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Old 10-17-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Exclamation popping sound in front suspension

i don't know if anyone else has had experience from time to time depending on what type of bump it is; my front suspension makes a popping sound, almost sounds like the struts. any suggestions on what it might be?
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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Is it stock?
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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What do you have done to your car at the moment? The upper strut mount/spring perch can make noise under certain conditions.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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Enjoy! There really isn't a fix for it.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49036
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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rolnslo, i read the link you gave me and its totally what i'm experiences. i just wasn't sure if i was the only one. it only does it when i'm driving slow and depending on how i hit the bump it sometimes feels like my front end is going to fall off.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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If it's bad enough that it feels like the front end is going to fall off, have you taken the car to the dealer for diagnosis? A little rattle here and there may not be a big deal, but if it's big enough you can feel it through the floor boards or steering wheel it may be a good time to get it diagnosed!
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PfadtRacing View Post
If it's bad enough that it feels like the front end is going to fall off, have you taken the car to the dealer for diagnosis? A little rattle here and there may not be a big deal, but if it's big enough you can feel it through the floor boards or steering wheel it may be a good time to get it diagnosed!
Did that twice with my 2010. Both times I was told (by different dealerships) that it was normal because they could replicate the sound on a new 2010 on the lot. Sadly, this is the GM line they are told to use - if it happens on another Camaro, it's normal and there is nothing to fix.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cjon9657 View Post
rolnslo, i read the link you gave me and its totally what i'm experiences. i just wasn't sure if i was the only one. it only does it when i'm driving slow and depending on how i hit the bump it sometimes feels like my front end is going to fall off.
I completely understand what you are experiencing. There was a seam between two sections of asphalt at the corner by my bank and every time I took that corner, it felt like my struts just dropped. Dealers said it was "normal".
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjon9657 View Post
i don't know if anyone else has had experience from time to time depending on what type of bump it is; my front suspension makes a popping sound, almost sounds like the struts. any suggestions on what it might be?
You haven't mentioned any mods.

Jack it up and give the sway bars a firm strong jiggle on all ends one at a time. Loose sway bar end links sound like loose struts or bad ball joints. The noise will drive you crazy over bumps.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:47 AM   #11
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I don't want to depress you guys but this noise is a by-product of the upper strut mount design and is not fixable by simply changing a strut or strut mount.

Unlike most strut vehicles with bolt-in upper strut mounts, the Zeta platform uses a floating upper mount. The mount literally just sits in place using the weight of the car to hold it there. Those funny looking formed washers in the engine bay that stick up 1/2" above the strut towers are the strut retainers. If they were not there, the struts would literally fall out if you jacked the car up.

What happens when you go over bumps, washboards, potholes, etc. is that the strut rebound valving does not allow the strut to extend quickly enough to compensate so the entire strut assembly falls down out of the strut tower slightly. This creates the noise everyone is hearing. It is not dangerous by any means but it is definitely annoying.

Ultimately the design itself needs to be changed or the problem will continue. This would have to include changing the design of the strut tower itself as well as the strut mount. I doubt GM will do any more major re-designs with the Zeta platform but hopefully this issue will be resolved with the upcoming Alpha platformed Camaros.

Keep in mind this is a completely different issue from the earlier upper spring isolator service bulletins. The issue being discussed generally only happens while driving over speed bumps, transitions, rough pavement, etc.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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gremlins

that was helpful.


Many have experienced this same thing. Start by checking the end links. Then continue to talk to the dealership. If nothing else contact a regional dealer rep. for more help.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:48 AM   #13
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Mine does the same thing. Typical Chevrolet garbage basically. Everytime I read a thread on this, I get pissed. Not at the op, but at Chevrolet. Because my car sounds like a piece of shit when I'm going down the road to my house.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #14
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Subject:Front Suspension Thump or "Loose Lumber" Noise

Models:2010-2011 Chevrolet Camaro

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern

Some customers may comment about suspension noise coming from the front of the vehicle when driving at low/moderate speeds (16-40 km/h [10-25 mph]) over rough roadway surfaces (cracks, lightly broken surfaces). The sound has been described as a rattle, knocking, clunking or "loose lumber" noise. This sound should be of a relatively low volume and behave as a brief rumble or thud following impacts with rough roadways. The sound is non-metallic in nature and has a dull wooden character.
The "loose lumber" sound exists as a result of the basic component configuration and tuning that effect the ride, handling and steering of the vehicle.

