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934 Posts
Discussion Starter #121
Slowly Getting There...
In addition to the black paint you can see being applied in the posts above, I did cover more of the bulkhead.
This included many of the areas, both inside & out, that I had previously repaired and primed.

I really do like the difference having most of it all in one colour makes, as it is a great boost to morale. :cool:

I also bolted all the supporting brackets for the metal dash back into place.

Finally, for this round of updates, this shows the last section of the bulkhead that I need to tackle.

The remaining "To Do" list includes:
- Mount the heating control value to the bulkhead.
- Mock up all the cables & wires that go through the bulkhead.
- Add any new holes required & seal up any surplus holes.
- Final prepping and painting of this section.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

4,741 Posts
Good progress Paul! :thumbup:

Looks like the front bulkhead is nearing completion.
As you've discovered (and probably more so with your project) laying all of the dash gauges, cables, wires, hoses, switches, is complicated.
But it's getting there!

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #123
MPTech - Cheers.
I know I've spend months working on this bulkhead, but it is finally nearly done.
Obviously my life would have been a lot easier if the kit had actually worked "out of the box".
But I have to remain positive about this, as I have really learnt a lot by doing this work myself. :cool:

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Heater Control Panel
I offered up the new heater control panel to the dash, so I could mark up the locations of the mounting holes.

Then I could drill a couple of holes in the top edge of the panel.

I bolted the heater control panel into place & fitted one switch so I could work out the cable route.

Note: I still need to tidy up the paint finish on the face of this panel.

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Heater Control Value - Part 1
This was the original Spitfire set up.

Initially, I was planning to reuse the old bracket with my new heater control value.

I just needed to trim one edge of the bracket to allow the hose to sit tighter.
I also needed to add an extra hole in the bracket to mount it to the raised section of bulkhead.
Plus trim off the front edge & original mounting hole where my thumb is in the photo.

I'd also need to replace the self tapping screws with nuts & bolts, or make sure the return hose on the left does not hit the screws.

In the end, I had a few issues with the way the value operated which changed my plans a bit.

The cable operation is set up in such a way that the back of the switch & the switch itself can only be fitting one way.

This means the "hottest" & "coolest" settings are actually a "given".

So this is the end of cable position for hot:

And then the cable is withdrawn to reach the cold setting:

So far, so good...

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #124
Heater Control Value - Part 2
But my problems started when I tried to find a lever position on the valve which worked in this direction.

I even took the black lever off to see if it could be adjusted, but its position was also "fixed".

In the end, the only way I could find for the lever to be make to push/pull in the correct way was if it was on the "wrong" side of the mounting bracket.

In this position, the switch and cable will open/close the valve as it is supposed to.

Now I am happy to admit that I may have been making a simple school boy error all along.

But I couldn't believe just how long I'd spend messing about trying to resolve this.

So I decided that I would take my anger out on the offending bracket and hit it repeatedly with a hammer. :rolleyes:

It wasn't a very neat job, but I did manage to reverse / turn the cable fixing point through 90 degree.

The position above is "closed".

And turning the heater switch "up" now came me this.

As you can see, that wasn't quite right, so I adjusted the cable fixing a bit until this was how fully "on" looked.

The only good news of this whole sorry saga, was that the best way to mount the value was like this.

This removes any potential fouling issues when the other heater hose is fitted. :cool:

I just needed to make a new mounting bracket...

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #125
Heater Control Value - Mounting Bracket - Part 1
I made a cardboard template and marked up some of my fresh steel.

I then cut this out, but included a "flap" for extra strength & a couple of bits that I may use for further bracing.

A quick session with the hammer gave me this.

This was the first test fit, although the bracket will actually sit further back once I've drilled a couple of locating holes.

You'd think that drilling those two holes would be a simple enough job...

But somehow I managed to break two drill bits in the process. :rolleyes:

Clamping the edges together required a bit of wood to spread the load a bit.

But the welding itself was very straight forward, starting with the "flap" I'd left in the metal when I cut it out.

I then added just one extra brace to the front of the bracket.

