Xm - head gasket job
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Thread: Xm - head gasket job

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Xm - head gasket job

    A friend and myself have the green XM series 2. Formerly owned by a couple of members here.
    previously XMZOOM when on the road interstate.
    Car in excellent preserved state and a testament to its owners along the way.

    Cutting a long story short she has a blown head gasket, #6 in the back bank.
    Not a problem, we suspected as much on purchase.

    Having fun and enjoying the tear down. A lot to admire in the XM engine bay if you are not under time pressures - and we are not. It is an exercise in "recreational" restoration.

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    However we are striking a problem we find hard to believe - difficulty in obtaining anything resembling a true PRV V6 engine workshop manual from anywhere.

    A couple of dud purchases over the net have resulted in little more than technical supplement collections sent to dealers during the time the car was for sale and a electronic parts lists (useful but esoteric).

    However a little research has yielded some useful information, in particular removal and reinstallation of the timing chains, a section from a genuine factory workshop manual.

    What we don't have is the torque settings/tightening sequence for the heads and information relating to the camshafts. This is the stuff we need.
    Wondering if a couple of the XM enthusiasts here, or former owners have this.

  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    It's been written up on here a least once I know of (craig keller ). The PRV's are known for doing the head gaskets, so I'm sure there is plenty of expertise around if you wait for a bit. PugRambo might even have all the PRV documentations that goes with his 604's.

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  3. #3
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    All I've got is a whole heap of pics here:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/craigk...57627837911736

    J&G had a manual that gave most of the details - it wasn't Haynes though - some other mob. Garth, Jinny?

    I know I wrote up the story of the exercise but that was 2006 so where it all went I have little idea. I will try to have a look around. It won't have detailed technical information. Anything I wrote on AF may have disappeared in the last great crash of AF (no thanks GoDaddy )

    We did have a fun time with timing but that was because we, very mistakenly and ignoring Garth's "I wouldn't do it that way" tried locking the engine off what we thought was the flywheel but in fact turned out to be the timing RING on the flywheel while attempts were made to remove the crankshaft nut. Fortunately with judicious use of a slide hammer I was able to pull it back into alignment without removing the gearbox.
    Last edited by UFO; 25th January 2018 at 12:10 PM.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Check out emanuals on line

    Citroen XM Workshop Repair And Service Manual
    or
    https://www.easymanuals.co.uk/produc...repair-manual/

    I actually use DuckDuckGo as a search engine. It doesn't have 3 pages of paid advertising you get with useless Google

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger
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    If you can download the factory manuals, that's easy. I have the printed factory XM manuals, and can scan the torque info etc. if required. If you need anything scanned, send me a pm with your e-mail in case the scans are too large to post here and be legible.

    Have you located a VRS kit? CTA in NL carry the Glaser set if you can't locate them locally.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    See if you can get to this site where you will find the Citroen XM Mechanics handbook for download.

    CARNETS DE POCHE

    Cheers, Ken

  7. #7
    UFO
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    This is the one - Russek.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Citroen-X...271&rmvSB=true

    I did find a download site but the URL ends in .ru Yeah, I'm going to trust that as far as I'd trust a guy with bad orange hair to govern the USA...

  8. #8
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    Or

    Citroen vehicle manuals

    Scroll down a bit

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    thanks all.

    i will contact you david s.

    ufo - your photo thread from 10 years ago is still accessible on flicker.
    gave us the assurance we could do the tear down with the motor in.
    if you don't mind i might follow up with you on your timing ring, flywheel tooth cautionary comment.
    we too had to lock out the engine via the flywheel to get the crank pulley nut off, so i hear a cautionary alarm bell ringing.

    i will look into links kindly furnished.

    thanks all for responses.

    the beautiful green xm will be rolling again soon enough.
    but it is now headed for a coddled life as a preserved specimen.
    a great piece of avante garde thinking. almost the last?

    thanks all.
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  10. #10
    UFO
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    I knew the pics on Flickr were still available. I recently thought "Maybe I should delete those?" but decided maybe someone will want them.

    I found the story that I wrote for the club magazine and here it is in two forms. One as presented in the magazine and the other the text from word - both are PDFs. I hope they're useful to you.

    On 2nd thoughts - it appears the file limits are in place so my PDFs will not load. Greenblood??

  11. #11
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    I knew the pics on Flickr were still available. I recently thought "Maybe I should delete those?" but decided maybe someone will want them.

