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Thread: Avoid rust in the engine; how?

  1. #1

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    Avoid rust in the engine; how?

    14 years and 1200 hrs ago my engine was overhauled. Now they find the cam rusty and a little rust on the bottom of the cylinders. This all costs money and time to fix. So what can I do to avoid this in the future? I fly about 80-90 yrs a year and usually for at least an hour at a time. I tape my oil cooler ( on the back of #4) in trying to keep the oil temp 180 to 200. I put Camgard in the oil and change oil at 25 hrs or 4 months whichever comes first. What else can I do? Someone said to buy a device that plugs into the breather pipe? Keep the hanger at 40-50 degrees in the winter? Fly more? It just seems to me that this rust problem is a real short coming in the design of the engine or plane or something. We pilots should have a device that would regulate our oil temp to where we want it. But what device is that?
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    If you want to control your oil temp from the cockpit, just fabricate an oil door to cover the cooler. Then control the temp with a push-pull cable. There are different designs out there.

    As far as keeping rust off the insides, flying more is the obvious answer. Is the aircraft stored inside a hanger? Maybe keep the temps higher in storage?

    Web
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    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Would putting a Reiff on it and leaving it on all winter when not flying help?

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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    oil changes? (not that I do them in my vehicles... I believe in big leaks and the constant oil change theory...)

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    I fly quite a bit in the winter. What is a REIFF? Also I have never had heat in my hanger but am thinking of putting that in this fall. Would that help keeping it 35-45 in there? And the door on the oil cooler; how does one get an annual with something like that on there?

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    If you fly 90 hours a year that is almost twice a week. Did you actually see the rust? My Decathlon flies less than that, and so far after 15 years no problem.

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    CamTom12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I fly quite a bit in the winter. What is a REIFF? Also I have never had heat in my hanger but am thinking of putting that in this fall. Would that help keeping it 35-45 in there? And the door on the oil cooler; how does one get an annual with something like that on there?
    http://www.reiffpreheat.com/product.htm

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    It is my understanding that it is known where rust will form in the different types of engines if they are left plugged in. Maybe itís better if it is a whole engine heater vs a pan heater, but the heating causes condensation, so plugging it in and then not flying it lets the water vapors hang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoJo View Post
    It is my understanding that it is known where rust will form in the different types of engines if they are left plugged in. Maybe it’s better if it is a whole engine heater vs a pan heater, but the heating causes condensation, so plugging it in and then not flying it lets the water vapors hang.
    Condensation is from a cold engine above a warm, moist oil pan. Heating the whole engine does not cause this and won't cause condensation.
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Did you put all of that time on the engine? I review a lot of log books and see where airplanes sit for long periods of time. A friend here just had a bad cam lobe on an engine he built with 500 hours on it that he flies every few days. I have an engine off a 2012 Carbon Cub with less than 300 hours on it for the sam thing. The new Lycoming cam followers have a DLC (diamond like coating) on them and I am told by a reputable engine builder that they have not seen this spalding issue since Lycoming started using this process. When I brought up topping mine he said my cam and followers would be trash when I pulled the jugs until I told him I had a roller cam engine. I guess they don't have those issues. My Dad got some pitting in his cylinders and he rigged up a pump with desiccant to keep the engine dry.
    Steve Pierce

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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Steve,
    More about your Dad's desiccant rig.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by 46 Cub View Post
    Condensation is from a cold engine above a warm, moist oil pan. Heating the whole engine does not cause this and won't cause condensation.
    There's condensation in my greenhouse most of the summer. Adding a heat source when the outside temps drop will only make it worse.

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    G44's Avatar
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    After flight open oil dipstick cap, this lets moisture vapor escape. Don't run Aeroshell 15-50 unless you fly almost every day. Contrary to their claims, the rust preventative properties while the engine is sitting are inferior to other oil's, the 15-50 drains off the parts sooner leaving the parts exposed to the elements for a longer period of time. Try to get at least 180 degrees oil temp when you fly for most of the flight to help rid the oil of moisture during flight.
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Exposing a hot engine to cold temps pulls moisture from the air. Basic air conditioning. The temperature differential aids the formation of water from moisture vapor. If the engine AND the surrounding air are warm this happens to a much lesser degree. A hot engine has almost no moisture in the crank case as any water is boiled off and water vapor is forced out the breather. If this engine is shut down and left in cold air, water vapor drawn into the engine will turn to water drops. Just think of your glasses as you walk into a warm house from the cold. This never happens when walking from cold to cold or from warm to warm. If that engine is parked inside a warm hanger immediately after shut down, it should minimize the formation of water inside the crankcase.

