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  1. TRIFECTA Performance

    TRIFECTA: LE2 Engine - Intake Manifold

    Also, note there appears to be an internal PCV system like the Gen1, and also this intake manifold has a LOT of oil in it (this engine has less than 1000 miles on it). It makes us wonder if the oil ingestion has to do with the piston problems the LE2 has? Could a catch can help?
  2. We started with a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatch. We took the original engine and transmission out, and swapped in an engine and transmission from a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Premier. This is the 2.0L turbocharged engine coupled with the 9T50 front wheel drive 9 speed automatic transmission. With proper calibration work, this engine and transmission in its stock form can deliver about 300HP at the flywheel. This equates to around 240HP at the wheels, which is about 70WHP more than the LE2 can produce with a proper tune. We didn't stop there, though. We also installed aftermarket cams to increase airflow and fuel pump supply. And we added our "T40" turbocharger, which produced darn near 400HP when we tested on a Chevrolet Malibu recently. We have an aftermarket front mount intercooler for tuned up 2.0T engines, a cold air intake, and a custom dual-outlet exhaust system. The challenges were many in building this car. Which axles to use? Which mounts? Where to move the radiator to make room for the turbocharger? The wiring! The engine may fit in this car like it was designed for it, but there couldn't be much more different with the wiring harness on the Cruze vs the Malibu. But, in the end, it all works, as if Chevrolet themselves built the car. You push the start button and the engine roars to life through the custom exhaust system with an aggressive yet tasteful note. It may seem like the little things, but it's the little things that matter: The gauges work. The heater works. The brakes work. Shift it into Drive, and you're off. The 9sp automatic transmission peels through the gears smoothly. Put the pedal down, and hold on. The car is a work in progress, there's still a few things that need to be done with it (like fabbing a bracket for the ECM instead of using zip ties lol), but make no mistake, the Cruze has entered a new age.
  3. TRIFECTA Performance

    2016+ Cruze 1.4T (LE2) October 2017 Calibration Update

    Why the update? Some of you have provided valuable feedback regarding the drivability of our current-generation product, which we have taken into careful consideration. What is changing? This update is a drivability update specific to vehicles with an automatic transmission, which does the following: "Sport+" mode replaces "Sport" mode: Sport+ mode is an evolution of the original Sport mode which broadens the "tip-in" range in the accelerator pedal. Sport+ mode also introduces the same progressive shifting algorithm we've incorporated into vehicles with the 8, 9, and 10 speed automatic transmissions without sacrificing mid-pedal sensitivity for a more well-balanced, sporty feel! "Standard" mode replaces "Stock" mode: In transitioning from our Sport mode to Stock mode, many feel the Stock mode is much too conservative on take-off. Our original goal was to retain the stock pedal and transmission response as accurately as possible in stock mode, but the challenge is the difference is too great between Sport (and now Sport+) and Stock mode. Many customers requested that we provide a mode that's improved over stock, but still retains a more relaxed driving style. With Sport+ and Standard mode, take-off dynamics are very similar, and the transition is much smoother, especially with TRIFECTA's exclusive Performance Auto Stop Mode (selectable auto-stop enable). Are there any changes in performance / power output? This update retains the same power envelope as our current-generation TRIFECTA calibration, and is a pedal-response and transmission strategy (drivability) update only. How do I receive the update? All existing Gen II Cruze customers with automatic transmissions have already been notified by email, and their calibrations updated in their downloads. All that is necessary is to download and install the update. New customers will receive the update as our standard offering. If you have any questions, or require any assistance, please don't hesitate to email us at info@trifectaperformance.com or use the Contact Us form at trifectaperformance.com. In the mean time, stay tuned to us here at http://www.trifectaperformance.comand Facebook for the latest information from TRIFECTA! Thank you - TRIFECTA Performance View this product in our store: 2016--2018+ Chevrolet Cruze / Cruze Hatch - 1.4L Turbo Read more about TRIFECTA's Support for the Gen II 1.4T LE2 Cruze: TRIFECTA: More power, more fun for your 2016+ Chevrolet Cruze 1.4L Turbo (LE2) TRIFECTA: Making Auto Stop more performance oriented. Meet Performance Auto Stop Mode. TRIFECTA: Baseline dyno testing of the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze RS 1.4 Turbo (RPO LE2) TRIFECTA: 1.4L Turbo Throttle Body Comparison LE2 to LUJ/LUV TRIFECTA: Meet the GM LE2 Engine
