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      08-25-2014, 01:15 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by TheSt|G View Post
From what I've seen, they have consistently been a miss with varying levels of acceptance from end users. It's not a mystery, the Chinese are seemingly incapable of anything relating to build quality. The CPI headers for the E46 would be a perfect example. Vendor designs their own stepped headers, outsources production to one of the "good" Chinese builders, and the end product lost power down low and gained only a little peak power.

Nice things require nice materials and R&D. Even the cost of just the pipe in a good grade of stainless is significantly more than those headers. You couldn't pay me to stick them on my car.
Have you ever held CPI headers or compared them in person to supersprints?
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      08-25-2014, 02:02 PM   #46
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Have you ever held CPI headers or compared them in person to supersprints?
Nope, but no real need. Go read the CPI header thread on M3Forum. Results were less than stellar(to put it nicely) when people started to independently dyno them. I doubt these are even on the level of CPI though.
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      08-25-2014, 06:11 PM   #47
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what happened to the headers from schmiedman? They seemed promising.
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      08-25-2014, 06:22 PM   #48
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what happened to the headers from schmiedman? They seemed promising.
Still there.
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      08-26-2014, 07:18 PM   #49
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Still there.
anyone buy a set and post?
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      09-08-2014, 11:59 PM   #50
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OK guys, I bit the bullet after reading all this "tube chatter".

I've bought 4 sets and they just arrived today.

For a little background, my career has been in engineering, design, and as a senior executive in tier one automotive. Tooling and automation is key to any robust process, as is SPC, SIX-Sigma, SQA, quality circles, partners in productivity, or whatever new acronym the OEM's fashion to push ownership and responsibility down to their suppliers, whilst demanding LTA's and volume rebates all in the name of supply chain management.

I've visited Supersprint, Eberspaecher, Flowmaster, Walker, Burger, and many others as well as most manufacturers of the tube bending, assembly, and automation cells globally.

It was with great interest I read the Stig's thoughtful post on the visit to Italy. It is a beautiful place; but what we still long to believe as craftsmanship and art, being passed down from one master to another is fleeting at best. The notion of "skills transfer" as a guild, craft, or art is somehow romantic (as anyone who has visited the glass masters on the Island of Murano can attest), but impractical in the new world we find ourselves in. The thousands of jigs and fixtures of old (as shown in the Stig's wonderful photo-logue) have been replaced by more modern and robust processes.

In the old days, jigs and fixtures were the only means of replicating repetitive processes with a minimum of "in process inspection" and relative consistency by "moderately skilled employees". The engineers and toolmakers were too valuable to be used for drilling, reaming, counter boring and assembly functions, so jigs and fixtures were used to allow lesser skilled persons to adequately perform the work.

I don't want to get too technical, but modern vehicle manufacture is based upon "architecture" rather than "platform family" as it was previously in the industry. The "architecture" is based upon a "spatial relationship" of key product characteristics relative to each other in a 3 dimensional space, as opposed to a part that was designed with tolerances of +/- some variable dimension, but relative to itself, not the related assembly.

In order to process things with such a high degree of repeatability and reproducibility, a new toleranching system was devised, called "Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing". GDT is more concerned with the "true position" of a hole, thread, mounting surface etc., relative to the adjacent parts in an assembly. This change is the single greatest evolution of the automobile from a basically hand built production line product of variable quality, into the modern cars we all love.

With this in mind, I bought 4 headers so I can evaluate them against each other, as well as peers in the industry. My brother in law is a professor and technical dept head of a well known institution who will perform destructive testing on one set to ensure material spec and process quality of welds, flanges, fittings are all within industry acceptable norms.

All 4 sets will be inspected on a Co-ordinate Measuring Machine, and the values will be plotted to determine dispersion and variation. Two sets will be dynoed after installation on an automatic and MT-6 N-52-B.

This type of data will be much more valuable than the typical crap..."yeah man, I put them on and the car rocked!" or the infamous...."I didn't get around to checking jack shit, but it sure feels faster than before".

As I said, I only received them today, but here are some preliminary observations:

-The shipping packaging and internal wrapping was excellent. Everything neat, tidy and clean when each box was opened.

