Volk TE37 vs Volk ZE40

Admittedly, these are the wheels I’ve been lusting over since Volk/Rays announced the wheel. I am in love with the bronze finish – but really, can anyone complain about the bronze finish on any Volk wheel? It surpasses any bronze finish on the market today and it’s not necessarily easy to replicate either.

I was 110% on the wheel until I did this chop. Perhaps it’s the picture, the light, the angle or even the lack of any significant aero, but I’m now at 95% with this wheel… I can’t decide if I should bite the bullet on it or stick with TE37’s and get a colour change. Even then, any colour I choose for the TE37 will not come close to the bronze that I’ve been drooling over for years.

What do you guys think?

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Bronze ZE40

DIY: Garage Work Bench

So I’ve been putting this project off for a pretty long time even though I hated the look of my shit on the ground or on ghetto cardboard boxes every time I went into my garage. At first I wanted to buy a work bench but I couldn’t really find anything “off the rack” from any stores that would fit the area of my garage nicely. I’m kind of picky with height, width, look, etc… Of course, when you’re looking for something specific, you’ll never get it… That’s my kind of luck, anyway. Other options were either too pricey or just didn’t quite fit in with how I wanted it.

I decided to just build it the way I wanted to and be done with it. The other good part of it is that it saves me a few hundred bucks – and I’m OK with that. It doesn’t have to look extremely pretty since it’ll get abused but I lean towards the “made to fit” rather than the “make it fit” idea for things like this. Since I was on vacation for the rest of that week, I decided that I had better get started before I procrastinate even more.

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We went to Home Depot to pick up a few materials… I got eight 2x4x8’s. One huge piece of MDF that they cut down for me to my measurements, and a few braces to hold the 2×4’s together. As you can see in the pic above, all my shit was on the bottoms of upside down cardboard boxes and it was painful to look at. It even started caving in the center which is why everything is so messy lol.

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This was the space I was working with. It’s difficult because the corner you see there isn’t as easy as you think it is to work with if you want to maximize the space. If I wanted a work bench, I’d have an awkward space on the left wall. If I wanted to put a shelve there, it wouldn’t fit nice in that 20″ corner either…

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Here’s the general layout of the bench. I decided to go ahead and build the bench conforming to the corner and left wall. This eliminated a whole bunch of wasted space that would have potentially been there if I went with a generic work bench. I set the height of the bench to be 40″ tall from the ground. Standard is 42″, but since I’m no basketball player, I shortened it slightly. It ends up being the perfect height for me when standing.

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The first part of putting the rear 2×4’s in as braces is really the only hard part. It’s important to get all of those boards even and lined up, otherwise your whole desk will be uneven. I think I used the level 3-4 times just to do the sanity check. The next part is attaching cross members out to the width of your desk.

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And of course after that, you attach the rest of the desk to secure it all in place. You also see I have the level there at all times in case something moves lol.

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Behind me, Diana is busy building the cabinet we bought to go beside the bench. Every time I point the camera at her, she stops working and poses or gives me dirty looks. Rest assured though, the cabinet did get done in a timely manner…

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The next part that is crucial in the stability of the table is triangulating the corners. All I did was take extra pieces of 2×4’s and used a miter saw on both ends to fit nicely into the corners. I reinforced all the weak corners that would sway if you were to ever knock it or hit it somehow. Adding just 5 of them increased the structural rigidity significantly.

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I then added the legs to support the outside. Easy peasy.

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See. Every time.

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I apologize for not having pics of attaching the piece of MDF and creating the bottom shelf… We took a break in between and I forgot my camera inside. It’s really just cutting the MDF out to the size of your desk. Not rocket science :).

Diana also did finish the cabinet and also painted the legs of the desk to match the colour theme of the garage…

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And one more up close shot of the desk. That’s pretty much all I’ll do for the desk – I’m leaving the top MDF exposed because whether I cover it or paint it, it will see damage and it’s easily replaceable if needed. Although it’s not a nice as a store bought one with fancy drawers and finishes, this provides a built-in look which I prefer more.