This was more than enough to make the whole thing feel solid.

The locating holes allowed the bracket to sit in the correct position.

But I needed to check one thing before I bolted this into position...

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #126
Heater Control Value - Mounting Bracket - Part 2
I vaguely remembered that some hard lines ran across the bulkhead, but I couldn't remember where. :rolleyes:

Thankfully, I took a lot of photos before I dismantled the donor car and so I could cross check this one.

Happy that the new bracket was not going to be in the way, I drilled some more holes in it & test fitted it.

Then the bracket got the usual round of anti rust treatment, primer, filler, more primer and paint.

I also painted over the damage caused by hitting the other bracket with a hammer.
( Note: The third bracket in the photo above is a bulkhead steering column cover. )

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #127
Electrics / Wiring - Part 1
My second hand body shell came with some sections of the wiring loom still in place.
So it was time to do some recycling using this and other wires I'd removed from my original loom.

I used some of this spare wire for the side repeaters.

These match the existing wiring loom colours for the left and right indicators which will make my life easier.

As I will need to splice these wires into place behind the dash before the loom separates into front & rear sections of wiring.

I also added two earth wires to the side repeaters (not original loom colours).

These are long enough for me to join them up with the other earth cables behind the dash.

Given the fact the other wires are being routed into the dash area anyway, it seemed to make sense to do it this way.

I found two more spare wires that would be long enough to go from the dash into the engine bay.

Then I connected these to the electric oil pressure gauge (sorry it is a poor photo).

Note: I will use this electric Smiths gauge, as it looks the best & matches my existing Spitfire dials.

I tested the new micro heater fan by directly connecting it to the battery & thankfully it burst into life.

Then I temporarily wired up the fan speed switch and that was all working properly too.

After putting the heater back on the bulkhead I had worked out where the wiring needed to go.

So I extended the power cable for the heater and fitted a connector to the earth lead.

Then I wrapped the wires up ready for final fitting.


934 Posts
Discussion Starter #128
Electrics / Wiring - Part 2
I laid out the whole wiring loom so I could start checking / changing things.

With the headlight switch connected, I could test the four bulbs for the dashboard dials.
( Speedo, rev counter, fuel & water temp. )

With these all working fine, the next job was to extend this loop to include a light for the oil pressure gauge.
( I'd found an old light in the pile of spares that had some with my donor car. )

So I fitted a few things back into the dash board to get a better idea of the layout.

You can just about see the "spare" light I have with short wires sticking out of the oil pressure gauge.

So this bulb needed to be joined to the speedo one, as that was the closest.

Thankfully I did have two short sections of spare wire in matching loom colours for the first step in the process.

After adding some solder to where the wires joined, a section of heat shrink tubing sealed the join.

Then I cut the wires to the speedo bulb and joined them to the extended oil pressure gauge wires in the same way.

Funny how something as simple as a light bulb coming on can raise your spirits.

With the test complete, I could wrap the wiring up properly and tick that simple, but time consuming, job off my list.

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Needle in a Haystack - Take 2
Previously I mention how finding the four original screws to hold the centre section of the dash board was a nightmare.

Well, unfortunately, lightening struck twice, this time with the hazard warning switch.

I was sure I'd put it "somewhere safe" quite recently, and was convinced it was in the box with the heater stuff, but couldn't find it.

I then when through all the boxes in the summerhouse, but still no joy, I did find lots of other things I needed, but not that switch.

In the end, I took all the boxes outside and searched them again, by which time my frustration levels were rising rapidly.

At this point I took a break and even started looking for a replacement switch on Ebay.

As I returned for one final check I could see the indicator switch which had been wrapped in newspaper.

On seeing this I was absolutely sure I had wrapped the hazard switch in exactly the same way.

Then I saw a section of the same newspaper at the top of the heater box...

As I'd pulled the contents out so many times, that bubble wrap & newspaper "padding" were everywhere.

But, yes, you've guessed it, one section of "padding" actually had this sitting inside it.

