5W-20 oil


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tylers883
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5W-20 oil

Post by tylers883 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:25 am



Just wondered if any of you have some insight on motor oil.

I've noticed that there is a growing trend in my local auto supplies store to stock lighter weight motor oils such as 10w-20 and 5w-20. This is making it harder for me to find more traditional motor oils like 10w-30 and 10w-40. The reduced availability is translating to reduced availability of sale prices.

Anyway, this led me to do a little reading about the newer oils. As far as I can tell, a major factor toward creating these new oil is improved fuel economy in our new cars.

Frankly, for my 81 goldwing, I care more about protecting my engine, not fuel economy.

Everything in my old school brain tells me that the 5w-20 oils are bad news. I don't trust them.

If you know more about why they are good, can you chime in here?

special thanks in advance.

Tyler



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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by themainviking » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:16 am

5W20 oils are formulated for the new standard of engineering in brand new (or brand new within the last ten years or so anyway) automobiles. The tolerences are tighter in the engines, so a thinner oil makes sense. The second reason for this is indeed, improved fuel economy. This creates no problems for these newer vehicles, but will NOT work for your bike. Your bike should have motorcycle specific oil, in 10W30, 10W40 or 20W50, in accordance with your owners manual. Motorcycle specific oil is recommended because your cluth is in the same bath as your engine, and so should not have friction modifiers in the oil.

Hope this helps
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by harvey01 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:32 pm

Just want to echo what Mainviking said. Use the proper motorcycle oil called for in your owners manual. If you don't have an Honda owners manual or service manual you can get either one or both at www.helminc.com
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by dnehasert » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:35 pm

Many use Delo 400LE 15w40 or Shell Rotella 15w40 with good results. Though they are diesel oil they have all the ingredients needed on motorcycles. They also have synthetic oils but that's a waste of money on 30-40 year old motorcycles.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:14 am

I recently read an article by an "oil guy" that said that the sole reason manufacturers recommend 5W20 is for gas mileage. I can believe that, considering the role that government plays in the car manufacturers lives. If that is how they got the particular vehicle's specified to meet the CAFE standards, then that is what has to be recommended for use. Not that the watery oil is the best thing for the engine. It's just the best thing for mileage, and to a certain extent, the engines can handle it due to modern engine design specs. But for engine life, a heavier oil is wiser. Light weight oils, as I'm sure everyone knows, are a good thing on cold startups, as it provides better lubrication during that initial period of warmup. But, after that, that light weight oil is not so good. I'd stick with the 10W40 as specified by Honda. Living in Florida, I even tried some of the Mobil1 20W50 V-Twin Synthetic oil with unsatisfactory results. It made shifting a whole lot stiffer. The owners manual says it can be used in Florida type climate and temperature ranges, but I would not. The best luck I've had is with the Mobil1 10W40 Bike Specific oil. I tried the Rotella, and didn't care for it. Maybe because that oil starts in the 15W range, and caused the stiffer shifting I experienced with the 20W50. I'm partial to synthetics, so the only other oil I have used is the Valvoline 10W40 Synthetic Bike Oil. It was OK, but I lean toward Mobil1 for every other vehicle I own (6 cars and trucks), so I stuck with the Mobil1 for the bike as well.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:43 am