    I found the story that I wrote for the club magazine and here it is in two forms. One as presented in the magazine and the other the text from word - both are PDFs. I hope they're useful to you.

    On 2nd thoughts - it appears the file limits are in place so my PDFs will not load. Greenblood??
    They would be useful for members to access Craig, I can host on my Dropbox if you email them to me - greenblood(at)aussiefrogs(dot)com

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  12. #12
    UFO
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    Here is the text of the story written in 2007. That long ago...

    Adventures in an XM engine Bay

    Last September (2006), while Debra was on a trip back from Melbourne to Wollongong, a head gasket decided this would be a good time to fail. Our '96 XM V6 12 valve SFZ engine car had travelled about 215 000km at this stage.


    Debra gave up topping up coolant at Ulladulla and called the NRMA to get the car flat bedded home. Thank goodness for premium NRMA coverage as the car, and Debra and Blair were professionally delivered to home about three hours later. When we went to start the car to ensure suspension and brakes before the bed was tilted, the engine would not turn over. I surmised that the suspect cylinder was full of water and decided not to test my luck. Fortunately as we live in a reasonably gently sloping street, we were able to roll the car off the back of the truck and I later rolled it on the park brake to in front of our house.

    Through a process of elimination I removed one spark plug at a time until I found a wet one. Number five was the only wet plug and I was able to start the car without this plug and move the car into our carport.

    Anyway, I used some contacts from Aussiefrogs to gather ideas on what to do, and also rounded up three willing volunteers from our club who were fellow XM fans so that we could get the job underway. They were Jinny and Garth Coxhead (fellow XM owners) and Simon Craig, a good friend of theirs.

    I sourced parts via Martin Bray in Clarendon, SA. I also sourced some parts from Continental Cars.
    Parts sourced were:

    • VRS kit which included both gaskets, valve stem seals, intake O rings, exhaust gaskets and camshaft oil seals
    • Full timing chain set
    • Timing chain tension guides (curved)
    • Thermostat
    • Head bolt set
    • Lower engine mount insert (knew the existing one was beyond service)
    • I also ordered two additional camshaft seals and neither Martin or I knew the seals were in the kit – so if anyone needs a couple of camshaft seals…


    Other arrangements which had to be made included; contacting a local engine reconditioning shop to organise head resurfacing/servicing etc; consulting with others in the trade re their opinions re costs and whether we could do the job in situ.

    I was also able to borrow a compressor and large sockets etc from a nearby neighbour and Citroen fan, Graham Bartholomew - thanks!

    The original plan was to remove the engine and gearbox and deliver the engine to a local workshop for them to rebuild. I was soon talked out of that and convinced that the heads could be removed with the engine in place. This was proven during the job.
    On Saturday 23 Sept 2006 I did the preliminary disassembly and removed:

    • radiator, header tank and hoses
    • hydraulic pump
    • engine cover, spark plugs and leads
    • battery


    We commenced full disassembly on Sunday 24 Sept and we got a fair way through it, but were left with the heads still on because the crankshaft nut would not budge and therefore we could not remove the timing chain cover etc. During disassembly we bagged and labelled any part which was removed and kept common parts together like timing chain bolts etc. GLAD sandwich size zip lock bags are good for this as they also have a writing area on the bag. Any pipe or lead which stayed in the engine bay was tagged with masking tape and labelled. The bonnet was also removed by disconnecting the struts at the bonnet and removing the four bolts.

    During the following week the parts arrived from Martin, and I sourced an electric rattle gun (hired - it is Hitachi brand, but others make them too).

    On Saturday 30 Sept it took all of 2 minutes to get the gun to remove the nut. It slowly turned the engine at the same time, but it suddenly just "let go" and we were all happy. We then completed removal of the heads. The engine was preset close or spot on TDC on no 1 cylinder. We didn't panic about marking everything via chains and sprockets etc, as the three mechanics on the job theorised that we'd have to work it all out anyway. We had the Volvo 760 manual with PRV (the Peugeot/Renault/Volvo V6 engine) information and a Peter Russek manual also with very good information.

    The heads were off by lunchtime and then we completed removing exhaust studs (only broke three of them - not bad!) removing sprockets, distributor and any other "bits" that do not need to go to the machining shop. Unfortunately we could not remove the LHM pump pulley as the bolt is VERY tight although it turns out that removing the pulley is not necessary as they just extract the camshaft from the head and leave the pulley attached.