The Rolling Shot Photoshoot: Colin’s Subaru STI

The title literally says it all… A first for me was a request from Colin to take some rolling shots of his STI. He wanted to have a nice photo to put onto a large canvas to maybe hang above his bed. I’m personally not sure how he got his wife to agree to that… Or he just hasn’t told her yet.

JC and Diana tagged along to meet Colin and Eric for lunch. Colin ended up taking us to Smash Burger because Diana and I haven’t been there yet and it ended up being terrifyingly filling and probably supremely unhealthy LOL. After that awesome lunch, we pretty much did the easiest photoshoot ever… Only because Colin really only wanted rollers. That meant JC, Diana and I never had to get out of the car and we just drove everywhere until I got the shots I needed. It was a nice day, not a cloud to be seen, and bonus for me: a World Rally Blue STI to pop with the perfect weather today.

No need for words – just some cool rollers!

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The cleanest shot from today. That blue is perf.

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We really tried to capture the Rocky Mountain in the back but it’s tough when there aren’t too many roads that overlook them nicely… You can see them if you squint!

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COP in the back!

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We ended up stopping on one dead road for some bonus shots I guess. Let everyone stretch their legs lol

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And one last shot of JC’s fitment and wheels. The rears are dumped as hell – pretty close to bagged height. Also check the colour of his VS-XX faces. Remember in my earlier post, I mentioned that the gold faded and now it looks like rose gold? This is a good shot of them.

The Internet Sensation: Jackie Law’s Honda S2000

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Jackie’s S2000 has been in the scene since before I even started and he’s continuously pushed the bar higher for himself. If there’s one thing that I’ve gotta give kudos to Jackie for over the years, it’s that he builds his car for himself. I know that’s saying a lot, but it’s extremely rare to find someone who truly builds their car void of outsider opinions, ideas or criticism. In fact, I think Jackie is still the only person that I’ve met that has built his car because he doesn’t give a damn about what anyone else thinks.

Admittedly, Jackie has been a source of good information and inspiration for my builds. I used to hang out at Speedtech every week for hours on end talking cars with Jackie and discussing parts and the pros and cons of this versus that. I think my love for GT wings was spawned through his S2000 – 7 years ago, GT wings were ricey as hell and really looked down on at the time. Nowadays, everyone and their mom is trying to get the biggest GT wing they can find with as many support rods, cables, and reinforcements as possible. The scene evolves and tastes change, it’s crazy to think that GT wings are not a thing of race cars, but rather an aesthetic go-to now.

A big part of my attitude towards real parts versus fake parts come from those early days of mine – I don’t hate fake parts, but I try to steer clear of them. Building a quality car takes time – Jackie’s S2000 is the perfect example of that – quality is what people admire. It’s gone through it’s phases and it’s eventually reached a point where Jackie truly believes it’s complete and that no more money is going into it. Of course, that’s what we all say but something new will come along and he’ll have another reason as to why it’s not done yet…

For those of you that have seen Jackie’s car before, you’ll know it’s no stranger to the scene. This has been his biggest overhaul to date – so while we were in Vancouver, we made the trip over to Victoria to hang out for a few hours…

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First up – a roller as per usual!

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We got onto the Ferry nice and early and it was packed. It was a nice day though so a lot of people were up on the top deck.

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Diana can’t resist her selfies.

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The view was nice – much different from when I was here a few months ago. It was all gloomy and rainy…

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Blue skies all the way!

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When we got there, Jackie picked us up and we made the trip back to his place to pick up his S2…

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The cool thing about Victoria – or BC in general – is that the landscape and scenery is just so rich and vibrant. There’s a ton of places for photoshoots… It definitely beats our loading docks and dirt in Calgary…

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Of course we get to the first spot and the girls go to play on the playground.

