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Old 10-15-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
brossow
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Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Bought my '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside after selling my '64 and '66 SWB trucks to my dad to get some extra capital toward the end of a long-overdue divorce. Originally bought the truck because it was just too good a deal to pass up, thinking I could either fix the brakes and have a cheap beater or part it out to make a few bucks. The truck as received was a bare-bones L6 with granny 4-speed.

Pictures below are what I started with on August 3, 2007. More pics will follow in separate posts.

Brent
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 10-15-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

When I pulled the rear drums to figure out why the brakes weren't working, this is what I discovered. See any problems here?
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'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

One thing led to another and I decided the easiest way to get at the brake lines, which were also a problem as evidenced by the big puddle of brake fluid beneath the passenger side door, would be to remove the bed. How tough could it be to remove eight bolts? The answer: not too tough once I decided that the floor would be replaced anyway, the bolts weren't going to give on their own, and my angle grinder needed to start earning its keep.

Built a stand for the bed out of treated 4x4s and 2x4s along with discarded casters from a bed or table or something. By sheer dumb luck, it was at just the right height for me to be able to remove the bed by myself without using a jack or hoist or having to buy a case of beer to bribe some friends. Below is what I ended up with on August 7.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 10-15-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Well, never content to leave well enough alone and power-mad with the angle grinder, I decided that a couple broken leaves on the passenger side constituted a good excuse to remove the entire rear axle. It was inevitable, of course, that I couldn't possibly be satisfied with just replacing the springs and cleaning up the brakes and by August 14-17 I had what you see below.

A helpful hint: if you have the front wheels off and decide to remove a lot of weight from the back of the truck -- for example, by removing the bed and rear axle -- ensure that you have your jack stands forward of the engine before releasing that weight. If they're behind the engine, the jack stands will act as a pivot point. Don't ask me how I know this.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 10-15-2007, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Not having the equipment to do it myself, I sent a load of parts out for media blasting and got to work on other stuff, including cleaning up the frame (or trying to) with a variety of wire brushes, removing the spare tire support to make room for a Blazer-style gas tank, and cleaning up an auto tranny crossmember I picked up for the planned 700R4 conversion. Below results are from September 1. (As a single dad with majority custody of the kids, finding free time has been tough and progress comes in spurts that roughly correlate with when the kids are with their mom.)
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Having arranged the sale of the engine, on September 2 I removed the hood and grille. Helluva brake job, huh?

The eagle-eyes among us may have noticed I'm trying to accomplish this Herculean task in an 18x18 garage built in 1919, perhaps roomy for a Model T but not exactly the dream garage for a major project like this. But ya works with what ya gots.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 10-15-2007, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

On September 8, my daughter and I made the drive to pick up the parts from the guy doing the media blasting for me. For all this work, he only wanted $40 and change. I gave him $50 and was happy it wasn't twice that much. You can see that the work wasn't perfect, but it was a heckuva lot more than I could do with my equipment at the time. (Since then I've purchased a 5-horse, 60-gallon vertical air compressor and a pressurized sandblasting setup, and even though I ran the new wiring weeks ago, I haven't had time to hook it up and even so much as flip on the breaker for the new circuit.)

My investment in Eastwood's Rust Converter seems to have been money well spent. In the pics below you can see the axle housing and the drop spindles coated with RC. Started out purple but dried blackish-brownish. And yes, I'll carefully clean it off of the rotor surfaces before putting them into use.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

Last edited by brossow; 10-15-2007 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:54 AM   #8
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

On September 9, I added a coat of Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator to the rear axle housing and various other parts I wanted to protect. My oldest even got a picture of his old man in action, using Q-Tips to touch up a couple spots I missed (since I was sick and tired of cleaning paintbrushes by that point and only had tiny spots here and there). After letting the stuff sit for a couple weeks I noticed that I could stand to add another coat of RE to the whole rear axle, which I'll do "one of these days."

That's my older son / photographer below. The chrome cover is just hung in place temporarily. I've since added several coats of clear to help protect the chrome. Not as shiny as it was before, but fine for my purposes and a lot better than rust.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #9
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

On September 14, I finished up the backing plates (front and rear) with Rust Encapsulator. The next day I reassembled the rear brakes with all-new hardware including e-brake cables from LMC Truck and Grade 8 stainless steel bolts.