  4. TRIFECTA Performance

    TRIFECTA: The 2.0L Turbo 300HP Cruze

    1.4L vs 2.0L turbocharged engines Looking at the numbers from the 1.4T engine vs the 2.0T engine, you can see why people that want to go really fast with a Cruze might want to do this. The 1.4T engine, from the factory produces 139HP (the new 1.4T “LE2” engine produces 154HP), and the 2.0T engine produces anywhere from 220HP to 272HP depending on which engine and variant is used. Put an aftermarket calibration on these engines and they approach 200-220HP, and 300-330HP, respectively. (Source: media.gm.com) So, let's swap the engine already! Great! So we know we want a 2.0L turbo engine in our Cruze, let's just swap one in! Unfortunately, it's not even close to being that simple. The 1.4T and the 2.0T are of different physical sizes, and are of varying architecture, specifically being that the earlier 2.0T (the LNF/LHU engine) has the turbocharger on the opposite side of the engine as the 1.4T does. The newer 2.0T (LTG engine) has the turbocharger on the correct side, but still has the challenge of being physically larger than the 1.4T. Right off the bat, custom engine mounts would have to be developed, coolant and oil hoses would need to be customized, new exhaust would have to be fabricated, front to back, wiring harness would have to be customized. Now, we would surmise that swapping in a 2.0T (LHU engine) from a Buick Verano, being that the Verano is of the same chassis as the Cruze, might allow the use of factory harnesses and parts that would make the swap much easier, but every element listed above should still be of concern. But that's just the engine. Then there's the transmission. Particularly in front wheel drive applications like the Cruze, GM has no less than eight different transmissions supporting varying levels of torque. The Cruze with the 1.4T is equipped with the 6T40 transmission, and the Verano, for instance, is equipped with the 6T50 transmission. One might get away without swapping the transmission, but for completeness's sake, we're going to assume this needs to be swapped as well. Then there's ECU swap, the potential for needed customized drive axles, upgraded radiator size, etc. Cost of engine swap In any event, let's just assume, for simplicity's sake that the entire engine, transmission, harness, and ECU can just be swapped from the Verano. We couldn't find any specific salvage pricing on this, but we'd expect it to be in the $2000-$4000 range for all of the components required. Then there's the labor of doing the swap. Maybe an enthusiast would undertake this on their own, in which case tangible labor cost would be zero. Miscellaneous parts, exhaust fabrication, etc., we estimate would add another $2000 or so to the project cost. But then there's the resale value of the vehicle itself. If someone were to perform a swap like this on a Cruze, its value would plummet. This vehicle, even assuming it ran perfectly, would require a special buyer when the time came to sell it. The oldest Cruzes available in the United States sell for between $8500 and $15000. We'd expect a swap like this to cause a 30% loss in value, so, let's say $2500 just to pick a round number. Total cost of engine swap: about $7500 or more Yes, we said it: buy a Malibu instead of a Cruze As mentioned above, this is a bold idea. Most current or potential Cruze owners, right off the bat would scoff at this idea. Buying a “family hauler” instead of the more-sporty Cruze?? After all, Malibus are built for the rental car agencies, right? A Malibu lacks style at all. It's big. It's heavy. It's slow. There's no aftermarket for it. And it's more expensive. However, starting with the 2016 model year, Chevrolet introduced both an all-new Cruze and all-new Malibu. The aesthetic differences between the two are much fewer than with the previous generation. Malibu vs Cruze Indeed, Chevrolet is now using fairly common design language between the Cruze, Malibu, and the larger-yet Impala. If we are to assume that the looks of the all-new Malibu are acceptable to a potential Cruze owner, let's move on to a more detailed analysis of the likenesses and differences between the two models. Performance: You can get a 2.0T with a Malibu. And also an 8 speed automatic. The new Cruze, for 2016, only offers one engine: the 1.4L Turbo LE2 engine, which produces 154HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. The new Malibu offers two engines (exc. the Hybrid model), a 1.5L Turbo LFV engine (163HP / 184lb-ft torque), and a 2.0L Turbo LTG engine (250HP / 260lb-ft torque). For the purposes of this writing, however, we are only going to look at the 2.0L Turbo engine. While the fact the Malibu doesn't offer a manual transmission (whereas the Cruze does) would be a deal-breaker for some people, the truth is most Cruzes are built and sold with an automatic transmission. A 6 speed automatic transmission. The Malibu, in contrast, with the 2.0L Turbo engine, is equipped with