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Sprucing up my 2002

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by sakana, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Feb 4, 2019 at 1:14 PM
    #1
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Member:
    #19704
    Messages:
    32
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar
    Hey there. New member here. I joined recently because I have a 16 year old Gen 1 that is in great shape, and I think I am going to invest some time and money to keep it going for years to come. I have done some DIY work on my cars and trucks over the years, but nowadays time is an issue, so I may have pros do some of the bigger jobs. I'm in So Cal/OC/LA if anyone has a recommendation of a great Toyota mechanic or a shop that does a good job with suspension and general maintenance on trucks like ours.

    So far, all I've really done is cosmetic stuff to get me "in the mood" to do the more mundane maintenance stuff.

    I had the headlights polished and ceramic coated. They look 100% better. I know it's not a permanent fix, but I'm pleased with the results.

    [​IMG]

    I polished up my Mickey Thompson Classic II's. They had a ton of oxidation on them, and it's not all gone, but they do look much, much better now.

    [​IMG]

    I had a local detailer do an interior detail. I hate detailing interiors. He did a fine job, for a 16 year old vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    The only mechanical issue that I have had recently was a blown front strut, so I had my local mechanic install a new set of Bilstein HD's (4600's - I think).

    [​IMG]

    The HD's were I think, a straight replacement for what came on the truck from the factory. I have the TRD package. They are very firm, but not really harsh. After installing the HD's, I started to notice what feels like a lot more slop in the suspension. The truck wanders and weaves a bit more over road imperfections than I recall. I don't think any control arm bushings or steering rack have been replaced. What kinds of things might I consider doing to improve this?

    While I'm at it, I kind of wish I had done some more research before going with the HD's because I have always wanted to level the truck. I probably would have gone with Bilstein 5100's at one notch above stock on the fronts, had I known about them, instead of the HD 4600's. Do you think it's worth swapping out the HD's for 5100's if all I want is the front to be a little higher? Or would spacers be an option? I don't need a real "lift", and don't want to compromise safety, durability, or ride quality too much.

    I tow a 4200 pound boat and trailer a lot with my rig, so I get a fair amount of sag in the rear when towing. It's not unsafe, but I do drag the front of my trailer over dips and crests of curbs occasionally. I have already utilized a "flipped" hitch receiver - so I'm getting a few inches of lift from that - but my trailer is still not perfectly level. What would you recommend for improving towing ability and eliminating sag?

    Very shortly, I am going to replace my aging BFG AT KO 275/70/16 tires. I've had two sets of them, and they have been great. I see no reason not to go with the 275/70 size, they have been perfect on my 8" wide MT Classic II's. I would just throw on a new set of the KO2's but I don't care for the more aggressive sidewall lug pattern they have. I could get over it, but should I be looking at any other brands/models? I do no real offroading.

    Here's a few of the other things that I think need to be done:

    New front brake rotors and pads. I got the brake "upgrade" done under the recall years ago, but as we all know, that alone doesn't really solve the problem. I get a ton of vibration when braking - probably from all the towing I do. I have checked my brake proportioning valve, and it's right in the middle. Do I don't know how much benefit I would get from adjusting that. I also don't want to spend tons on money on a big brake kit. What is currently the best option for stock-sized replacement rotors and pads? I'm happy to consider non-OEM products.

    After all that is done, I think I'd be getting into the realm of mods and improvements. Like everybody, I'd love a little more power. Has anyone done the injector swap from Dirty Deeds yet? If it doesn't cause CEL's and driveability issues, and produces tangible results, I might consider doing that, along with a new exhaust system. BAM is not too far from me.

    I recognize the tremdous volume of useful information that resides here, and will certainly continue doing my own research - but I would appreciate any specific suggestions from members. I can tell you have a great community on this site, and will try to give back whenever possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Feb 4, 2019 at 1:35 PM
    #2
    NjPro

    NjPro New Member

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    Nj
    Vehicle:
    2017 Trd Pro Tundra cement
    Auburn Pro LSD, Sprint booster, ICM step rails, CB TRD PRO kit, 285/70/18 Nitto Ridge Grapplers, K&N Air charger CAI, Black TRD shift knob, Rhino shackle hitch, Lund Tri-fold bed cover, 1.25 Spidertrax wheel spacers. TRD rear sway bar. Bud Built cross member. Arb Diff breather. Grab handle installed. 2012 DC SR5 TRD Supercharged, Gone but not forgotten.
    Great write up and really nice work. Love the wheels. Welcome from Nj.
     