I also painted the new drums and axle ends with several thin coats of high-temp paint followed by clearcoat, though they have yet to be installed due to various delays (needed the old pinion bearing pressed off and the new one pressed on, which I forgot about until a Friday night and which therefore cost me a weekend of work, and I'm now waiting for a dial caliper and in-lb torque wrench to be delivered so I can install the Eaton posi).

One of these days I need to decide if I'm going to bend my own brake lines or just spring for pre-bent stainless lines from somewhere. Problem with the pre-bent lines is they say they're for coil-spring rears only and mine has leaf springs. If anyone knows the difference and if there's a specific reason those coil-spring lines wouldn't work for my application, I'd love to know.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 10-15-2007, 12:11 PM   #10
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Work came to a standstill because of the pinion bearing issue, which I finally got resolved on October 3. But now I'm stuck again for lack of proper tools to get the posi installed! If it's not one thing it's another, as I'm sure you all know.

Finally got the engine pulled and sold about three weekends ago. Picked up a 700R4 and various sheetmetal the weekend before last, including a pair of doors, five rust-free fenders, a rust-free hood, and various other pieces from a gentleman who was getting out of the hobby and wanted to make sure I had some parts to use and/or trade. Nice guy! No accomplishments at all since then.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 10-15-2007, 12:50 PM   #11
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Your getting farther than I am. I wish mine could be tore down that far. I got to have mine from time to time.

Good progress!
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:18 PM   #12
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Nice start on a fun project. One thing leads to another and they end up in a million pieces.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:08 PM   #13
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

The build is coming right along, can't wait to see it in the end.
Keep us posted.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Nice project, STEPSIDE are my favorite trucks. Keep us posted.

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Old 10-15-2007, 04:36 PM   #15
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Nice build! Are you replacing the rear fenders?

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Old 10-15-2007, 04:47 PM   #16
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

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Nice build! Are you replacing the rear fenders?
That's not rust -- that's weight reduction! Kinda like the cooling holes in the tailgate.

But yeah, the rear fenders are being replaced. I have a very nice set coming my way soon. Not much sense in trying to repair the ones I've got, at least not without the proper equipment and skills, neither of which I possess.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:46 PM   #17
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

A day over nine months since my last update to this thread -- makes me want to cry. What a waste. Finally got my rearend back from the shop today as described in a separate thread looking for parts sources.

It seems the time has finally come for me to bite the bullet and pull the cab and remaining front sheetmetal off to have a bare frame. Since my last entry here, I've purchased a new 60-gallon air compressor and what I hope is some decent sandblasting equipment and now it's time to attack the frame full-force. Gotta get something significant done this year and I've already lost half the summer to other projects.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:27 AM   #18
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Your build is coming along great. Its cool to see your kids helping you out. Thanks for posting the pics of the drum brake assembly. As soon as my e-brake cables arrive, I think I'll try to put it together myself. MisterE
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:14 PM   #19
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

I just stumbled onto this build. Looks good so far! I'll be watchin'!!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:16 PM   #20
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

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Your build is coming along great. Its cool to see your kids helping you out. Thanks for posting the pics of the drum brake assembly. As soon as my e-brake cables arrive, I think I'll try to put it together myself. MisterE
If you need better pics of the drum brake stuff to help you get yours back together (or whatever), just holler. I can get pics of pretty much anything you want in that area.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:56 PM   #21
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

For the first time since late last fall, I rolled the truck out of the garage yesterday. It was a hard push at first all by myself, but it made things a LOT easier when I looked underneath the truck and removed the old brake drums that were behind the front tires.

Got quite a bit done today in between "rain events." Got the rearend closed up and got the brake drums installed. The latter was quite a chore as even with the adjusters backed off completely and everything seated firmly in place, the new drums just didn't quite want to slide on. Ended up using a combination of tricks to get the drums on. Set the drums in the sun for a couple hours (not easy when dodging raindrops much of the day) to heat up and expand. While they were cooking, I also took some 80-grit sandpaper to the shoe linings. Between the two, the drums slid on and everything turns freely via the pinion yoke.

Then I started disassembling the front clip. Hood has been off since last year but now it's time for the rest to go. Got as far as the last bolt on the passenger fender when the rain started again in earnest and I had to go inside. Would have had the fender off if it weren't for the front bumper, which I discovered while getting soaked needed to come off before the fender could. Went back out tonight and removed the bumper. One bolt snapped immediately, two nuts came off fairly easily, and two were carefully dispatched with a grinder. Considering the condition of the rest of the truck, the front bumper is in remarkably nice shape. Too bad I won't be reusing it. Anyone need a really nice painted front bumper?