-The overall visual inspection was more than acceptable. I've read many of the negative comments, but I honestly didn't experience them.

-The engagement detents (short cylindrical projection that locates in the head) were not made of wrapped flat bar, it was an extension of the main tubes nicely finished and clean and free of burrs, slag or debris of any kind.

-The flange plates were nicely machined SS-304, perfectly flat and nicely finished edges. The holes were counterbored and chamfered and fit the real BMW OEM gaskets perfectly, no mismatch at all. Incidentally, the flange was within 0.001" consistent thickness, and the counterbores varied less than two thou of an inch.

-The fittings, threads and bungs look perfect and the threaded plugs fit well for a Class 2 thread, no nicks, drag or offset threading.

-Finally the tube bending is super, there are minimal tool marks, no deformation, and rotary swaging on an autolok collet is very smooth.

-The collectors have been "hydro formed" then die struck to coin the process surfaces. They are really clean with no machine marks or excessive stress points.

-The TIG welding on the assembly is very good, and when parts are laid together you can see how consistent the weld process is. A fully automatic MotoMan robot orbital weld cell with dual spindle rotary positioning has done a job that no hand welder could do for the money or consistency.

Sorry for the excessively long post to those of you that prefer one liners, but to those who take this as informative content, I hope you find it useful.
Thx TomB
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      09-09-2014, 12:15 AM   #51
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Miracles DO happen!
Looking forward to the results!
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      09-09-2014, 02:00 AM   #52
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Nice! Can't wait to see the results.
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      09-09-2014, 02:43 AM   #53
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well god damn
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      09-09-2014, 06:03 AM   #54
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      09-09-2014, 09:39 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo=[][]=oO View Post
It was with great interest I read the Stig's thoughtful post on the visit to Italy. It is a beautiful place; but what we still long to believe as craftsmanship and art, being passed down from one master to another is fleeting at best. The notion of "skills transfer" as a guild, craft, or art is somehow romantic (as anyone who has visited the glass masters on the Island of Murano can attest), but impractical in the new world we find ourselves in. The thousands of jigs and fixtures of old (as shown in the Stig's wonderful photo-logue) have been replaced by more modern and robust processes.
To be clear, that craftsmanship wasn't the most impressive part of the operation to me. It was the R&D facility and the technical notes for each car that they had compiled. The E46 M3 alone, for example, had two phonebooks worth of development notes and data. They just didn't(understandably) want photos of that out freely on the internet.
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      09-09-2014, 03:56 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oo=[][]=oO View Post
OK guys, I bit the bullet after reading all this "tube chatter".

I've bought 4 sets and they just arrived today.

For a little background, my career has been in engineering, design, and as a senior executive in tier one automotive. Tooling and automation is key to any robust process, as is SPC, SIX-Sigma, SQA, quality circles, partners in productivity, or whatever new acronym the OEM's fashion to push ownership and responsibility down to their suppliers, whilst demanding LTA's and volume rebates all in the name of supply chain management.

I've visited Supersprint, Eberspaecher, Flowmaster, Walker, Burger, and many others as well as most manufacturers of the tube bending, assembly, and automation cells globally.

It was with great interest I read the Stig's thoughtful post on the visit to Italy. It is a beautiful place; but what we still long to believe as craftsmanship and art, being passed down from one master to another is fleeting at best. The notion of "skills transfer" as a guild, craft, or art is somehow romantic (as anyone who has visited the glass masters on the Island of Murano can attest), but impractical in the new world we find ourselves in. The thousands of jigs and fixtures of old (as shown in the Stig's wonderful photo-logue) have been replaced by more modern and robust processes.

In the old days, jigs and fixtures were the only means of replicating repetitive processes with a minimum of "in process inspection" and relative consistency by "moderately skilled employees". The engineers and toolmakers were too valuable to be used for drilling, reaming, counter boring and assembly functions, so jigs and fixtures were used to allow lesser skilled persons to adequately perform the work.

I don't want to get too technical, but modern vehicle manufacture is based upon "architecture" rather than "platform family" as it was previously in the industry. The "architecture" is based upon a "spatial relationship" of key product characteristics relative to each other in a 3 dimensional space, as opposed to a part that was designed with tolerances of +/- some variable dimension, but relative to itself, not the related assembly.

