Alpine A 110 / conversations
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    Hi everyone,

    does someone own a Alpine A 110 and are you interested in doing engine / gearbox / suspension conversations?
    Most A 110 owner doesn`t due to keeping the original condition. I agree, this is the best way to keep the car interesting for customers....but the most boring way to ride the car.
    A 110 engines are either weak ( 1300 VC: 69 hp as mine)or prone to engine failures (1300 S,115 hp, Gordini:cracked heads ) or heavy and expensive and as well not really powerful to nowadays demands (1600 S: 120 hp), if modified, very critical (increased to 1800 ccm: cylinder walls 2 mm thick).
    The gearboxes are all weak and enforced to use with the swing axle with terrible camber changements when moving.
    However the A 110 is very lightweight (550-700kg), very deep center of gravity, rear engined and has a uncredible handling behaviour. If someone intends to optimise power, gearbox or roadholding, would be nice to discuss about.

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    Udo

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    hi-Best guy I know to contact is Colin Stark @ Alpine Affaire.-Ringwood Vic. Aus.
    His Aussie ph. no is 03 9879 1961.
    Cheers.
    Pekay.

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    I think Frans, Ross and the R8G racing fraternity would be really interested in such a discussion. He has some good ideas of his own too. The rest of us are interested more from an academic point of view. Frans and the gang have real racing experience here. There is also a recently opened thread with a Dauphine from Romania modified in some way.

    From what I remember the key to dealing with those swing axles is to limit their downtravel to no more than horizontal with starps of adequate lengths.

    A gearbox mod often mentioned is to swap R16TX internals in the 330 box. Again Frans & the gang can talk about this stuff in detail. I think he re-engineered the unijoints as well, using BMW (correction, Frans) U-joints from something akin to the BMW 2002(?).

    But I thought there was a version of the A110 with double wishbone rear suspension?

    As for heads, again Frans showed us at some point a Gordini head (I take it it is the same used on R8G engines) repaired in South Africa (where he's originally from) brilliantly. Apparently they can load the heads up to a few mm to bring them back to life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    I think Frans, Ross and the R8G racing fraternity would be really interested in such a discussion. He has some good ideas of his own too. The rest of us are interested more from an academic point of view. Frans and the gang have real racing experience here. There is also a recently opened thread with a Dauphine from Romania modified in some way.

    From what I remember the key to dealing with those swing axles is to limit their downtravel to no more than horizontal with starps of adequate lengths.

    A gearbox mod often mentioned is to swap R16TX internals in the 330 box. Again Frans & the gang can talk about this stuff in detail. I think he re-engineered the unijoints as well, using BMW (correction, Frans) U-joints from something akin to the BMW 2002(?).

    But I thought there was a version of the A110 with double wishbone rear suspension?

    As for heads, again Frans showed us at some point a Gordini head (I take it it is the same used on R8G engines) repaired in South Africa (where he's originally from) brilliantly. Apparently they can load the heads up to a few mm to bring them back to life.
    Yes the last ones did have A310 style wishbones but the standard swing axles can be made to behave. Indeed, Alpine managed that. I assume that it is a fast road car of which we speak, not a circuit racer. Apart from what one has as standard, my recommendations would be:

    Engine: R5 Alpine with twin 40 DC0Es. Advantages: same weight as the 16 alloy motors but a lower centre of gravity; better head design than the R8 Gordini (like a mini R16TS - no flame ports). Disadvantage: mounting hassles owing to some mounts being ground off for the R5 application.

    Suspension: Alpine already fit the shorter droop straps. I'd do two things:
    1) bring the axles as far forward (by adjusting semi-trailing arm length with the eccentric nut) as the slop in the trunnion bushes will allow. Advantage: less tendency to move to toe-out on lift-off.
    2) fit a transverse leaf camber compensator.
    cheers! Peter

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    This is something I'm looking into for an R10. As I see it there are no real easy options, they all require fabrication of some sort. If you want the final product to be street legal as I do then you are more limited. From what I've read it'll be far easier to use the control arms, uprights etc from another vehicle and build a new subframe. I'm yet to check with an engineer (I'm the wrong type of engineer) about welds on a sub frame, I know that welds on control arms need to be inspected and signed off on. I've been looking at suspension options from fast Japanese cars as they are RWD and the stock parts are available as the owners like to upgrade.

    To do this design you need to know all the geometry, gearbox, motor and suspension. Knowing the weight distributions would help as well. Using existing suspension arms means there isn't a great deal of scope for tuning the centre of roll. If you are making a race car then you can make the suspension arms any length you want.

