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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > White Smoke, Did my VTT GC Turbos go? (Updated)



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      03-18-2018, 10:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langsbr View Post
I hadn't listened to the noise until now, but as RSL said, it sounds like an outlet disconnected. It could still be "on", but loose and just blowing out instead of thru the intercooler.
I quadroopled checked every intercooler inlet and outlet. The only thing im not 100% on is the intercooler. When i first installed it, i was boosting fine. I didnt run into the problem until later that day when i made it home. It does sound like a huge boost leak, or turbo whine. Its hard to tell which is is, so tomorrow Im doing to grab an air compressor and do the test. If it turns out to be a leaking intercooler that would be a relief, but also make me angry considering how much im spending/wasting time trying fix this problem.

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Originally Posted by langsbr View Post
I would presume Mit_boost meant a cracked intake manifold as the exhaust/turbo manifold never sees "boost" pressure.
Never thought about this, I guess ill find out when i do the boost leak test.

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CHRA is center housing rotating assembly. It's the piece with the wheels that spins at 150K+ rpms. VCG is valve cover gasket as you said.
Ahh thanks for the clarifications on CHRA.
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      03-18-2018, 11:07 PM   #24
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And when I said fill it water, I meant off the car of course lol

Seams/connections can go at any time, but always go back to the last thing you touched before a problem started. Need to check what's getting to the WGs, but I think your problem lies elsewhere for boost.

Block off the PCV hose for the pressure test or your car will really smoke at first start after.
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      03-19-2018, 10:02 AM   #25
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How did you check the outlets? They are silicone and unless you removed it and inspected for tears, I don't see how you can definitively say it's good. Are you able to reach where the outlets connects to the turbos? If one of those came loose or blew off, it could be losing boost that way.

The other possibility is that you don't have a tight enough connection on the intercooler since you are using the 2.5" pipe and not the 3" that it comes with. Do you have a silicone reducer of the proper size or are you squeezing down a 3" coupler to fit the 2.5" pipe?
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      03-19-2018, 11:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL View Post
And when I said fill it water, I meant off the car of course lol

Seams/connections can go at any time, but always go back to the last thing you touched before a problem started. Need to check what's getting to the WGs, but I think your problem lies elsewhere for boost.

Block off the PCV hose for the pressure test or your car will really smoke at first start after.
Thats exactly what ive been doing lol. The only thing i touched was the intercooler and ive checked those areas many times. I'm going to look into buying an air compressor today, not sure what im going to buy since i didnt plan on getting one so ill need to do a little research because if im buying one i might as well get one i'll use in the future too.

I'd do the water test if i didnt have to take the intercooler down again. When i took it down last time i had to take the bumper off to get it back on again since its really heavy and doesn't exactly slip in like the 7in models do.

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Originally Posted by langsbr View Post
How did you check the outlets? They are silicone and unless you removed it and inspected for tears, I don't see how you can definitively say it's good. Are you able to reach where the outlets connects to the turbos? If one of those came loose or blew off, it could be losing boost that way.

The other possibility is that you don't have a tight enough connection on the intercooler since you are using the 2.5" pipe and not the 3" that it comes with. Do you have a silicone reducer of the proper size or are you squeezing down a 3" coupler to fit the 2.5" pipe?
I checked all the locations i messed with. As for the silicone outlets my hands fit in that area and i physically felt around the outlets for burns. If it broke open and created a slit then i wouldnt know since it would be hidden to the touch im sure. A pressure test is the best way to confirm for sure since taking these intakes off wont be possible since i can get a wrench in there to remove the clamps.

If you read my other post on the vrsf install you'd know that i never installed anything extra from the race intercooler. I re-used everything from my vrsf 7in intercooler because the couplers and pipe looked the same. Since everyone keeps talking about a 3" pipe and based on my photo of what i had i defiinitly got sent the wrong pipe, but i never used the pipe or silicone outlets since the ones on the car were good. And yes everything is tightened down plenty. I was pushing 28-30psi easily before upgrading to the new intercooler. My problem came shortly after the install.

