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D-180 lacks drive power

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John, in my experience its not uncommon to find that the 'wrong' fluid has been used in a Sundstrand transmission, 'wrong' being in reference to WH spec rather than Sundstrand spec. With my first D-200 it also had a fluid in it that I couldn't quite place, somewhere between ATF and oil based on visual appearance and the rub between fingers test. My C-120 Auto also had the wrong fluid i.e ATF rather than oil.

 

In reality there are products available now with specs that far exceed anything that was around in the 70s but even back then Sundstrand mentioned anti-wear hydraulic oil, Type F automatic transmission fluid, agricultural hydraulic transmission oil, and Pydraul 312 (if fire retardant properties were required) as all being suitable for the series of their transmissions that ours belong to so unless a PO has put something really dumb in there it's unlikely to have done any damage. There are owners I've come across on the forum who swear by the use of modern hi-spec products.

 

Personally, I put both the D-200  and the C-120 back to 10w30 as per WH spec, the only difference I noticed with the C-120 was slighly less whine when hot and under load but that was about it.

 

Andy

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Mine has motor oil in the tranny.  I guess I was lucky as it appears that is all it has ever had.  Fred is right about the counterweight issue.  My rear AG tires are filled with an unknown fluid, and it still is too light.  I would add wheel weights if I had them.  My preference is to load the wheels with weight as it is less stressful on the wheel bearings.  Loading the tractor frame down with weight puts a lot of stress on the bearings.  Just my 2c worth.

 

I find that the tractor is pretty unstable with the bucket up (and full of weight).  Also, it is impossible to tip the bucket back when it is in the lowered position.  It kinda limits the amount of material that you can get into it.  Not that I am complaining (much).  Having a D-Series with an FEL is much better than none at all.

 

j

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In addition to the rear weight box, the tractor has the metal wheel plates bolted on and set into the rear rims.  So for the work contemplated on fairly flat lots, should be okay. 

 

Thanks for all the input especially on the hydro unit. 

 

Best regards,

 

John

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John:  A couple thoughts about your hydro issue.  Any luck on moving the push valve?  Are you able to push it more than a couple of feet? I am a bit unclear about what happened, did it work at first or has it been this way since you picked it up?  IIf it worked better when you picked it up than it does now (cold), then I do not think the immediate cause is wear, more likely the Charge or implement relief valve has failed or is leaking.  There is probably wear but that would not account for a sudden change in performance. (It worked well enough when you picked it up to load it)

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pfrederi --

 

A review is a good idea.

 

Went to check it out and if it was in okay condition to buy.  Previous owner had it on a landscape style trailer.  He started it and drove it off the trailer.

 

I then drove it around a parking lot, forward and reverse, tried to get a feel for the forward and reverse control, noticed the loose steering, tested loader, and then stopped.  The previous owner explained the full throttle rule.  Turned it off, looked over a few things, asked some questions, and then made the deal.  Started it up again and drove it over to my landscape trailer.  I tried to drive up the trailer but with my unfamiliarity with the controls was too hesitant, so the previous owner drove it up onto the trailer with no issue.

 

Took it home and it sat for two days on the trailer.

 

I then started it up and backed it off the trailer and drive it around the driveway for about fifteen minutes.  Then tried to drive it back onto the trailer.  It would go up the ramp so that the front wheels were at the tope of the ramp, but then would not go further.  Backed down and tried a few more times.  Checked to make sure throttle was in the full on position and that I had the drive lever in the right position.  Tried it with the loader system engaged and not engaged.  Parked it in the garage.

 

I managed to unfreeze the by pass valve.  It was in the full clockwise position.  I did not try pushing it.

 

The hydro filter is a FRAM brand filter so it is at least not original almost forty years old.....

 

I checked the hydro fluid level ad it was about mid point on the hash marks on the stick.  From the small amount on the stick, it is a clear odorless fluid a little thinner or less viscous than 10-30 motor oil, and at least what was on the stick appeared clean.  Before someone suggested tractor hydraulic fluid, I would have guessed mineral oil. 

 

Leaving the loader system leaks aside, there is a slight leak under the transaxle, interestingly not clear but dark colored fluid.  Not enough of a leak rate to account for power loss. 

 

This weekend I plan to test the charge pressure and to try driving it around again.  I am also going to check the drive lever linkage to make sure it is operating appropriately.  The throttle linkage is going to full open stop.

 

In retrospect, it seemed a bit slow compared to other tractors I have driven. 