I was VERY pleased to see that the passenger fender was almost as good behind as it looked from the outside. Considering the rest of the truck, I half-expected it to be full of bondo even though it felt and sounded like metal. The bottom corner where they all rot out is absolutely spotless. The only rust is in the front corner on the flat part inside, where it will not only be easy to repair but also will never be seen. Finally, a part I don't have to replace! I know already that I won't be so lucky on the other side, but fortunately I have a pile of rust-free fenders in my garage from which to choose a replacement.

Pics are below. Hopefully the weather will cooperate more and I'll be down to a bare frame forward of the cab by this time tomorrow.
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #22
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Just a quick visual progress update. A couple hours of labor before lunchtime.

I felt so sorry for the rodents in the third pic I had to memorialize them with a picture. Little bastards....
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 07-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #23
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

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I felt so sorry for the rodents in the third pic I had to memorialize them with a picture. Little bastards....
I was hoping that third pic wasn't going to be your kids!

nice work on the axles... Not sure about the brake lines but what is the difference in the front line of a 4WD? The rears have leafs on them...

Or NAPA has that Poly-Armor (or something like that) lines that comes with ends already, just need to measure, order and bend yourself.

Good luck on the build, enjoy your two months of summer up north there...
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:24 PM   #24
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Minor progress tonight -- had a busy evening with the kids after work. Got the seat and gas tank pulled out and disconnected the rag joint for the steering column and that's about it. Considering I didn't take time to change out of my work clothes to do it, that's not bad.

As you can see, I really have my work cut out for me with this cab. To be honest, if I had ready access to one that was significantly better I wouldn't even consider trying to save this one. But here in Minnesota I'm not finding anything good enough to justify the cost and hassle of swapping cabs, so unless something comes along unexpectedly I'll be forging ahead with this one.

Wish I had known last summer that the full floors would be coming along. Bought all the sheet metal in sections at a local swap meet last September because the price was right and I didn't have to worry about shipping, but now I really wish I had that money back. Still might contact the guy I got the parts from and see if he's got the full floor now. If he could bring it to this fall's swap meet I'd consider it since I could avoid the $150 shipping charge. (Sorry ... just thinking "out loud"....)
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

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Old 07-26-2008, 12:37 AM   #25
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Re: Brent's '72 Custom/10 SWB stepside build

Got a ton of bodywork done today in a matter of minutes. Whaaaaa? Yup -- bought a new cab and doors. Not as rust-free as originally expected but the gentleman who sold it to me gave me a heads-up on that before driving more than 100 miles to deliver it to me, plus he knocked quite a bit off the price. Considering it's an A/C cab in VERY solid condition, that it came with a pair of more or less perfect '72 doors, AND he threw in a rust-free driver's fender (needs a dent in the front cup repaired) I think it was a great transaction for both of us. It'll save me untold frustration compared with trying to repair the existing cab.

The bad things about the cab:

* Rockers and cab corners have been repaired previously. Driver's side rocker is rusted through. Both outer rockers will be replaced and possibly inners, too. The inners aren't bad at all, but as long as I'm doing it I'm gonna do it right. Gonna reserve judgment on the cab corners until I can strip the paint and see what I'm dealing with.

* There's some body filler popping up around the gas filler area, but I'm not exactly sure why it's there because from the inside I can't see any damage. Who knows why people do things?

* There's a rust spot the size of a quarter on the firewall right near the blower motor hole. No big deal -- an easy fix on flat metal in a hidden area.


The good:

* The floors and supports are VERY solid.

* It's an A/C cab that had the Cheyenne package, so the holes for a headliner are there. It's got the cargo light in back, too (well, a spot for it, anyway).

* It's got a brand-new windshield. (Any way to remove it and the seal without destroying the new seal? The glass is gonna have to come out for prep and painting.)


Pics follow. The last two were taken with the camera shoved inside the door to show the inside bottom. Pretty nice, huh?
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'72 Chevy SWB stepside - [ Build Thread ]
'79 ChevMC SWB fleetside - [ Build Thread ]
'64 Chevy SWB fleetside & '66 Chevy SWB stepside (waiting in the wings...)

Last edited by brossow; 07-26-2008 at 12:47 AM.
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