I'll know more after i get this boost leak test going.
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      03-19-2018, 04:48 PM   #27
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Boost leak check time!

-Check all connections
-Boost leak check with at least as much pressure as your target boost
-Make sure outlet is intact -installation issues can cause this to be adversely impacted by heat (manifolds). This was one of the biggest reasons for our soon-to-be-released aluminum outlet
-feel free to email me directly at chris@vargasturbo.com if you need more specific help

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Last edited by Chris@VargasTurboTech; 03-19-2018 at 04:58 PM.
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      03-19-2018, 05:16 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris@VargasTurboTech View Post
Boost leak check time!

-Check all connections
-Boost leak check with at least as much pressure as your target boost
-Make sure outlet is intact -installation issues can cause this to be adversely impacted by heat (manifolds). This was one of the biggest reasons for our soon-to-be-released aluminum outlet
-feel free to email me directly at chris@vargasturbo.com if you need more specific help

Chris
Thanks I just purchased an air compressor for this test Do you have any recommendations on the best way to boost leak test everything? Ive seen a few different guides but im not sure which is the correct way?
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      03-19-2018, 05:37 PM   #29
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VTT only has oem style inlets right? You need to cap off one of them and build a cap with a valve and gauge, like this:

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      03-19-2018, 05:39 PM   #30
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Sorry for the yuge image. You should be able to get 10+ psi pressurizing thru the inlets, unless you have a boost leak (which is what you're looking for). You could possibly blow off the inlet - so be mindful - they don't normally see boost, and if they aren't tight enough, you'll have to put them back on, and that rear inlet can be a PITA.
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      03-19-2018, 05:43 PM   #31
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Pull the outlet coupler off and feel if you have pressure building against the outlet. Someone will have to throttle the engine while feeling the outlet for pressure. If your getting pressure/building boost, then go down the line and do the same until you feel nothing. If you feel no pressure/ boost, then go toward the turbos.
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      03-19-2018, 09:00 PM   #32
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Great thread, OP. Thanks
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      03-20-2018, 09:10 PM   #33
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Just wanted to update the thread. The turbos are definitly gone. I did a boost leak test and everything held fine to 20psi. I found a few small leaks, and fixed them and went on a drive and now the car smokes alot more and still no boost. I did a log and my highest was 1.4psi.

All i have left to say is this royally sucks and im not looking foward to removing these especially since I have an XI model and from what ive heard its even more of pain in the ass to remove. I guess i need to try and find someone to help me, i really dont want to do this alone, but I dont have any friends who are mechanically inclines like myself. Anyone in the orlando area interested in helping? I'm willing to pay for the help or repay the favor and help you when you need it.

Does anyone have any good DIY links for XI turbo replacements? Or videos?
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Last edited by buster84; 03-20-2018 at 09:19 PM.
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      03-20-2018, 09:47 PM   #34
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I wouldn't say yet that your turbos are gone. This could be simply a WGDC or vacuum issue.

Have you confirmed that the vacuum hoses going to each turbo is still connected? Have you tested the wastegate solenoids? Do you still have the vacuum canisters? Are you sure you don't just have a vacuum hose that may have blown off?

Until you have done any of that, I would not say the turbos are "blown". The N54 is very computer controlled and you have done nothing to validate that you don't have an electronically induced issue rather than a hard part. It may be time to enlist the assistance of someone with more technical expertise in diagnosis rather than just a wrench turner. It would be awful to remove your turbos to replace them and still have the same issue afterwards.

Who is your tuner? I see you have a JB4 - you may consider posting on n54 tech and get Terry's opinion on your logs.

You might also reach out to Chris @ VTT for some suggestions. I'm sure he would do as much as possible in assisting you before you tear everything apart.
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      03-20-2018, 10:21 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langsbr View Post
I wouldn't say yet that your turbos are gone. This could be simply a WGDC or vacuum issue.

Have you confirmed that the vacuum hoses going to each turbo is still connected? Have you tested the wastegate solenoids? Do you still have the vacuum canisters? Are you sure you don't just have a vacuum hose that may have blown off?