 

Best regards,

 

John

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John,

Excellent writeup on your experience.  It may not seem like it, but it tells us a lot.  That is, what you described is what most of us have experienced when finding out our hydro pumps and/or motors are worn.  What you described was very similar to my experience, except that my tractor had a few more problems thrown in to make it interesting.  It sounds like you are doing everything right so far.  Ticking off the boxes in the right order.  The last thing you would want to do is tear into the hydro system when the problem was relatively simple (clogged filter, loose push valve, etc.). 

 

But, unfortunately, the symptoms your describe pretty much point to a worn hydro system.  Jeff, Paul, Britt, and Andy are probably the most knowledgeable on these systems, and after you get through, you will probably be a close second.  Anyhow, Jeff has an excellent thread on a hydro pump rebuild, and Britt has a video on the hydro motor rebuild.  They will get you very far.  That's the good news.

The bad news is that having a pump professionally rebuild is laughably expensive (I guess that is why most of us have chosen to learn our way through the problems ourselves), and the parts are kinda hard to identify and come by.

 

Do us a favor and post your progress with lots of pictures if you can.  We're all here to learn and share what we learn.  Your experience will be a great help.

j

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Oil and filter change is the obvious first choice.  However oil isn't cheap these days and it may not fix your issues.  If you have a warm place to work I would start by draining the rear end and removing the hydro motor. Removing the motor is not that hard. (much much easier than pulling the pump!!) To make the job easier you have only to remove the wheels not the hubs.

 

Pulling the motor will let you see the condition of your strainer.  If it is plugged that could be your problem.  You can also look inside the rear end to see if there is sludge /metal fragments.  You can also look at the valve plate and slippers.  If they are scratched up then you can assume the ones in the pump are bad also and you will have a bigger job.  If they are in good shape most likely so are the ones in the pump.

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Low Drive Power Issue

 

So the low drive power turned out to be operator error.  When I last drove the tractor around and tried to drive it up onto my trailer, I had not fully disengaged the parking brake.  Trying it again with the parking brake fully disengaged, it had good power and I was able to push into frozen snow and ice banks and to drive it up onto the trailer.  And it was not slow in forward, hard to tell exactly how fast, but if my memory is correct the D-180 should be able to go about 7mph in forward and it seemed like it was about that.   I still have some leaks to attend to and the parking brake clearly needs some adjustment and lubrication.  And the owner operator needs more practice….

 

Did I do any damage to anything?  I saw a thread in the forum about a parking brake pawl or key that can get sheared but I have not yet traced out the parking brake system enough to locate that assembly. 

 

Charge Pressure Test

 

Before trying to drive the tractor around, I did set up to do a charge pressure test given that the Sunstrand manual suggests testing cold and warm.  I did find the remains of a critter nest on top of the system -- I am sure that is not the first critter nest found in that place….  The manual states to connect the pressure gauge to the ¼†pipe plug between the implement hose ports.  A previous owner had connected a temperature sensor to that port, so I opted for the alternate port but then did not have the right straight thread connector.  When I opened the alternate port, the fluid level was above the level of the implement ports and I did not want to pull the sensor and make a mess before sourcing the leaks. 

 

Once I get an proper fitting for the alternate port, I will do the charge test at cold and hot as a check and as a data point for future comparison. 

 

Has anyone put a transmission pressure gauge on permanently?

 

Loader Issues

 

I had mentioned the screw on the Ark loader reservoir leaking.  A forum member helpfully identified that as the fluid fill level opening.  So I added an o-ring and Teflon tape to the Ark loader reservoir screw. 

 

When I took that screw out, about a pint of hydraulic fluid came out.  Am I correct that would be considered over filled and that the proper level is just to that screw opening?

 

The fluid that leaked out of the screw hole was milky.  My research shows the possibilities for this include:  water in the system; air in the system; and, mix of two different fluid types.  The loader worked well, so I think the next step is to check every fitting for leaks and to put some hydraulic fluid drier into the system. 

 

Any thoughts or suggestions on the milky fluid?

 

Next Issues

 

So now that the hydraulic transmission seems to be okay, the next two big issues to address are the sloppy steering and the very loud exhaust. 

 

I did not get to crawl under the tractor to examine the steering, so next not so cold day that is on my list.

 

For the exhaust system, it currently has on each side for each cylinder a threaded steel pipe off the manifold going straight forward, a 90 degree coupler to direct it down, a one inch threaded pipe about three inches, and a small cylindrical muffler pointing down.  My sense is that the two mufflers are insufficient -- probably about half the size of the original equipment. 

 

 

I downloaded a copy of the Stanley exhaust catalog for ideas and searched the forum. I like the stack fabrications I have seen on the forum, but as I will not be the only user of the tractor, I am worried about the hot exhaust being where someone might put a hand on it. 