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Now we get to the good part. Jackie’s new set up is immaculate in person. The way the colours all go together is great.IMG_1845 copy

Probably the most noticeable change is his vibrant, custom blue TE37’s paired with T1R titanium lug nuts and a new AP Racing BBK set up in place of his T1R BBK he had for a while.

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And for the biggest change – Jackie’s turbo set up. It matches perfectly with his Spoon hood…

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Craft Square mirrors.

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Double Spoon bucket seats

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And for those that have been following Jackie’s build over the years – the most obvious change is his switch from the ASM bumper to the Voltex Race bumper. Much more aggressive.

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To continue with the flow of colour, Jackie has a set of titanium wing stands for his 1700mm J’s Racing GT wing. The piece that was responsible for my love of GT wings…IMG_1858 copy

Fun fact: the Ti bolts that Jackie has holding down his wing are my old bolts from my Civic. Good to see he still has them… Now how do I convince him to give them back to me? lol

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Jackie’s gone with a more functional wheel/tire set up – probably cause he’s sick of messing up his fenders all the time. But it still looks great.

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And yet another aesthetic change you might have noticed is the full body colour change – he went from the OEM Sebring silver to the “JDM” Moonrock grey metallic. It’s a bit darker but it’s definitely a nice shade in person under differing light. It’s grown on me…

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The TE’s shining through…

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Oddly enough, one of my favourite shots – the colours just work so well together here.

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Off to the next location – if you remember way back when I shot Ben and Chris’s cars, I mentioned that there was really only one stretch of road with nice scenery and two lanes. Victoria is fairly small so we took this road a few times until I got the shots I wanted.

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Speeding away to make a U-turn for another round…

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under the hood, Jackie got Sheepey to make him some custom pieces for his turbo set up. A nice addition.

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He recently also changed his red valve cover out for ab lack one to match the engine bay a little better and added an ARC plate as well.

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One of the mods Jackie was quite proud of was his Mugen radiator. A pretty rare piece to acquire…

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You can see the Mugen Power stencil on the front of the rad here…

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One more shot…

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We had to stop to fill up so I got the typical gas station shot. Every car guy likes these, right? I sure as hell do.

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Couldn’t help but add the obnoxious wide angle pic of the wing to make it look even wider lol.

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As we moved closer to the scenic area, the sun started to get more harsh. It’s definitely tougher to shoot in these conditions, even with my polarizer, but it turned out well.

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All of these pictures show all of the different spectrums that moonrock grey metallic can go through depending on light.

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Another shot of Jackie’s wheel/tire/brake combo.

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I liked this shot as well – got a JDM angle going. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it just works lol.

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I lied. Another JDM angle shot.

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One more shot to show how bright the titanium stands are.

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Close up of the detail on the Voltex carbon lip.

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And alas, the Spoon hood everyone wants to get their hands on… This is the Spoon prototype race hood, and I believe there are only a handful of these that some people are fortunate enough to have. Jackie being one of them… I know that there are a bunch of individuals who have tried to take the mass-made Spoon hood and mold it to look like this, but haven’t seen a good copy yet. Either way, it’s something that I don’t think Jackie will be letting go of any time soon.

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And one last one to finish this off like always. Huge thanks to Jackie for taking us all around and letting us drive your Hybrid Highlander. Sorry we couldn’t stay longer like I promised – NEXT TIME, we will plan for the whole day and we won’t have to rush! I’m hoping I get the chance to shoot this again in the near future… Until then…

illmotion Sunday School Show & Shine 2015: Part 6

And the finale of all of this car show goodness – which turns out to be probably the least exciting posts because there are more people than cars and most of you just want to see cars.

The guys had asked if I wanted to help judge this year for the Honour Roll awards and I reluctantly agreed. Not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I knew just how many hard hitters come out to this particular show. Judging a full lot of cars to come to a conclusion of the top 15 cars is more difficult than you think. The way we approached it this year was to ensure that it was fair game – despite what some might think. If you have a car that is one of the top builds, have little or no changes but have won in the previous years – we made a unanimous decision not to judge you. We really wanted to make sure that the fresh builds had a chance against the more seasoned builds.