Don't ask me how I missed it, having looked in the box more than once, but boy did I turn the air blue. :cursing:

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #129
Dashboard Related Work:
I dug out my donor's speedo & rev. counter, but had forgotten about the surface rust on them.

So they got a coat of anti-rust treatment and some etch primer.

Note: There is masking tape around the chrome trim.

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I'd found this section of scrap metal in the street (sorry, sidewalk) one day and thought it might come in handy.

I cut a thin section off to make a retaining bracket for the oil pressure gauge, similar to the one on the right.

After drilling a hole, hitting it with a hammer & cutting the ends to size I had this.

Note: In reality, this bracket will push against the metal dash section around where the dial is fitted.

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I wanted to make sure the "blank" for the old heater controls would not fall out while driving along.

So I started by hammering in some small tacks.

Before sealing the edges completely with fibreglass filler.

When this was set I could sand it all down and get a coat of primer on it.

This is what it will look like on the other side.

Although I am considering fitting an old Wolseley 1500 badge I picked up from ebay in the middle.

I think this would look pretty good here as it breaks up the long length of black nicely.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #130
Making a mess of the dash...
I really liked the view of the oil pressure gauge from the front and should just have left it like that.

But I thought the fact is sat proud of the dash, compared to all the other dials, would spoil the look of it.

So despite not really having the right tools for the job, I decided to "give it a go". :rolleyes:

Marking up the circle required was easy.

Unfortunately, my attempts to cut this circle into the wood with a small drill bit, craft knife & chisel were a complete mess. :sad:

So although the gauge didn't look too bad from this angle.

It looked terrible from the front.

So in an attempt to limit the damage, I wrapped up the gauge and put some wood filler into the gaps.

This hasn't really improved things much, so I have just re-coated the area with wood stain.

Now I will just have to live with a circle around the gauge that looks like I chewed the hole out of the wood with my teeth!

Still, the overall look of the car will be "battered old ex-race car", so maybe it is in keeping with that. ;)

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #131
Bulkhead Holes:
As expected, I needed to drill a new hole in the bulkhead for the choke cable to exit.
But I could use existing holes for the heater control cable & oil pressure gauge wiring.

- The choke cable is bottom left.
- The heater value cable is bottom right.
- The oil pressure gauge wiring will exit from the top right hole.

I did think about using a single patch to cover the three holes I didn't need.

But took a bit longer and welded in two smaller patches instead & gave them the usual treatment.

There were also a few other small areas in this section of the bulkhead that I needed to take care of.

This marks the end of the bulkhead welding that I will be doing in the garden.
As now I just need to weld two crush tubes into the bulkhead where it is bolted to the chassis.
Although I need to test fit the bulkhead first, after cutting off the box section cross bracing.
Note: The rolling chassis remains under a cover on my front drive.
But I want to finish messing about with the wiring loom & dash board before I tackle that job.

Obviously I had no idea just how much work was going to be involved in repairing / modifying this bulkhead.
Having said that, I still find it hard to believe that I was capable of doing all the work required myself!
So I take great pride in finally seeing the bulkhead all one colour and will end on that positive note.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #132 (Edited)
Rear View Mirror Mounting:
I still need to work out how to extend the kit's bodywork to cover the Spitfire bulkhead / dash area.
This gives you a rough idea of "gap" that I need to bridge.
( Photo taken when I was test fitting the bodywork over a cut down Spitfire tub. )

This photo gave me the idea of using the ash tray hole to provide access to mount the rear view mirror from below.

However, this was the current view of that hole from above.

The ducting would be zip tied out of the way (see below).
So I just needed to take my angle grinder to a small section of the original heater control mounting panel.

Believe it, or not, but I'd never used a pop rivet tool before, so I did a bit of testing and quickly got the hang of it.

As I wanted to beef up the zip tie holders that can be used with just their sticky pads.

So I looked at fixing the rivets from either side to see what worked best.

This was the "after" and I quickly noticed a problem.

Both options left metal in the way of the zip tie itself, so I hammered one end flat.

This gives me the option of using two slots, or I could just use one slot with the rivet head in place.

Then I drilled the the four holes I need to hold the ducting and "Y" connector in place.