a smooth shifting 8 speed automatic transmission (also used in the Buick LaCrosse, and the Cadillac XT5). And for the 2017 model year, the Malibu 2.0L Turbo is stepping up to GM's all-new 9 speed automatic transmission. Not only does the Malibu 2.0T offer 96HP and 83lb-ft of torque more than the Cruze, with the 8 speed automatic transmission, there is a greater gear ratio spread which also contributes to both quicker acceleration compared to a 6 speed automatic, but also improved highway fuel economy vs a 6 speed automatic. How does the rest of the car match up? For sake of comparison, we will compare a 2016 Cruze LT Automatic/RS Package/Sun and Sound Package with a 2016 Malibu 2LT. For the Cruze, the LT Automatic/RS Package/Sun and Sound package is by far the most popular model at the dealerships, and the Malibu 2LT is the lowest trim level which is equipped with the 2.0T. Also, this gives us an apples-to-apples comparison. Don't get us wrong. The Malibu is a bigger car than the Cruze. It's more spacious in every way, but it also weighs more. But not THAT much more. The Cruze, in its lightest form weighs in at about 2600lbs. The Malibu weighs in at about 3100lbs. For those that love sunroofs, the Malibu's sunroof is quite superior. It's roughly double the size of the Cruze's sunroof (though only the front half of it opens). The Malibu comes with leather at this trim level, whereas the Cruze does not. The Malibu comes with 18” wheels, the Cruze with 16” wheels. Both have disc brakes on all corners. One area we feel the Cruze is superior, however, is in the handling-feel department. The Cruze has a stiffer ride, and experiences less “body roll” in the corners than its larger brethren, the Malibu. Economy-wise, the Cruze is rated up to 42MPG, and the Malibu up to about 35MPG with the 2.0T. Cost comparison At the end of the day, it comes down to cost. The Malibu is more expensive, for certain, but by significantly less than what it would cost to do an engine swap. According to Chevrolet.com, the 2016 Cruze LT Automatic, with the RS package, and the Sun and Sound package (which requires other packages such as the Convenience package) has an MSRP of $25335. The 2016 Malibu 2LT “base model”, which is similarly equipped to the Cruze LT Automatic, with the RS package, and the Sun and Sound package is $29495. This is a difference of only $4160. More car, a heck of lot more power, with similar styling. However, we found, at the time of purchase for both our Cruze 1.4T and our Malibu 2.0T, there were significantly better incentives available on the Malibu. At that time, one could lease a Malibu Premier, with every option under the sun, far beyond even the Malibu 2LT's option load-out, for about $275/mo and $3600 down payment, for 24 months. This works out to a total cost of $10,200 for two years. The Cruze, in contrast, was offered with the same lease terms for about $265/mo, and $2400 down payment. This works out to a total cost of $8760. This is only a difference of $1440 over the course of two years, and this is for a Malibu that is even more well-equipped than the Malibu 2LT we used for comparison. Were one to compare terms on the Malibu 2LT, it might actually be cheaper to acquire the Malibu than the Cruze! Conclusion We're making a very strong case for the Malibu vs the Cruze, here, for those that like the Cruze styling but want more power than the Cruze has to offer. Both the Cruze and the Malibu are especially exciting vehicles to drive with an aftermarket calibration, but, we have to be honest, the Malibu 2.0T with an aftermarket calibration blows the doors off a Cruze with an aftermarket calibration. Hence, we call the tuned Malibu 2.0T, “The 300HP Cruze”. Those considering a new Cruze, particularly those that want to go fast, should take a hard look at the Malibu. With the previous generation Malibu, we would have agreed with you: Are you kidding? But the new Malibu is a world's worth of improvement over the previous generation, and the differences between the Cruze and Malibu have been largely blurred. As is the pricing difference. TRIFECTA Calibration Engineering Team
  5. https://vimeo.com/168252702 This automatic transmission development vehicle put down a peak of 125.18 horsepower (HP) and 133.63 lb-ft of torque (TQ) at the wheels (uncorrected) using a dyno-jet chassis dyno. Given drivetrain losses, this is generally in-line with the manufacturer's rated power of 153HP and 177TQ at the crankshaft, particuarly comparing to what a first generation Cruze with an automatic transmission will put down as well. After our engineers collect all of the data from the stock vehicle, the fun part begins - modifying the calibration to find the potential power gains! As we've discussed previously, the LE2 engine represents part of the future for GM, and their small gasoline engines! Stay tuned for more development and progress as we continue developing for the 2016+ Chevrolet Cruze 1.4 Turbo (RPO: LE2)! -TRIFECTA SGE Performance Team
  6. TRIFECTA Performance

    TRIFECTA: Putting the Sport back in Sport Compact.