    Then we worked on replacing the insert in the lower engine mount. This is tricky as the old mount is rubber inside a metal collar which is inside an alloy housing. We decided to push out the old rubber, leaving the collar behind. I then cut a piece out of the collar and we knocked that out using a drift then the collar fell out. We then used a 12t press and a lot of contorting and “words of encouragement” to slowly push the new insert in. That was then mounted back on the engine.

    It turns out the top mount insert and mounting block (sits on the chassis with a bolt vulcanised in pointing upwards) would also have to be replaced and a similar process was undertaken for the top mount insert. For your interest the mount insert is currently referred to as a C5 rear gearbox mount. According to the standard Citroen parts list you cannot buy the inserts for the XM V6 - you are supposed to buy the whole mount with a three week wait ex France!

    While the work on the mount was going on there was a lot of cleaning taking place -removing old gaskets, oil, gunge and much muck. Garth did a great job of cleaning the tops of the pistons.

    The heads came back from the shop in excellent condition. Martins Engine Reconditioning of Wollongong is excellent. As a matter of interest I never even went to the shop OR met anyone who works there. It was all arranged over the phone as I was working in Sydney. I dropped the heads into the owner's house nearby to my house - his mother-in-law was there and she said "leave the box next to the ute". A few days later I called the shop and the owner advised to "drop round home tonight, leave the money under the chainsaw in the shed and take your box - it's all good". They were fully cleaned and serviced, angle cuts on the valves, new crankshaft seals fitted, new valve stem seals fitted and lots of nice white cam grease in all the right places. This cost $340.

    We proceeded with the refit and were careful about checking everything as we went. We knew that we had to replace three exhaust studs as they had snapped during removal. The head shop had extracted the remains, but as the PRV uses 7mm thread bolts they had none available. We made some at short notice from bolts with the heads cut off.

    While we were "in the vicinity" I also had a new starter motor and alternator lead made. This was to replace the standard leads which are known to break down over time. The new leads are about twice the weight of the old ones.

    The reassembly went very well, until we attempted to start the car (at 2am on a Sunday morning!). It ran like an asthmatic horse up a muddy hill. We thought we had the timing wrong.

    To cut a VERY VERY long story short, some weeks later, after me spending countless hours in the carport at night after work checking and checking again, and even replacing the crank angle sensor, we found the problem. In our attempt to lock the engine to remove the crankshaft nut, we put a square bar down the crank angle sensor (CAS) hole. Unbeknown to us, this had bent two of the cross bars on the timing ring which is bolted onto the flywheel. This meant that at this spot the crossbars were too far away from the CAS to create the suitable magnetic field to allow the CAS to tell the computer to tell the ICM to tell the coil to fire. It meant that spark was not occurring on cylinders 2 and 6 - which are coincidentally opposite each other in the firing order.

    During this period of frustration and self doubt, we even checked the complete ignition loom from computer outwards, swapped computers and coils (thanks for the loan items Continental Cars) and did various diagnoses with a borrowed ELIT computer (thanks Father Goose). We also pulled the rocker and timing covers off again and retimed the engine about three or four times of course with no greater success.

    One late Sunday afternoon we realised there is a small flywheel inspection hole just beside No 1 cylinder. By carefully rotating the crank and having a person peer in the inspection hole we finally found the offending bars. Judicious use of an Allen key managed to bend the bars slightly back to their correct position. This lead to a weak/intermittent spark on cylinders 2 and 6! HOORAY!!!

    The next night I got to work and again removed the intake manifold (for about the third time) and I managed to use the weight off a small slide hammer, a strong Allen key and a pair of multigrips through the CAS hole to straighten the bars properly. I am now considering taking up orthodontry! A couple of days later Jinny and Garth came back to our place again and we persevered and at 3pm we had success. On the second crank of the engine it fired up and roared into life!

    You can imagine the amount of checking we undertook. Is there anything leaking out????? No.... Well, lets get its feet on the ground and take it for a drive. Garth stayed behind as the rescue pilot and Jinny and I headed up my favourite test road near home. After nine weeks of driving Debra’s Hyundai Accent Auto (BLECH!! Since replaced by a CX25ie Pallas) to drive the XM again was BLISS and it performed beautifully. I think Jinny was even a bit jealous of how the car went.
    Back home more inspection showed that everything was still fine and the old degreaser and spilt oil had burnt off.