  3. Feb 4, 2019 at 1:39 PM
    #3
    mtntop

    mtntop New Member

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    Colorado
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    Welcome from Colorado, those headlights look brand new and based on the the interior shot you take care of your truck well! I replaced my rear leafs with alcan after market springs and they worked great and still do 10 years later. The OEM springs are very soft. I have owned my truck since it was brand new and over the years have replaced quite a bit of things on it. If you have never replaced your ball joints or steering rack bushings, these could cause the wandering you described?
    My braking greatly improves when I keep my rear brakes adjusted, I have stoptech front pads and rotors and these seem to help.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2019 at 2:05 PM
    #4
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Member:
    #19704
    Messages:
    32
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar
    Thanks mtntop. I have added ball joints and steering rack bushings to the list of things to check/replace. I've been hearing good things about the Stoptech pads/rotors too. Even thought it's currently set right in the middle of the threads, I may try adjusting my LSPV for a tiny bit more rear-braking bias, just to see if there's any improvement.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2019 at 3:06 PM
    #5
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Hand Protectors
    You could replace just the front shocks with 5100’s and go one notch up. That is what notch I put on my front 5100’s and am very happy as I like a bit of forward rake.

    Like you, I noticed some change in my handling and attributed it to my rear springs which had been ‘splaying’ over the years and when all 4 corners got the new 5100’s the rear felt ‘slippy’ on certain angles of attack. I squared off the springs as best as possible with vices and then put some u-bolts on them to secure in place. Overall, I’m very happy with the 5100’s and they are great for street/tow/haul. Firm and sporty.

    I just recieved some 12 hole Densos Injectors from Keith and will be doing the install in the next month or so. Will keep everyone posted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Rex Kramer, 6ixofone and bmf4069 like this.
  6. Feb 4, 2019 at 3:24 PM
    #6
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
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    Hand Protectors
    A simple rear drum and shoe brake clean spray douse can really help the rears as well. Just getting all that dust build up out of the drum helps.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2019 at 3:33 PM
    #7
    Blueknights75

    Blueknights75 New Member

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    Raleigh, NC
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    2018 SUPER WHITE SR5 TRD CM Color matched, leveled with 295 70 18 Ridge Grapplers
    Welcome from NC! Truck looks amazing! Stories like this are what make me realize I made a great purchase as I plan on keeping my Tundra until the wheels fall off.

    You can still find the original BFG KO2s around at some tire places. They are few and far between however. I agree with you I like the original tread pattern as well.

    As stated go ahead and change out those ball joints (upper and lower) and the truck will ride like new. Also check all the steering hardware like the pitman arm. Please provide more photos as well!

    Congrats on one beautiful truck!
     
  8. Feb 5, 2019 at 4:46 AM
    #8
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's car parts in a dishwasher

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    Screenshot_20190205-064345_Chrome.jpg


    I just bought this kit and will be installing it this weekend. Granted, I still have the we calipers. And my rear brakes are full of diff juice so they are getting replaced as well.
     
  9. Feb 11, 2019 at 11:38 PM
    #9
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Member:
    #19704
    Messages:
    32
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar
    The sprucing continues...

    Ordered Wet Okole Seat Covers

    Tomorrow it goes in to the local 4X4 shop for Suspension, Brakes, new Tires, and possible front-end work.

    Bilstein 5100's - on second notch above stock ride height
    Hellwig 991 Helper Springs
    Hellwig 7700 Rear sway bar
    Tires - BFG AT T/A K02 265/75/16
    PowerStop Z36 HD Truck and Tow Brake Kit
    Rear Drum replacement and shoes

    They are going to inspect all front-end components and steering and recco replacement as needed. I know this can really add up, but I'm shooting for getting this vehicle sorted for the long haul.

    Should I also have them install stainless steel brake lines? I have had them on other cars, but those were track-driven cars. Are they worthwhile on our trucks?

    And finally, an oddball question... Is there a good replacement for the factory-supplied bottle jack? Mine is all jacked-up. It's been used one time too many - on my boat trailer - which has been averaging a blow out or two every season for the past several years. (or so it seems). Never actually used it on my truck in 16+ years.
     
  10. Feb 12, 2019 at 2:46 AM
    #10
    zombie

    zombie Master at Something

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    Rhode Island
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    Welcome from Rhode Island. Nice clean Tundra, like the rims. Also the bucket seats look better than my bench seat....I'll have to look into that.
     
