Engine noise diagnosis help.
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Default Engine noise diagnosis help.

    My motor has a noise.
    It is not constant, and happens at the cusp of power and engine braking.
    It sounds like a diesel engine in a truck, a deep knocking, not a pinging or rattle noise.
    If the car had the keys removed and was still running, you'd hear a similar noise.
    When I get the revs too low in the old diesel truck it makes a similar noise.
    It is not there at constant revs, and not audible from the cabin, but very audible in the engine bay.
    It is quite dificult to make it sit on the noise, as it seems to be at the transition from load to engine braking

    Unplugging injector/spark on each cylinder does not make it go away, and the roughness makes it mildly worse.
    If I had to punt on which end of the motor, I'd say the flywheel end, but I'm not totaly certain of that, as its a broad sounding noise, not specific to an area.
    I took the valve cover off and that didn't really narrow it down either, but it does not appear to be the head.
    The motor is running very rich acording to the O2 sensor read out.

    Does any one have any idea what this might be, or any other tests I can do to confirm or eliminate any of the usual suspects.

    Jo

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    You may be able to pin down the location a bit more using an engine stethoscope. Often just a bit of dowelling works well.
    Cam rattle, perhaps ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    My motor has a noise.
    It is not constant, and happens at the cusp of power and engine braking.
    It sounds like a diesel engine in a truck, a deep knocking, not a pinging or rattle noise.
    If the car had the keys removed and was still running, you'd hear a similar noise.
    When I get the revs too low in the old diesel truck it makes a similar noise.
    It is not there at constant revs, and not audible from the cabin, but very audible in the engine bay.
    It is quite dificult to make it sit on the noise, as it seems to be at the transition from load to engine braking

    Unplugging injector/spark on each cylinder does not make it go away, and the roughness makes it mildly worse.
    If I had to punt on which end of the motor, I'd say the flywheel end, but I'm not totaly certain of that, as its a broad sounding noise, not specific to an area.
    I took the valve cover off and that didn't really narrow it down either, but it does not appear to be the head.
    The motor is running very rich acording to the O2 sensor read out.

    Does any one have any idea what this might be, or any other tests I can do to confirm or eliminate any of the usual suspects.

    Jo
    Off the top of my head sounds like a main...

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Silly me forgot to mention the oil. Very prety indeed, full of non magnetic ultra fine metal particles.
    Could scroll pretty pictures in the oil pan.

    The cam is suspiciously quiet through all this, Beano.

    I'm thinking it is a main bearing too.

    Bugger.


    Jo

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    Any better when warm or is it the same/similar?

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Worse as it gets hotter.
    At cold, it is hard to 'noise it up' and I felt like an idiot trying to demonstrate it to someone...."it was there yesterday, I swear".

    Jo

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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Worse as it gets hotter.
    At cold, it is hard to 'noise it up' and I felt like an idiot trying to demonstrate it to someone...."it was there yesterday, I swear".

    Jo
    You can pretty much rule out piston slap then.

    It is a little unusual to get worse as it warms up as things normally expand a bit.

    Does putting your foot on the clutch change the noise at all?

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    1000+ Posts Poo-Go's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Off the top of my head sounds like a main...
    Me too.
    Care factor = -273.15șC

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    You can pretty much rule out piston slap then.

    It is a little unusual to get worse as it warms up as things normally expand a bit.

    Does putting your foot on the clutch change the noise at all?

    I only thought to do that test today when I was on my own. I did it but from the cabin could not hear the noise either way.


    Jo

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    If you've spun a main you'll more than likely see an oil pressure drop due to the extra clearance: more so when warm. Run a master gauge and see if it tells you anything - you may only be able to tell if you knew what pressure it ran when your engine was healthy, unless it's really bad.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Silly me forgot to mention the oil. Very prety indeed, full of non magnetic ultra fine metal particles.
    Could scroll pretty pictures in the oil pan.

    The cam is suspiciously quiet through all this, Beano.

    I'm thinking it is a main bearing too.

    Bugger.


    Jo
    The ultra fine white particles are possibly white metal.

    If it's not a main it's a big end.

    Same result anyway: engine rebuild. I wouldn't run it for much longer because the crank will suffer, not to mention all that finely divided crap going through the engine.

