boots for the caliper bolts to install the inboard pad. Well it's a small price to pay for disc brakes.

Assembly_39.jpg

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's quite a bit of anti-rattle clips on these. It's busy back here, that's for sure.

Assembly_40.jpg

Wow, this will be the first old Ford we have with proper functioning disc brakes.

Assembly_43.jpg

I still have to drill and tap the frame to mount the disc brake hoses. The drum brake hoses mount to the rear of the front wheels whereas the disc brake hoses mount in front and there are no holes in this frame for that.

That concludes what I have for the front, even though I do not have the rear axle ready I would like to install some finished bits just to get them off the floor.

Assembly_44.jpg

These are the rear frame arch bump stops. These are not currently reproduced so you have to reuse the old ones. The little bracket is the rear brake hose holder.

Assembly_45.jpg

Assembly_46.jpg

It's just hanging out for now. ;)

Assembly_47.jpg

I figured I would install this, the lower control arms and install the rear air shocks for now.

Assembly_48.jpg

And this is where I'm currently at as of yesterday.

This is the run down of major items I still need to do:

1. Rebuild and detail power steering gear
2. Figure out mounting for thicker sway bar from a 1978 T-Bird.
2a. Actually find the sway bar first. It's in the parts shed somewhere, although I haven't seen it in several months. :confused:
3. Set old gears in new nodular iron third member along with Eaton True Trak diff.
4. Figure out how to install Ford Explorer type brakes on this axle housing.
5. Figure out brake line routing on axle
6. Paint and assembly rear axle.

I ordered the nodular iron third member and Eaton True Trak through Summit, it should be here next week. I ordered all new bearings, seals and shims through Rock Auto, those should be here next week. I need to order new 31 spline axle shafts from Moser. That's tomorrow's project along with start on the steering gear.

Thanks for watching and reading.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Rear Axle

I wanted to highlight once more the ultimate craptitude of this 1966 galaxie 500XL. Just to recap, the engine was buggered, the transmission went thermonuclear, the frame bent, body bent and interior in a really sad state. The question is would the rear axle be useable.

Spoiler: no. :mad:

Yes every single major part was completely destroyed in one fashion or another on this car.

axle_2.jpg

Just to recap, here's the rear axle after blasting. How bad could it be... after all it spins.

axle_3.jpg

Oh good grief.

axle_4.jpg

If only you had smellivision.

axle_5.jpg

I spent 50 dollars on brake clean, acetone and countless rolls of paper towels and rags to clean the inside of this housing. It was putrid. To scrub the inside of the axle tubes I went to Wally World and bought 3 kitchen bottle brushes and duct taped them in a delta configuration to a piece of conduit and rotated and scrubbed. I spent all afternoon just cleaning this.

axle_6.jpg


axle_1.jpg


The tally on the damage is the axle shafts have deep grooves worn in them from the seals and are beyond salvage. The differential feels and sounds like it's grinding walnuts when you turn the axle shafts by hand with no tyres.

Now the good; the housing, pinion support, yoke and by some miracle the gear set (3.0:1) is serviceable.

If I were to rate this car from a scale of 1 to 10, I'd have to use negative integers.

The saga continues.

Cheers
:)

 

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Discussion Starter #27
Power Steering Gear

I have a couple spares of these '65-'68 power steering gears to choose from, but I decided to see if the gear out of the 1966 galaxie 500 XL was worth rebuilding. Well what a shock it wasn't too bad.

SteeringGear_0_1.jpg


The one thing I've noticed on these Ford power steering gears is the bushing on the Pitman shaft wears. Now this was cheap on Fords part. The Saginaw power steering gear (also a possibility on these cars) and the Ford manual steering gear have a needle bearing for the Pitman shaft and doesn't wear.

If you can see the Pitman shaft move side to side with someone oscillating the steering wheel in the car whilst observing, then the bushing is worn and needs to be replaced. I have seen plenty of people just replace seals but never the worn bushing. The other item that wears in the Pitman arm as there is no grease fitting on them. This can be tedious hunting these down. This is an NOS Moog arm and an NOS Ford bushing. As of two years ago I knew Rare Parts was producing the Pitman Arm. The Pitman arm for the power and manual steering gears are different.

