Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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mikewurtz
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Motorcycle: 1984 1200 Interstate

Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby mikewurtz » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:10 pm



Hello all. I'll try to keep this short.

First off, I am a project guy. I love learning new things. I am constantly taking on projects I know little to nothing about simply for the sheer satisfaction of accomplishing them. That being said, when my future father in law said he was getting rid of his old motorcycle, I immediately jumped on it. I don't know much about motorcycle maintenance or restoration, but as I said, I love taking on new things.

The bike is a 1984 Goldwing 1200 Interstate. It has been parked on his back porch since about 1999 (at which point it was running beautifully) when he had a heart attack and was told to take it easy. It is currently in pretty bad shape and I can see I have my work cut out for me, but the question is . . . is it too much work? Is it even worth it?

Here are some pictures. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.




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WingAdmin
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:20 am

I'm sure you'll be able to get it to run again. Before getting into anything restorative (i.e. belts, fluids, filters, hoses), check the wiring throughout the bike - if it was sitting outside where critters could get to it, they tend to like to chew the insulation on the wiring.

CTInspect
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:17 am
Location: Watertown, CT
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby CTInspect » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:59 am

Without a doubt, check the wires .... and the connections, corrosion. I would also do a static check of the stator (only since Im replacing mine now) and regulator. But that can wait.
After the wires and connections and you get the power to the bike, Oh Ya, A Battery too. change the fluids out, flush the carbs with some cleaner/lubricant (drain and clean the tank). you may be able to crank it over, I would get some oil into the cylinders, just to lube them. Pull the valve covers and oil everything. Try getting it to turn over manually, with the plugs out, 5th gear and some help. Be careful trying to start it, the belts are more than likely shot and you could take the engine out if it does start ....
Make a list and get some $ figures, seat, tires, paint (that can cost). Outside all that time, you'll need brake work, filters, pull the fluids, the fuel and vac lines old and dry, timing belts, replace them. Probably pull the carbs, clean them, some rebuilding.

After you get some of this stuff done, you'll have Q's, these guys here have the answers. Its gonna be alot of work, with a little time and energy you'll know if it can be saved, and then its all worth it, Hey, its winter (well its warmer in SA,Tx) you could be on the road on a great bike in the spring ..... If not, part it out.
p.s. Read the posts here and wherever, you can learn an awful lot, I know I have. If its happening to you, its happened to someone else already.

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:46 am

Having sat there for ten years, I wouldn't even attempt to turn the engine over by hand until you've changed the timing belts. That should be the top of your list.

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maestro319
Posts: 507
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Location: West Chicago, IL
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing 1200 Aspencade

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby maestro319 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:20 pm

For FREE??? Shoot, go for it. BUT, be prepared for a lot of work and ,sometimes, a lot of frustration, BUT, keep checking this forum, ask questions, and you'll be just fine.
I'd love to see pics and get an update next spring. Good luck.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7647
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Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
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83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:30 pm

Free is always good.I wish i could have gotten my parts bikes free.Hard work and a little cash goes a long way to getting a ride moving again.Just start with the basics,the heart of the machine..Work your way up through the motor,timing belts,oil,pull the plugs,pull the valve covers,don't try to start it before you at least hand roll it.Will the engine turn over by hand(by wheel in 5th gear) look at the parts moving,checking for valve movement,fluid in the cylinder .if you can,check compression.amount is not as important as equality.I have motors running from 95 through 155 lbs.a little of marvel mystery oil works wonders to free stuck rings after long storage.REMEMBER don't put lipstick on a dead pig,be sure it will squeal first.

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arkansassuperdrafter
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:21 pm
Location: Magnolia, Arkansas
Motorcycle: 1985 Gl1200 Interstate
1986 Gl1200 Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby arkansassuperdrafter » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:32 pm

Mike, I just got throught resurrecting a 86 Interstate. It had set for 7 years and the motor was froze up. You can read my saga here: http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopi ... =59&t=7620
Bryce
85 and 86 Interstates

WOLFITZ
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby WOLFITZ » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:40 pm

Hey guys I'm Mikes budy some things we had noticed was that the wiring all looked fine from a glance, I noticed the fork seals were both blown but as it seems other than that just cosmetic. The last Honda I restored was my 81 750 custom and ended up blowing a timing chain but u guys are saying this has a belt instead? I believe with the book a little forum help we can take this easy. Also I would think after lubed fluids replaced and belt I guess I think a compression test correct? Thanks again guys.