 

My plan is based on a couple of fabricated systems I saw on the forum.  Not having a welder is a limiting factor.  I plan to leave the downward directed reducing coupling in place but remove everything further on.  Then add a short nipple, clamp to the Stanley FO-11 muffler, and then clamp to a 90 degree sweep elbow 1.5†conduit to pass through the opening in the bottom of the front grill to direct the exhaust to horizontal at about 45 degrees from the tractor centerline. 

 

Any thoughts or comments?

 

Thanks

 

Thanks very much for all the words of encouragement and all the information.  And please go easy on the newbie for the parking brake mistake.

 

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Lots to consider here

 

Brake  according to your model number 1-0612 you have an internal pawl that locks a gear in the transaxle.  Tractor should not move at all.  If it does the gear or pawl are stripped nad there is metal bits in you system...STOP using it.  Is there a drum with an external band on your transaxle...that kind of brake might explain you r issue but also means something has been changed.

 

The pressure test port is SAE #6 ORB

 

Muffler..whatever fits works.  I used some B&S mufflers which I guess are NLA search here for D series muffler ideas.  Do not discharge down or you will have brown spots in your yard...I know!!!

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Does you r tractor have the optional turning brakes???

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John,

 

I would be removing that elbow you are calling a reducing coupler. You should have 1" exhaust not 3/4. Especially with the muffler you are looking at. An FO-11has an inlet of 1 1/2" You will need to get your pipe size bigger, not smaller.  leaving it 1 inch and using a schedule 80 coupling or "heavy" coupling you will be real close to the 1 1/2". The conduit elbows are too big as far as a sweep in the bend. You will get much better results with another 90 black iron elbow. 

 

The next item concerning me is your tractor moves with the parking brake engaged. As Paul previously stated, that should never ever happen. By moving it while the parking brake is on, you broke the pawl and possibly screwed up the bull gear. Do as he suggests and stop using it. Drain it,  pull the hydro-motor and check your strainer as well. It should have a magnet on it that is hopefully full of all the metal parts from your pawl and gear. Hopefully the metal parts didn't circulate and ruin the entire hydraulic system. Let us know what you find with the external parking brake. In 75, it shouldn't have it but lets hope……..

 

Hydro pressure testing is to be done in the center port. The factory temp sender is installed in that port, its not something a previous owner did. Pull it out and using it to test is fine.

Edited by hodge71

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Thanks very much for the further information.

 

When the tractor moved with the parking brake on, there was no noise or sense of something breaking, so my sense is that if there is something broke it broke before what I did.

 

No turning brakes.

 

I will start exploring the check on the transmission. 

 

On the exhaust, the first pipe out of the manifold is 1.25" or 1.5" (just can't remember which and it is dark and very cold now) and the 90 degree elbow that turns the exhaust down is also a reducing coupler to 1" -- not to 3/4".  The pipe dimensions are the ID following the schedule 40 convention.  So right now the system is 1" through to the exit and my plan will not restrict it further and actually open it up a bit downstream. 

 

hodge71 -- what do you mean that the conduit sweep elbow is too "bi"?

 

Thanks.

 

Regards,

 

John

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big…supposed to be big but Im a moron  and did not check before hitting enter…sorry John

Edited by hodge71

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Thanks hodge71 for the clarification.  I type all day long so maybe someday I will learn how....

 

In a posting I cannot seem to find again, someone showed the sweep bend conduit used so I went to a supply store with my calipers and found that the ID of the 1.5" sweep conduit was a close fit to the OD of the muffler outlet.  And I like the idea of all connections having the upstream part inside the downstream part. 

 

Balancing a cut in the outlet pipe of the muffler and the conduit, I should be able to get it through the hole of the front grill with clearance and the tip forward a bit.  If I plan well I might even be able to get both sides from one piece of sweep elbow.  The radius or arc of the sweep seems about right for what I have in mind.

 

And with the sweep, I can get the exhaust fairly level and not down burning the grass.

 

And if it doesn't work, I can always go back to steel pipe. 

 

As for the transmission, I guess I was bound to pull it off and open it up....

 

Regards,

 

John

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if it were me I would drain and change out the hydro fluid in the loader,its either contaminated with water or air bubbles from maybe being over filled,fluid is not too expensive in 5 gallon pails

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John,

I think you first need to determine what type of parking brake setup you have. 

If it is a drum and band type parking brake, then it shouldn't be any major problem.  Only a matter of adjusting it properly.

