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post #1 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Best Suspension Package

What is in your opinion the best STREET (not drag strip) performance suspension setup for an MN12?

I'm looking to do my suspension and especially my front end since it needs new lower control arms and probably tie rods and other various bushings (depends what the mechanic finds). I've wanted to do lowering springs (Vogtland) for a while, but at the same time I want some performance benefits too so what shocks do you guys recommend for lowered springs? I know there are Tokico Blues and I believe the KONI options but I'd like to know what you guys recommend through experience. Post your setup too and let me know how it affects the balance.
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post #2 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:01 AM
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KONI's are discontinued for the MN12.

Do this: Tokico's in front, Bilsteins in back, fresh bushing all around. Get as many of the solid bushings from Jay as you can. See this thread for details.

Get the Vogtland springs you mentioned, a 1-1/4" ADDCO bar in the back and call it a day.

There may be other recommendations for front shocks but this will get you a solid performance suspension.
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post #3 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:01 AM
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KONI's are discontinued for the MN12.

Do this: Tokico's in front, Bilsteins in back, fresh bushing all around. Get as many of the solid bushings from Jay as you can. See this thread for details.

Get the Vogtland springs you mentioned, a 1-1/4" ADDCO bar in the back and call it a day.

There may be other recommendations for front shocks but this will get you a solid performance suspension.
All of this is excellent advice. If you can find them, 89 SC front and rear sway bars are a nice upgrade (unless you go Addco). I am a big fan of chassis bracing. The more solid the chassis is, the more responsive to cornering inputs it will be since it will reduce flex through he metal. Front and rear tower braces, front and rear subframe bracing, etc.
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post #4 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 10:29 AM
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As was mentioned, the Koni's are discontinued. In my opinion, the Bilsteins in the rear are too stiff for a street car. I ran them on my MarkVIII for a few weeks, and the rear was so stiff it was jarring, so I pulled them off and went with the Tokico blues. In my opinion, for a car that gets driven on the street, a set of Eibach springs with the Tokico blues, and SC sway bars is the way to go. The Eibach's are a progressive spring, so the ride will still be comfortable for normal driving, but then they stiffen up when you load them up in a corner, and their spring rate matches nicely with the Tokico shocks.
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post #5 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 10:35 AM
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Tower braces are convenient to lean on when changing plugs

The 89 SC front bars aren't as thick as the TCCoA sway bar chart says(1.20"), the actual size is only 1.13", verified by myself and others -89 sway bar question - barely bigger than the V8 bar, considering the hassle of changing them and the more convoluted oil filter clearance issues they're not even remotely close to worth it IMO
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post #6 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Tower braces are convenient to lean on when changing plugs

The 89 SC front bars aren't as thick as the TCCoA sway bar chart says(1.20"), the actual size is only 1.13", verified by myself and others -89 sway bar question - barely bigger than the V8 bar, considering the hassle of changing them and the more convoluted oil filter clearance issues they're not even remotely close to worth it IMO
Crap; that means I owe someone $50. I'll see if I can find them.

We need to talk Racecougar into making some more bracing; I need front STB's.
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post #7 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Tower braces are convenient to lean on when changing plugs

The 89 SC front bars aren't as thick as the TCCoA sway bar chart says(1.20"), the actual size is only 1.13", verified by myself and others -89 sway bar question - barely bigger than the V8 bar, considering the hassle of changing them and the more convoluted oil filter clearance issues they're not even remotely close to worth it IMO
They were already on my car when I bought it. Again, just my personal opinion but being just slightly bigger makes them just about perfect.

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post #8 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I'm now leaning towards Eibach springs and Tokico on the front and Bilstein (cobra shocks im guessing) in the back. I don't think I want to spend on those hard bushings, I think I'll do new stock bushings. And that Addco swaybar.


If you guys have a lead on where to get these parts the cheapest it would be great, I'm willing to buy used springs and swaybars but not used shocks. Let me know.

Also probably going to do a hub swap since it'll cost me the same as finding good looking TBird wheels that aren't replica Cobras or Speedstars. So a handy link to where I can buy the hubs (especially the rear ones) would be appreciated, the front ones are available on Rockauto (I'll just buy Dorman ones).
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post #9 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 03:20 PM
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Okay, I'm now leaning towards Eibach springs and Tokico on the front and Bilstein (cobra shocks im guessing) in the back. I don't think I want to spend on those hard bushings, I think I'll do new stock bushings. And that Addco swaybar.