Bluewaterhooker0 wrote:I recently read an article by an "oil guy" that said that the sole reason manufacturers recommend 5W20 is for gas mileage. I can believe that, considering the role that government plays in the car manufacturers lives. If that is how they got the particular vehicle's specified to meet the CAFE standards, then that is what has to be recommended for use. Not that the watery oil is the best thing for the engine. It's just the best thing for mileage, and to a certain extent, the engines can handle it due to modern engine design specs. But for engine life, a heavier oil is wiser. Light weight oils, as I'm sure everyone knows, are a good thing on cold startups, as it provides better lubrication during that initial period of warmup. But, after that, that light weight oil is not so good. I'd stick with the 10W40 as specified by Honda. Living in Florida, I even tried some of the Mobil1 20W50 V-Twin Synthetic oil with unsatisfactory results. It made shifting a whole lot stiffer. The owners manual says it can be used in Florida type climate and temperature ranges, but I would not. The best luck I've had is with the Mobil1 10W40 Bike Specific oil. I tried the Rotella, and didn't care for it. Maybe because that oil starts in the 15W range, and caused the stiffer shifting I experienced with the 20W50. I'm partial to synthetics, so the only other oil I have used is the Valvoline 10W40 Synthetic Bike Oil. It was OK, but I lean toward Mobil1 for every other vehicle I own (6 cars and trucks), so I stuck with the Mobil1 for the bike as well.
This is true. Car manufacturers live and die by CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) numbers. I have owned a car that was specified to use 5W20 the year it was made, and the following model year they changed it to 0W20 - same exact car, same exact engine, absolutely nothing changed except the numbers in the owner's manual and on the oil cap. Solely because they needed to get the mileage numbers up in order to help fix their CAFE problem.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:04 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Bluewaterhooker0 wrote:I recently read an article by an "oil guy" that said that the sole reason manufacturers recommend 5W20 is for gas mileage. I can believe that, considering the role that government plays in the car manufacturers lives. If that is how they got the particular vehicle's specified to meet the CAFE standards, then that is what has to be recommended for use. Not that the watery oil is the best thing for the engine. It's just the best thing for mileage, and to a certain extent, the engines can handle it due to modern engine design specs. But for engine life, a heavier oil is wiser. Light weight oils, as I'm sure everyone knows, are a good thing on cold startups, as it provides better lubrication during that initial period of warmup. But, after that, that light weight oil is not so good. I'd stick with the 10W40 as specified by Honda. Living in Florida, I even tried some of the Mobil1 20W50 V-Twin Synthetic oil with unsatisfactory results. It made shifting a whole lot stiffer. The owners manual says it can be used in Florida type climate and temperature ranges, but I would not. The best luck I've had is with the Mobil1 10W40 Bike Specific oil. I tried the Rotella, and didn't care for it. Maybe because that oil starts in the 15W range, and caused the stiffer shifting I experienced with the 20W50. I'm partial to synthetics, so the only other oil I have used is the Valvoline 10W40 Synthetic Bike Oil. It was OK, but I lean toward Mobil1 for every other vehicle I own (6 cars and trucks), so I stuck with the Mobil1 for the bike as well.
This is true. Car manufacturers live and die by CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) numbers. I have owned a car that was specified to use 5W20 the year it was made, and the following model year they changed it to 0W20 - same exact car, same exact engine, absolutely nothing changed except the numbers in the owner's manual and on the oil cap. Solely because they needed to get the mileage numbers up in order to help fix their CAFE problem.
I've never seen 0W20, but I bet it pours like water. Scary that the manufacturers would recommend something like that, without some caveat stated in the manual explaining their position. 95% of the driving world would have no idea, and just follow the "cap" specs. I've never followed the 5W20 recommendation on my vehicles. Always done 5W30 if I expected to be in some freezing climates on a trip, or 10W30 here in the 'oven' known as Florida :-)

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Old Wing Man » Sun May 21, 2017 11:46 am

I would never use xxW20 oil in any vehicle regardless of what the OEM said. They only care about their CAFE numbers and not your engine. Here in the south, I use Shell Rotella T6 in 5W-40 which is good for year round use. It is also good for anything that I own from lawnmower, motorcycle, truck, car, boat and diesel tractor. Being that, I only have to buy one oil for everything rather than what I was previously using that required 5 different oils.
Most of my uses only require yearly oil changes so it isn't a big money drain to use full synthetic.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by billbob » Sun May 21, 2017 8:18 pm

I have used 15w40 wt. oil in all my wings and they shift great . Never had a problem with that wt. of oil.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Old Wing Man » Mon May 22, 2017 9:17 am

I suppose folks that ride in below freezing weather might have a problem with 15W or 20W oils but I don't find it a problem shifting in freezing weather because my bike is on its center stand in my shop.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by minimac » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:13 am

tylers883 wrote:.....my local auto supplies store to stock lighter weight motor oils such as 10w-20 and 5w-20. This is making it harder for me to find more traditional motor oils like 10w-30 and 10w-40. The reduced availability is translating to reduced availability of sale prices.