In order to process things with such a high degree of repeatability and reproducibility, a new toleranching system was devised, called "Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing". GDT is more concerned with the "true position" of a hole, thread, mounting surface etc., relative to the adjacent parts in an assembly. This change is the single greatest evolution of the automobile from a basically hand built production line product of variable quality, into the modern cars we all love.

With this in mind, I bought 4 headers so I can evaluate them against each other, as well as peers in the industry. My brother in law is a professor and technical dept head of a well known institution who will perform destructive testing on one set to ensure material spec and process quality of welds, flanges, fittings are all within industry acceptable norms.

All 4 sets will be inspected on a Co-ordinate Measuring Machine, and the values will be plotted to determine dispersion and variation. Two sets will be dynoed after installation on an automatic and MT-6 N-52-B.

This type of data will be much more valuable than the typical crap..."yeah man, I put them on and the car rocked!" or the infamous...."I didn't get around to checking jack shit, but it sure feels faster than before".

As I said, I only received them today, but here are some preliminary observations:

-The shipping packaging and internal wrapping was excellent. Everything neat, tidy and clean when each box was opened.

-The overall visual inspection was more than acceptable. I've read many of the negative comments, but I honestly didn't experience them.

-The engagement detents (short cylindrical projection that locates in the head) were not made of wrapped flat bar, it was an extension of the main tubes nicely finished and clean and free of burrs, slag or debris of any kind.

-The flange plates were nicely machined SS-304, perfectly flat and nicely finished edges. The holes were counterbored and chamfered and fit the real BMW OEM gaskets perfectly, no mismatch at all. Incidentally, the flange was within 0.001" consistent thickness, and the counterbores varied less than two thou of an inch.

-The fittings, threads and bungs look perfect and the threaded plugs fit well for a Class 2 thread, no nicks, drag or offset threading.

-Finally the tube bending is super, there are minimal tool marks, no deformation, and rotary swaging on an autolok collet is very smooth.

-The collectors have been "hydro formed" then die struck to coin the process surfaces. They are really clean with no machine marks or excessive stress points.

-The TIG welding on the assembly is very good, and when parts are laid together you can see how consistent the weld process is. A fully automatic MotoMan robot orbital weld cell with dual spindle rotary positioning has done a job that no hand welder could do for the money or consistency.

Sorry for the excessively long post to those of you that prefer one liners, but to those who take this as informative content, I hope you find it useful.
Thx TomB
whats the time frame for all of this?
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      09-09-2014, 05:22 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Oo=[][]=oO View Post
OK guys, I bit the bullet after reading all this "tube chatter".

I've bought 4 sets and they just arrived today.

For a little background, my career has been in engineering, design, and as a senior executive in tier one automotive. Tooling and automation is key to any robust process, as is SPC, SIX-Sigma, SQA, quality circles, partners in productivity, or whatever new acronym the OEM's fashion to push ownership and responsibility down to their suppliers, whilst demanding LTA's and volume rebates all in the name of supply chain management.

I've visited Supersprint, Eberspaecher, Flowmaster, Walker, Burger, and many others as well as most manufacturers of the tube bending, assembly, and automation cells globally.

It was with great interest I read the Stig's thoughtful post on the visit to Italy. It is a beautiful place; but what we still long to believe as craftsmanship and art, being passed down from one master to another is fleeting at best. The notion of "skills transfer" as a guild, craft, or art is somehow romantic (as anyone who has visited the glass masters on the Island of Murano can attest), but impractical in the new world we find ourselves in. The thousands of jigs and fixtures of old (as shown in the Stig's wonderful photo-logue) have been replaced by more modern and robust processes.

In the old days, jigs and fixtures were the only means of replicating repetitive processes with a minimum of "in process inspection" and relative consistency by "moderately skilled employees". The engineers and toolmakers were too valuable to be used for drilling, reaming, counter boring and assembly functions, so jigs and fixtures were used to allow lesser skilled persons to adequately perform the work.

I don't want to get too technical, but modern vehicle manufacture is based upon "architecture" rather than "platform family" as it was previously in the industry. The "architecture" is based upon a "spatial relationship" of key product characteristics relative to each other in a 3 dimensional space, as opposed to a part that was designed with tolerances of +/- some variable dimension, but relative to itself, not the related assembly.