  11. Feb 14, 2019 at 10:56 PM
    #11
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    Member:
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    Messages:
    32
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar
    Got the truck back today. Very pleased with the results of the suspension and brake upgrades. They set the Bilstein 5100's on the middle setting (Position #3) to get it level.

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hellwig helper springs in the rear. Overall the ride is firm, but still very comfortable. I couldn't believe how quiet it rides on the new BFG KO2's compared to my old KO's.

    [​IMG]

    The braking is so much better with the powerstop Z36 pads and rotors and refreshed rear drums.

    [​IMG]

    We're still waiting to get the Hellwig 7700 rear sway installed. Once that comes in, I might also get stainless brake lines installed. But honestly, it's already such an improvement I'm not sure it's necessary.

    [​IMG]

    They checked out all front end components and said pretty much everything still looked good. Control arm bushings should go another 20-30K. They did replace the steering rack and swaybar bushings. My inner CV boots are leaking just a little. They did install a diff drop because the original plan was to put the 5100's on Position #4, but that proved to be unnecessary to get the truck level. Hoping that the CV boots last a little longer with the low angle they're at now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These upgrades were a long time coming, but I'm glad I decided to move forward on this. I will probably now turn my attention to cleaning up the paint which is horribly chalky, and restoring the exterior trim. Then who know - maybe exhaust, injectors...
    I have been down the rabbit hole modding cars before ('98 GTI-VR6 bored out to 3.1L, with 288 cams, big valve head, 6-speed tranny, and whole lot more).
     
  12. Feb 14, 2019 at 11:02 PM
    #12
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Consumes science with a side of hopes & prayers

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    Sunny
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Inferno Tundra DC TRD & Longtravel 1st Gen, Banner/ HulkSmash build
    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Where'd you buy Wet Okoles; how much did you pay (if you don't mind). I'll be looking for a deal for my '02 Ltd Access cab.

    Diff drop? What and why?
     
  13. Feb 14, 2019 at 11:19 PM
    #13
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

    Joined:
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    32
    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar
    It's essentially a kit with spacers that lowers your differential housing a couple of inches so you can maintain a less-aggressive angle on your CV's. Generally recommended when lifting more than 2.5" (or perhaps more, I think). We initially thought it might be necessary to set the circlips in the 4th position on my Bilstein 5100's. This is not recommended by Bilstein for an Access Cab 4X4, because it can put the CV's at a more severe angle and cause problems. A diff drop would apparently help counteract that issue. I didn't really end up needing the diff drop., but it was already installed, and it wasn't expensive (about $35) so we left it in there.
     
    Rex Kramer likes this.
  14. Feb 14, 2019 at 11:20 PM
    #14
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Consumes science with a side of hopes & prayers

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    San Diego, CA
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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Huh.

    What about the Wet Okoles? :spy:
     
  15. Feb 15, 2019 at 4:15 AM
    #15
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol New Member

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    Erik
    TN
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    2002 SR5 4x4 AC
    ICON, SPC UCA's, SCS Ray 10's
    Diff drop is pretty common for the first gens. The Toytech kit I'm looking at comes with it as well.
     
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  16. Feb 15, 2019 at 6:23 AM
    #16
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    ‘Somewhere’... a State of Mind
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    Hand Protectors
    Is it me, or does your new rear end look higher with the 5100’s? Reason I ask is because mine rose a bit in the rear with the new 5100 shocks, but I did not take before and after measurements to confirm absolutely. The shop set my fronts up one notch from stock height. The rear is non-adjustable but still gave me lift. Whats your take?

    Your truck looks real nice. The Hellwig 7700 is a great performance tool on the truck and would complete your entire suspension. You should do it and after you do you’ll wonder why you never had one.
     
  17. Feb 15, 2019 at 8:14 AM
    #17
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol New Member

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    ICON, SPC UCA's, SCS Ray 10's
    The chalky paint curse of the white first gens. I can relate. I found that Toyota went cheap on the non-metallic colors and gave them a single stage paint job(no clear coat).

    Here is some info I tracked down on how to fix. "Process went, wash, decontaminate with Iron-X, clay, then apply Meguiars #7 very heavy and leave it on overnight in the garage. The #7 "nourishes" the paint and and recharges some of the dried out oils. If the paint was very chalky you might even want to wipe off the first coat with a rough terry towel and re-apply the #7 again. After you are satisfied with the amount of #7 being absorbed then you can polish the paint as required to bring back the shine. After you get to that stage you can apply whatever you want. Wax or coating."