 

However, if you have a pawl type parking brake, then I wouldn't start it until you find out how it is only half engaging.  There would likely be lots of bits of metal in your system if that is the case.  But, if it is a pawl type system, then it would either work correctly or break completely.  Your symptoms don't support that.  The only way to tell for sure is to follow the parking brake connecting rod and see where it leads.  Hopefully, you have a band type parking brake as Paul suggests.

 

Good luck with the muffler issue.  Lot's of us have been trying to find good replacements that match or approximate the OEM.  I have a thread around here on that, and one manufacturer simply substitutes a another manufacturer's muffler.  However, the muffler that you can get (I think it is the Stanley) is about an inch too long to fit in the frame without some modifications.  Then, if you can get it to fit, you still have the issue of it pointing at the ground.  The OEM mufflers were closed at the bottom with ports around the lowest part of the pipe to release the exhaust gasses.

 

I suggest looking through the gallery at pictures of the various approaches.  I think that most people end up using a stack configuration.  It looks kinda cool of you aren't worried about maintaining OEM.

 

BTW, I would change the oil in your FEL straight away.  The milky appearance is a sure sign of contamination (probably water).

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I'm a bit confused on this parking brake thing - I have a 75 D-180 and a 74 (I think) D-160 both with the Sundstrand drive and exactly alike. Neither has a 'parking brake' only a foot pedal that simply moves the lever to the neutral position - which if applied at speed will jerk a knot in your neck. I never touch the thing just move the lever to regulate speed or brake.

 

On the muffler situation - if you have welding capability get one of the many long tractor type mufflers and cut a section out of it to match the OE type and go to a muffler shop and get them to bend a couple nineties to come out the bottom -- see picture

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Starting in I believe 1978 the D series got an external band brake.  Someone may have swapped something on his unit at some point or the data plate was changed.

 

Later Sundstrands in C series also picked up external band brakes. 

Edited by pfrederi

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John,

If your standing behind the tractor the parking pawl the guys are talking about is on the right side of the transaxle toward the front.  If there is a shaft there it should be connected to your parking brake linkage.  Should be just in front (and I believe a little higher) than the filter.  When the shaft rotates counterclockwise it engages a set of teeth on a drive gear and locks the transmission.  From what I've read, the problem with these pawls is there not as strong as the hydrostatic drive system and when guys forget and leave the parking brake set and engage the motion control they can break the pawl sending metal thru the hydro system.  I think those that have made this mistake recommend to never use the parking break because of the tear down needed to clean the system of all the metal fragments.

I personally can't see how a partially engaged pawl would cause the symptoms you are describing with the lack of drive power.

Check it out and see what type of parking break you have and let us know.

Edited by brandonozz

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pacer --  Thanks.  The muffler set up I am going for is pretty much exactly what is shown in your photo.  The FO-11 muffler should fit in the space okay and the conduit should exit pretty much like yours.  Your photo is the one that inspired the arrangement I am planning on, including the orientation of the "tail" pipe. 

 

Before I order the FO-11 mufflers and start working on the fittings, I might tray an alternate.  The current muffler appears to be a B&S and it has what appears to be a 1" npt female thread at the bottom opening.  I found some pneumatic mufflers with 1" male npt threads for fairly short money -- see photo.  It appears that there is enough room for it to fit.  The addition of the baffle exit might do the job.  Any thoughts on this?

 

barnadonozzz and the others who have provided helpful information concerning the parking brake and drive power issue -- Thanks.  I plan to work on this issue over the weekend -- it is going to be a heat wave here in Massachusetts -- over 40 degrees. 

 

When I locate the shaft that rotates the pawl in and out of position, will there be any symptom that tells me that the pawl is good or bad?  I imagine that when it rotates into position there will be a slight tap of it hitting the gear shaft.  If the pawl is broken, I imagine that there will be no tap and if the pawl shaft is disconnected from the linkage that it will spin around because there is now pawl engaging end to hit the shaft. 

 

It is my understanding that the transaxle includes a basket strainer to guard against things like pawl fragments doing damage.  But from what I can tell, the strainer is only accessible when opening the system.  It seems to me that when a strainer of this type is used, some sort of external access is provided for. 

 

If/when I crack open the transaxle, I will need a new seal.  Anyone have a source for the seals?  Or has anyone already made a template they are willing to share?  I can make my own template and cut out my own seal, but saving some time and effort would be helpful. 