Recommendation/Instructions

When a customer brings in a vehicle with front suspension noise, upon confirmation of the sound via a test drive, a brief inspection of the front suspension should be conducted (fastener torques, bushing/ball joint health). If no issues are found, the technician should confirm that the sound is/is not typical for the Camaro. (If needed, drive another Camaro and note the sound quality over small impacts.) If the sound is common in character with that of other Camaros, the customer should be informed that the vehicle is operating as intended and that the "loose lumber" sound is a normal suspension sound.

Warranty Information

If the noise is found to be a normal condition, please submit labor operation E9995 (Customer Concern Not Duplicated -- Tires, Wheels, Suspension and Steering); otherwise, utilize the labor operation for the repaired or replaced component.

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

WE SUPPORT VOLUNTARY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION

© 2010 General Motors. All rights reserved.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
Pete

I have had my car to to one dealer several times ,they do acknowledge the noise is there but told they can't touch it because GM claims it's normal.
I took it to another dealer today and we road tested the car, he thinks it is coming from the strut.
He said he will check out it if the struts or rubber bushings is a problem and get back to me.
Other than that I have checked the front in with a wrench and socket for tightness of nuts and bolts, I don't have a torque wrench capable of performing the torques specified.
You say to crank them down with an impact,I would be a little concerned about stripping the bolts/nuts etc.There is a reason why they specific a certain torque on certain bolts etc.
This rubber booth at the top of the strut ,does GM sell those or are they an aftermarket part.
I wish I was close and have you listen to this noise because it is annoying and when you have a mechanic at the dealer tells you to turn up the radio because that's what most camaro owners do that as this problem ,it would p*** you off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
You are correct about the torque specs. If you hammer away with the air gun you will strip something. That is why I say mechanic tight. If you know what you are doing it is a couple of burps. You hear it and see it. The socket is only going to move a bit more or less than half a turn. When you get that bit of movement you stop. The knuckles in the 5th Gen are aluminum. The ball joint studs are steel. I have never seen a tech strip a ball joint stud or nut with a hand wrench. The same is true of the LCA and RA bolts. When I tell people how to remove nuts from an endlink stud they don't believe it will work. Clean the exposed threads with a wires brush. Spray the threads with penetrating oil and hit the nuts with the biggest most powerful air gun in the shop. The TQ, the acceleration removes the nut without holding the stud. Burping the gun on the endlink nuts will get that extra half turn that is the difference between a noisy endlink and a quiet one. When we step out side the box like this, we own the endlink is we strip it because we didn't follow the GM TQ spec. We know that going in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolnslo View Post
While I'd love to take you up on this offer, this is not something that you should be "fixing". GM owns this problem, not Pedders. Besides, getting out to Fredricksburg during the week isn't going to happen this year (4.5hrs each way)...I burned my annual vacation balance this spring for the trip out to C5FestII. :(

I'll just start setting aside a bit of money every month to save up for a set of Pedders coilovers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjon9657 View Post
rolnslo, i read the link you gave me and its totally what i'm experiences. i just wasn't sure if i was the only one. it only does it when i'm driving slow and depending on how i hit the bump it sometimes feels like my front end is going to fall off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolnslo View Post
Did that twice with my 2010. Both times I was told (by different dealerships) that it was normal because they could replicate the sound on a new 2010 on the lot. Sadly, this is the GM line they are told to use - if it happens on another Camaro, it's normal and there is nothing to fix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
You are going to have to get use to it,I have had mind to several dealers and they won't do anything to it since GM claims it is normal.
I have checked all nuts and end links to verify if anything was loose, all appears to be tight but I still have a guy feeling that my struts is defective or weak springs.
I get a lot of movement between the top strut plate and the strut tower, actually leaving black marks on the tower.
All GM offered me for my troubles was a free oil ,they are treating this as some kind of joke on there customers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camarowguy View Post
Mine does the same thing. Typical Chevrolet garbage basically. Everytime I read a thread on this, I get pissed. Not at the op, but at Chevrolet. Because my car sounds like a piece of shit when I'm going down the road to my house.
It is frustrating. In a perfect world you would all be able to swing by and we could address this one by one.

We believe there is a fix and Pedders has made it available on this forum for some time. We have seen similar issues with the G8. We have watched as GM replaced the lower control arm and radius arms under warranty only to have the same noise come back. We have fixed them by tightening appropriate fasteners. The G8 did see CA and RA ball joint failures. This is due to the nature of the G8 ball joint finish. It is a course finish ball that depends on the 'dimples' in the finish to hold grease. When the lubrication is less than ideal the ball rubs against the nylon fingers creating a noise similar to a baseball card in the spokes of bicycle wheel. Replacement Pedders arms have a high polish finish and are 1mm larger than OE for the G8. Chevrolet for the Camaro improved the ball joint and that is NOT a problem on the Camaro.