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Right Winger
Posts: 278
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Location: Pittsburgh
Motorcycle: 85 ltd
84aspy

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby Right Winger » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:28 am

:) First off I would pull the plugs and squirt some penatrate of some sort down the cylinders MMO is fine. As said above try to get it to turn by hand FIRST. And PLEASE don't even think of trying to fire it up before you change out the timing belts (2) And as far as if it's worth it or not ! Well you got it at the right price that's for sure. :lol:

Outside of having to get it started, it doesn't seem you have much more to do than I did when I bought my 84 Aspy . I was a project bike when I got it, some what like yours I paid $1800.00 for it 8-) I worked on it at my leasure for about two years and I still make improvements from time to time.

In my opinion if it is worth it to YOU then it's worth it. Yes, when it's done you probably could have bought one for what you'll have in it especially if you are (like myself) an original buff like everything to be orginal or close to it, and like things to shine :lol:

I had to replace everything on my bike except the engine and the faring mostly for cosmetic sakes. there was alot of rust, like it sat out in the weather for a couple years uncovered. but it was running and ran good. it was being sold as a mechanics special at a Honda shop and I was assured that the engine was sound.

It really makes me feel good when I look at my bike and know what I have in it. I don't think I would feel the same way had I bought one ready to ride
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86GW1200
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:08 pm
Location: vero beach, florida
Motorcycle: 1986 Aspencade

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby 86GW1200 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:58 pm

I am going through this right now. I have not done the timing belts yet. I had to rebuild the carbs after the bike sat 7 years. I had to replace the fuel pump relay and the pump itself. Now I'm on to the calipers. Mine is in much better shape than yours - it was stored in the garage for 7 years- but it is an 86 aspy. I have it running great now and will get tires after I get the brakes done. Then I'll do the timing belts and buy a helmet and off to the sunset I go... :)

I say go for it, you are 500 dollars ahead of me. :? :(

Clair
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:38 am
Location: Krakow, WI
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Aspencade

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby Clair » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:59 am

Well you got it for free so you can definitely put some money into it, depends on how much time and money you want to stick into it but when
they're running, it's a beautiful ride.

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ricknhouston
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:31 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: '86 GL 1200 A

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby ricknhouston » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:37 pm

Hey AWLKRSN, That looks identical to my first Wing. brand new off the floor in May '04. I put 262K mi. on her in 4 yrs. Rode coast-to-coast U.S. Canada and Australia. Sold her in "89 w/o ever cracking a gasket ... Brakes, oil, tires and battery's ... that's it. What memories we shared together!

RickNHouston

AWLKRSN wrote::) First off I would pull the plugs and squirt some penatrate of some sort down the cylinders MMO is fine. As said above try to get it to turn by hand FIRST. And PLEASE don't even think of trying to fire it up before you change out the timing belts (2) And as far as if it's worth it or not ! Well you got it at the right price that's for sure. :lol:

Outside of having to get it started, it doesn't seem you have much more to do than I did when I bought my 84 Aspy . I was a project bike when I got it, some what like yours I paid $1800.00 for it 8-) I worked on it at my leasure for about two years and I still make improvements from time to time.

In my opinion if it is worth it to YOU then it's worth it. Yes, when it's done you probably could have bought one for what you'll have in it especially if you are (like myself) an original buff like everything to be orginal or close to it, and like things to shine :lol:

I had to replace everything on my bike except the engine and the faring mostly for cosmetic sakes. there was alot of rust, like it sat out in the weather for a couple years uncovered. but it was running and ran good. it was being sold as a mechanics special at a Honda shop and I was assured that the engine was sound.