    Engine wise, anything that will fit be legal and not tear the gearbox apart, I'm looking a a Clio engine. As for the gearbox if you want something modern with a 5th gear, the options as I see it are an Audi 012 mounted upside down, Renault UN1 with a flipped crown wheel, Subaru with a modified crown wheel and pinion (very expensive) or if money is no object a Porsche gearbox.

    This is not a trivial job and I haven't even started the design yet or decided if I'm actually going to do it. If I do go through with it I'll post up all my CAD drawings etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Engine: R5 Alpine with twin 40 DC0Es. Advantages: same weight as the 16 alloy motors but a lower centre of gravity; better head design than the R8 Gordini (like a mini R16TS - no flame ports). Disadvantage: mounting hassles owing to some mounts being ground off for the R5 application.
    Hi Peter,
    the R5 engine isnīt able to bring that power I intend to get. Thereīs a current thread about the "Douvrin engine", itīs a 2 L or 2,2 Liter Renault engine which is able to develop much more than 200 hp what I intend to modifiy for the A 110. The R 5 conversation s very popular in Germany and was original fitted in the spanish "Fasa"-Alpine. This engine could be modified up to 140,maybe 150 hp, with a lot of expence and bigger displacement maybe 160+.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Suspension: Alpine already fit the shorter droop straps. I'd do two things:
    1) bring the axles as far forward (by adjusting semi-trailing arm length with the eccentric nut) as the slop in the trunnion bushes will allow. Advantage: less tendency to move to toe-out on lift-off.
    2) fit a transverse leaf camber compensator.
    cheers! Peter

    Peter, if you do that, you will get a much more wear in the needle bearings where the swing axles are pivoting around. The trailing arms have to be adjusted by the excentric nut to make pivoting free of tensions.

    I know the behaviour of the swing axles and itīs the most important point to limit the movement down to avoid any positiv camber to prevent the wheels "tucking under the car" as all old swing-axle cars do as VW beetle, Simca 1000, Fiat 500/600, Renault R 8 a.s.o. usually does. Basically the camber has to be extremly negativ to get enough spring travel, but itīs anyway a compromise. On bumpy roads, fast riding with this axle and short spring travel is not a pleasure. I`m going to convert my gearbox to a NG 5 without a swing axle flange ( keeping the stock housing) and use half shafts from a Espace / Megane and design my own double wishbone rear axle.
    Thats a massive improvement and a lot more potential to adjust the kinematics as desired. A lot of work, no question, but better roadholding and a better,stronger gearbox along with 230 hp seems to be a real rocket ( car weight 650 kg)!

    The newer A 110 features already a double wishbone rear axle from the A 310 1600ccm. This cars have a completly different frame and the axle design is much more of a tank than of a race car....and impossible to fit into my car.

    Udo

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.lees View Post
    to upgrade.
    Engine wise, anything that will fit be legal and not tear the gearbox apart, I'm looking a a Clio engine. As for the gearbox if you want something modern with a 5th gear, the options as I see it are an Audi 012 mounted upside down, Renault UN1 with a flipped crown wheel, Subaru with a modified crown wheel and pinion (very expensive) or if money is no object a Porsche gearbox.

    This is not a trivial job and I haven't even started the design yet or decided if I'm actually going to do it. If I do go through with it I'll post up all my CAD drawings etc.
    Hi c.lees,
    I did all your considerations some years before and I intended to use a clio engine as well along with a UN-gearbox. After some investigations I turned away from that layout. The Clio engines ( F7R or F4R) are much to heavy as well as the UN-gearbos.The UN weight is 50 kgs, 10 kg more than the NG5.Itīs suitable for a 6 cyl. engine for 400+ hp, much too large. If you do this, the weight distribution of the car will be out of balance. My imaginations are to keep the w.d. as near as possible to the 1300 figures, 46% front axle, 54 to the rear. The NG 5 gearbox is able to manage about 250 Nms if you modifiy the diff and the clutch spline( use them from a NG1 or 3) Itīs as well possible to convert the bowels into a A 110 stock housing (330/353) to keep the swing axle, but thats a big conversation, maybe a good way to keep it original looking.
    The next point is to improve the strenght of the swing axle, the universal joints of the 1300s are too weak for 150 hp+, and the stronger 1600er ujs. are never to source (at least in Germany!) i have heard that someone converts to BMW joints, would be interested in that details !