Similar to the G8, the Camaro does develop noise when the strut assembly nut is not tight, endlink nuts are not tight, control arm nuts are not tight and radius arm nuts are not tight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
I do understand that some Camaros have a noise in the front end. There was a change in the upper insulator. The original was a flat rubber washer. The new improved part is a stamped steel and urethane part. Having written that, when we install Pedders coilovers we through those in the garbage. Yes we throw away both the flat old original rubber and new urethane and stamped steel upper insulator and have no one complain about the noise. We have replaced some flat rubbers to with the new improved part to isolate the cabin from an internal strut hydraulic flutter. The flutter noise is not a bang or clunk and it does not in any way impact the performance of the vehicle. The flutter was found in the early months of production and has been addressed. I don't consider either of these to be a defect or a real problem with a part. They are minor evolutionary changes that I would expect from a manufacturing company. Neither one would account for the types of noises being reported here.

With the exception of a handful of early production vehicles (upper insulator change out) the rest have been fixed on the spot with an impact gun and some grunt behind a couple of wrenches. If you can make the trip out here, I'll meet you at my Fredericksburg Pedders Dealer. We'll go over your front end and make your noise go away by making everything tight to my standards. I have posted a checklist for this. It just takes some time to work through. You can watch the process, take pictures and or video. It ain't a rocket science fix. I'll pay for the shop time. We just need to get you here to Heath's shop during the week.

NOTE: There are a large number of C5 members that have posted in this thread with noises AND aftermarket parts. Installing aftermarket parts requires the disassembly of the OE parts. Those with aftermarket parts should be in a separate thread or make it abundantly clear in their posts.

Camaro Front End Noise Correction

Inspection -- Determine if the upper spring insulator is black rubber or beige urethane.

Inspection -- If it is black rubber and partially displaced, replace it with the updated steel and urethane insulator.

Inspection -- Is there any damage to any of the front end components.

Inspection -- If available test drive with chassis ears in place to identify the source. If chassis ears are not available complete the 9 Steps listed here.

1. With the weight of the car on the wheels, remove the strut retaining nut and plate.
2. Burp the exposed strut assembly nut tight with the biggest baddest air gun in the shop. TQ is the key. We need a sudden acceleration of the nut to make it tight.
3. Reinstall the strut retaining plate and strut retaining nut. Tighten with the same over kill air gun for the same reasons.
4. Hit the strut clevis bolts with the same gun.
5. Hit the endlink nuts with the same monster gun. Don't do it by hand. Crank them down.
6. Get a wrench and all three ball joint nuts. Make them mechanic tight.
7. Crank down the radius arm nut and bolt to the same standard. Mechanic tight.
8. Get a socket on the sway bar strap nuts and make them mechanic tight.
9. Hit all four steering rack bolts and make them mechanic tight.

The 5th Gen Camaro is a ZETA II front end. We have seen issues with the G8 in the USA and the Commodore in AU. Chevrolet addressed those issues with large more robust ball joints and studs. Pontiac has addressed them with a TSB to replace the LCA and radius arms. There is NO issue with those components on the Camaro. Replacing the arms on G8s does not eliminate the noise because there were additional sources. Those sources are what appear to be tight to spec nuts on ball joints, endlinks, steering rack mounts, clevis bolts and strut mounting hardware. (The Camaro strut mount is different from the G8, but similar in that it has two nuts one below and one above the strut mount). Tightening the bolts is the key to resolving front end noises. What makes it tough for the DYI is lack of access to a high volume high pressure air supply to power a rattle gun.
Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center: 1-800-222-1020
GM Executive Center Detroit: 313-667-7153

Finally, if none of this brings you closer to a quiet Camaro feel free to call Pedders. We will work with you in every way possible including speaking directly to your local Chevy Dealer. 248.522.8021

Hit the print button. Visit your dealer and let us know how things go
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:12 PM   #15
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I fixed this problem by trading in my 2010 Camaro for a 2011 SS with the revised strut towers. Been over every road surface that used to make my 2010 sound like it was falling apart and not a single issue with the 2011. GM wouldn't have redesigned the strut towers if there wasn't a problem with the initial design used in the 2010.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have the same opinion as you,but according to GM there is no problem,they say get over it suckers there is no fix ,we got your money and it's too bad we suckered you in .
Always an option to trade it in....
Mustangs have had the same issue for years
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolnslo View Post
I fixed this problem by trading in my 2010 Camaro for a 2011 SS with the revised strut towers. Been over every road surface that used to make my 2010 sound like it was falling apart and not a single issue with the 2011. GM wouldn't have redesigned the strut towers if there wasn't a problem with the initial design used in the 2010.
I am glad the noise is gone, but the mount is the same 2010 to 2012.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:46 PM   #18
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Always an option to trade it in....
Mustangs have had the same issue for years
There is a 'loose lumber' TSB for the Mustang and the Mustang has a bolt in strut mount.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #19
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I am glad the noise is gone, but the mount is the same 2010 to 2012.
I said strut tower, not mount.