From what I've seen these parts are pretty well worn and sloppy at about 100K miles. Obviously the less city miles the less the steering is used and the less worn these parts will be. But these were pretty well and truly worn as I could move these wear parts side to side with just the strength of my hands/arms.

The Pitman arm from Rare Parts is a little over a 100 dollars as I bought one for the 1966 LTD as that was worn as well. To the best of my knowledge no one is currently making the bushings, once they are gone that may be it, kind of like the C4/C6 tranny mount for these cars. These bushings are about 10 bucks apiece and if you have a couple of these cars you intend to keep you may want to stock up.

Onward.

SteeringGear_0_2.jpg

The murky brown mess. I am not going to show how to disassemble one of these as it's more cumbersome with the camera, rather I'll show how to put the clean pieces back together. You can just work backwards to take it apart.

A wave of the Harry Potter wand (if only) and........

SteeringGear_01.jpg


All the internals are cleaned, the case powder coated and most of the hardware blasted, blackened and clear coated.

Onto the nitty gritty details.

SteeringGear_03.jpg

The cheap easy tool for removing the bushing is a 1/2 bolt with 1/2 grade 8 washers like above.

SteeringGear_02.jpg

It's a close fit that works.

SteeringGear_04.jpg

Now there is no stop lip on these cases, as a result you can press it in or out either end. I personally think it's easier to push downward as pictures to remove and install. Now a couple notes on detail. There are oiling groves in the bushing. You want to place the grooves as pictured because all the pressures and wear spots occur in two spots on the bushing only. The direction of side to side perpendicular to the long axis of the steering gear so you want to make sure lubricating oil can enter that area.

SteeringGear_05.jpg

To install the new bushing you want to use a wider driver (left) to start and drive it flush with the case then switch over to the 1/2 inch bolt driver to set it down in the bore properly. This way you wont risk damaging the new bushing and also help start it true with the bore and not tilted.

worn1.jpg

You can see the heavy wear marks only on one area. There are similar marks on the opposite side of the bushing as well. This is the only area it wears due to the intense side pressures of the Pitman arm articulation.

SteeringGear_28.jpg

Next up the lower Pitman (Ford calls it Sector) shaft seals. Both rubber seals are identical. It just takes two due to the intense case pressures that can develop when hitting the stops on the control arms. (>1000 PSI).

SteeringGear_29.jpg


Use the largest driver that will safely fit without hitting the bore. I almost forgot to mention to use a liberal amount of Vaseline when assembling the innards. Now a word about these seals. There is no stop other than the bore lip for the bushing. However do not drive these all the way down. You want to drive these in just enough to get the snap ring on and no more. Now the pressures will seat the seals against the snap ring but if they have to travel any distance you risk damage or them not moving true and cocking off to the side and leaking.

continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Power Steering Gear Continued
It should look close to this.

SteeringGear_30.jpg


Onto the control valve housing.

SteeringGear_06.jpg

This is another potentially sticky wicket. For a bearing driver a 7/16" bolt with grade 8 1/2" washers works really well.

SteeringGear_08.jpg

The 7/16" nut passes through the bearing middle, unlike the 1/2" bolt.

SteeringGear_07.jpg

Now there is no bearing stop either on this. You have to just press it in far enough to either be flush or just proud of the seal ridge. If you go to far you'll start to block the fluid port at the top pictured.

SteeringGear_09.jpg

I highly recommend a shop press or an Arbor press as you have more control than with a hammer.

SteeringGear_10.jpg

Like so.

SteeringGear_11.jpg


Switch back to the normal seal driver to install the seals. Again only install the main seal far enough to install the snap ring. I was able to just use hand/arm pressure to push this in. Once the snap ring is installed install the dust seal.

SteeringGear_14.jpg

Like so.

Now the tricky bit.

SteeringGear_15.jpg


The spool valve needs to go on the same direction it was taken off as this will become more evident shortly. If you put the spool valve in backwards, you may find the power assist unequal from a left turn verses a right turn.