    But remember that water is only one aid in corrosion. Look at atmospheric causes such as high humidity, salt air, or volcanic ash. Maintenance issues such as calendar time between oil changes or hours on that batch of oil (dirty oil left for long periods in the engine exposes the engine to corrosion from contaminates in the oil). And long periods of time between operation allows the oil film on metal parts to drain away and expose those parts to possible corrosion.

    If you want to install an oil door, talk to your IA. The theory up here is that no one questions tape on an oil cooler. So the door on the cooler is just 'movable' tape. Log entry and fly.

    Web
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I think cam / follower rust is just the nature of the Lycoming beast.
    Usually from extended sitting but sometimes even when it's flown a lot.
    Continentals don't seem to suffer from this as much,
    but they have their own achilles heel(s).
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Yes, I put all the time on this engine flying about 2 hrs a week all year long. I think I will: 1. Add heat in the hanger to keep it 35-45. 2. Get the machine that you plug into the breather pipe when not flying. 3. Don't preheat with a oil pan heater any more. 4. Use 80 oil year round as it seems to me it is good from about 30 to 90 degrees startup. 5. Use Camgard. 6. What else?

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    The colder it is the less it'll rust. This will be my first winter indoors with the Cessna. The years have been kind to that airplane. The hangar stays around 60* so I'm able to use it. For the slow months I'll use preservative oil with Camguard and enjoy sleeping through the windy nights. Everything's a compromise.

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    Stp

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    Www.barkeraircraft.com Itís a kit that must be assembled It uses an aquarium air pump and electronic circuitry. It pulls air through desiccant beads and drys the air The air is drawn through the beads, dried, then through the engine via the breather returning via the oil filler cap. Like the desiccant beads in storage plugs these beads absorb moisture and turn from blue to pink as they absorb moisture This kit has circuitry which senses the moisture level, turns on a light bulb which heats the beads driving off the moisture turning them from pink back blue and reverses the air direction dumping the moist air. when theyíre dry it resumes the flow through the engine and shuts the light (heater) off It uses a gallon pickle jar for the beads So it continually draws dry air through the engine

    We we all know one of the quickest way to dry something is wind or just movement if dry air After a flood in my sisters house I rigged up a barn fan that ran for six months drawing air through the underside of the house and ended up with no mold It works and does keep the engine dry Heat gives rise to condensation And for you guys who thing your tanks never get any moisture, let me tell you, you canít fool Mother Nature

    the circuitry isnít simple and I chose not to do the circuit part myself I went to my buddy Paul (Wire Winnie) AKA (Web) and had it done right

    I have seen a commercially available unit that does sort of the same thing but nit sure where

    The engine I recently bought with my new cub project had been filled with oil for a number of years prior to my getting to that part I assumed it would be good factory new, case never split, with 1000 hours The cam and lifters came to 1800$ and the four new melinium cylinders were about 5200$ It pays to protect the engine

    i should add that I use Pickering oil when I store it and have used the storage oil used for outboards to protect even further I always use cam guard
    Last edited by reliableflyer; 08-27-2019 at 09:58 PM.

  20. #20
    algonquin's Avatar
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    I store for months so I put in old spark plugs and oil the cylinders heavy and then fill the engine up with cheap oil. When I’m read to fly , just drain the engine pull the plugs spin over the engine and push out the oil in the cylinders, good plugs in and done. Again when I leave them for months.
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    fobjob's Avatar
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    As I recall, the speed of a chemical reaction(oxidation) doubles for every 15 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature. If true, this tells me that the most oxidation takes place while sitting during the summer. Very little during the winter. Living in a desert helps, too.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    There's condensation in my greenhouse most of the summer. Adding a heat source when the outside temps drop will only make it worse.
    If you heat a pan of water under a cold metal object it will cause condensation on that cold metal object. This is the reason heating only the oil pan created the theory of heaters causing corrosion.

    If you heat an object above the dew point of the ambient air it will not collect condensation.

    Greenhouses notwithstanding, when I plug my Reiff hot-band (cylinder base) heaters in for the night in 30-40 degree humid nights, then in the morning the only thing I find not dripping with dew or frost is the engine and cowling. And that's without even bothering with engine covers in those temps anymore because of this system. The engine is warm and dry and the rest of the plane is dripping or frosty. The engine is usually about 70 degrees in those temps without covers. If I don't plug it in, it's as wet as the rest of the plane and I have no reason to believe the inside is any dryer in that case than the outside.

