Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by DADZSUN »

Byron510 wrote: 05 Feb 2021 23:39 The Aeromotive fuel pressure reg?

Aren’t these Nissan engines without a fuel return line?
Maybe you could fill us in :-)

...
Byron

Good guess but that's not it.

Yes, the VQ35DE runs a returnless fuel system. Rather than configure a 'dead head' fuel pressure regulator system I swapped to a full return setup. Pics are in an earlier post (viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32574&start=30#p285976)

Here's another hint:
FirewallDooHickey.jpg
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'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Edm620
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Edm620 »

That's hidden pretty well but based on location I'd say that's your steering box. A means of modifying the steering gear to fit within the space? How is it connected underneath?
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
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DADZSUN
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Project 635 - Pedals, steering, shifting

Post by DADZSUN »

Edm620 wrote: 08 Feb 2021 08:04 That's hidden pretty well but based on location I'd say that's your steering box. A means of modifying the steering gear to fit within the space? How is it connected underneath?

Bang on. Aside from maybe the cab floor/rocker repairs, and front G35 shock tower alignment & fastening, mounting the steering and pedals has been the most time-intensive task on this build yet. Room is VERY limited as a result of the following new challenges:
  • Electric steering column under the dash that was never there before
  • Dash has been shortened 1", even less room
  • Brake and clutch Master Cylinders (MC) are forced under dash due to the G35 shock towers butting up against the firewall (as a result of 620 short front overhang)
  • VQ has been shifted FAR back for better weight balance
I originally posted last spring that steering was done, and it was. I had acceptable angles and assisted action was nice. The problem was that the steering shaft went straight down from the assisted column to the rack. I eventually realised that I was unable to pivot my right foot from the throttle pedal to the brake pedal w/o hitting the steering shaft.

BevelBox.jpg
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The solution I came up with was to run the steering shaft parallel through the cab then 90 degree down after the firewall via a bevel steering box. Flaming River offers a beautiful unit but it's really pricey and basic accessories further added to the price. Instead I decided to gamble on a mid-80's Toyota van steering box. I sourced a brand new (latest version) box and was pleasantly surprised that the size was perfect and the spline pattern is identical to that of Datsun (making the Ujoints for the upcoming 510 steering kit work perfect).

BevelBox_Placement.jpg
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It was super tight to mount on the firewall, but the end result was a direct line to the steering rack (each end circled in the pic). The box is fastened to the shock tower for maximum stiffness and will 'float' on the firewall.

UnderDash_SteeringShaft.jpg
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This is a rough idea of the steering shaft under the dash. I've since tilted the steering column down a bit so the angle is even less. Very smooth action down the shaft and through the bevel box.

PedalPlacement.jpg
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With the steering finally placed the next task was pedal placement. It was a real challenge to get the pedals high enough, and over to the right. Don't forget this is unassisted braking so brake pedal lever length will play a large role in brake feel/performance. Thankfully the Tilton hanging pedals are super adjustable so there is some ability to tweak later on.

PedalPlacement_2.jpg
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Despite all the adjustability and care in placement, to get a comfortable distance I may eventually build recess 'pockets' into the firewall for the pedal arms to fully action w/o hitting the firewall (red marker outlines on the firewall). You can see that the steering shaft travels through where the rear brake Master Cylinder would be so I mounted the included remote feed nipple to relocate the MC reservoir further to the left (circled in red).

PedalShifterPlacement.jpg
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Here's an overhead view of the pedals to steering wheel location. The brake pedal is about 3/4" to the left of centre. This is a bit further left than initially desired but I can still comfortably reach it with my right foot, but is now also easy for my left foot (allowing me to further work my left foot braking abilities). In this pic the seat is later moved another 1" to the right. Overall I'm really pleased with how it's coming together, this standard cab 620 now has more leg room and reach than my 510, and pretty much feels like a modern full sized performance car.