In order to process things with such a high degree of repeatability and reproducibility, a new toleranching system was devised, called "Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing". GDT is more concerned with the "true position" of a hole, thread, mounting surface etc., relative to the adjacent parts in an assembly. This change is the single greatest evolution of the automobile from a basically hand built production line product of variable quality, into the modern cars we all love.

With this in mind, I bought 4 headers so I can evaluate them against each other, as well as peers in the industry. My brother in law is a professor and technical dept head of a well known institution who will perform destructive testing on one set to ensure material spec and process quality of welds, flanges, fittings are all within industry acceptable norms.

All 4 sets will be inspected on a Co-ordinate Measuring Machine, and the values will be plotted to determine dispersion and variation. Two sets will be dynoed after installation on an automatic and MT-6 N-52-B.

This type of data will be much more valuable than the typical crap..."yeah man, I put them on and the car rocked!" or the infamous...."I didn't get around to checking jack shit, but it sure feels faster than before".

As I said, I only received them today, but here are some preliminary observations:

-The shipping packaging and internal wrapping was excellent. Everything neat, tidy and clean when each box was opened.

-The overall visual inspection was more than acceptable. I've read many of the negative comments, but I honestly didn't experience them.

-The engagement detents (short cylindrical projection that locates in the head) were not made of wrapped flat bar, it was an extension of the main tubes nicely finished and clean and free of burrs, slag or debris of any kind.

-The flange plates were nicely machined SS-304, perfectly flat and nicely finished edges. The holes were counterbored and chamfered and fit the real BMW OEM gaskets perfectly, no mismatch at all. Incidentally, the flange was within 0.001" consistent thickness, and the counterbores varied less than two thou of an inch.

-The fittings, threads and bungs look perfect and the threaded plugs fit well for a Class 2 thread, no nicks, drag or offset threading.

-Finally the tube bending is super, there are minimal tool marks, no deformation, and rotary swaging on an autolok collet is very smooth.

-The collectors have been "hydro formed" then die struck to coin the process surfaces. They are really clean with no machine marks or excessive stress points.

-The TIG welding on the assembly is very good, and when parts are laid together you can see how consistent the weld process is. A fully automatic MotoMan robot orbital weld cell with dual spindle rotary positioning has done a job that no hand welder could do for the money or consistency.

Sorry for the excessively long post to those of you that prefer one liners, but to those who take this as informative content, I hope you find it useful.
Thx TomB

It is definitely an interesting project albeit it's value is questionable beyond personal satisfaction and an audience of ~30-50 enthusiasts in my opinion.

Looking fwd to the report!
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      09-09-2014, 06:17 PM   #58
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Well Stiggy, looks like we have an independent third party to evaluate these headers. Lets see how they fare. Thanks Oo=[][]=oO for biting the bullet.

My car actually had some issues recently, had to replace coils in the middle of a road trip and had to push this off a bit...looking forward to the results!
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      09-09-2014, 07:58 PM   #59
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Hey Stig, I'm totally onside with the R&D comment you made. My current business is nothing but R&D. I "retired" from the automotive gig, or more aptly put, I was given a package I couldn't resist about ten years ago after orchestrating a series of accretive acquisitions, but I was subject to a non-compete in the automotive and aerospace field. I began developing and patenting technologies that I license globally. So, every day I grind it out in my R&D "skunk works"

I don't like people taking pictures of my R&D stuff either, because any disclosure not covered by an iron clad NDA can nullify your patent submission. So I fully concur with Supersprint keeping tabs on their proprietary IP.

R&D has similarly evolved to keep pace with the advances in manufacturing processes. Unfortunately, the "phone book" approach or "trial and error" methods of research and development has given way to "Design of Experiments" and "Continuous Improvements" to take more of the variability out of the process. Up here in Canada, the federal government has one of the most innovative tax credit incentives to promote domestic R&D, called the Scientific Research & Experimental Development program, which clearly dictates the series of acceptable steps to be followed for any R&D project.

I'm doing this little project out of personal interest in a hope to dispel many myths and half truths that circulate on these types of message boards.