SteeringGear_16.jpg

On this particular unit the V groove land was closer to the centre and this calibrated this way. I wouldn't trust this is the case with every one of these.

continued on the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Power Steering Gear Continued
SteeringGear_17.jpg

The thin washer on the left is actually a selective (calibration) washer that results in a neutral hydraulic balance with no steering input applied to the input shaft. This is needed because of the machining tolerances. This washer precisely locates that moveable spool valve in the bore in the housing at the top resulting in all the fluid going in and out the hoses with no flow diverted to the rack piston.

SteeringGear_19.jpg


Lube up everything really good and install the spool/worm assembly shaft into the housing. It should seat and you should feel the drag from the new seals.

SteeringGear_20.jpg


Here's how I fixture the control housing for the next step of torquing down the main and lock nut.

SteeringGear_21.jpg

This is one tool I would highly recommend you buy or make like I did. If you do not get the torque on the retaining nuts right you may up with a damaged power steering gear or if it comes loose an out of control one.

SteeringGear_22.jpg

I made this out of a pipe nipple and a cheap Duralast socket welded to it. Probably the only good application of anything Duralast. Did I just say that? :)

SteeringGear_23.jpg

torque specs

SteeringGear_24.jpg


Torquing the main and lock nut down properly. Another note about these steering gears. I have noticed there is no more buy one and return yours as a core. The only options you have is rebuild it yourself or send it out. No more cores it seems. So if you think you can skimp by with a punch and chisel on these nuts and you damage it beyond use, you are now up a creek without a paddle. As it's probably going to get really expensive for you very quickly.

SteeringGear_25.jpg


Next up assembling the rack. You should have 27 balls.

SteeringGear_26.jpg

Then comes the seals. The round black O-ring goes in first, then the teflon square cut one.

SteeringGear_27.jpg


Like so.

Continued in next post
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Power Steering Gear Continued
SteeringGear_31.jpg

Next up lube up the housing bore and rack piston and assemble with the O-Rings.

If the Teflon seal doesn't want to compress enough to enter the bore you can attach the 4 screws to the control housing and into the case equally and use the input shaft to carefully drive the piston into the bore squarely.

SteeringGear_32.jpg

Next install the Pitman (Sector) shaft.

SteeringGear_33.jpg

Then the top cover

SteeringGear_34.jpg

Just a note be sure to draw up the Pitman shaft set screw all the way up through the cap before torquing down the cap bolts as you could crack the cap.

SteeringGear_35.jpg

Lock sealing nut and washer for the over center Pitman lash adjustment. The seal kit does not come with a new nut or washer. I bought this full size nut at Air Craft Spruce and you can also get this nut with sealing/locking end in half size also.

SteeringGear_36.jpg

Just leave it loose for the moment.

SteeringGear_39.jpg

Now you need a very sensitive low range torque wrench for this. This one only goes to 15 inch pounds.

SteeringGear_38.jpg

SteeringGear_40.jpg

You're looking for 9-10 inch pounds and this is the part I see so many try to adjust this portion by feel. Or they try to set this to alleviate other play in the steering parts. This adjust really critical, too much and you risk damaging the Pitman and rack teeth or cracking the gear case. Too little and you'll have excessive play. There is no way you can possible "feel" 9-10 inch pounds.

Plus this adjustment needs to be done at centre. This steering gear has a lock to lock of 4 turns so set to 2 turns in from either end to carry this out.

I will say this 1/2 turn of the Pitman shaft adjuster bolt makes a world of difference between too much play and binding. When finished tighten the locknut.

SteeringGear_41.jpg

Completed and ready to install.

continued in next post
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Power Steering Gear Continued

SteeringGear_43.jpg


SteeringGear_44.jpg

That parts done. The new Pitman arm is drying.

SteeringGear_45.jpg

These are the old seals and boy some of them were rock hard. Bin food.

SteeringGear_46.jpg

For those interested, this is the model of the torque wrench. Yes it's a bit pricy for seemingly a limited application. But if you really want to do it right, as they say you have to pay to play.