Until you have done any of that, I would not say the turbos are "blown". The N54 is very computer controlled and you have done nothing to validate that you don't have an electronically induced issue rather than a hard part. It may be time to enlist the assistance of someone with more technical expertise in diagnosis rather than just a wrench turner. It would be awful to remove your turbos to replace them and still have the same issue afterwards.

Who is your tuner? I see you have a JB4 - you may consider posting on n54 tech and get Terry's opinion on your logs.

You might also reach out to Chris @ VTT for some suggestions. I'm sure he would do as much as possible in assisting you before you tear everything apart.
I swapped boost solenoids with my e93 to test and it didnt fix them to i put my e93 ones back in the e93. Its not a vacuum issue an like i said many times all the intakes and couplers are good. I have a feeling the exhaust side of the propellers went out. If i had to guess one broke off, and got sucked up into the other causing both to blow.

This is not tune related, and the car was tuned by trebila. I'm in contact with Chris, so we'll see what happens next. At this point im ready to jackup the car on jack stands and start taking off everything needed to get the downpipes off on my XI. Once i do that I'll no longer be 95% right on what i think the problem is, but intsead 100% when i can physically see them. The fact that i smell oil and see white smoke and my engine is fine only leaves the turbos.
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      03-20-2018, 11:08 PM   #36
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If she holds 20psi and you're sure it's not an ecu-related issue.... does indeed sound like a turbo issue. It's always a challenge to do this via email/text/IM.

Customer has been emailing me for assistance with basic troubleshooting, working on an X-drive is no joke but we'll have a very good idea once those downpipes are off.

The good news is... no matter what the cause or the issue, we can fix 'em.

Chris
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      03-21-2018, 08:12 AM   #37
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Except, I think you are dealing with a lack of technical knowledge. The mere premise suggested that one turbo had its turbine wheel break and get sucked into the OTHER turbo seems, well... I'll refrain.

Swapping the solenoid is not enough of a test either. Checking the couplers that are for boost doesn't have diddly squat to do with the vacuum lines.

I'm glad you're involved Chris. It makes it all the better when he goes to the effort to drop the turbos and finds them in perfect order and realizes that he has a different issue. I get that you are playing the agreeable tech to help him, but you have to look at the facts - car was running fine - user made a change - car no longer running fine - user blames turbos rather than their own poor installation. User doesn't have ability to properly troubleshoot - user continues to blame turbos - user performs halfway valid testing - user digs in deeper with their blame of turbos.

To me, it's pretty obvious that if you are only getting 1.4 psi of boost that your wastegates are staying open - either they aren't getting any wastegate signals, or the computer is telling them to stay open. It's exceptionally unlikely that after you install a larger, more efficient intercooler that the turbos BOTH magically blow. Hell, I would bet that some of VTT's biggest haters wouldn't think both blowing at the exact same time is realistic.

Now, this is all predicated on the assumption that the OP is telling the truth - they could have blown these before installing the intercooler and just looking for an excuse of some sort, but I'm trying to see the good in humanity, even if there is ignorance in it.
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      03-21-2018, 08:40 AM   #38
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I was going to suggest a vacuum issue also as exactly this same thing happened on my 08 XI at about the same mileage. Look specifically at the vacuum lines near where they connect to the vacuum distribution port just behind the oil cooler block. They rub at that location and mine had worn through and cause low boost conditions due to WGs not closing. $1 fix to replace these short lines and added an extra layer of split fuel hose around them to prevent future issues.
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      03-21-2018, 08:55 AM   #39
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Drop the downpipes and evaluate the status of your turbines. Either that or maybe try and snake a borescope through the primary O2 holes...anything past that is likely beyond your capabilities.
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      03-21-2018, 11:23 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by langsbr View Post
Except, I think you are dealing with a lack of technical knowledge. The mere premise suggested that one turbo had its turbine wheel break and get sucked into the OTHER turbo seems, well... I'll refrain.

Swapping the solenoid is not enough of a test either. Checking the couplers that are for boost doesn't have diddly squat to do with the vacuum lines.

