Author Topic: NGC-belt drive newbie  (Read 9932 times)

Offline Aaron D.

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NGC-belt drive newbie
« on: July 28, 2015, 06:02:47 AM »
7400 miles on a Scout belt. My prior experience would lead me to think the tension is high, but I don't know.

belt by xfolkboat, on Flickr

This was tensioned and aligned by me 7000 miles ago. My wife's dealer-adjusted bike shows similar (but less apparent) wear. This just showed upsince we returned from our trip.

Any suggestions? The dealer has this photo too.

Offline boatdetective

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 06:33:24 AM »
Aaron-

I noted that you have cracking at the root of the tooth on both the "tension" as well as the "compression" side of the valley (see left hand side of the photo. That would concern me as much as the wear seen at the pitch line. This degradation along with the natural stress concentration at the root could cause more rapid propagation of cracking at the root. Wear at the pitch line should be relatively consistent, yet the cracking will not.  Then again, the fiber reinforcement should arrest cracks.  I'm just a bit surprised to see this cracking in a belt that has been on there, what, a year?

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Offline Kev m

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 07:13:54 AM »
That wouldn't concern me, but I don't look at my belts that closely.

Not sure about Indian specs, but Harley specs often seem tight to me and I run them on the loose side.

If memory serves the Sportster spec is around 5/8ths at the tightest spot and I run it closer to 6/8ths (at 10# of pressure).

The common (not factory recommended) check is to grab it between two fingers and check to see if you can rotate it only about 1/4 turn or something like that.

I actually use the factory 10# spring tool to check mine.
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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 07:24:51 AM »
A couple of years ago I helped a friend of mine change the belt (30K miles on the belt and trashed) on his Road King.
Holy shit changing the rear drive and transmission on my beemer would have been easier!

I decided right there a belt is not for me. If you ever had issues on a trip requiring a change...ouch. (probably rare).

BTW the cracks on the pictured belt are very minor compared to the RK belt which were deep and ugly. You might want to try using a belt dressing compound during regular maintenance. (advise from a HD service department to my friend.

mike
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 07:26:13 AM by kirby1923 »

Offline rocker59

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 07:30:44 AM »
Or, convert it to chain...   :evil:
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Offline leafman60

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 07:47:55 AM »
I've put many, many miles on belt-drive Harleys and never had one problem.  It is the lightest, most maintenance-free and efficient drive mechanism out there. I wish all bikes, even the Guzzi had belt drives.

Like electronic ignition, I was cautious and skeptical when belts were first introduced.  They've proven themselves over many years now. A properly adjusted and aligned belt should go 70-100,000 miles. I've had that experience.  I've seen bikes with over 100,000 miles on their original belts.

In fact, a few years ago I built a high horsepower FXR-Sport that was pulling over 100HP at the wheel. In order to fit a fatter tire, I took the stock belt and shaved 1/4 inch from its width with a sabre saw. The bike was severely thrashed for another 50,000 miles and the belt never complained.  It was sold and is still being ridden, probably has 80,000 miles on it now. What a fun bike, too.  With an upgraded suspension, the BMW's couldn't keep up on a curvy road! 

On the Indian, you may be over-worrying. I'm not sure that the attached picture shows anything more than a normal situation. Take it by the dealer and have them check the tension and look at the belt. If anything should happen, you should be covered by warranty.

The H-D belt adjustment varies a little with the bike. Having maintained them for so long, I can judge the tightness by feel even though I do have the official little pressure gauge that H-D supplies for setting the belt deflection to spec. Once set, they should rarely need further adjustment.

My guess is that you are fine.

How do you like that bike?  They look like a lot of machine for the money. If not for the forward controls, I may be interested in one.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 07:52:37 AM by leafman60 »

Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 07:59:33 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies!

I figure I am a bit more careful on something like this from my old background in power transmission-and of course a good macro photo shows all kinds of things.