    While the engine was out of action I had undertaken an oil change so it had fresh oil in it. There was very little water condensation under the oil cap and after a few longer trips there is no "mayo in the cap".

    A very relieved Jinny and Garth headed off back home and I then set about cleaning up the surgery - aka our carport.

    I must acknowledge the outstanding assistance of Jinny and Garth Coxhead. They were determined to see the job finished and would not give up. Of course their good friend Simon Craig was just as determined, but due to work commitments (or preservation of his own sanity) he could not be on the job as much, but his help was wonderful just the same.

    I should also wish to thank:

    • Martin Bray of Martin Bray Car Parts - for parts supply and advice
    • Greg Bunting and team at Continental Cars - for parts supply, advice and loan of an engine computer and coil
    • Paul Andrews of Paul's Autos in Wollongong - for advice
    • Darren Gillis of Martins Engine Reconditioning - for prompt and efficient service
    • Trent from Kev's Auto in Wollongong (a Volvo shop, but they know their PRVs) - for advice
    • Warren and Peter at McLeods in Wollongong for the loan of XM service manuals and advice
    • John Cook (one of my DET IT Team) for giving me his Volvo 7 series Haynes Manual - it details the PRV rebuild quite well
    • Bruce Elsegood for his advice and persistence
    • and All the Moderator crew at Aussiefrogs including Shane Leviston (DoubleChevron), Alan Smith (Alan S) and Sean White (pugrambo) for their advice and countless hours spent on the phone


    However last but not least I must thank my wife Debra for her fortitude in feeding the mechanics often twice a day with some excellent food, for assisting me in maintaining the determination to complete the job and for putting up with a tired, cranky and frustrated husband for nine long weeks. Thankyou darling. My sanity has returned to normal now!

    By the way, the moral of the story is, NEVER use the CAS hole as an engine lock point. The easy way we found to get the crankshaft nut undone was to use an electric impact gun. If we had had the gun at the start, the whole job would have been completed in two weekends. Ah well, cest la vie!

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger
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    I just remembered I'd found a website last year with the relevant parts of the manual already scanned.
    http://www.matthijsjansen.eu/Citroen_XM/index.html
    Look under Documents, then Engine to find the manual extract pdfs. XM 100-00_7 is the most relevant.
    It's mostly pictorial to cover all languages.
    Where it says 'Manuals' in the menu, that means handbooks, but not in English.

    p.s. Well done UFO and groupies. Your head gasket job appears to be hanging together in 2018.
    Last edited by David S; 27th January 2018 at 11:39 AM.
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  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    Thanks David.

    The link was perfect, found just what we needed. Appreciated.


    Thanks UFO for putting up account of the procedure. My hat is off to you. We are under a lot less pressure and it is quite a job to slowly disconnect accessory items etc and fold them out of the way. That lack of pressure has allowed us to appreciate the "order" of the engine bay and packaging which is very un-german, in a good way I think. It feels a bit like operating on a living creature. Organs are kept connected and moved aside. A lot of our time has been taken up with working various plastic clips and connectors loose without breaking them. The plastics are now old and brittle and delicacy along with CRC in some cases is required to coax various clips open. Remarkably the engine bay is in superb condition with all those items still intact. We feel a responsibility to keep it that way. The car is a great example of the type and worth the care.

    Will keep you all posted.

    I'm looking forward to turning the key on this car in the not too distant future.
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  15. #15
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post

    p.s. Well done UFO and groupies. Your head gasket job appears to be hanging together in 2018.
    So you've still got the car? Not moved it on yet?

  16. #16
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    Yes, still have it. It needs attention, especially paint but I think it has essentially recovered from the brake fluid infusion.
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  17. #17
    Tadpole
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    UFO reading your account closely regarding the crank pulley nut i now realise which hole (CAS hole) you used to attempt to lock the crank.
    we saw that cover plate and decided against going there. glad we did after reading your story.
    we already had the starter motor off as it was not working properly so we went in that way.
    (the inside of the starter was black mush we discovered). we locked the crank via the starter motor engagement hole on the flywheel teeth.
    we had to do that because no matter what a rattle gun would not dislodge the crank pulley nut.

  18. #18
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    Yes, still have it. It needs attention, especially paint but I think it has essentially recovered from the brake fluid infusion.
    Good to know!