If you guys have a lead on where to get these parts the cheapest it would be great, I'm willing to buy used springs and swaybars but not used shocks. Let me know.

Also probably going to do a hub swap since it'll cost me the same as finding good looking TBird wheels that aren't replica Cobras or Speedstars. So a handy link to where I can buy the hubs (especially the rear ones) would be appreciated, the front ones are available on Rockauto (I'll just buy Dorman ones).
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IOW - you're doing this ALL wrong.

You can save on the sway bar if you use the hard bushings; that'll firm up the ride quite a bit.

And Dorman *shudder* You ARE aware that Dorman is after market for "Nobody else makes it, so we don't have to worry about quality" combined with "We don't care who else makes it, we STILL don't care about quality!" (For most parts, anyway.)

Spend the extra few dollars; get the Motorcraft, Timken, SKF, or Moog front hubs.

For the rear - the least expensive may be to get your old hubs redrilled to the Mustang pattern; if not, you can buy Cobra hubs, but those you need to count on $150 to $200 each (!!) (Yes, you can find them for less sometimes. Still, count on that.)

Also, don't skimp on those rear bearings - you don't look like Kenny Rogers ("You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel!")

Spend the money for that.

The rubber will deflect; the Delrin, not. So the handling will become much more dependable at the edges.

Sometimes the rear hubs show up on RockAuto, depending on availability; however, a quick Giggle turns up Ford Performance IRS Mustang Wheel Hub M-1109-A (99-04 Cobra) - Free Shipping for today as I type this.

You'll have to get rotors redrilled anyway, or a relocation bracket to use Cobra rear calipers and rotors.

You can find the factory OEM rear spindle nut; however, be sure to keep an eye on the torque on them! I just munched a rear hub and bearing due to not paying attention to that ... let my mistake not be yours!

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post #10 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
They were already on my car when I bought it. Again, just my personal opinion but being just slightly bigger makes them just about perfect.
This is a very subjective topic, some will say that buying every single aftermarket bushing from Jay, SCP, using the biggest 1-3/8" sway bars, and every bolt-on brace on the market will turn these into Ferrari 488 beaters. Others (me) will say it's all in the springs and shocks and a few key bushings, and to hell with anything that adds weight. Because all of our individual choices are unquestionably the best
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post #11 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Alright Ralph.

I won't do Dorman.

But I don't see why I need to shell out so much for those bushings. Heck, I could buy the whole stock front suspension for how much those bushings are. I'm not sure I wanna put that much into them. What bushings in specific will give me this godly suspension/ handling? Lower control arms, UCA? Which one? I just can't justify hundreds of dollars on a few bushings.

Redrilling my existing hubs and a set of rotors seems like a decent idea. Would I be able to do it on a craptastic Harbor Freight drill press or does it require more than that?
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post #12 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:18 PM
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The main problem the rear end has is the rubber that's back there for NVH (Noise Vibration Handling - and notice the Handling is third place!)

The Delrin firms that up.

At least go poly and realize that they may have to be replaced in a few years.

The most important bushings appear to be the spindle bushings and the LCA bushings. The UCA/frame bushing needs to be truly adjustable, but rubber there is fine unless there's excessive play elsewhere.

As to the front - use the good suspension parts, and you'll go far. The front doesn't shift around under torque like the IRS does.

Or more accurately, we don't have the torque load on the IFS that the IRS has to handle once you start building the motor any *grins*

As to redrilling the rear rotors and hubs - I'd get someone with precision equipment to do that; I'd not try it on my own. Then again, I'm no machinist (my idea of "Good'nuff" is "Within a foot" *grins* ) The holes do need to be precision sized and positioned on the hub. The ROTOR, OTOH, can be egged out a bit and work fine, since they're hubcentric. (I wouldn't DO that, being rather preferred to have the holes cleanly drilled, but logic and physics dictate that they'll be fine, to a higher level than the rubber bushings in the LCA and spindle.)

For the front, they're cheap enough and if you go Mustang GT PBRs (recommend 2003/2004 since they use the same banjo bolt as the MN12s do), you can also use the matching Mustang hubs and rotors. Easy peasy on that end.