I'm glad you're involved Chris. It makes it all the better when he goes to the effort to drop the turbos and finds them in perfect order and realizes that he has a different issue. I get that you are playing the agreeable tech to help him, but you have to look at the facts - car was running fine - user made a change - car no longer running fine - user blames turbos rather than their own poor installation. User doesn't have ability to properly troubleshoot - user continues to blame turbos - user performs halfway valid testing - user digs in deeper with their blame of turbos.

To me, it's pretty obvious that if you are only getting 1.4 psi of boost that your wastegates are staying open - either they aren't getting any wastegate signals, or the computer is telling them to stay open. It's exceptionally unlikely that after you install a larger, more efficient intercooler that the turbos BOTH magically blow. Hell, I would bet that some of VTT's biggest haters wouldn't think both blowing at the exact same time is realistic.

Now, this is all predicated on the assumption that the OP is telling the truth - they could have blown these before installing the intercooler and just looking for an excuse of some sort, but I'm trying to see the good in humanity, even if there is ignorance in it.
An open wastegate will not cause a shit ton of smoke that smells like oil! Sometimes shit just craps out. I'm not blaming them, nor am I blaming anyone I just want to get my car up and running again. I definitly didnt lie and wouldnt spend $600 to install a race intercooler and try to blame that. The intercooler is after the turbos, the only way it could damage the turbos is if it also took out the engine which my engine is fine.

There is a reason why Vargus upgraded the turbo blades, they have had a few other failures from postings online that ive seen. Sometimes things just fail and sometimes things just work. 99% of the time you only hear from people who had a failure and those who dont ususally never post.

I've wasted alot of time trying to find an alternative reason for the failure, I could have pulled the downpipes a whlie ago and got the real answer already. At this point I'd rather spend 4 hours pulling the downpipes to know for sure; If i see a broken exhaust turbine then I'll proceed with the turbo removal. Also if you looked at the logs you would see the WGDC opening and closing which means the wastgate is not the problem, this was also one of the first things i checked, and i got 26hg of vac on those lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris@VargasTurboTech View Post
If she holds 20psi and you're sure it's not an ecu-related issue.... does indeed sound like a turbo issue. It's always a challenge to do this via email/text/IM.

Customer has been emailing me for assistance with basic troubleshooting, working on an X-drive is no joke but we'll have a very good idea once those downpipes are off.

The good news is... no matter what the cause or the issue, we can fix 'em.

Chris
Thanks, plan on getting some extra tools today and working on the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
Drop the downpipes and evaluate the status of your turbines. Either that or maybe try and snake a borescope through the primary O2 holes...anything past that is likely beyond your capabilities.
A borescope is a nice idea, but at this point I'd rather just pull the downpipes because if it turns out to be the turbos id have to do it anyways, and if its not well then I can easily replace my silicone outlets with there new metal ones.

What did you mean by beyond my capabilities? Ive been working on cars my entire life, Ive repaired alot of things from headgaskets to adding superchargers with custome piping. These turbos in our cars are bolt ons, Its just a shit load of work to get to them. I enjoy working on my car and prefer to whenever possible because i enjoy it. My capabilities are only limited by the amount of knowllege i decide to assimilate.
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      03-21-2018, 11:29 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buster84 View Post
An open wastegate will not cause a shit ton of smoke that smells like oil! Sometimes shit just craps out. I'm not blaming them, nor am I blaming anyone I just want to get my car up and running again. I definitly didnt lie and wouldnt spend $600 to install a race intercooler and try to blame that. The intercooler is after the turbos, the only way it could damage the turbos is if it also took out the engine which my engine is fine.

There is a reason why Vargus upgraded the turbo blades, they have had a few other failures from postings online that ive seen. Sometimes things just fail and sometimes things just work. 99% of the time you only hear from people who had a failure and those who dont ususally never post.

I've wasted alot of time trying to find an alternative reason for the failure, I could have pulled the downpipes a whlie ago and got the real answer already. At this point I'd rather spend 4 hours pulling the downpipes to know for sure; If i see a broken exhaust turbine then I'll proceed with the turbo removal. Also if you looked at the logs you would see the WGDC opening and closing which means the wastgate is not the problem, this was also one of the first things i checked, and i got 26hg of vac on those lines.