Plus one extra point for a zip tie to "guide" the heater control cable on its way out of the bulkhead.

I just want to give some of these areas a final coat of paint before I can put the rivets on.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #133
I wanted to measure the distance from the battery's negative terminal to the battery cut off switch.
( That way I could order two new earth cables to connect everything up properly. )

This was a good excuse to trim some spare rubber sheet I had to replace the old battery mat.

The rubber sheet just sits at the bottom of the battery box.

But when I put the battery on top, I realised why my donor didn't have a battery clamp in place...

Yes, the battery is the wrong shape to work with the new Spitfire clamp I bought.
( The clamp would short out the two terminals when their cables were fitted. )

A new battery had always been on shopping list, so now was a good time to get it.

Unfortunately, the new clamp didn't want to line up properly with the new battery either. :rolleyes:

( Admittedly, the battery sits much lower than standard in my home made battery box. )

Thankfully I found something suitable in the box of bits that came with my donor car.

Although there was still a small issue with the length of the bolts.

So out came the angle grinder to trim both the width of the bracket & length of the bolts.

Then I added the foam strip that came with the new bracket to the back of my alternative one.

So now it all looks a lot better.

With the battery in position, I could measure and order the new cables I needed...

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #134
Battery Cut Off Switch:
Here are the two new battery leads:
- One for the battery terminal to the battery cut off switch.
- The other from the battery cut off switch to the original bulkhead earthing point.

It was only when I came to fit them that I noticed I'd made another school boy error.

I'd measured the "ring" end of the original battery cable (bottom right) and made sure the new ones matched.

However, what I should have done, was measure the size of the cut off switch bolts, as they are bigger. :rolleyes:

My temporary fix was to open up the "ring" like so, until some new, bigger eyelet fittings arrive.

The next step was to drill two holes in the bulkhead so the leads could be connected to the switch.

Unfortunately, "Amateur Night" continued as I managed to make a hash of this simple task too. :(

I've actually ended up drilling three holes to avoid a severe bend in one of the leads if I'd used one of the first two I drilled. :rolleyes:

The only good news is that I have had plenty of practise welding up holes in this bulkhead.

So this is the route the battery cable will take going into the bulkhead.
( Some new rubber grommets for the holes are also on their way. )

Then the return cable will come back out here and connect to the original Spitfire earthing point.
( Other earth cables will also attached to this point. )

At some point I will drill a few holes in the bulkhead for some pop rivets to hold more zip tie mounts.
Then I can use the zip ties to keep the two cables apart and tuck them neatly out of the way.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #135
Wiring Loom - Part 1:
I brought my wiring loom indoors to make checking/adjusting the wiring a bit easier to do.
This also meant I could chip away at it in the evenings when it was dark outside.
The only down side is that the quality of many of the following indoor photos are pretty poor. :(

The original Spitfire 1500 had a separate side light & front indicator unit.
However, for my Cordite build, I've got a headlight with a side light built in.
So I took this opportunity to re-route the original wires for these items and the two car horns.

This is the original cable routing before, with the headlight & side light as two separate cable runs.

The next photo is a bit more of a close up before I started unwrapped the wires.
Note: There is a collection of earth wires joined together in a short "siding" of their own.

This was my revised cable route:

- The bundles of wires at coming from the top of the photo will start at the bulkhead.
- The wires for the two horns exit to the right and point towards the top of the photo.
- All the other wires feeding the headlights, side lights & indicators run off at the bottom of the photo.

There is more work required on the lighting wires at the bottom, but, for now, I wrapped up the rest.

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I knew that I had already removed all of the Spitfire heater wiring when I thinned out the loom. :rolleyes:

Therefore I wasn't sure how hard it would be to add wiring back into the loom for the new heater fan speed switch.

So you can imagine how happy I was when I traced the wiring I needed to use and found this connecting block.

So I went back to my collection of "spare" wires and found the original heater wire just sitting there waiting for me.