    To each his own and form your own truth, but at least think about it.
    That said, this relates more to overnight storage.. I wouldn't leave it plugged in forever to prevent rust... there are other methods discussed here which are quite valid.
    My thing is to say that heating the engine in general will somehow draw condensation is only true if you only heat the oil pan and not use conductive heat to keep the core of the engine warm, and above the dew point.
    Laters.

    That's the real world in my experience.
    I'll go back to lurking
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  23. #23
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    I have a baby bottle on the breather. It gets filled with water in the winter, Iím assuming itís related to the rieffheater. This was the first time flying it in the cold and first time with the heater. It heats it up fast, sumo cyl and oil cooler. Maybe too much heat?


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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    I have a baby bottle on the breather. It gets filled with water in the winter, I’m assuming it’s related to the rieffheater. This was the first time flying it in the cold and first time with the heater. It heats it up fast, sumo cyl and oil cooler. Maybe too much heat?


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    Does it do it when just sitting or show up after flying? I am guessing it is the water vapoer from the combustion process coming out the vent.
    Steve Pierce

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    Condensation in the breather is why we add whistle slots and are careful about where the vent exits the cowl. Winter breather drool is usually an emulsion of water and oil while in the summer it's just oil.

    I'd like to know what the humidity level is in an engine at shut down and how that humidity level changes as it cools. To the condensation discussion, the engine is a closed system. It has is own ambient. If the temperature of the engine is 90* and the humidity inside the engine is 65% the dew point inside the engine is 76.6*. If there's any surface of that engine that'll cool to 76.6* that surface will see condensation. That tells me that it's likely that my engine sees some condensation virtually every time it shuts off and cools and again every time I preheat. The only unknown it that equation is the humidity inside the engine.

    I'll never forget disassembling the engine I bought from Greg Niesen (Crash) after he removed it from his Cub to upgrade to 180hp. It was winter, his plane was hangared at a comfortable temperature, and he flew it regularly. The rocker drains were full of water. Air cooled cylinders are probably the fastest part of the engine to cool, even in a hangar. I shouldn't have been surprised.
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  26. #26
    Chesney's Avatar
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    Avoid rust in the engine; how?

    Thereís an interesting write-up somewhere on the interwebs by a pilot who empirically analyzed humidity levels in his engine while using a variety of preservation techniques (heating, desiccator, etc). He also included photos of various lifters stored under different conditions (eg with or without camguard). Some lifters were developing rust within days.

    The main thing I took away from the article was that engine desiccators work. I went out and bought the commercial kind described earlier. Now I just connect it through the breather tube after closing up the hangar and change the desiccant from time to time.

    Canít find the article but it was thorough (author was an engineer) and included various photos of his testing and graphs of humidity levels through time after flying.


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  27. #27

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    I'd appreciate a reference to that article if you come across it!

    For winter storage in a heated hangar I'd think a low pressure air pump into the oil filler or dipstick tube would work pretty well. Just let the air exhaust through the breather vent. It wouldn't need desiccant. Moving the air would be a 99%+ solution. It would be interesting to measure the exhaust air humidity as the engine dries out but probe-type instruments to do it are several thousand dollars. I'd think a day with the air flow would be more than enough to dry the crankcase air and after that there's not much to gain, but I live in a dry climate. Other places have different issues.
    Last edited by stewartb; 08-29-2019 at 11:37 AM.

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    NDRII's Avatar
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    Here is the one I have owned for 3 years:

    https://www.enginedryingsystem.com/?page_id=521

    ...and here is why, I think this may be the article Chesney cited:

    https://www.enginedryingsystem.com/?page_id=59

    I haven't seen the same oil results but they sure haven't grown worse after coming back to the Mid-Atlantic

    Norm
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  29. #29
    Chesney's Avatar
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    Avoid rust in the engine; how?

    I found the link to the article.

    It starts off focusing more on pre-heating (as a way to extend engine life) but then goes into much more detail about preventing corrosion.

    http://nebula.wsimg.com/1fd3c69cbb20...&alloworigin=1



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  30. #30
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    I think, maybe, an area not discussed is the temperature change in an unheated hanger and the amount of moisture and condensation that causes. At night, an in heated hanger can drop to 20 or 30į in the winter, perhaps below, but when the sun comes out that same hanger may be 80į in the afternoon. That huge temperature shift in a short period of time causes massive condensation. It is my opinion that a heated hanger which reduces the temperature swings makes a big difference in the amount of condensation inside the engine. Just something to think about, and my opinion only.


