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Author Topic: Car Gets Slower
MiataRacer31 Verified Driver
Racing Junkie

Region: Steel Cities
Car #: 31
Year : 1992
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I am experiencing something that maybe some others are too, but I want to run it past you folks in case there's something wrong and there's a known cure. My cars seems to lose power and slow down the longer I'm on track. I know this by; 1) feel, 2) shiftpoints, and 3) lap times. I originally thought it may be getting hot and retarding the ignition... nope, not the case. I was at VIR this past weekend, and the temps while on track never surpassed 180F, in fact, they were down to 165F coming off the track after about 20 minutes of pushing it. It sems I have to push it harder and harder as the laps go by, just to turn lap time close to where I started. Anybody else experience this? Is it normal? If not, is there a cure? Thanks!

--------------------
Dale
http://users.zoominternet.net/~blacktopracing

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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I've had this experience all along, so have many others. I don't think we've ever identified a real cause, and some cars do not seem to have the problem. I've verified the problem with data acquisition as well. Very frustrating.

jim

--------------------
Just a clown

Jim Daniels
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Outside the temps!

Have either of you tried ducking into the hot pits, swapping tires to an equal set and going back out?

When all mechanical items are working properly only two things remain, tires and the driver.

Jim Daniels
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Also...

Remember the growth of the rotors and pads. What seems not too tight on the rears may be too tight when hot.

I adjust the rear brakes and bleed too right after a session, still in drivers suit, for best results.

disquek Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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JD,

How many turns out do you set the rears to when they're hot?

-Kyle

Jim Daniels
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quote:
Originally posted by Kyle Disque:
JD,

How many turns out do you set the rears to when they're hot?

-Kyle

Depends, try 10 thousandths or so cold and make sure you have 2-4 hot. Again, feel and not locking up the rears is the main thing.

Steve Scheifler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Note to self: Try the adjust hot idea for the brakes.

With good data acquisition you can compare actual acceleration on the same stretch of track, eliminating many of the possible factors for slower laps and even slower velocity at a given point on the track. But dragging brakes will look just like less power. I like it.

However, if your temps are actually dropping below 190 you may want a (new) thermostat. The temp sensor for the ECU is an open circuit until a particular set point. At that point it is about 200 ohms, and as the temperature rises the impedance drops. I suspect that until it reaches the set point your maps for fuel and/or timing may be in "cold" mode and your rev limit may even be lower (all common on cars today but I don't know about various years of the Miata). The sweet spot seems to be fairly narrow, then as temp rises it probably messes with the maps again, pulling back timing and/or adding fuel. So, it may be that too cool hurts power as much as too warm. I plan on testing all this next time I'm on the dyno. I'm sure plenty of others have, but apparently it's not something they want to share. Stay tuned.

Rory
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I got a chance to drive an SM this weekend (Big Fun) and noticed the same perceived loss of power. I was fortunate to have Traqmate in the car, and the post race analysis seems to confirm that the acceleration suffered later in the race.

This is a rental car, and one of the regular rental drivers has made the same comment before. I guess we'll check brake clearances next time out.

Jason Holland Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Hi Rory,
I met you this last weekend as we tried to fix Mike's car...


There are some other things to check if you want, drop me a line.

Jason

--------------------
Jason Holland
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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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JD, if you adjust the rears hot, will using the e-brake afterwards (while cold), reset that adjustment? In other words, do you need to remove the e-brake (or at minimum never use it) in order to make this advice worthwhile?

(Background: in another recent thread it was stated that the e-brake ratchets the rear adjustment screw towards the 1/3-turn point with each use. I haven't looked, and don't know whether that's true or not.)

jim

--------------------
Just a clown

MiataRacer31 Verified Driver
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Sorry for the delay in responding. Jim has a good theory on the brakes, and it may be the case with some cars, but I'm pretty sure it's not a problem with mine. I set all my brakes on the loose side and have never had a problem with consistent lockup. So, I'm guessing it's something else, especially since there seem to be a lot of us with similar symptoms. One thing I started checking, but didn't finish because the FSM isn't too helpful, is the TPS. I noticed when looking around the paddock at other's SMs, there is some noticeable variance in the physical positioning. Another thing somebody might be able to offer some feedback on is the AFM... does it act differently when hot vs. cold? Finally, I thought about the tires being the cause, and I don't think they're to blame, even though they're coefficient of friction increases with temp. I'm pretty sure it's something electrical or mechanical with the car itself. Thanks for all the feedback thus far... keep it coming!