    Who knows? One day I'll win a lottery and start a larger Citroen collection.

    Or pigs might fly!

  19. #19
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    Gradually improving it. It is redeemable, but had been struck down by various relatively minor ailments that were collectively near fatal. I guess it's a 'rescue' car, saved from Canterbury Council's 'pound'.

    Back to the head gasket car ... The crank pulley nut is very tight on these engines. I found that out with a Volvo 264 in the past.

    With the starter, it will be a D6RA unit and easily repaired and cannibalised. If the problem is not obvious, check that the magnets have not fallen off the inside of the motor body. I can recall Garth saying this had been a problem with this car (but then replaced) and I know of another that had a similar problem and both were starters that were not that old. You can always pinch the motor body from another version of the starter, say an early C5 V6, if required. When rebuilding, it is important that the brush spring loop slips under the steel tang in the aperture on the end of the motor body and not just under the Bakelite. It is easiest to fit the Bakelite holder and then the spring before the brushes to ensure the spring is properly fitted and then lift each arm to fit the brushes. Otherwise it's a little difficult.

  20. #20
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    david,

    i suspect the problem with a lot of parts these days is they are not being made by the original suppliers and those making them are doing so well short of original standards and specs. the starter motor we pulled off was a reco in poland unit. i have nothing against poland but i suspect its nothing like original spec. the magnets and their "glue" had dissolved. the magnets had well and truly fallen off.

    for not much more than the price of a valeo reco in poland unit (proto mush) we are having the starter motor rebuilt by some guys up the calder highway in central victoria. i think what we end up might last the distance and even have a bit more turn over grunt. i will report on that after installation.

  21. #21
    UFO
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    It is a common problem with the starters in V6 XM 12v due to the wonderful location the starter sits in and that the magnets are glued in and not secured - hopefully your rebuilder screws/bolts them in somehow. I had three fails on mine over a few years of ownership and it's a wonderful job to replace them...

  22. #22
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    heads are off.

    thanks to all help here.
    we have only been working on it one day a week taking our time.
    biggest issue was locking the cam shaft sprockets to crack the cam shaft bolts and release the sprockets.
    we ended up building "tools" so as not to stress the chains.
    boy were those cam shaft sprocket bolts on tight.
    also built some tools to lock the wet liner cylinder "jugs" to stop them moving once the rear head came off.
    hardest one to do was the front head with the balancer shaft.
    balancer shaft chain and sprockets get in the way of locking the cam chain sprocket to crack the bolt.
    hours spent making the tools.
    but we cracked it.
    heads were a piece of cake after that.

    very clear that cylinder #6 on the rear bank was the culprit.
    not sure if the head is warped. have to check.
    not very much sign that the head gasket had failed.
    only the faintest sign that there might have been some leakage.
    and very faint at that.

    but hopefully all is well there.
    new gaskets etc and then put the beast back together.

    an entertaining few weeks. glad we are not under pressure to have an every day driver back on the road.

    my only comment.
    not a lot of gasket width between the cooling gallery and the cylinder.
    probably no wonder these things are known for blowing their head gaskets.
    but we don't mind.
    and we are enjoying it.

    manuals advised to buy and obtained have been just what we needed.

    i might try and post up some shots at the end of the whole process - certainly its entirely doable to replace head gaskets with engine in situ. also its way easy to replace a torn steering rack boot with the engine ripped down like this. which we can see we also have to do.

  23. #23
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    as per UFO (in 2006) we could also not remove the oil pump pulley from the end of the camshaft on rear head. way too tight.
    we just tapped the camshaft out with a soft mallet with pulley attached.
    i'm imagining it can go back in with the pulley still attached.
    but we haven't go to that yet.

    heads are back. all fine.
    i'm putting it down to the head gaskets themselves?
    original fitment at time of manufacture could have been asbestos type i'm guessing.
    last a considerable distance.
    replacements are not.
    it is what it is.

    re-assembly commencing.
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  24. #24
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    I hope you've taken some pics.

  25. #25
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    yes

    i'll give you the story in visual terms when its done.

    just back from a day cleaning up all the various parts.
    sanding engine block surfaces, timing chain cover etc.

    all positive from here forward.
    gaskets, parts ordered and so on.
    forward into reassembly phase.

    and as you demonstrated UFO entirely doable with engine in car.

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