....Frankly, for my 81 goldwing, I care more about protecting my engine, not fuel economy.
"Quality oil doen't cost-it pays" used to be an advertising tagline. The same was true then, as it is now. Especially if you're concerned about engine wear. Besides, it's not like you're putting in 5 or 6 quarts of the stuff!

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Old Wing Man » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:12 am

I don't understand your statement about using quality oil. There is no issue of quality when using 10W-40 rather than 5W-20. I agree with the poster who doesn't care about mileage just taking care of his engine. The one and only reason a manufacturer specs. 5W-20 oil is to get that extra MPG that a super light weight oil would give due to a bit less impact resistance with the crank hitting the light weight oil in the pan. Federal mandates require OEM to have an average between all their models that they would rather get by modifying the oil rather than better their designs, it is much cheaper that way. They don't really care if you get 300K just as long as you get past the 100K or warranty period. If your engine starts using a lot of oil, then you buy a new car which is good for them.

I prefer to have the extra thickness of oil in the engine when hot to protect the bearings and rings from wear than to have 1 more mile per gallon. I use full synthetic oil in my equipment (all of my equipment), not because of the extended mileage I get between changes because I usually change yearly rather than by mileage but because of the better wear resistance that I get.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by minimac » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:38 pm

Old Wing Man wrote:I don't understand your statement about using quality oil.....

.... I use full synthetic oil in my equipment (all of my equipment), not because of the extended mileage I get between changes because I usually change yearly rather than by mileage but because of the better wear resistance that I get.
Exactly the point. Better quality, better wear, better longevity, and ,as a bonus, usually better mileage.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Rednaxs60 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:23 pm

When looking at the oil designation, the 5W is for a winter start and is really not relevant over 35-40 degrees F. Once the engine is up to operating temperature the 20 rating is what is relevant. This is the same no matter what oil you use. Not much difference between a 0W and 5W oil.

Synthetic or mineral is a personal choice. A friend of mine who changed his oil every 2 months because of commuting distances could not justify the added cost. For a person changing the oil maybe up to 3 times a year (driving 12 months), synthetic may be prudent.

Using synthetic in a 30 plus year old bike can be worthwhile, especially when you see such low mileage/kilometer numbers on a bike of this vintage. I know people who have taken various equipment apart for whatever reason after having used synthetic oil regularly/religiously and the internals exhibit very little wear.

Over on Classic Goldwings, Ed Belanger (1954-2015), did a dyno test on his 1200. Here is his thread albeit a few years old, but with graphs, etc. http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/gl1200/s ... 2#pid44852

I thought it was a good presentation regarding the benefits of synthetic over mineral oils.

I prefer synthetic over mineral and when I can buy synthetic for the same price as mineral, synthetic always wins. Right now I'm using Rotella T6 5W40 synthetic. The 1200 is a high revving engine and synthetic can be a benefit because of this. My son-in-law had a CBR 600 a few years back and I convinced him to change to Amsoil because the bike ran hot when city riding. When he changed the bike ran significantly cooler and he discerned this from the number of times the rad fan did not kick in compared to when he was using mineral oil.

Amsoil is a big promoter in Sturgis every year and have made converts of many HD riders. Since the HD is known for its heat generation, Amsoil promotes the oil because of this.

Just a few thoughts on this.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by bstig60 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:01 am

I use 5w20 synthetic oil in my Jeep GC. The oil has friction modifiers in it so it is not advisable for wet clutch systems. I use 15w50 Mobil 1 full synthetic in my 1500 for the past 3 years with no problems. It does not have friction modifiers in it. Not MC Specific oil. I get it at Walmart. I will be changing to this oil in my 1800 before my trip next week. I don't expect it to perform any differently in my 1800 than it has in my 1500. I also use the same oil in my XV1100 Virago and the engine runs much cooler that it did with dino oil. BTW: I run this 5000 miles in my Goldwings before changing oil and filter.
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by golden highway » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:29 pm

I use what the manufacturer recommends and never have a problem. I run my cars 250,000 to 300,000 miles on whatever the recommended oil is. Some were 10/30 5/30 5/20 and yes 0/20 I can't complain to the manufacturer if I have an oil related failure and wasn't following their recommendations. I drive a lot so I have driven a lot of vehicles to high mileage.