    I tried some Meguiars #7 on one panel and it did help some but didn't remove all the oxidation. Once the weather improves I plan on devoting a weekend to working on the paint.

    https://www.autogeekonline.net/foru...le-stage-paint-toyota-tundra-chalky-much.html
     
  18. Feb 15, 2019 at 8:45 AM
    #18
    speedtre

    speedtre New Member

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    Dirty South
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    I'm guessing this is the source of any height increase in the back, how ever marginal...


    [​IMG]
     
  19. Feb 15, 2019 at 9:07 AM
    #19
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Hand Protectors
    Thats on top on the springs so no lift? If underneath springs maybe 1/4” provided lift?

    I’m no suspension expert.
     
    speedtre likes this.
  20. Feb 15, 2019 at 9:17 AM
    #20
    speedtre

    speedtre New Member

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    You may very well be right....allergies are kicking my ass at the moment, and I can't think right now...o_O
     
  21. Feb 15, 2019 at 9:53 AM
    #21
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

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    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar

    Sorry Sunnier. I did answer that question in my previous reply, but for some reason that part got cut out when it was posted. I ordered mine direct from the Wet Okole website. Paid about $360 + tax and ship. I went with a few extra-cost options (map pockets, cleaning kit) No discount for me. I have friends with Wet Okole seat covers in their Jeeps and trucks, and we've been down to Baja with them. They were comfortable and seemed to hold up well to the heat, dirt, and abuse. I find their product to be of very high quality, and worth the price.
     
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  22. Feb 15, 2019 at 10:03 AM
    #22
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

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    Vehicle:
    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar
    Thank you kindly, Mr. PHM. Your many informative posts (and those of others on this board) were definitely helpful in making my decision to go forward with these changes on my truck.

    I did take before/after measurements, and it does appear that the rears are higher now by just under an inch. The fronts went up by just under two inches. Overall, I was just going for a more level stance with less sag when towing - thus the Hellwig helper springs. They did start out with the 5100 fronts on position #4 - which resulted in a nose-high stance, so it was taken back down to position #3. (That's also how the diff-drop came into the picture). Anyway, they said if I wanted more lift in the rear, I could crank down on the U-bolts for the Hellwig helper springs. But unless it really sags a lot when towing, I don't think I will mess with it.

    I do look forward to getting my Hellwig rear sway installed. I used to do a bit of track-day / road racing with other vehicles, and my current daily driver (Subaru BRZ) is all about handling - so anything I can to improve the truck's handling will be well appreciated by me.
     
  23. Feb 15, 2019 at 10:05 AM
    #23
    sakana

    sakana [OP] New Member

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    2002 Tundra AC Limited 4X4
    MT Classic II, Bilstein 5100, 4.88's, BAMuffler catback, 250cc 12-hole injectors, Powerstop Z36 brake kit, Hellwig helper spring and rear swaybar

    Awesome info FGV. I will be tackling the paint restoration project when we emerge from the depths of winter here in SoCal. [Cue world's tinyest violin]
     
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  24. Feb 15, 2019 at 10:12 AM
    #24
    Tierhog

    Tierhog SIG-AHOLIC

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    Mostly stock/TRD accessories
    I love seeing threads like this. The truck looks great. I see thoughtful, realistic, and quality built replacements/upgrades.
    You'll have a reliable truck for years to come. Good work.
     
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  25. Feb 15, 2019 at 1:13 PM
    #25
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Consumes science with a side of hopes & prayers

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Best review I've read yet in here! I'll be watching for your review on fitment. A guy on here (and Tocoma side) runs a group buy once a year. I'll start saving up.

    Thanks again for your detailed answers to both my questions!
     
  26. Feb 15, 2019 at 1:20 PM
    #26
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Consumes science with a side of hopes & prayers

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    :sadviolin:
     
  27. Feb 15, 2019 at 7:02 PM
    #27
    Filthyphil

    Filthyphil New Member

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    Badass, rigs looking sweet brotha.
     
  28. Aug 4, 2019 at 12:16 AM
    #28
    mrsinister

    mrsinister New Member

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    exhaust
    I'm new to the group but have a 2002 like yours. I want to upgrade my struts, shocks, brakes, lights, and front bumper. I want to make it camping/adventure ready. Nice looking truck. Thanks for the post.
     
  29. Aug 4, 2019 at 5:11 AM
    #29
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer New Member

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    Georgia
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    Nice '02 & upgrades, and welcome from Georgia.

    How many miles have she got on her?

    I am dealing with the chalky white paint on my '07, and the clear coat on my '02 Thunder Grey Metallic has failed.
    Other than that, both SR5 trucks are solid keepers.
     

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