  7. Auto-stop: Behind the technology So, now we know how auto-stop works, what's happening behind the scenes? It turns out there's much more to it than just an engine control module (ECM) controlled starter motor. However, the starter motor is a great place to start in discussing the technology. If you listen to a vehicle start up that has auto-stop technology, you'll note the starter sounds much different than a vehicle with a conventional starter. That's because an auto-stop equipped vehicle will see much higher start motor usage than a vehicle without auto-stop technology. As such, the starter motor has the following upgraded features: High performance electrical windings and characteristics Improved-strength starter pinion gear engagement system Improved design to both reduce starter noise and decrease engine start times In addition to improving the starter motor, battery monitoring technology must be improved as well, to more accurately measure the state of the battery charge. A modest count of auto-stop cycles can lead to a discharged battery relatively quickly since the starter motor requires so much current to operate. In order to more accurately measure the state of charge in the battery, there is an intelligent battery sensor connected to the battery which continuously monitors both the charge state and the overall health of the battery itself. Another major component of the auto-stop system is an auxiliary fluid accumulator for the automatic transmission. This is an ECM-controlled unit which accumulates and captures transmission line pressure from the transmission, and then allows it to be supplied to the transmission to begin clutch engagement when the vehicle is transitioning from auto-stop to engine running mode. Beyond these major components, many subsystems are monitored in order to determine either whether an auto-stop event can be allowed, or if a transition to engine-running should be performed. Conditions to allow auto-stop to occur General vehicle state: Hood is closed Driver's door is closed Driver seatbelt is buckled Vehicle operating conditions: Vehicle is moving less than 3MPH Initial drive cycle reaching 12MPH Engine speed is below 1500 RPM Engine is not in an overheated conditions Transmission is in DRIVE (L or M range disables auto-stop) Brake is depressed No pending or set diagnostic trouble codes for auto-stop (and related) subsystems Auto-stop active for less than 2 minutes Environmental conditions: Warmer than 40*F outside Battery temperature warmer than 32*F and less than 131*F High demands on HVAC system are not requested (inc. defrost) All of the above conditions are continuously monitored, and if any of the criteria fail to be met, the engine will restart. TRIFECTA Performance Auto Stop Mode How it works is simple: When the cruise control subsystem is armed (via the steering wheel button), auto-stop works normally, just as it did from the factory. When the cruise control subsystem is disarmed, auto-stop events are re-calibrated with sport and performance strictly in mind. Furthermore, the feature can be enabled and disabled at any time. For example: If the vehicle is auto-stopped, switching the cruise control subsystem off causes the engine to restart immediately. If the engine is running because no auto-stop event could occur due to the cruise control system being disabled, enabling it will cause the engine to stop immediately, provided all of the other auto-stop criteria above is met as well. All of this, and there is no effect on the operation of the cruise control system. Conclusion We have always prided ourselves on providing value-added features to vehicle owners through our calibration products. TRIFECTA Performance Auto-Stop Mode is no exception, and we believe it will become very popular as more vehicles incorporate auto-stop technology! - TRIFECTA Advanced Software Division
  8. TRIFECTA Performance

    TRIFECTA: Meet the GM LE2 Engine