This may not be the original Triumph set up, but it made the re-connection a piece of cake. :cool:
( There have been very few "easy" jobs on this build, so I'll take the small victories when I can! )

I still need to fit a wider blade connector on the other end, as the new switch is a different size.
But I will do that when I have measured just how long this wire needs to be.

I've already sorted out the other wire for this fan speed switch which runs from the micro heater itself.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #136 (Edited)
Wiring Loom - Part 2:
I'd marked the two "power" wires I needed for my side repeaters running from the indicator switch through the wires behind the centre section of dash.

I plan to fit the side repeaters to the main bodywork, rather than the flip up hood as seen here on a Spyder build.
( Don't get me wrong, they look good there, but it seems like a long wiring route to me. )

Rather than cut these power wires, I simply "skinned" a small section of insulation off them.

Then I could wrap the ends of two small lengths of "spare" wires in matching colours to each wire.

I just needed to add some solder before wrapping the "T" junctions

With the "power" wires for the side repeaters wiring taken care of, next up was providing then with an earth feed...

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There was a "spare" earth wire running through the loom behind the centre of the dash, originally used for the old heater.

But I wanted to add three extra lengths of wire to it at this point.
- Two to correspond with the left & right side repeater wires I'd just set up above.
- Plus one more to connect with the earthing point I'm using for the new micro heater.

I figured trying to wrap lots of wire together would just make a big mess.

So instead I used 5 of the small ring/eye connectors that came with my crimping tool.

Together with my new pop riveting skills, I could now make a five way connection like so.

The wiring behind the centre section of the dash now looked like this.

With the new earth wire and the previously connected green fan speed switch wire coming straight down.

But before I could finish wrapping up this section of the loom there was another job to finish first...

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #137
Wiring Loom - Part 3:
When I first stripped my donor, there were two "random" wires in the engine bay not connected to anything.

Later on, when I started thinning out the wiring loom, I discovered both these wires ran to the oil warning light.

But after looking at various wiring diagrams, it turns out one of these wires is actually for a PDWA switch.
( Pressure Differential Warning Actuator )

This is linked to the fact I am running the dual (tandem) brake system from my late model 1500 donor.

The "plug" end of the cable looked like it had seen better days & may never have been used at all.

Also the PDWA wiring does not appear on any of the UK wiring diagrams I have, only the USA ones.

From what I have read, the PDWA was only a legal requirement in the US, not the UK.

Plus the corresponding warning light on my speedo is simply marked "Oil" & makes no reference to brakes.

So I have decided to remove the PDWA wiring altogether to keep the wiring I do want much simpler.

The only problem with this "master plan" was one end of the wire was in the engine bay section of the loom. :rolleyes:

So I unwrapped this a section at a time, adding tape back to hold the cable routes in their original positions after I'd removed the wire.

Eventually, I had all the surplus wires I wanted to remove in one place.

Just one of these two black/purple cables needed to be connected to a single white wire in the loom.

But just to be on the safe side I joined them both to the white wire.
( It has taken me a while to start using these crimp connectors that came with my pliers, but they are handy. )

This was the pile of spaghetti for the area behind the steering wheel before I removed the PDWA wires.

But before I started to tackle the rest of this mess, I went back to the centre dashboard wiring...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

With the PDWA wires removed, and the other wires running through here double checked, the centre dash section was now done.

So I wrapped it all up and it was nice to see one small part of the much bigger job complete. :cool:

In addition to the side repeater "spurs" pointing upwards in this section, there is also the ignition key wiring.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #138
Wiring Loom - Part 4:
I'd found a broken wire from one of the previous owners mods when I dismantled my donor.

This had linked the rev. counter earth to the high beam warning light earth.

However, this earth wire also had been "flattened" at some point.

So I decided to sort this all out properly while I was knee deep in wires anyway.

I wanted to keep the three speedo warning lights on a separate cable route anyway.

So I added the high beam warning light earth wire to another earth wire in the main loom.

As I'd already sorted out the oil warning light, I could now wrap the wires for these three bulbs.

Now I just needed to sort out the earth lead for the rev counter, but there was another problem...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I have been working with my notes and old photos, but the earth leads & dial bulb marked for the speedo just didn't look right.