The surface cracking is actually not a worry, and the lands of the belt are not damaged. I was just surprised at the abrasion on the jacket of the tooth face, which is on the drive sprocket pressure side. In a conveyor or other situation I would consider backiong off the tension a hair and observe, but the tension was set according to spec with a standard 10 lb load. Having a second bike to compare ( prepped by the dealer) was also interesting. I just felt even as I set tension all those miles ago, that 12mm deflection at 10 lbs was pretty tight.

Belt replacement on a Scout is NOTHING like the Harley setup. Only the left shock and belt cover comes off. I think it would be a lot easier than even a chain with a master link, and I think I could do it in 15 minutes, plus tensioning time.

Leafman, I love this thing, and I put on the reduced reach foot controls, so I can say it isn't much different from a Cali 1400 Custom in seating position. The general feel of the bike is a LOT like a V700, with the forks well ahead of the rider. Not a lot of steering lock, but you can compensate by using the "motor officer" technique for close quarter riding.

Hey, I even won the slow race at the Indian Homecoming rally!

Offline leafman60

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2015, 08:01:53 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies!

I figure I am a bit more careful on something like this from my old background in power transmission-and of course a good macro photo shows all kinds of things.

The surface cracking is actually not a worry, and the lands of the belt are not damaged. I was just surprised at the abrasion on the jacket of the tooth face, which is on the drive sprocket pressure side. In a conveyor or other situation I would consider backiong off the tension a hair and observe, but the tension was set according to spec with a standard 10 lb load. Having a second bike to compare ( prepped by the dealer) was also interesting. I just felt even as I set tension all those miles ago, that 12mm deflection at 10 lbs was pretty tight.

Belt replacement on a Scout is NOTHING like the Harley setup. Only the left shock and belt cover comes off. I think it would be a lot easier than even a chain with a master link, and I think I could do it in 15 minutes, plus tensioning time.

Leafman, I love this thing, and I put on the reduced reach foot controls, so I can say it isn't much different from a Cali 1400 Custom in seating position. The general feel of the bike is a LOT like a V700, with the forks well ahead of the rider. Not a lot of steering lock, but you can compensate by using the "motor officer" technique for close quarter riding.

Hey, I even won the slow race at the Indian Homecoming rally!

Sounds great!

Go ride the hell out of it and quit looking at the belt!

.

Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2015, 08:16:10 AM »
All the hell is out of it after the trip out West. Now I want to put some back in!

Offline leafman60

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 08:23:29 AM »
All the hell is out of it after the trip out West. Now I want to put some back in!

Lol

What is the top end on it?

Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 08:34:13 AM »
I've taken it to an indicated 105, which feels as though I will fly off if I let go.

I think with gearing, drag and all, high 120s would be it, I have heard some say it is limited to 115 but others claim to have been at 125. My carb Sport would have top-end on it, plus it is much more relaxed at that speed.

But-it has power everywhere. Like riding a bevel-head 900SS, but much stronger,  and it won't kill the big-ends!

Offline Kev m

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2015, 08:45:20 AM »
To be clear also there isn't just one Harley setup.

The BT's are a relative pia because the belt is on the left and the primary has to come off, but on the Sportsters the belt is on the right and is much easier (shock, belt cover).

Just another reason the Sportsters are better bikes.  :bike-037:

Sounds like the Scout setup is similar, even down to spec.
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Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2015, 12:11:37 PM »
I'm curious, do either sides of your belt actually engage the sprocket teeth?  My maxi-scooters have the same kind of belt but only the smooth sides engage the pulley sides.  On my belts delamination of the inside layers is what does them in.

Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 12:18:24 PM »
Scooters with the CVT transmission (nearly all of them) are using V-belts on sheaves that vary in diameter, and only engage on the angled sides. The Scout and all the "other" cruisers use a toothed belt that only transmits power through the teeth.