During my career I've been invited by various governments on many international trade missions, and over a dozen times to China. I've seen the good, the bad and the very ugly! The old notion that Chinese manufacturers only copy products and steal intellectual property of others is slowly changing. While tons of "knock off" products still make their way out of the country, that is not always the case, with the vast majority being higher end, properly licensed, quality products we all use on a daily basis with American and European brand names.

In the case of headers specifically, it would make no economic sense for them to spend money on R&D or dedicated tooling to try and duplicate the results of the established brands. It is a microscopically small market segment (N-52 headers) of a microscopically small industry (BMW headers, or any import headers for that matter). Their approach is to utilize modern automated processes that can be programmed for "quick change over" for small runs to create a viable business model where economies of scale are not present. Let's face it, nobody is going to invest in tooling for N-52 headers when a robot can do it better!

Here is an update on our little project:

-All four headers have been measured on the CMM. (Co-ordinate measuring machine)

Because we didn't have any blueprints to measure the parts to, we have created a datum structure using the flat plane created from the "head side" of the flange plate as Primary Datum "A"; a theoretical line is established between the centre point of the first and third plenum opening (tubing ports) as Secondary Datum "B"; and a stop point is established using the theoretical centre point of the furthest mounting hole on the flange plate as Tertiary Datum "C".

Each piece was oriented on this datum structure and the key product characteristics (measurements) were taken and the true position of each attribute relative to the datum structure will give us differential measurement. This variation will tell us how robust and repeatable their process is, and is a good indication of quality of manufacture.

-After they were measured today, one set was sent to Kitchener-Waterloo to get material testing and destructive testing. That will be performed by the new engineering students as an industry linkage project. Back next week on that!

-Two sets were dropped off at Kitchen Automotive (one of my car sponsors) to be fitted on the E-92, race car and the other set will go on 2011 LCI automatic. We have a baseline dyno for the race car, but we will use the factory spec for the auto trans street car as it only has 11,000 kilometers and has never slept outside one night in its life! (My wife's car always in the garage).

I expect both will be installed by the weekend.

-The last set are getting dropped off to Steve at JRP in Oakville so any of the GTA (Toronto region) petrol-heads can go down and have a look first hand.

Thx for your interest, TomB
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      09-09-2014, 08:37 PM   #60
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Thx for your interest, TomB
IMO you sir get NA N51/N52 enthusiast of the month.
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      09-09-2014, 09:34 PM   #61
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IMO you sir get NA N51/N52 enthusiast of the month.
Agreed...
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      09-09-2014, 10:30 PM   #62
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      09-10-2014, 03:15 AM   #63
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^agreed well god damn .
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      09-10-2014, 07:58 PM   #64
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Which supplier did you get the headers from? What made you choose them versus the others ?

There are about 3 linked here that look like that. One was even a close rip/replica of super sprints...
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128i Sport 6MT converted to Euro 130i spec, tuned by evolve ~220 whp 207 wtq(ft-lb) SAE
In-progress: e46 m3 trans mnt, e36M lip Wishlist: m3 susp, n55 eng mnt, headers, LSD, finn dif e60


"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving." - R&T 2013 135is
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      09-11-2014, 07:58 AM   #65
TheSt|G
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This is definitely an excellent approach.
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130is MSport 6MT/ SuperSprint Headers & Exhaust with Swain Tech Race Coat / DISA Manifold / EVOLVE Tune / TCK DA Coilovers / Euro CF Intake/Box / BMW v1 Wheel / BBS RGRs with PSS / F30 Brake Shield / BMW CF Spoiler & Diffuser / Blackline Tails / Rear Fogs Enabled / Front Fogs Delete / CDV Delete / BMW Black Kidneys / M5 Illuminated Knob / BMW Stripe
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      09-11-2014, 08:41 AM   #66
Emozoo
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hey if these results prove worthy.. We should do a group buy to save on shipping.. anyone speak Chinese? haha

gawsh, if this goes well...this plus my new suspension (whenever that gets installed) will have my car sitting pretty..god damn I might even race a v6 accord
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2010 FBO e90 328xi. Suspension: ZSP i springs, m3/z4 bump stops, 12mm front spacer, 15 mm back, Michelin Sport As3
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