In fact, I couldn't find a nice way to route most of the wiring while keeping the dash layout the way the previous owner had it.

After a lot of head scratching I had convinced myself that the dials must have been fitted the wrong way round.

Sure enough, a quick search of Google images gave me a standard layout with the speedo on the left & rev counter on the right! :rolleyes:

Once I'd calmed down a bit, I simply re-arranged the dials on the floor and instantly the wiring lengths/routes made more sense. :cool:

So it turns out that the oil pressure gauge bulb (far right) is actually an extension of the rev. counter bulb, not the speedo one.

Whilst it was good to know I can trust my instincts (occasionally!), it had been a frustrating waste of time.

The rev counter earth wire was set up just like the high beam warning light (1 earth wire becomes 2).

Any with that final fix for this section of wires in place I could finally see the rough layout I needed.
Note: This is not how they fit, just the separate routes I am going to have.

Then it was time to wrap up the vast majority of the wires behind the steering wheel.

This section also includes the wires that connect to the brake light switch behind the brake pedal.

I've left wires for the flasher unit and the hazard flasher unit unwrapped for now, until I can check where they are fitted relative to everything else.


934 Posts
Discussion Starter #139
Wiring Loom - Part 5:
When I first thinned the loom out, I cut one wire in error from the connection block that goes to the indicator/horn switch. :rolleyes:

Rather than attempt to fix the mess I'd made of the original connecting block, I simply added an extra connection.

However, for this to work, I had to wrap a "bend" in the rest of the wires to create some slack.
( As my previous butchery had left the wires too short. )

Whilst this is clearly not as tidy as the original set up, it will work well enough for me.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I continued working my way along the loom until I got to the section of wires near the fuses.

This included the other mistake that I'd made when thinning out the loom the first time.

I'd cut out a green & black wire in error (shown below on the left with tape on), but is was now too short to rejoin at the fuse box.

In addition, there was a "stray" earth lead that wasn't going to fold up/tuck away neatly either.

So I used two more of my red connecting tubes to tidy up the wires & their routes.
- The green & black wire now joins one of the green wires a bit earlier than at the fuse box itself.
- The earth wire is now a single lead to "earth", with the rest of the wire the right size to tuck in nicely.

Which meant another section of the loom could be wrapped up.

The collection of wires heading off to the bottom of this photo are for the rear lighting.
But I still need to work out the route they will take from the bulkhead through the rest of the car.

934 Posts
Discussion Starter #140
Wiring Loom - Part 6:
The next batch of wiring work could only start when the new connecting blocks I'd ordered arrived.
( 4 x 4 way connectors + 5 x 2 way connectors. )

I will be using these to join the old loom to the wiring for the front & rear lighting + side repeaters.
However, there was only so much I could do indoors without the full loom being laid out across the chassis / bodywork.

So I started by simply fitting one side/half of a 4 pin block to the headlight wiring.
( It is amazing just how long ago I started playing with the wires for these things. :rolleyes: )

There were three original wires, plus one new wire I'd added for the built in side light.

These wires were then cut to size & fixed into the pins.

The cable clamps were too "flat" at this point & needed to be squashed a bit rounder to fit inside the plastic block.

But once I'd got the hang of it, it was simply a matter of taking my time and repeating the process.

Eventually I had completed the other headlight cable and the wiring for the two front indicators.

Obviously the indicators only need a two pin connector.

The other halves of all these blocks will be fitted to the main loom, when I can finalise the wiring route/length required.

Just before I wired up the second headlight, it dawned on me it would be handy if each block was wired the same way.
So luckily either headlight will plug into either side of the loom, provided I remember to do the same with the loom block.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My final bit of work on the loom for now was to add two small blocks to the side repeater feeds.

I have set the connectors up so that the 'female' ends will be on the loom & the 'male' end on the lights, etc.

As before, the other half of these blocks will be added when the wires to the lights themselves are cut to length.

I must say I am really impressed with how easy these connectors are to use and how professional they look. :cool:

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)
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