Toothed belt drives usually (as in our case) have one flanged pulley, and one flangeless. The belt seems inevitably to end up rubbing on one flange or the other, but it isn't necessary for transmitting power.

The teeth on your belt are there to allow the belt to wrap better around smaller diameters.

Offline ITSec

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2015, 01:36:37 PM »
To be clear also there isn't just one Harley setup.

The BT's are a relative pia because the belt is on the left and the primary has to come off, but on the Sportsters the belt is on the right and is much easier (shock, belt cover).

Just another reason the Sportsters are better bikes.  :bike-037:

Sounds like the Scout setup is similar, even down to spec.

Both Victory and Indian bikes are built with the belt on the side away from the primary, as far as I recall - something they picked up on long ago...
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Offline sib

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2015, 02:18:14 PM »
...but you can compensate by using the "motor officer" technique for close quarter riding.
Anyone care to describe this for me?  Maybe I'll learn the secret technique for graceful slow maneuvering.
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Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2015, 04:33:37 PM »
Well, practice is key, but the technique consists of 4 components.

1) You must lean the bike, not your body.
2) You must LOOK where you want to go.
3)To keep the bike moving, AND stable, use first gear, low revs, slip clutch.
4)Further control and stabilize the bike by using the rear brake while slipping the clutch.

There are videos available, but practice is key!

The Scout has very limited steering lock, much less than any Guzzi I've ridden. If you try to steer your way through a slow, tight maneuver you will have trouble. But if you use the above techniques you can amaze your friends, and yourself.

I drag the pegs on the Scout doing tight u-turns, never had to on a Guzzi!


Offline kevdog3019

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2015, 05:45:03 PM »
If a belt is that simple to change on that bike then justifying gear oil changes on the Guzzi at 6k mile intervals seem time intensive in comparison in the long haul.  I like my shafty yes, but if/when something goes wrong, I'd have to say belts win by a wide margin.  No?
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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2015, 06:05:21 PM »
If a belt is that simple to change on that bike then justifying gear oil changes on the Guzzi at 6k mile intervals seem time intensive in comparison in the long haul.  I like my shafty yes, but if/when something goes wrong, I'd have to say belts win by a wide margin.  No?
YES! My Buell takes about 30 minutes to change belt but no service interval is given, changed mine preemtive at 20k
Kept old belt as spare.
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Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2015, 06:19:49 PM »
So just because, I rechecked my tension, found it was a bit over spec on one spot. Fixed, readjusted alignment.

Yeah, Kevdog, the belt makes a lot of sense vs a shaft drive bike.  Replacement interval is 30,000 miles. Oil changes are 10,000 on the Scout, by the way. Transmission is pressure fed, and the thing is actually a dry-sump.

Of course, the belts are fairly new technology. They weren't possible when the Guzzis were designed.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2015, 07:53:34 PM »
24k replacement interval on my F800GT, and installation is reportedly a 30 minute job, but I understand the belts are $400 from the BMW parts counter. Must...find...anoth er...source...

Offline leafman60

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2015, 08:11:04 PM »
24k replacement interval on my F800GT, and installation is reportedly a 30 minute job, but I understand the belts are $400 from the BMW parts counter. Must...find...anoth er...source...

Yeah, the BMW is a whole other world.  As usual, they took something and made it more difficult. As of about 6 months ago, there was no aftermarket belt for the bikes. You gotta buy them through BMW. The replacement interval is relatively short and I have several accounts of the BMW belts not lasting much beyond the 24,000.  I sold my 800 because of all the recalls and problems. It's a helluva running bike and hopefully the GT is worked out to eliminate all the problems of the early 800s like mine.

Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2015, 12:40:04 AM »
Yeah, the BMW is a whole other world.  As usual, they took something and made it more difficult. As of about 6 months ago, there was no aftermarket belt for the bikes. You gotta buy them through BMW. The replacement interval is relatively short and I have several accounts of the BMW belts not lasting much beyond the 24,000.  I sold my 800 because of all the recalls and problems. It's a helluva running bike and hopefully the GT is worked out to eliminate all the problems of the early 800s like mine.