--------------------
Dale
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Jason Holland Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Well,

I log TPS data on my 1.8 and I don't see any significant changes toward the ends of sessions.

My personal theory is that oil pressure is lost in the head with high heat and the HLA's don't pump up and thus the valves don't fully open etc.

We used to have this problem big time, then had a head rebuilt with new HLA's and all the goodies and that seemed to alleviate the problem. Maybe it's as simple as new HLAs.

--------------------
Jason Holland
Semi-interested civilian

Jim Daniels
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boemler:
JD, if you adjust the rears hot, will using the e-brake afterwards (while cold), reset that adjustment? In other words, do you need to remove the e-brake (or at minimum never use it) in order to make this advice worthwhile?

(Background: in another recent thread it was stated that the e-brake ratchets the rear adjustment screw towards the 1/3-turn point with each use. I haven't looked, and don't know whether that's true or not.)

jim

No E brake installed.

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Jim B, we could probably try this even with the e-brake installed, i.e. adjust rear brakes at the start of the weekend, then don't use the e-brake again until the end of the weekend. I really only use my e-brake when the car is on the trailer anyway.

--------------------
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3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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I drive to dinner and the hotel each night. I could "try" parking in gear, but my habit is to pull the handle. If I leave it in gear, I'll just have to remember to park behind your truck. [Wink]

jim

--------------------
Just a clown

Dr.Dan Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
V8, nice! And good for you too!

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Don't know if this will help, but when I put a larger radiator in the car. it really helped with power. Bigger is better. Lap times were down, and I went from 11-14 to top tens. It was not my driving. Defintiely the car.. #37 Sm sfr

--------------------
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Greg Bush Verified Driver
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Jim,
I recently found a product that can be used in place of an e-brake. No adjustment required, and they are disposable. I'll bring some extras for you.

Disposable e-brake

Greg

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Thanks for sharing those, Greg -- I knew they were in your head all along. [Wink]

jim

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Dave J Verified Driver
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Dale
Just for confirmation, we're experiencing this as well. Not a driver or grip issue, like you don't hit the same revs and the same point later in the race, but the engine is just not as crisp - to the point where it drops off at 7200, then a couple laps later at 7000, and it gets to where you could hover all day at 7200 in third and never get the rev-limiter. (Revs are just for conversation - don't remember exactly at the moment). We've tried many suggestions, including big radiator and checking all the temp sensors. Considered the oil pressure/lifters as Jason mentions, but the engine guys I've talked to all say no to that - guys I believe. We'd all pitch in and pay for the answer if it was found I bet. My guess at this moment is the mixture changes - feels like my carburetor days with the mixture on the lean side, but most say they are rich on top. Maybe it goes more rich and causes same effect. My guess is mixture change - that's where I want to look.

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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I tend to agree about the lifters, but I bought a new set just in case. I also tend to agree about the mixture, but the differences are very small, and hard to measure because of the system noise. My data system records both AFM output and wide-band O2 readings, but so far I haven't been able to get clear indications. Part of that is because my valves were toast late last year, which probably masked any other meaningful data. With luck I'll learn more in the next couple of months.

jim

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Jim Daniels
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quote:
Originally posted by G Bush:
Jim,
I recently found a product that can be used in place of an e-brake. No adjustment required, and they are disposable. I'll bring some extras for you.

Disposable e-brake

Greg

Ten foot pole, ouch.....

Dave J Verified Driver
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Jim B,
Just for comparisons, what altitudes are the tracks you usually run at? Sounds like it makes no difference, but I assume you are higher - we're in the 1500 ftmsl range. We're going to hook up a wide-band so we'll compare notes.
Dave

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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I'm basically at sea level.

jim

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Dave J Verified Driver
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That makes sense - don't know why I associated Oregon and mountains.