    You could contact this mob and get the oil analysed and get a definite diagnosis. However you will probably pay as much as engine rebuild http://www.oilcheck.com.au/contact-us/index.html

    Oil analysis is standard practice in the refrigeration and diesel industries where the repair costs are potentially very high.

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the replies.

    The only thing I hoped was that it might be something really silly like the exhaust rattling or the oil pump or something ignorable, but Logic would suggest that the particles that developed in the oil after just a few hours would rule such a mild inconvenience out.

    The motor is a bit racey, with plenty of evidence of things like lightening and ballencing, and the road test put a broad smile on my face.
    The top end of the donk with its somewhat less than ideal reground cam is the sweetest and most quiet dourvin top end I've ever (not) heard so there are many reasons to not trash this motor with metalic abrasion.

    I think there is one heat cycle left in it, to perform a compression test just for my own satisfaction, then I'll rip it out, bolt in its replacement and start edumicating myself about motor rebuilds.
    As of now, I'm a motor virgin, having never opened up a donk.
    Its funny how an apprenticeship performed on a fuego gives you great experience in chasing electrical gremlins, doing rust repairs, tuning carbies(or eliminating them) and an understanding of cooling systems, but will allow you to continue in total ignorant bliss in regards to motors.
    They certainly got that bit right.

    I'll start learning right now if anyone would be as kind to respond.

    WHat happens to a crank/bearing surface when a bearing spins?
    Is it a write off or can the crank be re conditioned??


    Jo

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Thank you everyone for the replies.

    The only thing I hoped was that it might be something really silly like the exhaust rattling or the oil pump or something ignorable, but Logic would suggest that the particles that developed in the oil after just a few hours would rule such a mild inconvenience out.

    The motor is a bit racey, with plenty of evidence of things like lightening and ballencing, and the road test put a broad smile on my face.
    The top end of the donk with its somewhat less than ideal reground cam is the sweetest and most quiet dourvin top end I've ever (not) heard so there are many reasons to not trash this motor with metalic abrasion.

    I think there is one heat cycle left in it, to perform a compression test just for my own satisfaction, then I'll rip it out, bolt in its replacement and start edumicating myself about motor rebuilds.
    As of now, I'm a motor virgin, having never opened up a donk.
    Its funny how an apprenticeship performed on a fuego gives you great experience in chasing electrical gremlins, doing rust repairs, tuning carbies(or eliminating them) and an understanding of cooling systems, but will allow you to continue in total ignorant bliss in regards to motors.
    They certainly got that bit right.

    I'll start learning right now if anyone would be as kind to respond.

    WHat happens to a crank/bearing surface when a bearing spins?
    Is it a write off or can the crank be re conditioned??


    Jo
    Jo,

    There is nothing magic about engine recos. Cleanliness is paramount. If you can't read a micrometer, get an expert to measure up to ascertain wear.

    Mark the rods, pistons, bearing caps to make sure they go back the same way. If they are not already marked, gentle centre punch marks are indelible.

    Crankshafts can be reground, ie reduced in diameter to remove the scoring. You can generally purchase oversize bearing shells to make for the material which has been ground off.

    A tradesman level machinist will want to have the bearing shells to check the fit on the ground crank.
    Depending how bad the scores are, sometimes linishing (very, very, light grinding is OK)

    I would always balance any engine from flywheel to front pulley if major work is done. Especially for a rev head like you!

    Crack testing the crank is a good idea as well. As is checking the alignment of the conrods (parallelism of the big and little ends) and checking the piston pin to little end fit.

    You really have two options with engine rebuilds. Either fix the immediate problem and wear blinkers when fixing it. Or take one thing leads to another approach and replacing all worn items. This leads to a $3k plus bill usually but you end up with a sweet and known quantity motor.

    Whenever I started with option one I've always ended taking option two.

    Having said that, I'm no expert on Douvrins, but I done a few cast iron XN lumps up.

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Jo,

    There is nothing magic about engine recos. Cleanliness is paramount. If you can't read a micrometer, get an expert to measure up to ascertain wear.

    Mark the rods, pistons, bearing caps to make sure they go back the same way. If they are not already marked, gentle centre punch marks are indelible.

    Crankshafts can be reground, ie reduced in diameter to remove the scoring. You can generally purchase oversize bearing shells to make for the material which has been ground off.