It really makes me feel good when I look at my bike and know what I have in it. I don't think I would feel the same way had I bought one ready to ride

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littlebeaver
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Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:27 pm

I want it if it gets to be too much trouble, I 'll drive to your house and take it away for free even..No problem.. :D Mike.. I went to Edison High 78.. Lived on Woodlawn near St. Mary's st..Tobin Hill dangerous at night.. I had a boss name Harold Wurtz any relation..?

gingerbreadman
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:16 pm
Location: lowell michigan
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby gingerbreadman » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:33 am

I just got an '84 Interstate for free. Since then, my buddy and I have put in combined about 45,000 hours restoring and remodeling it. Took the front wheel stuff off and put on a custom fabbed sub-frame that we could fasten a VW Beetle front axel to.
Put a new car tire on the rear that was flat across, since there'll be no more banking on this trike.
The carbs were trashed so we built two manifolds, one for each head to mount a Holly/Webber progressive two barrel to.
Then we dissasembled all the plastic for paint. Got it mostly back together, but there's still the bits & pieces that need to be done to get it to run.
You'll have very little of that since you're not altering the shape or usage of your bike. I wish you all the best fun and success with your build!! :lol:

mikewurtz
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Motorcycle: 1984 1200 Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby mikewurtz » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:24 am

Thank you all for your replies.

First off, littlebeaver: No relation to Harold Wurtz :)

Now, as for the bike - I've finally gotten it into my garage. I took an air compressor and leaf blower to it and removed all the dust and crap that had settled onto it. I decided to test the electrical system first. A visual inspection of the wiring harness and various connections showed everything to be in good shape. I hooked up a battery that I knew to be good and nothing turned on. I inspected the fuses and noticed that a few of them had some pretty substantial corrosion on the contacts. I have plans to replace the fuses and retest.

With the bike now pretty clean, I could see that there were several hoses and other things that would need to be replaced due to some pretty heavy weathering. But, as virgilmobile pointed out, there's no sense in putting lipstick on a pig, better see if she can squeel first. :)

I was able to turn the engine over manually so I turned my attention to the fuel system. I opened up the gas tank to find a staggering amount of rust and build up. With the help of my mechanical mentor (Google) I found a few articles on removing the rust. I removed the gas tank which proved to include disassembling most of the bike ( ok not most, but it seemed like it ). I added a quart of sand and a quart of water, wrapped the tank in towells and let it tumble in my dryer ( with no heat, obviously ). I drained out a crap-ton of sludge, then repeated the process with BBs and a little water. The current plan is to repeat several times. The process is slow going and I'm still not sure if it will work. I have my eye on a replacement tank on eBay ( $35 ) just in case the plan falls through.

I have high hopes for the engine, which is in pretty good shape. I'm very confident it WILL run again. So, while the gas tank was tumbling I removed everything that would eventually need to be painted and the windshield which will need to be replaced due to several spider cracks.

It's been slow going, which I expected, but I'm loving every second of it. Thanks again for all of your input. I'll update in a few days.

mikewurtz
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Motorcycle: 1984 1200 Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby mikewurtz » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:41 am

Okay, things did not go as well today.

The plan for today was to replace the timing belts. Following my shop manual I began by removing the radiator. Which started off with adding a few things to my shopping list because ( as I expected ) every single hose I touched was so brittle with age it almost disintegrated into my hands. No problem, hoses are cheap, right? Then I drained the coolant which included one possibly fatal incident ( more on that in a minute ). Then, while removing the coolant reservoir, the plastic was so brittle I punched a hole into it with my thumb. :x . I'm trying to stay positive by reminding myself if it was that brittle it needs to be replaced anyway.

The reason for this update is to show you the following pictures.

While I was draining the coolant I, while applying what I thought to be minimal pressure, broke the area around the drain plug near the water pump. Tell me fellas . . . how bad is it?









Can I just use JB Weld? Duct Tape? Letter to the pope?!?

On a side note . . . can anyone recommend a good de-greaser to clean those areas up a little?

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ricknhouston
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Location: United States
Motorcycle: '86 GL 1200 A

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby ricknhouston » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:22 am

Wow! Sorry to hear about your bad luck!
That most definitely does NOT look good! As for a recommendation for a "good degreaser" .... I would use a "citrus based" one rather than something like "Zep", primarily because it will melt the skin off your hands.... ! Take from the voice of experience ... if the "Warning Label" says "do not apply to painted surfaces" ..... DON'T!

RicknHouston

knightflyer
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:12 am
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby knightflyer » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:00 am

Keep seeing the timing belt mentioned early in this thread, with implied Dire Consequences.