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post #13 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 05:29 PM
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Basically poly anything on the front suspension = bad(the LCA side strut rod bushings, sway bar bushings and steering rack bushings being the lone exception, but don't expect any noticible driving differences in those areas). Poly or UMHW in the rear is generally good except the UCA inner pivot. For outright handling don't expect them to transform your car though, it's mostly a "feel" effect but the feel of rubber not winding up or binding as the suspension articulates can help with precision at the limit - realistically all you'll notice on a street car on street tires is some extra harshness. Most subjective observations are A-B comparing between worn deteriorating rubber and brand new Poly/UMHW, of course the latter is going to be better. But with stock bushings not being available new anymore, these are the way to go and in the case of UMHW in particular should last the lifetime of the car. They also are the most effective cure of wheel hop.

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post #14 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I think you guys have a way better idea of this than I do. I'm a Honda guy and we use eBay springs, swaybars and shocks and some chassis bracing it goes a long way lol (quality is usually decent since Hondas are so damn common and quality parts are available at dirt cheap prices)

That being said, can you guys link me to these bushings, preferably cheaper poly ones. Dunno if I drive enough to wear them out that quickly...7k miles a year tops.
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post #15 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:40 PM
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Prothane Suspension Parts - Precision Polyurethane Bushings

Energy Suspension Parts - Polyurethane Suspension Bushings

You'll have to study up here; they don't sell LCA bushings per se, but there's some that will fit and work fine. Prothane's seem to fit just right; the Energy Suspensions need to be massaged a bit.

You'll still need to put something in to fill up the space between the bushing and the frame, unless you also put the toe link compensator back in.

(Jay's bushings have a mushroom to replace the unneeded toe comp; that's about $80 to $100 right there!)

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post #16 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:46 PM
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Search feature if your friend. Jay is 98Mark8LSC, he makes the UMHW/Delrin stuff, and the polys can either be had(at substantial markup) from supercoupeperformance, and reasonably from prothane or energy suspension - rear LCA inner pivots from a 99-04 Mustang Cobra kit and their rear spindle kit for our cars. I don't have the part numbers memorized. Poly tends doesn't really wear out in a traditional sense, it will essentially settle and reshape itself under compression and in some places it'll last and perform despite that, in others it'll "squeeze" out(that's why the strut rod bushings are a bad idea)

Hondas don't have a thousand extra pounds of mass to wrestle with, so no doubt cheap ebay specials may work fine. The trouble with our cars is the low end replacement parts seem to be engineered to bu used on a light low powered Honda.

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post #17 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:05 PM
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This might help you . All my costs have not included applicable taxes, shipping, and costs for shop costs of pressing out / in hubs, and other things that I don't have specialty tools for.


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post #18 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 09:15 PM
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I need to replace everything as well. Great information being posted here. Thanks All !
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post #19 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 02:45 PM
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FYI, the automotive term NVH stands for Noise, Vibration and Harshness, not Handling!

When I did the big suspension rebuild on my '97 last year, I went with new LCAs with "stock" rubber bushings and new bushings at both ends of the radius arms in front, Delrin bushings for the rear LCAs (Mark VIII aluminum parts), the SCP tubular rear UCAs, Vogtland 1.6" drop springs, rebuilt Koni adjustable shocks all around, factory front bar with new end links and poly mid section bushings, and an ADDCO 1.25" rear bar. This combination rides and handles well with the staggered tire sizes I'm running.

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post #20 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. I think I want to start ordering now.

The bilsteins are a bit confusing tgey seem to have a lot of options for the Cobra... And part numbers.
Any idea which part number works and what the difference is between HD and Sport and all that.
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post #21 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 09:25 AM
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Okay. I think I want to start ordering now.

The bilsteins are a bit confusing tgey seem to have a lot of options for the Cobra... And part numbers.
Any idea which part number works and what the difference is between HD and Sport and all that.
There's a thread that is stuck at the top of this forum with that information for you.

Read through this thread and every other thread that is stuck at the top of this forum before you ask another question.

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post #22 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Trunk Monkey, sorry. My ignorance.

Ordered the B8 Sport Plus shocks for the rear from AJ USA they are 184.00 shipped, couldn't seem to find a better price.

http://www.ajusa.com/2004-Ford-MUSTA...er-ab04ca.html

Ordered the Tokico HP Blues from UltraRev for 171.84 shipped

Ordered the Vogtland 1.6 inch springs from Amazon for 202.00 shipped.

Im at approx ~560 in these parts alone.

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post #23 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 11:08 PM
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$560.00 isn't bad. I've got that much invested in just the Tokico adjustable ARC shocks/struts for the Super Coupe. Interested to hear how it rides after you get done.
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post #24 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 12:48 AM
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Thanks Trunk Monkey, sorry. My ignorance.