    A tradesman level machinist will want to have the bearing shells to check the fit on the ground crank.
    Depending how bad the scores are, sometimes linishing (very, very, light grinding is OK)

    I would always balance any engine from flywheel to front pulley if major work is done. Especially for a rev head like you!

    Crack testing the crank is a good idea as well. As is checking the alignment of the conrods (parallelism of the big and little ends) and checking the piston pin to little end fit.

    You really have two options with engine rebuilds. Either fix the immediate problem and wear blinkers when fixing it. Or take one thing leads to another approach and replacing all worn items. This leads to a $3k plus bill usually but you end up with a sweet and known quantity motor.

    Whenever I started with option one I've always ended taking option two.

    Having said that, I'm no expert on Douvrins, but I done a few cast iron XN lumps up.

    Thanks for your reply, Rob.


    I dont actually own a micrometer, so I guess thats a kit I'll need to procure and learn how to use.
    I remember just a few years ago when i didn't own a set of vernier callipers.
    Couldn't live without them now. They were the first item in my life to make me realise my lenses were hardening up with age.
    Might have to get a digital set for the old age.

    I'll pull the motor this week and shelve it for a while while I finish all the jobs I started when I took on this project.

    At the moment I still have the pressure of no renault to drive, but once that is running and sorted, I'll turn my attention once more to this donk.

    Jo

  15. #15
    bob
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    G'day Jo,

    All good stuff there from Robmac.

    If you have liner/piston wear to any extent you might want to consider the higher c/r version replacement as in the r20, and r25 I think assuming that the pin height is the same. If there are no rings at the bottom end of the piston you could do yourself some scalloping on the sides, parallel to the crank, and loose some piston weight - they would all need to be balanced of course. Go well with your new cam......

    Used to be able to get plastic shims to check bearing clearances, don't know if you still can, might even be some here left over from the bad old days. It was simple stuff, lay it on the shaft, torque up the bearing cap, take off the cap, measure the width of the squashed plastic against a supplied scale.

    cheers,
    Bob

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Jo,

    All good stuff there from Robmac.

    If you have liner/piston wear to any extent you might want to consider the higher c/r version replacement as in the r20, and r25 I think assuming that the pin height is the same. If there are no rings at the bottom end of the piston you could do yourself some scalloping on the sides, parallel to the crank, and loose some piston weight - they would all need to be balanced of course. Go well with your new cam......

    Used to be able to get plastic shims to check bearing clearances, don't know if you still can, might even be some here left over from the bad old days. It was simple stuff, lay it on the shaft, torque up the bearing cap, take off the cap, measure the width of the squashed plastic against a supplied scale.

    cheers,
    Bob
    Plastigauge is the squishy stuff. Great for insitu measuring. I prefer a a micrometer when the crank is out of car. I always replace shells if given a chance.

    http://www.plastigaugeusa.com/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day Jo,

    All good stuff there from Robmac.

    If you have liner/piston wear to any extent you might want to consider the higher c/r version replacement as in the r20, and r25.
    cheers,
    Bob
    This motor might already be like you describe, I dont know I didn't build it, but its not stock by any means.


    Jo

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    My first thoughts from your description was Big-end bearings, but you say that disconnecting plug leads didn't change the noise, and usually you would be able to pin down which big-end was worn as the knock would diminish when that cylinder was not firing. Except if it is more than one? Big-end noise is ususally apparent at the point of "float" between revving up and backing off - as you have described.
    I would generally describe Main bearing noise as a "loud bottom end rumble" as you accelerated the engine quickly, not so much as a knocking noise.

    But the metal in the oil is the closer, really, whatever is causing it.

    And it may not be a "spun" bearing - that usually only happens after much wear and continuous driving after wear has occurred, the shell may get "hammered" and loose in the housing, and actually starts turning in the housing. If that has occurred you may need to get the connecting rods "re-sized" (if its a spun big-end) or a tunnel bore (if its a spun main bearing). Both do-able by a competent engine machining shop.