    Small Gasoline Engine (SGE) SGE family engines range in displacement from 1.0L (three cylinder) to 1.5L. All use a common bore size of 74mm, and there are three stroke configurations available - 77.4mm, 81.3mm, and 86.6mm (and as such, all engines are considered "undersquare" where the stroke is longer than the bore size). At the time of writing there were four SGE engines either in use or scheduled to be in use in the United States: RPO: LV7 - 1.4L naturally aspirated, multi point fuel injected (MPFI). Used in the 2016+ Chevrolet Spark, making 98HP and 94 lb-ft torque. Bore/stroke is 74mm/81.3mm. RPO: LE2 - 1.4L turbocharged, spark ignited direct injected (SIDI). Used in the 2016+ "gen II" Chevrolet Cruze, and the 2016+ Buick Encore Sport Touring Edition, making 153HP and 177 lb-ft torque. Bore/stroke is 74mm/81.3mm. RPO: L3A - 1.5L naturally aspirated, spark ignited direct injected (SIDI). Used in the 2017+ "gen II" Chevrolet Volt, making 100HP and 103 lb-ft torque. Bore/stroke is 74mm/86.6mm. RPO: LFV - 1.5L turbocharged, spark ignited direct injected (SIDI). Used in the 2016+ Chevrolet Malibu, making 163HP and 184 lb-ft torque. Bore/stroke is 74mm/86.6mm. The SGE family is slated to replace three different, older GM engine families, S-TEC, Family 0, and Family 1. Comparison of LE2 to the LUJ/LUV (Family 0, outgoing Cruze turbo engine) When just looking at the numbers, it might be simple to conclude the LE2 is simply a direct-injected variant of the LUJ/LUV, but that's not really the case at all. The LE2 is a clean-sheet redesign, and, while it shares some characteristics with the LUJ/LUV, there's actually more different about it, than similar. In fact, even the bore and stroke are different! While both are technically called "1.4L" displacement engines, in reality the LE2 is slightly larger than the LUJ/LUV. The LE2 displaces 1399cc, and the LUJ/LUV displaces 1364cc. The LE2 uses a 74mm bore with an 81.3mm stroke, and the LUJ/LUV uses a 72.5mm bore with an 82.6mm stroke (making the LE2 closer to "square" than the LUJ/LUV). Moving on to the engine block, the LE2 uses an all-aluminum engine block whereas the LUJ/LUV uses a cast iron engine block. The LE2 uses a forged steel crankshaft whereas the LUJ/LUV is not forged. The piston wrist pins are fully floating in the LE2, in contrast, the wrist pin is pressed into the connecting rod with the LUJ/LUV. Both use an aluminum cylinder head, with four valves per cylinder, actuated by camshafts located in the cylinder head (DOHC). Both engines utilize independent variable valve timing (VVT) on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. Covering the camshafts on the LE2 is an aluminum valve cover which provides superior valve train noise suppression, whereas the LUJ/LUV uses a composite valve cover with integrated PCV assembly (which is prone to failure on earlier LUJ/LUV engines). Noise suppression was an important goal of the SGE design, and one drive of the 2016+ "gen II" Chevrolet Cruze showcases the work GM did in this area. The direct-injectors, which are normally quite loud are isolated from the valve cover using bushings, and underneath the engine cover is a large piece of noise-suppressing foam. One feature that's trickled down from the modern GM V6 (high feature V6) family into the SGE family is the integrated exhaust manifold. Put another way, there is NO separate exhaust manifold on the LE2, just one exhaust "port" in the cylinder head. This allows extremely close coupling of either a turbocharger, or a catalytic converter to the cylinder head for optimum performance and lower emissions. Because of the lighter materials and integrated engine design, the LE2 weighs in at a whopping 44 pounds less than the LUJ/LUV. On the fueling side, the LE2 uses spark ignited direct injection (SIDI) and the LUJ/LUV uses multi point fuel injection (MPFI). As such, the LE2 uses a much different piston design (featuring a toroidal / ovoidal shaped combustion cavity in the piston head for optimized SIDI operation). Because the LE2 uses SIDI, it borrows technology traditionally found in diesel engines. The LE2 features a common rail for the injectors, and a mechanically driven (by the intake camshaft) high pressure fuel pump complete with a high pressure rail pressure sensor. On the LE2, each cylinder's injector is located in the cylinder head, adjacent to the spark plug, in the valley between the two camshafts. LE2 Direct Injector On the LUJ/LUV, being the engine is MPFI, each fuel injector is located in the intake manifold, just before the intake valve, serviced by a ECU-controlled, variable (low) pressure fuel pump (the LE2 also features