Pat Newton Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boemler:
I drive to dinner and the hotel each night. I could "try" parking in gear, but my habit is to pull the handle. If I leave it in gear, I'll just have to remember to park behind your truck. [Wink]

jim

Dude. Don't tell me you've never owned a vehicle with a non-functioning e-brake. I've owned a couple of 'em. Leaving it in gear will do the trick.

--------------------
Crew Chief, 3D Racing #64, aka Team Scrappy 2.0
3rd place E2, 2009 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Crew Chief, EGR/Miller Motorsports #64, aka Team Scrappy
E2 Champions, 2008 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Nope, never owned a BMW. [duck]

jim

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Greg Bush Verified Driver
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What about the 914?

Was the e-brake the only thing that worked, or were the tires never on the ground?

Greg

Rich Verified Driver
Oh, that's where that is.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boemler:
Nope, never owned a BMW. [duck]

jim

I thought mine was the only one!

--------------------
Rich Wiese

Spec Wrecker Ford

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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No, Pat had the special "POS" model BMW -- it had lots of cool features like that.

Greg, the 914's wheels did touch the ground, but it never had a working transmission in place, so I couldn't put it in gear. I used a tool similar to the picture you posted above -- mine was the lightweight "2x4" model, with better traction.

jim

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Jonathan Christian Verified Driver
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the temperature sender to the ecu on the back of the motor, try putting a new one in, if its getting false readings then the ecu could be retarding the timing later in the race

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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BTDT. [Frown]

jim

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Lucky Kid Verified Driver
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He is looking at coolant temp, how about a heatsoaked intake manifold some parts of the head that take more time to heat up due to distance but keep water temp the same. Under hood temps?

Roy

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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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No data on head temps, but I've checked intake temps, and they don't seem to increase over the race.

jim

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Joe Lee Verified Driver
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Can underhood temps have any effect on ignition? What you're describing turned out to be a bad plug and wire on the Spec Racers we were crewing for. (It wouldn't rev to redline after it got real hot)

Yes, I am aware that the suggestion may qualify me for "retard of the month" ...

--------------------
Joe Lee (Black 99 - Not mine!)
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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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Not retarded at all, but it's of course one of the things people normally try. I changed wires, and things "seemed" better, but they didn't get worse when I changed back. After it all, the power still fell off.

Plugs seem like they should matter, but for me personally I've never found a difference from one set to another. Most telling, the data couldn't even tell the wires had been changed, much less the plugs.

Of course nothing says that one person's power drop is the same as another's, although the symptoms reported are so similar that they "must" be from the same cause.

jim

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Jim Daniels
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I never have had this problem (new build, all new parts) less a part failure, head or engine heat issue or tires.

Jim, your car has a new coil pack, igniter etc... I assume?

Jim Daniels
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Also, what does it do on the dyno after 8-10 pulls, how much power is lost and does the high RPM timing back down from the better first pulls?

Whoknows
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hi guys,

My main car is a 95, and Ive had these issues ever since i owned the car. Its a rocketship the 1st 3 or 4 laps and then falls off real bad for the rest of the race (the power that is) If the weather outside is nice and cold for a race it seems much better. I've heard the 95 vintage was the worst for this and it is much better in the 96 vintage.

Rich Verified Driver
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My car just made more power on the dyno the more pulls it made, but you don't see anywhere near the temps you do on the track on the dyno, and a lot of that increase is probably from less drag in the diff, hubs and transmission as the engine warms up. Can't say I have this problem with my '90 on track though.

--------------------
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Thinking JD's all new parts statement is the key. New temp sensor, new CAS, new coil pack. I had a CAS go bad last year, which resulted in noticeably low power. I checked the timing after the session and timing was at 0 degrees. Replace if it feels "notchy" when turning. The good CAS felt smooth, the bad one felt like I was turning a shaft on an A/C motor.

-Bruce

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Daniels:
Jim, your car has a new coil pack, igniter etc... I assume?

Coil pack last year, on your advice. No change. Haven't tried the igniter, or CAS.