Shifter_1.jpg
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The test fit of the Autosports Engineering CD009 shifter can be seen in the above pic. There are many options out there but this one is the absolute shortest I could find. Rather than connecting to the box from the shifter shaft exiting the rear (like pretty much all of the other kits out there), this shifter relocation actually connects further forward and from above. Needless to say, some permanent assembly/modifications required.

Shifter_2.jpg
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I'm getting really close to having the cab done. The firewall (including a removeable access panel for the rear of the VQ) is all that remains. Once the firewall is done I can finally mount the Vintage Air heater. After that some more bodywork and then off to paint, ETA end of March.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
greenthumb
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by greenthumb »

You’re a magician Fritz. Epic!
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Edm620
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Edm620 »

Try to fit up a Heim joint or similar onto the steering shafts to keep everything positioned - with so many U-joints there is potential for unexpected shaft movement resulting in binding linkage - and you don't want that happening!
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by DADZSUN »

Edm620 wrote: 21 Feb 2021 18:59 Try to fit up a Heim joint or similar onto the steering shafts to keep everything positioned - with so many U-joints there is potential for unexpected shaft movement resulting in binding linkage - and you don't want that happening!
Thanks for the heads up.

In this case my setup is only running 2 Ujoints per run (ie: between two fixed points). Two ujoints are between the G35 steering rack and bevel steering box (fixed, and itself serving a role similar to a rose joint), and then another two ujoints between the bevel box's other spline interface and the power assist column (which is fixed to the firewall/dash).

But you are correct to draw attention to this. In my 510 with the electric power assist and the JB Coachworks R&P rack, I had to add a heim joint after I installed a double UJoint on the frame rail (to get a sharp enough angle around the exhaust header).
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by DADZSUN »

greenthumb wrote: 21 Feb 2021 07:21 You’re a magician Fritz. Epic!
Thanks!

Honestly, I find progress is far too slow for this to be considered magical lol. There's a lot of trial and error behind the scenes.

But it certainly is EPIC. This should be a fun ride that's 100% tailored to my physique and wants. It's a hell of a lot of work and very likely something I'll never repeat. I do have a 280z build that is scheduled next and it will be far more mainstream with the exception of a couple new prototype Datsun Restomods products installed.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
greenthumb
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Joined: 19 May 2013 20:57
Location: Langley, BC

Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by greenthumb »

I admire your perseverance in finding solutions to dial things in exactly as you wish.
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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by DADZSUN »

greenthumb wrote: 22 Feb 2021 12:33 I admire your perseverance in finding solutions to dial things in exactly as you wish.
Thanks. I need(ed) a heavy dose of perseverance to get through this build. Sometime I think I bite off a bit too much but eventually I manage through it.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Spring 2021 Update #1 - Firewall

Post by DADZSUN »

OK, it's been a little while since my last update but I've been hammering steady all this time.

Right now this build is still on course for a early June completion, super stoked. Here's update #1 of 3.

FootClearance.jpg
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Finishing the firewall was one of the last major fabrication challenges. Getting a recessed VQ35DE to fit in an already small 620 cab AND make room for pedal controls, electric steering, and finally my limbs (comfortably) took a ton of time. As you can see, I had to resort to multiple small pieces to get room for my feet AND clear the VQ.

InsideFirewall.jpg
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Once the control area was done it was a little smoother working over to the passenger side. Unfortunately due to the rear VQ coolant piping, the firewall has quite a bit of intrusion near the passenger's left foot area.

OuterFirewall.jpg
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With that coolant 'pocket' in place, I chose to take advantage of the narrow 90 degree panel and have the wiring pass-through in a transverse entry rather than the typical longitudinal.

NearFinished.jpg
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Circled is where I pocketed the brake and clutch pedal travel on the firewall. Deeper pedals is the easiest way to add legroom, at the potential expense of interference on the shock tower - see update #3 below for my solution (allowing for even deeper pockets if need be).

RainRail.jpg
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I kept slowly chipping away, completing the rain rail was next, and surprisingly turned out ok.

Underside.jpg
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Next, it was time to finish welding on the underside. I reinforced the cab mounting plates, patched a few more holes, then stripped the paint/finish.