    Bill
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  31. #31
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CamTom12 View Post
    I like the Tanis system, have them on the cub and the 210.

    Randy
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  32. #32
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    A good fellow on this website crafts a nice dryer which attaches to the oil filler port on the engine.

    Basically, he makes a tube which is filled with a dessicant that is blue when dry and effective, pink when it needs to be recharged. An aquarium pump is utilized to pump air through a filter and into the bottom of the dessicant tube. The air exits at the top of the tube, through another filter. The tubing is connected to an attachment which then is affixed to a plug that is threaded to fit the oil filler port. He sets the timer to activate for a few minutes at a variety of times throughout the day.

    Our engine gurus at Bolduc Aviation/Horizon thinks this to be quite helpful.

    There is a different plug for each aircraft.

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    Note the small clear plastic observation port just below the exit point of the dessicant tube, which allows me to see when it is time to dry the dessicant. When it turns pink I simply take off the top of the dessicant tube, pour the dessicant beads into a bucket, take them home and put them in a turkey roasting oven. I stir them once in awhile and after a few hours the beads have returned to their blue color, which indicates that they are dry and ready to go back into action.

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    I like the concept. The engine folks think that this will keep dry air in and keeping the aircraft hangared is also a big plus from their perspective. They also suggest Camguard, which I use in my aircraft. It helps, too, that I fly each aircraft a lot.

    Randy
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  33. #33

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    I built a dessicator system for my Cirrus with large diameter PVC piping, nalgene tubing, plumbing valves on either side of the PVC dessicator chamber, molecular sieve beads (the dessicant - buy them on the internet) and an electric inflatable mattress pump. It fits into a kid's toy wagon that I keep on the side of the hangar. I use the system when the engine is still hot and I am putting the plane up in the hangar after flying. I don't have a timer for it. I place a nalgene tube down the oil fill tube and then run the dry air into the crankcase for about 5 minutes while I am doing other things. Easy. Molecular sieves can be regenerated in an oven.

    Another way to do this would be with plain ol' compressed air, because it is very dry also.

    I am not sure how effective all of this will be, but I feel like getting all the combustion water and corrosive gases out of the crankcase before putting the plane away is sure not hurting anything. Between flights, the engine will "breathe" air in and out through the vent tube over time as temperatures and atmospheric pressures vary, but I'm hoping that this air will be nowhere near as humid as the air in the crankcase.

    I am going to build another one for my Cub soon.
    Last edited by Tennessee; 08-29-2019 at 07:46 PM.

  34. #34

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    Interesting read. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pdf/2039test.pdf

    Very simple to use. It looks easier than the others I've read about. Just slip a tube onto the breather line. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...EaAlS3EALw_wcB

  35. #35
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    Make sure if you slip this tube on your breather that you cover the syphon break otherwise you will be dumping the dry air overboard.

    Kurt

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    Yes, the instructions tell you to cover the whistle hole. The humidity level reports are what I was looking for.

    More interesting reading. Maybe only readable if you're an Aviation Consumer subscriber. http://www.aviationconsumer.com/issu...rs/5585-1.html
    Last edited by stewartb; 09-01-2019 at 12:00 PM.

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    Surprised no one else mentioned it.... fly more. 100 hrs a year isn’t bad, but at my maintenance shop the more an engine flys the less problems we see. At 100hrs a year your engine would calendar tbo before it does run time wise. Calendar time is harsher on engines than most people think.......

    Could spend a lot of money on gadgets, or spend the $$$ on more gas to fly more.
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  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chesney View Post
    I found the link to the article.

    It starts off focusing more on pre-heating (as a way to extend engine life) but then goes into much more detail about preventing corrosion.

    http://nebula.wsimg.com/1fd3c69cbb20...&alloworigin=1



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    His test confirms the benefit of Exon Elite, but Exon Elite has been discontinued. What’s the best cold country engine oil?

  39. #39
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Good article. Here is a link to the refrigeration-based dehumidifier the author mentions. http://www.flyingsafer.com/p-n-2065.html
    Gordon

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  40. #40
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    My dad was an engineer for Mobil Oil, he explained to me that oil of any given viscosity had to have a distribution of molecule lengths to penetrate small openings(short) and long molecules to drain off surfaces slowly to protect from corrosion. These were the days before multivis oil (and before detergent, for that matter)...this was part of the rationale for STP, I had a friend who ran his 182 with STP, and had new limits the first tbo, and pretty good the second time. This was a geo survey plane, that sat for a month or two or more between hundred hour jobs.
    *the other rationale was the zinc additive(zddp) which was an anti wear compound....
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