Thanks, plan on getting some extra tools today and working on the issue.



A borescope is a nice idea, but at this point I'd rather just pull the downpipes because if it turns out to be the turbos id have to do it anyways, and if its not well then I can easily replace my silicone outlets with there new metal ones.

What did you mean by beyond my capabilities? Ive been working on cars my entire life, Ive repaired alot of things from headgaskets to adding superchargers with custome piping. These turbos in our cars are bolt ons, Its just a shit load of work to get to them. I enjoy working on my car and prefer to whenever possible because i enjoy it. My capabilities are only limited by the amount of knowllege i decide to assimilate.
Please keep us updated and what the outcome is. Good luck!
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      03-21-2018, 11:41 AM   #42
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Sigh - your responses are showing this is well beyond your knowledge. The WGDC that the DME is sending to the solenoid doesn't mean that the turbo is receiving it. Your confusion of the couplers and hoses for boost with the vacuum lines shows another lack of knowledge.

Please don't take this offensive, that's not the intent. I, and others are trying to assist you - and prevent you from a. wasting time and money, and b. blaming something without knowledge.

Your initial suspicion was that the turbos were blown - you can deny it, but your topic suggests it. Your constant harping on the fact that the GCs have had issues in the past shows your continued belief that it "must be the turbos" rather than anything self induced.

Your self confirmation that because the pressure piping held 20psi that the turbos are to blame is more evidence of both continued blaming and lack of understanding.

The wastegates on these turbos are backwards from what I would call most others. There is no "spring" with stock pressure. The wastegates need to see vacuum to close to build boost. They default to open, and thus no boost. If you have a vacuum line pop off, get cut, crack, etc. they won't build boost - NO MATTER WHAT THE LOG SAYS.

However, based on every reply you've made so far - you are convinced it's the turbos - so I'll make you happy.

Damn bruh, looks like yo shit ass VTT GCs are blown. Why you buy dat bullshit - don't you know VTT sucks ballz?
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      03-21-2018, 09:21 PM   #43
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lol

Appreciate the support guys, but he is correct in that if he suspects the turbine blade has failed, the quickest way to check that is to look. It's well within the possibility. The smoking sudden onset same time as a FMIC install is certainly suspicious, but it's not conclusive in and of itself.

Turbos were purchased in March 2016 by original purchaser (someone else). Accoding to OP they had 8k miles put on them, then were sold to current OP who ran 'em for 2k miles. I don't know all the details about tune, boost targets, etc. Not sure on boost leak check data either. There really isn't anything like being there and inspecting parts. While we do not warranty third party parts, we did reach out to the customer and offer a discount on rebuilding should that need arise.

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      03-22-2018, 07:24 AM   #44
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Chris, I get that you have to be super diplomatic and you are way overdoing it. I wish Tony would chime in on this. His suspicion is that one turbine blade may have broken off and gotten suck into the other turbo. Please address that. Please.

Everyone has differing skill levels and understanding, but there has to be a point where random assumptions get the kibosh put on them.

Just as you so nicely put it - smoking right as the intercooler was installed being suspicious, he suddenly lost "all the boosts" too.

I think the only issue you will have with the OP inspecting the turbos is that he's already convinced himself that the turbos are the issue. Regardless of how they look, they will be the issue, because they already are in the OP's mind.

It's going way above and beyond offering a discount if they do need rebuilding, and that is a testament to VTTs' customer service. Just be mindful that you may get a decent set of turbos back for rebuilding, and then once they get reinstalled, you'll be blamed when they still don't make boost because the original issue hasn't been determined.

OP - there is another test you can do. Get a vacuum pump and apply I think 6 or 7 inches of vacuum to the wastegates to make sure they are working. That will ensure that they are closed. Now go do a 3rd gear WOT run with the vacuum pump applied at the 7 inches. You should find out soon if you will make boost.
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