My GL1500 gets 10/40 just like the manufacturer recommends. I am using Moble one now. It does seem to hold up better than the others I tried.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by jeffcosmo » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:28 am

A few misconceptions here, but oil threads are like that.
First off, the manufacturer cares more about their reputation than any CAFE number, period. If the car is perceived as unreliable or troublesome, the manufacturer WILL have financial trouble (see AUDI, circa 1985 or so). Therefore, any recommended oil will be the best for the car's life, regardless of anyone's opinion.
Secondly, "thinner" oil, such as 0W-X or 5W-X has the added benefit of getting to the necessary points in the engine faster under all conditions. That it helps fuel mileage is a side benefit that is real. Which makes the use of "thicker" oils (15W-X or, E Gads!! 20W-X) quite suspect for protection upon startup. FWIW, these oils are best for rolling element bearings (Hardley-Ablesons, early Kwackers) and those engines for which they are specified.
Friction modifiers help the above, and hurt the wet clutch in a motorcycle (save a couple Italian brands, and the odd German tiddler). Don't use an oil with these buggers.
Lastly, I was mentored by a smart gentleman who once suggested to me that any modification to factory specification risks the impression that I thought I knew more than the factory engineers, college-educated blokes who have the backing of billion-dollar corporations with their reputation on the line and their name on the grille badge. Now, with the passage of time (read - "on older vehicles"), some modifications have proven their worth and are reasonable and proper. Still, changing oil spec without a fuller knowledge of all that goes into that specification risks affecting the longevity of your engine and the possible denial of any warrantee claim.
I did work for an auto part store (Advance Auto Parts, for the curious), and have heard most of the "justifications" for changing factory spec, and none of them had any engineering background to them at all. Most were based on specious empirical 'knowledge', or just superstition.

Cosmo (awaiting the fallout...)

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by themainviking » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:11 pm

jeffcosmo wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:28 am
A few misconceptions here, but oil threads are like that.


Cosmo (awaiting the fallout...)
Always some. And no fallout here. This is why oil manufacturers provide training on oil specs and expectations as well as performance ability and lack thereof. I am only truly knowledgeable about Amsoil, as it is the Amsoil training that I have gotten. Amsoil holds what they call "Oil University" every year at their Superior Wisconsin Corporate Headquarters. They cover business practices and ethics but most importantly, they cover the formulation and research into their products, with the aim of not having dealers who talk to customers "through their hats". If, when speaking with an Amsoil dealer, you do not think they seem to know about their product, then they probably have not availed themselves of the training afforded. I would assume this is true of all or at least most other lubricant representatives for any and all the brands out there. I am not speaking of your average Walmart employee here. I am speaking of the factory reps. If a salesperson who specializes in one brand, as I do (Amsoil), is not willing to bone up on what they sell, my advice would be to not purchase from them.
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:27 pm

jeffcosmo wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:28 am
A few misconceptions here, but oil threads are like that.
First off, the manufacturer cares more about their reputation than any CAFE number, period. If the car is perceived as unreliable or troublesome, the manufacturer WILL have financial trouble (see AUDI, circa 1985 or so). Therefore, any recommended oil will be the best for the car's life, regardless of anyone's opinion.
Secondly, "thinner" oil, such as 0W-X or 5W-X has the added benefit of getting to the necessary points in the engine faster under all conditions. That it helps fuel mileage is a side benefit that is real. Which makes the use of "thicker" oils (15W-X or, E Gads!! 20W-X) quite suspect for protection upon startup. FWIW, these oils are best for rolling element bearings (Hardley-Ablesons, early Kwackers) and those engines for which they are specified.
Friction modifiers help the above, and hurt the wet clutch in a motorcycle (save a couple Italian brands, and the odd German tiddler). Don't use an oil with these buggers.
Cosmo (awaiting the fallout...)
Everything you say makes perfect sense, and I would believe every word of of it, if not for a lifetime of observations, and 25 years in the air conditioning business. The switch from R-12 to the lower capacity R-134A refrigerant, and the skyrocketing prices of the refrigerant, was not driven by customer satisfaction, but government mandate. The switch from R-22 to R-410A was driven by government mandate, at great expense to the buying public. The change from 10 SEER air conditioners to 15 SEER units, and the ensuing paper thin copper that was necessitated to meet those demands, was driven by government mandate. The insanity that is the 5 gallon gasoline jug, and the ridiculous closure mechanisms that we now deal with is another government debacle. The overall poor performance of air conditioners in automobiles, as compared to yesteryear, I am quite certain is another fallout of the CAFE regulations.
If there is anything manufacturers fear more than customer dissatisfaction, it is the government. As consumers, we've been putting up with these mandates for years, and paying the price for their cost increases and quality reductions. Customers might create backlash that someday will be a problem for manufacturers, but the government will shut them down tomorrow for failure to adhere to their demands.
My ranting above is a much shorter description of the issues than I could write. But, I'm just not willing to spend the time it takes to elaborate on each of the topics. Suffice to say, that I am a firm believer in the effects that government regulation has had on our lives, and the negative effects it many times results in.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by jeffcosmo » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:04 am