UndersideCleaned.jpg
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This is close to where the cab status now is. I've closed up the tranny shifter hole a bit and the cab will get a final mount/fit to the frame, without the engine), to get final touches done.

In the next week or two I'll add seam sealer and then an interesting combination of paint by end of month... 8)
Last edited by DADZSUN on 02 Apr 2021 08:05, edited 1 time in total.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Spring 2021 Update #2 - CD009 shifter relocation

Post by DADZSUN »

With the VQ35DE and CD009 swap, a common issue is the location of the shifter.

While the CD009 tranny is mega strong, it is also quite long for most Datsun swaps (and girthy), and especially for this 620 cab along with the recessed engine location, the shifter location was a wayyy too deep. I needed a mega short shifter relocation solution, enter Autosports Engineering.

Their kit relocates the shifter location to the access panel, similar to the Frontier VQ 2WD manual version of the CD I beleive.

Before.jpg
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The modification were actually relatively simple. The only hesitation is making permanent modifications to a $1K+ CD009 tranny...

ModificationGoal.jpg
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Here's the two primary changes to the installation. Basically we add the shifter 'pocket' to the shifter location shaft, and then we cut the extra length off.

ShifterMount.jpg
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Fitment was snug but considering the complexity of this modification, I was happy with the tolerances.

Issues.jpg
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Here's my two issues with the kit. First the 'indent' mount was missing mount holes. A new one was quickly shipped.

More curious, the lever mount supplied has a 4 cm offset, whereas the pictures on their website were dead straight. I'm not sure why a super short shifter is designed only to relinquish 4cm in the lever... I was told that customer request was for the rearward mount, I can only imagine it's for a specific swap. From my limited testing, the offset acts as a torsional lever to the shifter so 1) it's hard to keep threaded, and 2) the feel is somewhat compromised - torsionally rotates a bit first before sliding transversely into another gate.

After.jpg
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Despite the shifter mount, I'm fairly happy with the shifter travel/feel. I'm sure my future lever modification will bring it up to my expectations.
Last edited by DADZSUN on 02 Apr 2021 08:10, edited 1 time in total.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Spring 2021 Update #3 - Shock Tower modifications

Post by DADZSUN »

Here's the final update for today.

As previously mentioned, it's inevitable that 'corrections' have to be done throughout the build.

In this case, two changes had to be done which I was somewhat dreading. In the end it turned out ok, mostly because they both got addressed at the same time.

Issues:

1) Front left 'TC' (aka 'Radius arm') mounting stud: When mounting the front left fender flare I noticed the wheel was too far forward in the wheel well. It turns out the TC mounting stud was a little too far forward, thereby pushing the wheel forward and adding more castor and wheel/well misalignment compared to the right wheel.

TCStudRelocation.jpg
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The fix here is to cut out the stud and supporting rectangular tube and shift back 1/2".

RelocatedStud.jpg
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2) Clutch and brake pedal lever pockets would interfere with the back of the front left shock tower.

PedalPocketTower_Before.jpg
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The plan here is while cutting out the TC mount, I'll remove the tower's rear 3"x2" rectangular tube and rotate 90 degrees so it's effectively a 2"x2" tube to ultimately clear the firewall pockets.

PedalPocketTower_After.jpg
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Removal:

Despite all the previous work, the death wheel made surprisingly quick work at removing the steel.

StudRemoved.jpg
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Added bonus with the rear shock tower bar removed, I'll have more access to fully weld the tubing around the TC stud.

ShockTower3.jpg
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RadiusArmStud.jpg
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Within an hour I had the stud relocated and the rear shock tower bar cut and ready to tack once the the cab is refitted to the frame.

NarrowedTower1.jpg
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Lower Control Arm angles are now nearly identical. Two more items off my 'To do' list.

As FYI I do plan to had a double shear bolt-on bracket for both of the TC studs (and the 4 rear subframe mounts for that matter).
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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More updates for 635

Post by DADZSUN »

I've had a bit of a readjustment on project 635 mindset.