That $400 belt cost is a total ripoff compliments of BMW.  Kinda went thru the same ripoff with my Piaggio MP3 drive belts until we found out the same belt cost 1/2 as much in the UK.  $150 here vs. $75 there.   US owners were ordering their belts from the UK.  :laugh:  Now our belts cost $75 here too.  To add salt in the wound our belts are made by Gates!  Bet BMW belts are made there too.   We have aftermarket  belts available a little cheaper but they don't last as long as the Gates belts.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 01:06:17 AM by Arizona Wayne »

Doppelgaenger

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2015, 03:15:12 AM »
Looking at that picture I'd be tempted to say that your rear wheel alignment is slightly off since the abrasion on the belt isn't equal from one side to the other.

As for the source of the abrasion, did you go on any dirt roads during your trip? Belt drive and dirt aren't a match made in heaven, probably one of the reasons that more bikes don't have belts.

Offline Aaron D.

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2015, 06:38:57 AM »
Hi Doppelganger,
I agree, the alignment was a little off as the tension on the inboard side had to be higher. I re-aligned and tensioned last night using the shop manual method-which isn't really great, I may re-do it, it depends too much on belt tracking in a very subjective fashion.

Offline leafman60

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2015, 07:04:32 AM »
Along with my F800GT, I have an '07 F800ST, bought new. Aside from a leaking fork seal, the ST has been perfect. Sorry to hear your experience was different.

The early model 800's like the S and ST had many problems.  The biggest was the rear hub bearing assembly that was prone to disintegrate.  BMW redesigned it but let years go by before issuing a recall. Many owners were stuck with big bills to replace that whole rear assembly.

They also had faulty-designed air bleed hoses that caused the bikes to die on idle.  Those were also redesigned and replaced.

The valve cover gaskets were also not up to requirements and the covers almost all leaked oil.

A few other things plagues the early bikes.  Anyone interested can go to the F800 Forum and read many, many, many and even more postings about these problems.

Mine was a one-year-only S model in yellow.  I loved the performance of the bike and its looks.  I just tired of playing the BMW roulette wheel of problems. 

BMW is the most problem-prone motorcycle made today. Especially any new bike they introduce is typically plagued with issues. Sometimes, as with the final drive failures, the problems aren't fixed for years.

Even the reliable Rotax-based single had problems when they did the model facelift with the 2011 model.  The new instrument cluster had a recall/replace. The rear hub had a recall/replace. The compression release mechanism on the cam had a recall/replace. Other issues cropped up but I think they have it sorted out nowadays.

The big bikes have been horrible. Although (thankfully), I have not heard about continued final drive failures with the latest rear end on the water-cooled boxers, switchgear and other issues plague the newer bikes. Many of the latest 800GS series have splits that have developed in the under-seat gas tanks.

I've had enough of it.  I still own about 4 BMW's but I avoid a new one.  I may go back some day but, for now, no.

Sorry to bore some of you with another commentary from me on BMW's but another poster started it all! lol.


Offline jas67

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2015, 07:18:40 AM »
If a belt is that simple to change on that bike then justifying gear oil changes on the Guzzi at 6k mile intervals seem time intensive in comparison in the long haul.  I like my shafty yes, but if/when something goes wrong, I'd have to say belts win by a wide margin.  No?

Agreed.  I've always been a shaft drive fan, but, am really liking the idea of belt drive.   It's lighter, more efficient, and less expensive to fix if something goes wrong.

The cruiser market has pretty much all go to belt drive.    I wonder why there aren't more sport touring/standards with belt drive?   ADV bikes are chain if not shaft drive, as chain works better for long travel suspensions where distance between the sprockets varies more with suspension travel.   Chains also have an advantage were you might want to change drive ratio.    But, most motorcyclist never chain that ratio (though, I did on my Ducati M796, am much happier with the new ratio).