That's why it's called "freedom of speech". You can look at something that makes perfect sense, as you say, then do the exact opposite. I'll but chuckle.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by DaveO430 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:26 am

golden highway wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:29 pm
I use what the manufacturer recommends and never have a problem. I run my cars 250,000 to 300,000 miles on whatever the recommended oil is. Some were 10/30 5/30 5/20 and yes 0/20 I can't complain to the manufacturer if I have an oil related failure and wasn't following their recommendations. I drive a lot so I have driven a lot of vehicles to high mileage.

My GL1500 gets 10/40 just like the manufacturer recommends. I am using Moble one now. It does seem to hold up better than the others I tried.
Exactly, I have seen a whole lot of cars in my working life with a whole lot of miles running the recommended 5/20 and 0/20 oils. In fact in the Honda 4 cyls. with a timing chain the few failures I have seen I can blame on incorrect oil & or filters.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by themainviking » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:16 am

DaveO430 wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:26 am
the few failures I have seen I can blame on incorrect oil & or filters.
Do not even get that topic started. Filters. I will just say this - Fram does not make a lifetime filter. Change your filters when you change your oil. And do it often enough.
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:51 am

themainviking wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:16 am
DaveO430 wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:26 am
the few failures I have seen I can blame on incorrect oil & or filters.
Do not even get that topic started. Filters. I will just say this - Fram does not make a lifetime filter. Change your filters when you change your oil. And do it often enough.
In my opinion, Fram doesn't make oil filters at all, anymore. They make little metal cans with a bunch of crap inside. There are far better options available.

It's a shame, because once upon a time, Fram was among the best. Now they just coast on their name while making the lowest-priced junk possible.

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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by themainviking » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:17 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:51 am
themainviking wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:16 am
DaveO430 wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:26 am
the few failures I have seen I can blame on incorrect oil & or filters.
Do not even get that topic started. Filters. I will just say this - Fram does not make a lifetime filter. Change your filters when you change your oil. And do it often enough.
In my opinion, Fram doesn't make oil filters at all, anymore. They make little metal cans with a bunch of crap inside. There are far better options available.

It's a shame, because once upon a time, Fram was among the best. Now they just coast on their name while making the lowest-priced junk possible.
That was my point actually. Sorry I was not more clear. It was tongue in cheek, meaning that not only are their filters NOT lifetime, but really not of any quality at all. I guess I should have elaborated more, to say that there are several good filters on the market, NONE of them lifetime, but some of them that will stand up from oil change to oil change. I will not buy Walmart brand, nor Fram, nor the lower cost filters from any brand, like quaker state or castrol, or our own Motomaster from our major auto supply warehouse. If an oil filter is cheap, my low opinion of it would need to be disproved. I like WIX, Pure One (although lately they seem to have dropped in quality), Mobil, Amsoil, and some of the Auto branded filters (likely made by WIX). I just checked, and our local auto parts warehouse sells Fram for $13, but Mobil 1 for $18. So, I guess the price point here of more than $13 is where I would draw the line.
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Re: 5W-20 oil

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:09 am

I know you have Napa in Canada, and they have a house-brand filter here in the US, that is of excellent quality - particularly the Napa Gold brand. But for our bikes, the Honda OEM filters are actually of excellent quality, and are what I use.



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