 

Changing now to the steering issue. The first issue with the steering is the slop, which may be because of a loose bracket (as someone suggested earlier) and slop in the Ross box.  The second issue is that the steering is not for a light touch and that is without a load in the bucket.  My concern is that if I go to the trouble of rebuilding the Ross box, the steering will still be heavy and that I may not be able to get all the slop out because of hard to get parts like the worm gear.  I have been investigating hydraulic steering as an option as it would do away with the current steering gear up to the drag link and likely make for a pretty light touch.  I know there was a guy on the forum from time to time offering a kit and I found some other sources.  It is expensive.  It moves away from a restoration (my interest is less in restoration and more in a useful machine).  One thought I had is that because I do not plan to use the mid mount hydraulics, I could use those ports to drive the steering.  That reduces the complexity and parts needed to implement the system.  I think I can do a system for less than $400 this way.  Any thoughts or comments on this idea?

 

Thanks again for all the helpful comments.  Much appreciated. 

 

Best regards,

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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p

barnadonozzz and the others who have provided helpful information concerning the parking brake and drive power issue -- Thanks.  I plan to work on this issue over the weekend -- it is going to be a heat wave here in Massachusetts -- over 40 degrees. 

 

When I locate the shaft that rotates the pawl in and out of position, will there be any symptom that tells me that the pawl is good or bad?  I imagine that when it rotates into position there will be a slight tap of it hitting the gear shaft.  If the pawl is broken, I imagine that there will be no tap and if the pawl shaft is disconnected from the linkage that it will spin around because there is now pawl engaging end to hit the shaft. 

 

It is my understanding that the transaxle includes a basket strainer to guard against things like pawl fragments doing damage.  But from what I can tell, the strainer is only accessible when opening the system.  It seems to me that when a strainer of this type is used, some sort of external access is provided for. 

 

If/when I crack open the transaxle, I will need a new seal.  Anyone have a source for the seals?  Or has anyone already made a template they are willing to share?  I can make my own template and cut out my own seal, but saving some time and effort would be helpful. 

 

 

 

 

The strainer is only accessible when you remove the hydro motor.  It is not a bad job. The gasket you will need between it and the transaxle is still available for about $5.  102759.

 

When the motor is off you can look into the transaxle and get a peak at your parking pawl.

Edited by pfrederi

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Brief update.

 

Loader

 

Used a hydraulic fluid additive prior to draining the loader system (based on belief that the cloudy fluid indicated water in system).  Likely source of water was fill plug which did not have the o-ring it is supposed to have. I knocked the plastic pull tab into the reservoir fill opening -- I could try to do it a million times and never get it in.  Waited over night.  Drained reservoir and spent hours trying to get the tab out -- vacuum, wire, tweezers through the opening, etc.  Three hours later got it out.   

 

Drive system

 

I don't think I broke the parking brake pawl.  The position the lever was in was not enough to move the lever to engage the pawl.  It also means that the pawl in brake position was not the immediate cause of my one time low drive power  situation. 

 

When the parking brake handle is moved into position, the pawl lever moves into position.  Opened push valve and tried pushing the tractor back and forth with the parking brake lever engaged and not engaged.  No difference.  Pawl is broken or missing prior to me. 

 

I could not get the short stiff hose for my pressure gauge into the charge pressure test port so I am waiting on an adapter for the alternate port (thanks very much to the member who provided the port specifications and to the member who posted the surpluscenter,com source for hydraulic parts).  So the pressure test will have to wait for the adapter.  It is probably moot to do the pressure test because I am going to open the system up anyway, but it might be useful to get a before and after measure. 

 

One question I have is whether the transaxle can be removed without removing the loader.  The loader sub frame looks like it is at least in the way. 

 

In any event, I am going to wait until after the end of snow to pull it apart so I don't complicate snow removal with a vehicle out of the garage and the tractor in its place (tractor is presently on a trailer with a tarp because the snow to the shed/barn is too deep).

 

Best regards,

 

John

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You are going to want to get the loader and frame out of the way when you work on it.  Especially when you have to pull the pump. 

 

(I think that when they made these tractors someone stood there with the pump and they built the tractor around it :banghead: )

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You are going to want to get the loader and frame out of the way when you work on it.  Especially when you have to pull the pump. 

 

(I think that when they made these tractors someone stood there with the pump and they built the tractor around it :banghead: )

 

Truer words have never been spoken...I was a pro after my third time Paul but that was 2 years ago...not sure I want to have another go at it....

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I haven't removed the transaxle on mine, but I recall not having to remove the loader frame to get just the hydro motor off.  If I recall correctly, there is a nice you get the motor off, there is a nice big hole in the side of the transaxle to peer into.  It might be worth your while to do that before you pull the transaxle off.  You'll be able to tell if there are broken bits of parking pawl in there. 

 

Don't forget to drain the transaxle first.  I have heard tales of woe here about getting the allen screw out of the bottom of the transaxle.  I didn't have that problem, but keep it in mind when you drain it.

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