    Udo

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    I hadn't looked into the weight distribution yet, you may have just saved me some work. What is the NG5 out of? I can't find any info on it. I've heard that the NG3 gearboxes are a little weak and it would have to be mounted upside down unless you want to go really fast backwards.

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    Hmm! I hadn't realised just how radical a conversion you had in mind.

    Given that you are going to be hacking about for your rear suspension, why not go one better & shorten the backbone & do a subframe for a mid-engine? Sort of an A110 bodied Matra Djet.

    On semi-trailing arms: yes, I realise the trunnion bearing point but thanks. Given that many of the vehicles we drive have worn trunnion bearings with some play, I think there's merit in taking advantage of this to get a bit of static toe-in. They move around a bit under acceleration & deceleration anyway. So, you're right, but....

    There was a nice A110 replica in England done by a mob called Darrien. It was a commercial failure but used the 2.2 motor & in the magazine road test (with a 1600S A110 in tow for comparison) it sounded very nice indeed - especially its benign behavior at the limit. Mind you, it had less than wonderful semi-trailing arm rear suspension. So it's sort of been done.

    cheers! Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.lees View Post
    This is something I'm looking into for an R10. As I see it there are no real easy options, they all require fabrication of some sort. If you want the final product to be street legal as I do then you are more limited. From what I've read it'll be far easier to use the control arms, uprights etc from another vehicle and build a new subframe. I'm yet to check with an engineer (I'm the wrong type of engineer) about welds on a sub frame, I know that welds on control arms need to be inspected and signed off on. I've been looking at suspension options from fast Japanese cars as they are RWD and the stock parts are available as the owners like to upgrade.

    To do this design you need to know all the geometry, gearbox, motor and suspension. Knowing the weight distributions would help as well. Using existing suspension arms means there isn't a great deal of scope for tuning the centre of roll. If you are making a race car then you can make the suspension arms any length you want.

    .
    I would have thought that a major impediment to double wishbone suspension in an R10 would be fouling on the longitudinal chassis members. Not an issue on an A110 of course.
    Peter

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    i have heard that someone converts to BMW joints, would be interested in that details !

    Udo[/QUOTE]

    On gearboxes generally, I'd be talking to Steve Swan in the UK (& maybe hiring him to do some of the work)
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by c.lees View Post
    I hadn't looked into the weight distribution yet, you may have just saved me some work. What is the NG5 out of? I can't find any info on it. I've heard that the NG3 gearboxes are a little weak and it would have to be mounted upside down unless you want to go really fast backwards.
    The NG 5 ist out of the FWD Renault 5 Alpine Turbo 108 HP, not to confuse with the mid-engined R5 Turbo ( 160 HP). The NG 5 is the only box of the NGs where the crown wheel is on the left side of the diff. ( travel dir.) Unlike to the UN-boxes, itīs definitly NOT POSSIBLE to reverse the drive by switching the crown wheel, because thereīs an offset of (I mean) 4 mms between the centerline of the pinion and crown wheel. If you switch it, you will run maybe 2 kms till your bowels are vaporised........Unfourtunatly, Iīm doubting if such gearboxes are available in Aussie, I don`t know if the R5AT has been sold in down under at all.
    The NG 3 isn`t weak ( I don`t know at least), I used the diff and the clutch spline from an NG3 ( or NG1, is the same), the spline is much stronger than the NG5 and the diff has 4 planet gears, both can be used to strenghten the NG 5. Due to my estimation, I compared a Alpine "Montecarlo" 364 gearbox which Alpine used in the rallyeworld championship at last on its 1800 engines ( maybe 170 HP). These boxes are dealed in the 5000-10000 € range (donīt know in Aussie $) and are much weaker than the NG 5, which you can get in Germany for some hundred € out of an R5AT.However they will become rare in the meanwhile.....
    I also thought about a Porsche -box....weight is about 80 kg,almost heavier than the engine :-)

    Udo

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Hmm! I hadn't realised just how radical a conversion you had in mind.

    Given that you are going to be hacking about for your rear suspension, why not go one better & shorten the backbone & do a subframe for a mid-engine? Sort of an A110 bodied Matra Djet.

    On semi-trailing arms: yes, I realise the trunnion bearing point but thanks. Given that many of the vehicles we drive have worn trunnion bearings with some play, I think there's merit in taking advantage of this to get a bit of static toe-in. They move around a bit under acceleration & deceleration anyway. So, you're right, but....