How often should that timing belt be changed or checked? I've got a 84 Interstate. It was in good running condition when I got it, but I'm not really sure of when that was serviced (have to go through the stuff I got from the previous owner). It's my main commute, so is ridden regularly, but sits out in the elements unfortunately. Thinking I've got about 60k on it, but I'd have to look to be sure.

cheers,
Dave
cheers,
Dave (knightflyer)
"While I may, I sail East in Dawn Treader." Reepicheep, Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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WingAdmin
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
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Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:12 pm

My universal quick-and-easy degreaser that I use on a LOT of things (including cleaning spilled oil off the cement floor) is brake cleaner! Works amazingly well.

As for that front engine cover - you could try and weld that piece back on using a number of different methods - the only real safe one I would try would be to have a professional aluminum welder do it for you, and then re-drill the hole the bolt went through.

That said, I think my choice at this point would be to find a new front engine cover. If that breaks again and/or opens up while riding, it's going to dump your engine oil under pressure, and lubricate both your front and rear wheels. That would make things very exciting, not in a good way!

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:19 pm

knightflyer wrote:Keep seeing the timing belt mentioned early in this thread, with implied Dire Consequences.

How often should that timing belt be changed or checked? I've got a 84 Interstate. It was in good running condition when I got it, but I'm not really sure of when that was serviced (have to go through the stuff I got from the previous owner). It's my main commute, so is ridden regularly, but sits out in the elements unfortunately. Thinking I've got about 60k on it, but I'd have to look to be sure.


The Dire Consequences are that if the belt breaks while the engine is running, the pistons will impact the valves, at best bending a valve or four, at worst punching holes in the pistons, breaking off valves, bending/breaking connecting rods, and spraying metal throughout the entire engine. I have a souvenir piston sitting on a shelf in my garage that this happened to.

The problem is, you can't look at the timing belts and know when this will happen. Unlike serpentine type (i.e. alternator) belts, they are designed not to stretch - at ALL - and therefore they don't crack and wear like you're used to seeing on serpentine belts. A timing belt that is on the verge of breaking can look perfect.

The timing belts are affected by two things: age and mileage. Heat can also play a factor (in that heat can accelerate the aging). If the engine sat for long periods of time without being run, this can also affect the belts' lifespan, as they will take a "set" in their position - and this accelerates their wear once they are started again.

If your GL1200 has 60,000 miles, and you don't know when they were changed last (if ever)...then the time to change them is yesterday!!

knightflyer
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:12 am
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby knightflyer » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:30 pm

WingAdmin wrote:The Dire Consequences are that if the belt breaks while the engine is running, the pistons will impact the valves... If your GL1200 has 60,000 miles, and you don't know when they were changed last (if ever)...then the time to change them is yesterday!!



Had a feeling that might be the answer. Okay, time to look up my buddy the certified tech; this might be a bit much to tackle.

Thanks!
Dave
cheers,
Dave (knightflyer)
"While I may, I sail East in Dawn Treader." Reepicheep, Voyage of the Dawn Treader

mikewurtz
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Motorcycle: 1984 1200 Interstate

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby mikewurtz » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:50 pm

Whew, good news . . .

The piece I broke is actually a small cover for the water pump. I was able to remove it completely and begin a repair. I applied JB Weld and will be taking it to a family member who welds aluminum in his machine shop for a surface weld. If that fails, I found a few inexpensive replacements online.



One crisis averted, and inevitably a new one surfaces.

I opened the timing belt covers to find this:



:shock: GAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! Any suggestions?! :?

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ricknhouston
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:31 am
Location: United States
Motorcycle: '86 GL 1200 A

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby ricknhouston » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:53 pm

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Last rights, perhaps !!!

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maestro319
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:22 pm
Location: West Chicago, IL
Motorcycle: 1986 Honda Goldwing 1200 Aspencade

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby maestro319 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:19 am

Yikes!! What a mess!!!

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littlebeaver
Posts: 4420
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Motorcycle: 1981 gl 1100 I , 79 Yamaha XS11
Special, 82 Kawa 750 CSR, 82 Kawa 750 LTD, 03 Kawa Nomad 1500, 99 Kawa Voyager 1200

Re: Got This Bike for Free . . . is it Worth the Trouble?

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:43 am

I'm rooting for you Mike, If you pull this fix off, it would be most impressive..Mine didn't look that bad..I'd get a replacement part off ebay just in case..Those pully tensioner's gotta go.. :)




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