Ordered the B8 Sport Plus shocks for the rear from AJ USA they are 184.00 shipped, couldn't seem to find a better price.

Bilstein Monotube Shock Absorbers and Struts | 24-185974 | Bilstein

Ordered the Tokico HP Blues from UltraRev for 171.84 shipped

Ordered the Vogtland 1.6 inch springs from Amazon for 202.00 shipped.

Im at approx ~560 in these parts alone.
As an FYI, Summit Racing or Jegs.com will beat any internet price you find and they are both reputable suppliers.
I think I got my rear bilsteins cost $181.47 delivered.
Personally, I think you are also smart to go with the Tokiko Blues vs. Bilstein inserts on a street car (which will require machine work -- see my thread).
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post #25 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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As an FYI, Summit Racing or Jegs.com will beat any internet price you find and they are both reputable suppliers.
I think I got my rear bilsteins cost $181.47 delivered.
Personally, I think you are also smart to go with the Tokiko Blues vs. Bilstein inserts on a street car (which will require machine work -- see my thread).
Oh I wasn't aware. I'll order my springs from either JEGS or Summit. I cancelled my VOGTLAND order because I accidentally ordered the 1 inch drop ones, (incorrect item description). I want the most drop possible, so I'll look around for something more than 1.5 inches. I noticed some people finding 2 inch drop springs but no amount of searching can lead me to them.
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post #26 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 04:56 PM
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Oh I wasn't aware. I'll order my springs from either JEGS or Summit. I cancelled my VOGTLAND order because I accidentally ordered the 1 inch drop ones, (incorrect item description). I want the most drop possible, so I'll look around for something more than 1.5 inches. I noticed some people finding 2 inch drop springs but no amount of searching can lead me to them.
BTW, I'm also not sure Bilsteins in the rear are a good idea; I know other people have advocated this combo (Tokico's front and Bilsteins rear) but for a street car, it may be helpful to go softer in the rear (aka Tokicos front and back). Since rears are easy to swap, that's one reason to consider buying from a company with a more liberal return policy (aka summit/jegs).

Now, your car probably weighs 500LB more than mine with more weight in the rear (you have glass, an interior, a trunk lid, and shit in the trunk) so there's more to dampen so this may not affect you as much.

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post #27 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-13-2017, 05:34 PM
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The rear is pretty light in these cars regardless, I find tokico rears well matched for all the lowering springs available back there. Bilstiens look cooler though


Nobody makes 2" drop that I'm aware of, Jamex springs were 2" drop. 1.6" drop looks much lower in person than it does on paper, they will settle lower too. I've never been above cutting brand new lowering springs to fine tune ride height, but I know the fierce resistance to that practice by some
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post #28 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 10:15 AM
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I'm also a fan of having the same shocks/springs all around unless I'm trying to achieve a specific configuration to resolve an issue. Since my driving is all street, the Tokiko Blues are in my opinion a great choice. They are an improvement over stock, while not forcing you to play with adapters and overcome any issues. If I were going to do some kind of track driving, I'd work on a very custom setup using QA-1 coil overs, or modifying Bilsteins to work.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
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post #29 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
I'm also a fan of having the same shocks/springs all around unless I'm trying to achieve a specific configuration to resolve an issue. Since my driving is all street, the Tokiko Blues are in my opinion a great choice. They are an improvement over stock, while not forcing you to play with adapters and overcome any issues. If I were going to do some kind of track driving, I'd work on a very custom setup using QA-1 coil overs, or modifying Bilsteins to work.
Anyone else find it funny that there are two nearly identical threads asking "what suspension should i buy?"
I'm guessing that there are tax refunds burning holes in some folk's pockets.
-g


BTW, here's another option for the rear for people who insist on spending a ton of money on their tbird. I'll update my stickied thread

QA1 Double Adjustable Rear shocks @ ~$245/ea (yeah, that's $490/pair)
Pros:
- 18 positions for rebound
- 18 positions for compression
Cons:
- Stupid expensive

QA1 TD707: SHOCK STOCKER D-ADJ 13.50 -20.50 STUD/EYE-P | JEGS
QA1 Double Adjustable Rear Shock TD707 (99-04 Cobra) - Free Shipping
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post #30 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 02:33 PM
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Great! And make sure to pair them with stock springs and crank both compression and rebound to 18, because MOAR

-Matt
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