an ECU-controlled variable low pressure fuel pump to feed the mechanical high pressure pump). LUJ/LUV MPFI rail and injectors We also find some differences in the ignition system. The LE2 features a per-cylinder, independent "coil on plug" ignition system, with the spark plugs located at an angle in the cylinder head, again an optimization for the SIDI fuel system. In contrast, the LUJ/LUV features a single "coil pack" which houses all four ignition coils (also a common failure point on this engine). The LUJ/LUV spark plugs are not angled. LE2 Angled Spark Plug On the exhaust side of the engines, things could not be more different. While both have a "forward facing" exhaust port configuration (and, hence the turbocharger is located towards the front of the vehicle in both engines), as mentioned previously, the LE2 sports an integrated cylinder head / exhaust manifold design with a single exhaust "port" which the turbocharger assembly is directly bolted to. The LUJ/LUV features a traditional exhaust port configuration in the cylinder head, but the exhaust manifold and turbocharger turbine assembly are cast as one piece, in iron. Both use a spring-loaded-closed wastegate design (controlled by an ECM-driven boost control solenoid) with the turbocharger to control the turbine/compressor speed, but the LE2 uses a fully electronic bypass valve (like the LTG, LF3 and LF4 turbo engines) whereas the LUJ/LUV uses a more traditional mechanical bypass valve (controlled by the ECM via a solenoid). Studying the compressor maps for the LE2 turbo, we find a turbocharger that can move more air, more efficiently, at a lower compressor RPM (the LE2 turbocharger only needs to spin at ~200000 RPM to do what the LUJ/LUV does at ~270000 RPM). LE2 Turbocharger Assembly LUJ/LUV Turbocharger Assembly Catalytic converters like it hot, and with the LE2, the catalytic converter is located even closer to the turbocharger outlet for superior emissions control. The LUJ/LUV catalytic converter is located further downstream due to packaging constraints. LE2 Catalytic Converter To drive the new LE2 engine, an upgraded engine control module (ECM) is required. The new generation "E80" SIDI ECM has seen service in vehicles starting in 2015, and in the Cruze, is replacing the "E78" MPFI ECM used to drive the LUJ/LUV. LE2 E80 ECM One feature that the LUJ/LUV has, which the LE2 does not, is an ECM-controlled variable thermostat. In the LUJ/LUV engine, the ECM dictates the desired engine coolant temperature and can control it by applying current to an electronic thermostat to either cause it to open at a lower, or higher temperature, depending on driver demand, cooling system demand, and other criteria. Fuel Economy Because of the efficiency of the new LE2, the new 2016+ Chevrolet Cruze does not offer an ECO-specific variant, only the choice of manual or automatic transmission (as well as several trim levels: L, LS, LT, and Premier). According to GM, the manual transmission reaches up to 42MPG on the highway and the automatic transmission reaches up to 40MPG on the highway. With the LUJ/LUV, according to GM, fuel economy is up to 42MPG with the ECO manual transmission and up to 38MPG on the highway with the ECO automatic. Also, the new 2016+ Chevrolet Cruze features start/stop technology. When the vehicle is stopped, provided other criteria are met, the engine shuts off to avoid wasting fuel while sitting at a stop light. When the driver takes their foot off the brake, the engine starts again, seamlessly. So, what about power? The LE2 is factory-rated at 153HP (5600 RPM) and 177lb-ft torque (2000-4000 RPM). The LUJ/LUV is factory-rated at 139HP (4900-6000 RPM) and 149 lb-ft of torque (1850-4900 RPM). TRIFECTA's testing suggests that calibration changes will yield similar gains in the LE2 vs the LUJ/LUV. Summary An exciting new era is upon us! GM says the SGE family will replace all of the existing small gasoline-powered engines in their lineup by the end of the decade, so look to find the LE2 (or some variant of it) in all LUJ/LUV applications over the next few years, as well as more wide-spread use of the LFV (1.5L SIDI turbocharged SGE). TRIFECTA is more than excited to lead the aftermarket of the SGE family into the future!
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