SteeringGear_47.jpg

For those interested in blackening your own hardware, this is what I used. I just filled a salsa jar with it an then distilled water. Works fast.

Mind you this is not corrosion control you still have to clear coat the bolts for that.

Hope you found this useful.

Cheers
 

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When I saw the last pic come up in the page feed my mind when to hmmmm some is making home brew.

Since the sector shaft bushing only wears in two places and sound like it may be rare to find in the near future. What about carefully pushing out and turning 90 then carefully pushing back in?

Lastly the eighth picture in post 29, you do know the statement you made is a set up for at least 27 jokes!

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
 

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Discussion Starter #33
When I saw the last pic come up in the page feed my mind when to hmmmm some is making home brew.

Since the sector shaft bushing only wears in two places and sound like it may be rare to find in the near future. What about carefully pushing out and turning 90 then carefully pushing back in?

Lastly the eighth picture in post 29, you do know the statement you made is a set up for at least 27 jokes!

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
<chuckling> I just caught that about that caption in the 8th picture. I wonder if that is some Freudian slip :oops:.

About the bushing and phasing 90 degrees. That certainly is a low cost option, the better option would be to have the case bored at a machine shop and have the needle bearing installed and you'll never have to worry about that again.

Actually the comment about home brew is amusing. One drink of that and you may never have another worry again. :confused:

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Discussion Starter #34
Power Steering Gear Follow up

PitmanArm_1.jpg


The new Pitman arm was dry and installed. Now that the intense drag of the new ball joints, tie rods and the like were attached to the steering gear a new problem was noted. There is 4-5˚ of deadband in the input shaft of the steering gear. This is play before the torsion rod engages. There wasn't enough load on the bench to catch this.

It's either a loose torsion rod spring or more likely the spiral race in the worm gear and or rack is worn. Either way there is pretty much nothing you can do that's practical to correct this. I have 3 other spares of this '65-'68 steering gear, I shall rebuild another in the same fashion and see how that fares.

Sometimes no matter how well you prepare and try your best you can't win them all. However I should have known as this was the steering gear out the '66 galaxie 500 XL that I have yet find one single good part in. <sigh>

<grumbling> That car was such a pile of....... :( I should have known better. Agh well I'll condemn this gear to the parts shelf labeled as mediocre/parts.

Onto the sway bar......
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Sway Bar

I wanted to upgrade the sad little pencil like front sway bar to something a little more robust. In my perusing of posts and forums it was mentioned that later model large Fords yield a sway bar that can be used on the '65-'68. Armed with that a couple years ago I set off the junkyard to pillage a couple of thicker sway bars. We came back with two, one from a early 70's El Ranchero and one from a 1978 T-Bird.

Well time to see if they truly will fit.

SwayBar_2.jpg

The thickest one was from the T-Bird. The endlink distance was correct but the frame mounting was pushed forward.

SwayBar_1.jpg

I'm holding up the rod against the frame and you can see the mounting difference. Now I assume these people that suggested this bar had to contrive a new mounting scheme. However the bar would be a little lower with the bushing and you want it off the frame and this puts it in the path of the radius arm rod (strut rod) on a full upward suspension deflection and they would make contact most likely resulting in a bent radius arm rod.

This did not bode well with me.

SwayBar_3.jpg

Here's the sway bars. The top is the '65-'68 full size bar. The middle is the El Ranchero and the bottom the T-Bird.

SwayBar_4.jpg

You can see the difference in mounting positions more clearly.

I had clearly wasted my time and money buying these, so I had enough of this and tossed all three in the pile to take to the dump. Then I bought this --> https://www.summitracing.com/parts/HSS-22389F

I remember seeing the Jay Lenos garage video of Hotchkiss making this and other suspension parts for his 1966 galaxie 500 7 litre. I figured if any aftermarket part is going to fit properly it'll be for his car.

SwayBar_5.jpg

It came tonight. Summit doesn't waste time shipping.

SwayBar_6.jpg


Bloody hell. This takes overkill to a whole new level. It's a hollow tube too, which is good because it weighs twice that of the original.