    There was a nice A110 replica in England done by a mob called Darrien. It was a commercial failure but used the 2.2 motor & in the magazine road test (with a 1600S A110 in tow for comparison) it sounded very nice indeed - especially its benign behavior at the limit. Mind you, it had less than wonderful semi-trailing arm rear suspension. So it's sort of been done.

    cheers! Peter
    Hi Peter,
    sounds strange probably, but I want to keep the original layout of the Alpine. The gearbox conversation is accepted within the ( german / french ) scene, the rear axle wishbones is a more borderline conversation, but doesn`t call the A 110 layout in question basically. A mid engined A 110 is no more a A 110 at all and i like the rear engine feeling. Apart from that, wouldnīt it be simple to get an engine in front of the rear axle without danger to get a rod into your back if the engine blows off....in this area the frame would have to be removed completly,more precisely: you have to design a complete new frame....For my design, I make a new subframe which can be bolted to the stock frame and accepts the upper and lower pivot points of the control arms, itīs not that complicated.
    It was quite complicated to define the roll center depending of the spring travels and wheel distance to the body.

    I know the Darrian based car, it was made by a guy called John Wheeler. I was in touch with him 12 years ago by Email to ask some details of his car. Unfourtunatly, the car looks a bit different to the A 110 by itīs longer wheelbase and not that harmonic, but thats a matter of taste. The car was called MC 220 and featured the J7R- engine ( Douvrin) what I intend to use for my car now, but not due to the MC 220, I`ve got currently the details of the engine out of a threat here (have a look to renault forum, douvrin engine), and this engine is really worth to be considered exactly to use in A 110.

    Semi-trailing arms: You can get a bit of toe-in when you lower the front end of the gearbox if your car has negativ chamber ( what it should have..) but itīs more academic.

    Udo

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    Hi All

    My A110 started life as a 1300VA with a 4 speed transmission. Before I became the new owner it had a 843 (1647cc) engine fitted and a 5 speed transmission, and a front radiator installed.

    It still retains the original swing axles.

    I plan to upgrade the brakes to what is know as the "big brake" package when I have all the parts need (I have most of them).

    If you read the Alpine specialist magazines such as Mille Miles & Berlinette you will get some good ideas of what some Alpine owners have done to their cars.
    Regards Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    There was a nice A110 replica in England done by a mob called Darrien. It was a commercial failure but used the 2.2 motor & in the magazine road test (with a 1600S A110 in tow for comparison) it sounded very nice indeed - especially its benign behavior at the limit. Mind you, it had less than wonderful semi-trailing arm rear suspension. So it's sort of been done.

    cheers! Peter
    Hi Peter, it was not a commercial failure, the facts as given to me by the owners of all the Davrian (note the spelling correction) is that they were just too busy with producing enough of the other cars they make to keep development going.Their car was used in anger, the rear suspension was just a slight modification of their current (at that time) cars. Their cars were, and still are widely used in club rallying and sprinting in the UK. They did indeed use both Darrian and Davrian, just Davrian at the time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinelover View Post
    <snip>Semi-trailing arms: You can get a bit of toe-in when you lower the front end of the gearbox if your car has negativ chamber ( what it should have..) but itīs more academic.

    Udo
    hmm! the vehicle in question for me is a modified 4cv (my coupe is a djet, not an alpine) and it does has 3 degrees of negative camber - so thanks for that; I'll have a look at it (mind you it's already remarkably benign upon throttle adjustment at the limit for such a short wheelbase)
    cheers! peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwia110 View Post
    Hi Peter, it was not a commercial failure, the facts as given to me by the owners of all the Davrian (note the spelling correction) is that they were just too busy with producing enough of the other cars they make to keep development going.Their car was used in anger, the rear suspension was just a slight modification of their current (at that time) cars. Their cars were, and still are widely used in club rallying and sprinting in the UK. They did indeed use both Darrian and Davrian, just Davrian at the time
    What a pity. Mind you, if orders were rushing in then I suppose that they would have kept making it to recoup costs. My memory of the email from them was that it was only the one (the magazine one) that they made although they had an unassembled body & could build it up for me. It cost too much for me to proceed. It did sound good though & didn't sound like further development was needed if the road test is to be believed. (As it happens, I'm glad I didn't get it as the Djet is a nicer drive.)
    I stand corrected on names. My memory was that 'Davrian' was the old name from the Imp derived car & they then moved to 'Darrian' for some reason & that that was the one used for the faux A110.
    My memory also is that the front suspension (like the tub) was retained from the Imp-based vehicle. If that memory is sound, then it would be the only "A110" with swing axle _front_ suspension!
    cheers! Peter

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    Strangely there is an article on the MC220 on Veloce Today, the online mag which has hit my emails in the last 10 minutes!
    It also uses Darrian, so could well be my error, I make them often and am happy to admit!The front suspension is a fully independent Darrian strut system with rose-jointed wishbones, adjustable coil-over AVO dampers and rose-jointed anti roll bar. The rear suspension is fully independent by semi-trailing arms with adjustable coil-over AVO dampers; steering is conducted through a 2.75 high ratio rack and pinion. A tubular steel roll cage integral to the monocoque, is supplemented by a full cockpit roll cage of conventional

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    Davrian is a Welsh car company building specials. The founders of the company Adrian Evans and Dave clarke (fibreglass expert).
    As you can see Davrian is a combination of the christian names.