The group also raised a huge $5,500 to put towards the Calgary Humane Society. It’s not only the show that gets bigger, but the amount raised as well – this is AMAZING. Good job everyone… Let’s get to this conclusion…

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As I neared the end of my round and got back to the tent, a few cars that were parked on the sideline – Jackie’s Tundra.

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Alex’s other car – MDX on TE37’s… Everything is modified in his house.

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Nick’s GTR

Also a few extras below that I missed adding for some reason… It must have gotten mixed up in my FlickR when I was re-organizing…

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The aggressive track set up Integra…

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GTI on VIP Modulars

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GTI on Work VS-XX’s

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Ron’s R32 GTR on bronze Work Meister S1R’s

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A chameleon wrapped STI

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A super sick Tourer… Also another one of my show favourites…

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Flared Mazda3

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Eric’s S15

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And getting back to the view from the tent.

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The hard working team that helped all that came to the tent that day…

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I got them to turn around for a quick shot – Nat, Barb, JC, Diana, and Cindy. Good job guys!

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Not too far from the tent was Rich DJ-ing for the crowd. It does help that there’s some music playing as background music while you’re walking around.

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Cool shirts this year

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Rich playing an all-time classic… Clarity – by Zedd. Brought tears and memories to my eyes…

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Out of no where, I heard a bunch of laughing and I look over to see Errol on the ground holding his family jewels. Not knowing why, I ran over and took pictures first and asked questions later…

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Turns out that Alex whipped him with his microfiber cloth and hit right on the mark. Poor Errol…

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Everyone getting ready to start handing out awards and calling names for the raffles…

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Jimmy from VEX was MC again…

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The crowd awaiting the good stuff…

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I didn’t have names, but this lucky winner got the first prize – a GoPro Hero 4, battery and memory card sponsored by Urban X.

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Errol bought a whole load of tickets (as well as a bunch of others) and ended up winning and Apple iPad Mini 3 sponsored by Bag Barn.

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Errol scrambling to find the winning ticket in-between all his others…

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Another individual won Haute AG’s prize consisting of a Low Profile jack, socket set, and ratcheting wrenches.

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Aldo also ended up putting a bunch of money in and ended up winning the Apple watch sponsored by Speed Options… I wish I got it with my one ticket… T_T

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All smiles with his win.

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Hard to really take a pic of all the people. There was a bunch way back and to the left…

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This lucky dude won the prize with $1000 off an air set up/install from Bag Barn.

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Corey still working his butt off…

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Next up were the winners of the Honour Roll…

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First up was Tommy Daraseng and his BMW M3

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Next was Chico Aguilar and his gold wrapped, Varis-equipped Evo X MR.

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Matt Dower and his green and bagged GMC pick up…

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Kevin Nguyen and his blue 1991 Skyline GTR

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Greg Pock (this is not Greg) and his black Rocket Bunny RX7

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Jeff Lange and his impeccable 1986 Corolla GT-S (the one that has been restored close to mint)

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Jessie Joe Curtis and his 2006 Subaru WRX with an aggressive track set up.

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Quincy Yuen and his Varis Widebody Subaru STI Hatch

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Reggie Mah and his Varis x Rocket Bunny FRS

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Sebastian Prucnal with a red 1989 BMW 325i Wagon

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Curtis Rider (this is not Curtis) and his 1981 VW Caddy Rabbit Pick up

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Adam Merrill and his 1992 VW GTI

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Last but not least, Curtis Cooper and his purple S15.

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Missing in this list is Noel Eggers and his ’98 240SX.

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As well as Michael Boulanger and his mint ’94 Mazda RX7

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That’s a wrap for Sunday School coverage! Another good year in the books. I really hope that next year is even better… I’m already looking forward to it! Thanks for the awesome show everyone!

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