Bruce, I'm really surprised to hear your timing moving due to the CAS. Did you pull it apart to see what the internal failure really was? They also made both a magnetic (I think...) and an optical CAS -- wonder which is more reliable? Wonder if Mazda still has both, or just one?

jim

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Yes, I took it apart, but could not find the answer. I might look closer this weekend, but have lot of work to do on the car (while our friends are racing [Frown] ). It was very clear that the CAS caused the timing to move. I had to rotate it all the way to the stop to get back to 14 degrees for the remainder of the weekend. When I put the spare in, it was in the correct position (could get 14+ degrees without getting near the stop. Interesting about the magnetic vs. optical. Maybe the The notchy feeling is just the magentic version(out of a 93). Then I just replaced with an optical with smooth rotation(early 91).

-Bruce

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
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2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
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Steve Scheifler Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Here's one that seems obvious but I don't recall anyone mentioning it. Do the early cars have short and long-term "learning" trims in the ECU? Most if not all new cars do. Each time you flip the master switch, if it cuts off all power to the ECU then any such trims are cleared. During a session the ECU spends most of it's time in open-loop mode, but it may still be "learning" some things. If mixture or temp, or even average RPM is outside the expected range very long/often it may start adjusting things to be safe. I'm not betting on it for the 1.6s, but it happens a lot with many newer cars and can fool people into thinking their latest bolt-on “tuner” part had more impact than it did. In other cases it’s good because the ECU learns to take advantage of freer flow etc.

Hey Jim, try flipping the kill switch off for about seconds mid-race and let us know if it helps. [Wink]

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I have found 2 bad CAS units in the past 2 weeks. I both cases I could not get the timing to advanced enough. Swaping CAS units solved the problem.

I took one apart. The window wheel (that spins) is keyed to the shaft by a "D" shaped hole. I found the hole to be rounded out. Allowing the wheel to come out of time.

Remove the CAS, remove the cover, remove the mounting screw in the shaft and look. It would be worth checking into if you are having problems.

BTW. A new CAS unit from Mazda Comp is a whopping $370.00. Be glad we don't pay the over $600 retail price.

Dave

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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
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Wow Dave that was it! Those pieces are very delicate. I can see how the D shaped hole gets rounded over time. Talk about variable timing [nope] I'll check all my CAS' from now on!

$370 to fix two easily removed parts??? Good opportunity for someone to make an after market part.

-Buce

--------------------
Bruce Wilson
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Jim Boemler Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Scheifler:
Hey Jim, try flipping the kill switch off for about seconds mid-race and let us know if it helps. [Wink]

Bruce would love it, I'm sure! [Big Grin]

Does anybody have the scoop on types of CAS, which works better/longer, why the change, etc?

Steve, I've seen at least some indication of learning. After switching AFMs, I've had the second run so badly I couldn't keep it idling, but after a while it would come back. I do wish somebody really knew the insides of the ECU -- even without doing anything illegal, just understanding in detail what it's doing would help diagnose a lot of problems.

jim

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Bad Al Bell Verified Driver Made Donation to Website Series Champ
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http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=45158&highlight=CAS+optical

Jim-seems like it was mid '95

--------------------
"Bad"Al Bell
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B Wilson Verified Driver Series Champ
Gold Member

Region: Oregon
Car #: 68
Year : 91
Posts: 2359
Status: Offline
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quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boemler:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Scheifler:
Hey Jim, try flipping the kill switch off for about seconds mid-race and let us know if it helps. [Wink]

Bruce would love it, I'm sure! [Big Grin]

It's worth a try [Big Grin]

-Bruce

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Bruce Wilson
2010 Oregon Region Champ
2010 Monte Shelton Driver of the Year
2010 25 Hours of Thunderhill E3 and Under 2 liter Overall Champion
Oregon Region SM Class Advisor

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
99 all the way!

Region: Lone Star
Year : 1990
Posts: 4253
Status: Offline
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Can't you JB weld the stripped D-hole then shape with a dremel to fit?

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

Jim Boemler Verified Driver
Veteran Member

Region: NWR, OR
Car #: 30
Year : 1992
Posts: 8523
Status: Offline
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Interesting, Al. Interesting because I think I recall having one of each, from a '90 and a '92. The '90 was a crate, though, so perhaps that explains why they were different.

jim

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Just a clown

 
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