    There is a Davrian that competes regularly in Targa Tasmania.
    Regards Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwia110 View Post
    Hi Peter, it was not a commercial failure, the facts as given to me by the owners of all the Davrian (note the spelling correction) is that they were just too busy with producing enough of the other cars they make to keep development going.Their car was used in anger, the rear suspension was just a slight modification of their current (at that time) cars. Their cars were, and still are widely used in club rallying and sprinting in the UK. They did indeed use both Darrian and Davrian, just Davrian at the time
    I think you are confusing together a bit...To my knwoledge, the Darrian / Davrian cars are really succesful rallyecars, as well commercial succesful,but the A 110 replica basing on the Davrian chassis was not commercial successful. This car was not made by Davrian itself, rather from an english guy called John Wheeler. The car was called MC 220. I guess he did just one or two cars only and it was more a development project afterwards. The car looks a bit strange, cause the wheelbase is longer as on the original A 110,
    but should handle well as i have heard. Maybe it was the usual problem of too much money for a handmade car, to my knowledge, itīs not sold as a kitcar.

    Udo

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    Udo, I spent many hours with these people in person, I think from our discussions I do know what they, and I are talking about. Yes it is different, remember I owned until recently an A110 myself, and I am well aware of some of the things which make them less than their mystique. Yes, John Wheeler was involved, but I can assure you that Darrian did the manufacture and much of the design using their own well developed components and methods. No there have not been others than the 3 sold, there was a complete kit available when I spoke with them, but they felt it was much too time consuming and expensive to continue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwia110 View Post
    Udo, I spent many hours with these people in person, I think from our discussions I do know what they, and I are talking about. Yes it is different, remember I owned until recently an A110 myself, and I am well aware of some of the things which make them less than their mystique. Yes, John Wheeler was involved, but I can assure you that Darrian did the manufacture and much of the design using their own well developed components and methods. No there have not been others than the 3 sold, there was a complete kit available when I spoke with them, but they felt it was much too time consuming and expensive to continue.
    Hi, ok you were involved in these surroundings then I admit you have to know better, what i stated was from some old magazines and rumours...As i supposed, the estimation about commercialisation was not that far......3 cars wouldn`t be the target probably..
    Do you know how the suspension design of the Darrian looks and would it be possible to use some parts as control arms or uprights for the A 110 after matching? Maybe some links?

    Thank you,

    Udo

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Hi All
    I plan to upgrade the brakes to what is know as the "big brake" package when I have all the parts need (I have most of them).
    Hi Col,
    the brakes are always a interesting topic of the A110...I guess you mean the front calipers of R 16 with the discs and custom made
    carriers for the calipers. On the rear, th big cp. are vera difficult to source as used ones and very expensive.
    I have thought about using rear calipers from the VW Golf 2,3or 4 ( maybe called "Rabbit in Aussie??) which are reasonably lightweight and have a parking brake function as well. The problem at all solutions is the lack of space to get no caliper deep enough into the wheels while keeping a reasonable disc diameter...maybe some guys here at the forum have realised a good solution. You should walk around a scrapyard with a slide gauge to source a suitable lump...should be lightweight / Alu, Front piston dia. 50 or 52, rear 48 mm, easy to source, very small, floating ones else no chance to place in the wheels...

    Udo

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    Rear "big brakes" try a FuegoTurbo or 18 Turbo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinelover View Post
    Hi, ok you were involved in these surroundings then I admit you have to know better, what i stated was from some old magazines and rumours...As i supposed, the estimation about commercialisation was not that far......3 cars wouldn`t be the target probably..
    Do you know how the suspension design of the Darrian looks and would it be possible to use some parts as control arms or uprights for the A 110 after matching? Maybe some links?

    Thank you,

    Udo
    I don't know how you could adapt either the front or rear MCC or Darrian to an A110 without destroying much of the A110. They are totally different.

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