    Jo, I know you like to go that extra mile in learning the "theory" of why things happen. In the case of engine bottom ends that extra technique/knowledge which for some reason is not widely known or used, is measuring the "crush" or "nip" of the shells in the connecting rod (b/e) or block (main). The shells are an interference fit so that when the bolts are tightened the shell is clamped tightly in its housing - more than you would expect. I have done this on every engine I have built since discovering that an engine that had been tunnel-bored (badly) had a 0.005" clearance between shell and block, but Plastiguage still showed a reasonable clearance on the bearing surface. This is when you would get a "spun bearing". Another engine had a big-end knock (under new car warranty) and I found the big-end bore in the connecting rod was slightly oversize from the factory. All things being equal, this check should not be required, but it is the check that gives you confidence that everything is good, that your new shells match your existing parts, or the machining has been done correctly. Plastigage is still the final check for clearance.

    Its a bit fiddly, but my method is: With everything clean and ready to assemble. Clamp con-rod lightly in vice with big-end upwards. Fit new shells to both halves. Assemble and tighten evenly to specification (use the old bolts if they are going to be renewed). Then loosen off ONE of the two bolts or nuts. The shell should force the big-end cap to bend slightly and open up a gap between the mating surfaces of the rod and cap. You will not find a spec for this (I never have anyway) but between 0.002" and .005" would be common. If there is no gap, there is no clamping effect, and something is wrong. Repeat for each con-rod. Similar procedure for main bearings in the block. After satisfying yourself on this "crush" check, keep all shells in their respective locations, and assemble engine as normal.

    I believe this is covered pretty well in the Repco Engine Reconditioning book which may still be available, and is a very good book to have a read through.

    Otherwise, follow the manual as closely as you can in all parts of the engine rebuild.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Fordman; 15th August 2011 at 05:13 PM. Reason: minor typos
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  19. #19
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    The non magnetic particles in the sump oil would most certainly direct me to strip the big end bearings first and then main bearings.

    Not sure what a set of replacement shell bearings cost nowadays, but years back standard bearings were dirt cheap from Caravelle (probably more now!).

    Investment in a micrometer would help to check the shaft for ovality, though in most Fuego engines they are fairly durable with less than a tenth of a thousanth of an inch ovality in the ones I have checked (my micrometers are mostly imperial measurement).

    If its a main or conrod bearing problem, it will only get worse - all very good information from everyone above.

    If there is any pick up of white metal on the crankshaft journal (usually from lack of lubrication melting the whitemeta/bearing material) you can carefully remove that heat applied solder effect, with judicious application of fine emery paper, be careful to clean up afterwards.

    If you have to remove the crankshaft you can then spin it and use a wooden hinged clamp with fine emery on the inside to correct slight ovality and surface issues (linishing) make sure that all oil galleries are clean and that the bearings are correctly placed to ensure oils gets into and out of the bearing in operation via the oil holes - most shells are machined so they will only fit one way, but oil holes etc are provided the same in both, not sure if that is just in case or simply ease of machining

    Clean everything before assembly, and use a good assembly lubricant - other than that everything has been covered I think.

    Good luck!

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    The non magnetic particles in the sump oil would most certainly direct me to strip the big end bearings first and then main bearings.

    Not sure what a set of replacement shell bearings cost nowadays, but years back standard bearings were dirt cheap from Caravelle (probably more now!).

    Investment in a micrometer would help to check the shaft for ovality, though in most Fuego engines they are fairly durable with less than a tenth of a thousanth of an inch ovality in the ones I have checked (my micrometers are mostly imperial measurement).

    If its a main or conrod bearing problem, it will only get worse - all very good information from everyone above.

    If there is any pick up of white metal on the crankshaft journal (usually from lack of lubrication melting the whitemeta/bearing material) you can carefully remove that heat applied solder effect, with judicious application of fine emery paper, be careful to clean up afterwards.

    If you have to remove the crankshaft you can then spin it and use a wooden hinged clamp with fine emery on the inside to correct slight ovality and surface issues (linishing) make sure that all oil galleries are clean and that the bearings are correctly placed to ensure oils gets into and out of the bearing in operation via the oil holes - most shells are machined so they will only fit one way, but oil holes etc are provided the same in both, not sure if that is just in case or simply ease of machining

    Clean everything before assembly, and use a good assembly lubricant - other than that everything has been covered I think.

    Good luck!