So, you are saying these are the same?

2010 to mid-2011:



Mid-2011+:
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolnslo View Post
I said strut tower, not mount.

So, you are saying these are the same?

2010 to mid-2011:



Mid-2011+:
The fender structure you see under the hood is clearly different in the model years. The actual mount, the strut mount bearing plate on top of the strut that fits into the body mount is the same year to year. It has not changed in mounting style or function from 2010. What I am saying if that if it were the strut mount cuasing the noise there is no reason to expect any change.

The reason for the changes in the towers revolved around the development of the Vert. The Vert introduced the strut tower bar, the under chassis braces and revised sub-frame bushes. The strut assembly has not changed It still uses a reataining plate to keep it in the car when lifted or airborne. The strut reatining plate still articulates. The strut retaining plate rubber still leaves a 'wear' mark underneath it.

Short answer -- yes the mount is unchanged
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
With this change on the 2011 models , can it be done to the 2010 models to correct this thumping noises over speed bumps/rough roads etc. If so why isn't GM accepting the fact that an poor engineering design/flaw is a problem and fix our cars before the warranty expires.Also if their wasn't a problem in the first place, why have they come out with a change to the 2011 models, it doesn't take a Rocket scientist to figure this one out
I can't speak for GM and won't. I can an all too often do offer my opinion on a variety of C5 topics

I personally have done between 50 to 60 ZETA suspensions over the last four years. More than a few were making front end noises when I became involved. Aside from the strut hydraulic whoosh, they have all been resolved. I am not aware of any design flaw and don't feel there is one. That doesn't make me right. A bad bush here, a ball joint there, failed endlink, loose CA, ball stud, endlink, RA nut, sway bar strap nut do not combine to define a design flaw. I have yet to see a failed Camaro strut / mount bearing plate, though I have seen quite a few in the G8. That is why the mount was redesigned for the Camaro. The G8 mount was a carry over from the Holden Monaro and long over due for an update.

By now you know I call it like I see it. I don't believe the redesign of the towers has anything to do with the noises that have been reported in this thread and others. Once again, that does not make me right. It is just what I have seen first hand and my Dealers report to me.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:29 AM   #22
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Just did a scan back through the main suspension noise thread...and noticed that nearly everyone complaining about these sounds had a 2010 or early 2011 model. Finding it odd that this issue has died down for the most part and no one with a late 2011 or 2012 model is complaining of suspension noise.
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolnslo View Post
Just did a scan back through the main suspension noise thread...and noticed that nearly everyone complaining about these sounds had a 2010 or early 2011 model. Finding it odd that this issue has died down for the most part and no one with a late 2011 or 2012 model is complaining of suspension noise.
As noted in my posts there was a running change made to the upper insulator -- Flat rubber ring to steel with urethane.

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Old 10-28-2011, 10:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Pete

Rolnslo indicated that he got rid of is 2010 and bought the 2011 model and have no issues with the thumping noise anymore.
When I had mind to the dealer he compared my 2010 with a 2011 on the lot and said the same issues were on the 2011 models.
So are you saying the strut tower revision really didn't do anything to correct this problem,if so why would GM have changed the design.
Thanks for all your input,I don't want to trade it and take a big lost in the purchase of another 2011 and end up with the same issues.
Other than this annoying noise the car is fine.
IMO, speaking only for myself, GM redesigned the towers to compensate for loss of strength when the roof is removed on the convertible. It is the same reason they added a strut tower bar and the cross bracing underneath. They all compensate for open air motoring. The constant between the front ends in regards to noise is the strut assembly Strut, coil, insulator, washer, upper spring perch / bearing plate, washer and nut. Once in the car a retaining plate and nut are added. Upper insulator aside, the design is not changed.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:16 PM   #25
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I do know that the Camaro strut mount is designed with a bias toward performance and durability at the expense, to a degree, in Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH). Given the performance numbers we achieve in our Pedderised Camaros and the Ring time of the ZL1 they gave done very good job. None of that addresses the pain in the but noise some experience. My frustration is I really believe our process works from replacing the upper insulator to making sure everything is tight.
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