Even though I've been throwing a steady 20-30hrs/week at the truck, it's been feeling like a bit of a grind lately. Part of it is me self-imposing a deadline (early June), and the other part is my rigid mindset to completely finish an area before moving onto the next.

The thing I'm realising is that the small stuff, like fender fitment, takes up a huge amount of time making it so damn hard to stick to a rigid deadline. I'm also find that I'm continuously 'refining' my design in a quest to ever-strengthen, which of course ADDS time, not saves it.

EngineBay.jpg
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Take the engine bay for example. I recently decided that I would prefer to use the cab/firewall as a bit of a structured member for the floating shock towers. Stiff is good, stiffer is better! Right? Never a better time to get it done than now IMO. Circled are the two strut bracings I fabbed with a pocketed rubber chassis bushing underneath.

This pic also gives a better view of the complete steering setup. I added new bushings, inner and outer tie rods. Works super smooth with the electric steering fired up.

Speaking of which, don't think I've shown the following angle yet. Vintage Air heater is a nice compact unit, and reasonable price for what's included.

HeaterSteering.jpg
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With my recent rethink, I've decided to change things up a bit, bounce around the To-Do list rather than be so damn methodical. If I don't feel like working more on the fender fitment (again), then I'll move to something else. I've also pushed the schedule back to mid-September finish, which somewhat fittingly is my 50th BDay, exactly 10 years after I acquired my 510. I can't think of a better 50th bday to myself than have the truck running.

A couple of weekends ago I took on the task of finishing up the engine. The VQ received new oil O rings, oil plate sandwich, new knock sensor, a good cleaning, and the upper intake manifolds with new gaskets and torquing. She's finally ready for oil and wiring now. Despite the fenders not being fitted (seeing a trend here?) it was fun to bounce over to a different To-Do list that needed to get done anyways.

VQ35DE.jpg
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Last weekend my son and I both tackled the bodywork. There was a steady breeze outside so we rolled the truck out and went at it with our dear friend Mr. Bondo. We got a ton done and by end of day I was ready to jack up the truck and start thinking about the rear... Before going on, I do want to pat myself on the back for getting the passenger fender finally fitted. 8)

Bodywork.jpg
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This week I decided to tackle the rear damper tower. I'll be using the OEM setup of divorced spring and damper both leveraging the stock mounting points on Nissan's most-cool aluminum rear subframe. I already shimmed the rear spring upper contact point (directly onto the frame) so I focused on the rear tower. As a reminder I'm using BC Racing G35 'extreme low' coilovers, rear dampers were swapped to a shorter cartridge which saves 25mm overall length at the expense of 1" less travel (approximately 5" vs 6").

RearSuspension_1.jpg
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My plan was to pocket the damper in a 3-sided 3"x3" square .120 tube. In my over-strengthening obsession, I even ribbed the inside of the damper tower.

RearSuspension_2.jpg
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Everything mounted nice and there's just enough room for the damper's 5" travel. No cutting of the bed.

RearSuspension_3.jpg
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As usual, I went hard on the bracing. Please don't judge the welds, they're arguably excessive and due to limited room in the wheel well they're not pretty. Once the bed is removed everything will be cleaned up and then seam sealed.

RearSuspension_4.jpg
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There will be a little hole on top of the rear wheel arch for a 2mm key to adjust damper settings as required. Also, I plan to have a couple of recessed holes on the bed-side wheel arch (vertical wall) to bolt to the tower, effectively making the bed a structured member. All holes will be well hidden with rubber plugs.

I plan to finish the driver's side damper tower this week and also finish the gas tank piping. Next week I want to focus on bracing the 4 rear subframe mounting bolts in a double-shear manner to ensure longevity and perhaps give me the confidence to try some drifting down the road. :shock:
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RearSuspension_5.jpg
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'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Edm620
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Location: Edmonton

Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Edm620 »

I'm in agreement with sometimes needing to bounce to a different part of the build just to allow for some focus adjustment, getting hung up on something that isn't going well can lead to an unfinished project.

I look forward to more updates
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
Ugandan Proverb
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