Aside from Buells, the BMW F650CS, F800GT, F800ST, and F800S are the only belt drive non-cruiser bikes that come to mind.   

24k replacement interval on my F800GT, and installation is reportedly a 30 minute job, but I understand the belts are $400 from the BMW parts counter. Must...find...anoth er...source...

Please do let us know if you find a third party, cheaper (Guzzi Content) option.   I'm considering an F800GT in the not to distant future.

Yeah, the BMW is a whole other world.  As usual, they took something and made it more difficult. As of about 6 months ago, there was no aftermarket belt for the bikes. You gotta buy them through BMW. The replacement interval is relatively short and I have several accounts of the BMW belts not lasting much beyond the 24,000.  I sold my 800 because of all the recalls and problems. It's a helluva running bike and hopefully the GT is worked out to eliminate all the problems of the early 800s like mine.

It is my understanding that most of the problems were fixed by 2010, the big one being the rear axle bearing.     It's too bad that the early bikes were problematic, as I like the look of the one-year-only (for the US anyway) F800S.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 07:22:10 AM by jas67 »
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Offline jas67

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2015, 08:14:26 AM »
I've had enough of it.  I still own about 4 BMW's but I avoid a new one.  I may go back some day but, for now, no.

My '92 R100R might not be anywhere as fast as modern BMWs, and uses more fuel, but, it is stone-ax simple and reliable.

BMW is the most problem-prone motorcycle made today. Especially any new bike they introduce is typically plagued with issues. Sometimes, as with the final drive failures, the problems aren't fixed for years.

V7's aside, modern Guzzis have their fair share of maladies as well  (Breva/Sport 1200 Dash failures, anyway?, early 8V tappet failures, CARC vent issues, ....).

I know most people who think Japanese bikes are boring, but, they do seem to be the most reliable.

Victory also have a good track record for reliability.    Too bad they only make cruisers.    If they'd build a belt-drive naked standard with Scout motor, I'd buy it.     Hopefully, the Project 156 bike will spawn a production bike.


« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 08:26:08 AM by jas67 »
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Offline Irn

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2015, 09:00:38 AM »
Hey guys, quick chime on F800ST.  Replaced my 04 Breva 750 with a 2007 F800ST, and love the bike.  Will get back on a Goose soon, but all bikes have their quirks.  Regarding belts, I have put together two group orders for belts, sold almost 20 total, on the F800 riders site.  Ordered directly through Continental Germany, takes time and money out of pocket, but in the end I was able to deliver the belts for $200, not so bad.  If anyone needs one here, let me know, will do another group order. Last time I fronted the money on my own, and still had more orders then belts when they finally came in.

Offline pyoungbl

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Re: NGC-belt drive newbie
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2015, 09:18:07 AM »
Agreed.  I've always been a shaft drive fan, but, am really liking the idea of belt drive.   It's lighter, more efficient, and less expensive to fix if something goes wrong.

Tell that to the cruiser guy I met out west about 2 years ago.  He caught a rock between the belt and rear pulley, destroyed the belt.  It cost him almost $1,000 to have a replacement belt air-freight shipped in and installed so he could get on with his trip with his buddies.  A chain/sprocket replacement could be done on the side of the road for far less money.  BTW, the Yamaha dealer said "Oh they never break so we don't stock any."

There seems to be no perfect rear drive setup.  Chains, shaft, belt..all have their benefits but none are without problems.

Quote

It is my understanding that most of the problems were fixed by 2010, the big one being the rear axle bearing.     It's too bad that the early bikes were problematic, as I like the look of the one-year-only (for the US anyway) F800S.
You are forgetting about the most recent recalls...one for some 54,000 bikes (rear wheel flange), another for all of the new water heads with ESA.  Those are just the ones I remember for the past few months.  No, BMW is far from problem free.
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