    Ken
    I bought a set of big ends the other day, $40 I think.
    Graham

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    My first thoughts from your description was Big-end bearings, but you say that disconnecting plug leads didn't change the noise, and usually you would be able to pin down which big-end was worn as the knock would diminish when that cylinder was not firing. Except if it is more than one? Big-end noise is ususally apparent at the point of "float" between revving up and backing off - as you have described.
    I would generally describe Main bearing noise as a "loud bottom end rumble" as you accelerated the engine quickly, not so much as a knocking noise.

    But the metal in the oil is the closer, really, whatever is causing it.

    And it may not be a "spun" bearing - that usually only happens after much wear and continuous driving after wear has occurred, the shell may get "hammered" and loose in the housing, and actually starts turning in the housing. If that has occurred you may need to get the connecting rods "re-sized" (if its a spun big-end) or a tunnel bore (if its a spun main bearing). Both do-able by a competent engine machining shop.

    Jo, I know you like to go that extra mile in learning the "theory" of why things happen. In the case of engine bottom ends that extra technique/knowledge which for some reason is not widely known or used, is measuring the "crush" or "nip" of the shells in the connecting rod (b/e) or block (main). The shells are an interference fit so that when the bolts are tightened the shell is clamped tightly in its housing - more than you would expect. I have done this on every engine I have built since discovering that an engine that had been tunnel-bored (badly) had a 0.005" clearance between shell and block, but Plastiguage still showed a reasonable clearance on the bearing surface. This is when you would get a "spun bearing". Another engine had a big-end knock (under new car warranty) and I found the big-end bore in the connecting rod was slightly oversize from the factory. All things being equal, this check should not be required, but it is the check that gives you confidence that everything is good, that your new shells match your existing parts, or the machining has been done correctly. Plastigage is still the final check for clearance.

    Its a bit fiddly, but my method is: With everything clean and ready to assemble. Clamp con-rod lightly in vice with big-end upwards. Fit new shells to both halves. Assemble and tighten evenly to specification (use the old bolts if they are going to be renewed). Then loosen off ONE of the two bolts or nuts. The shell should force the big-end cap to bend slightly and open up a gap between the mating surfaces of the rod and cap. You will not find a spec for this (I never have anyway) but between 0.002" and .005" would be common. If there is no gap, there is no clamping effect, and something is wrong. Repeat for each con-rod. Similar procedure for main bearings in the block. After satisfying yourself on this "crush" check, keep all shells in their respective locations, and assemble engine as normal.

    I believe this is covered pretty well in the Repco Engine Reconditioning book which may still be available, and is a very good book to have a read through.

    Otherwise, follow the manual as closely as you can in all parts of the engine rebuild.

    Cheers.
    Wow, what a post!!!
    Thank you very much fordman for so much detail.
    I'm going to print it out and stick it in my book shelf.
    Jo

  22. #22
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    Sounds like a big end to me too.
    Fordman speaks well.
    Haven't been inside the bottom end of a motor for a while (side effect of playing with old Volvos for the past few years, I've got motors with 400k+ on untouched bottom ends) but I've been inside a few.
    It's good fun, you'll enjoy it!
    Pugs Rule!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    I bought a set of big ends the other day, $40 I think.
    Graham
    Graham

    Still a bargain I think, when I last bought them it was a toss up between the price of a Fuego cambelt or the bearings as to which cost the least money.

    I recall that early in my involvement with the Fuego motor. I was told that such parts were slow movers because the motor was so "bullet proof" Takes a lot of abuse to do in the bottom end of a Fuego motor!!

    Regards.

    Ken

  24. #24
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    Just a note so that people who have great advice dont think I'm ignoring them,or just being a time waster, This motor is now on a stand and wont get any attention until i get the car going with its OE motor.

    It might be many month before the shed is tidied up and i'm in a position to see bench space again, so whilst I am hungry for information at this learning stage, there is no point me doing anything new until I finish some of the old projects.
    I'll lose the plot if I bite off too much.


    Regards, Jo

  25. #25
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    I referred to the Repco Engine Reconditioning Book above. Can anyone confirm if this is the same book in principle, now that Repco became ACL?

    http://www.pitstop.net.au/view/produ...uery/plu/2993/

    It's fairly pricey, which indicates it may contain all that good information.

    Jo, its good that you have the spare engine (engines?) so you can take your time overhauling this one should you decide to proceed. It will be a very interesting exercise I am sure.

    Cheers.
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