SwayBar_7.jpg

It's borderline obscene, very cool, but borderline ridiculous. Funny they make a rear sway bar as well, but with this do you really need one....... This resembles a 1 ton truck sway bar.

SwayBar_8.jpg

Credit where credit is due. It fits pretty well and clears everything. I also mounted the brake hoses to the frame.

SwayBar_9.jpg


Aside from another redo on another steering gear the front is done. Time to start focusing on the rear axle. I have everything sans the 31 spline 1541h axle shafts from Moser. They are in transit.

Cheers
 

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I bought a larger bar for my '70 Mark III. I believe from Summit as well.

The OE front bar was bigger than the '66 Galaxie I parted out. That bar is rather wimpish as seen in your pictures. It made a good deal of difference on a far heavier car than your 500.

With a solid rear axle not sure why a rear bar would be needed. Ford used a bar in the later Mark Series. At least from 1975 to 1979

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I bought a larger bar for my '70 Mark III. I believe from Summit as well.

The OE front bar was bigger than the '66 Galaxie I parted out. That bar is rather wimpish as seen in your pictures. It made a good deal of difference on a far heavier car than your 500.

With a solid rear axle not sure why a rear bar would be needed. Ford used a bar in the later Mark Series. At least from 1975 to 1979

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
Howdy Action,

Yuppers the 3rd gen full size bar is very wimpish. I honestly do not know why they even bothered with one. How much did it actually do when I can deflect it a decent amount using body strength alone off the car?

As for the rear swar bar, the body will roll about the centre of the long axis because of the rear suspension moving different amounts on either side. A bar tethered to the axle then at each end to the body will help negate that. Either that or tie the lower control arms together with a bar to keep them at the same position as GM does on the 4 link. It would also work the same on the 3 link. I know the '69 and '70 Chevrolet full size had the same style rear suspension as the 3rd gen Fords I'll have to see how they attached a sway bar or even if they offered one back then.

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Discussion Starter #39
The following post is more of a play by play post as it reflects what's recently done, specifically today.

Power Steering --> Round 2
Talk about deja vu.

Round2PS_1.jpg

One of the spares.

Round2PS_2.jpg

Super... another toxic mess to, well.... unmess.

I'm just painting the case parts this time. They are cleaned and the first coat is drying.

So then I started on this:

Differential

Diff_1.jpg

Time to get crack'n on this. I do believe I have all the parts to assemble the third member. The third member case is a Summit Nodular Iron unit. An Eaton Truetrac will reside in it and tethered to that is a set of 3.00 gears. Now for the astute you're probably wondering how 3.00 gears are going to work in a Truetrac that will only accept 3.25 and larger gear sets.

That is a good question. I did some research and just a little machining needs to be done on the face of the pinion to clear the differential body. If that's all, then I think I can handle chucking that up in the lathe and face cutting the pinion. Currie enterprises offers this complete third member with the Truetrac and 3.00 gears. I'm not saying what you see on the table was inexpensive but it's a heck of a deal compared to the Currie ($1600).

I am reusing the 3.00 gear set from the galaxie 500 XL. If I can't get a decent gear pattern I have two more sets of 3.00 gear sets I can try. Now the timing marks are still visible on these gears. For those unaware the gears are machined together and timing marks are placed on the gear sets that are non-hunting and semi-hunting. Therefore it's important to time the pinion to the ring gear when assembling, much like a camshaft timing sprocket set.

My goal for this axle to accomplish similar to the building of the Ford 9" I did for my Chevrolet Caprice Classic. See here for that build up and installation: https://www.fordforumsonline.com/threads/replacing-a-non-9-axle-with-a-ford-9-axle.14425/

With that I have the key third member pieces cleaned and the first coat of paint applied (POR 15).

Probably will not be till after Christmas before they are ready to assemble. But I still have an axle housing to contend with and Explorer type disc brakes to adapt to it. It will not be easy.

Cheers
 

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I've always understood that if you upgrade the front sway bar you need to upgrade the rear in order to maintain a proper balance. I'd think a stiff front and weak rear could be a dangerous handling scenario.
 
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