Tubeless Wire Wheels

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Bob Zambelli, Jun 1, 2015.

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  1. Bob Zambelli

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    I have developed a method of eliminating the inner tubes on my Borannis.
    If anyone is interested, I will post my procedure.

    Bob Z.
     
  2. 246tasman

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    Hi Bob

    Please do.

    Thanks
    Will
     
  3. Longstone Tyres

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    There are a variety of wheel companies that make what they claim to be tubeless wire wheels, by putting mastic over the spoke heads. For the most part they often work, however we have come across several failures where air leeks out around the spokes. This has happened to wheels from different manufacturers. We always fit tubes to every wire wheel, because then you don't get any nasty surprises.

    However if you have come up with a better technique we would be interested to hear.

    The other thought is; what for?

    All cars with wire wheels fitted 70% profile tyres or full profile. all 70% profile tyres can fit inner tubes weather they are described as tubeless or not. you should not fit inner tubes in tyres less than 70% profile (eg 225/65R15 cannot fit inner tubes) but it doesn't matter because you don't want to fit a tyre with that profile on a vintage Ferrar

    https://www.borrani.com themselves use tubes.
     
  4. peterp

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    Weight would be one advantage I guess. I believe the Borrani wheels are already quite a bit heavier than the alternative 330 alloys (even without the tubes), so eliminating tubes would seem to be beneficial. Does anybody know how much a 14" inner tube weighs? I don't know if it would be a significant difference or not.
     
  5. 330 4HL

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    My guess is that the tubes weigh less than a pound each, and I don't really see the point in in trying to run WW without tubes.
    If someone is going to drive these cars hard enough to be concerned about the difference in unsprung weight, I think picking up a spare set of alloys would be the preferred option for both weight and safety.
     
  6. Bob Zambelli

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    #6 Bob Zambelli, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Someone asked "What for?"
    Simple: convenience. My GTC is an everyday driver. Very often, I take it on a trip with the trunk full - I mean FULL! See the photo.

    Although a flat tire is a rare occurrence, if it does happen, I don't want to go through all the hassle of unloading the trunk, removing carpeting and the trunk floor.
    Instead, I just blow up the flat tire with a can of aerosol tire sealant, take it home and do a proper repair with a tubeless tire plug.

    Although my tubes weigh 2.6 pounds each, reducing unsprung weight is not an issue - I don't drive it hard enough on the road to notice any difference.

    Considering that the average vintage car driver puts very little mileage on his/her car, the chance of a flat is greatly lessened. I may drive mine 5 to 10 thousand miles per year, often on back roads where there is a greater chance of picking up a puncture.
    The idea of emptying my trunk on a dark back-country road is most unappealing. With a can of Fix-A-Flat, I'm back on the road in no time.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    By the way, my sealing process is eight simple steps and takes about an hour per wheel.

    Bob Z.
    tire change.jpg
     
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  8. John Vardanian

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    Spill your guts already, Bob!

    john
     
  9. Bob Zambelli

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    Hi, John - I think I just did!

    Bob Z.
     
  10. El Wayne

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    ????
    Still waiting...
     
  11. Edward 96GTS

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    he said, "a can of fix a flat"
     
  12. Bob Zambelli

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    Hi, Guys - sorry, I misunderstood.
    I will be repeating and photographing the process this coming weekend and I'll post it on Sunday or Monday.

    Bob Z.
     
  13. f308jack

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    The issue of leaking air around the spoke-nipples is not what determines wether a rim is suited for tubeless fitment or not.

    A tubeless rim has 2 humps on the rim-bed, keeping the tyre seated against the lip when the pressure is down. The loud bang you hear when a tubeless tyre is pumped for the first time is the heel jumping the hump and seating itself against the rim-lip.

    If these humps are not present, you run the risk of the tyre coming off the rim when the pressure gets low.

    Best,

    Jack.
     
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  15. SteviePPS

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    There. And that's all there is to it!
     
  16. Longstone Tyres

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    Hi

    The first tubeless wheels did not have that bump to hold the tyre on. However what i think is interesting is that very soon after making tubeless tyre and wheel technology they developed that bump and have stuck with it ever since.

    I say if in doubt with any 70% or 80% profile tyre put a tube in it. And put a tube in any wire wheel. https://www.borrani.com/ also fit tubes in all their wire wheels.

    Bob that is one of the best photo's of a Vintage Ferrari i have ever seen. I still would love to know your sealing process.
     
  17. Tinbender

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    Don't see how this is any different if there is a tube or not.
     
  18. SteviePPS

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    Really? With a tube it doesn't matter if a pothole or something similar briefly unsettles the bead of the tire. The tube will hold inflation, and the tire will return to the correct position.

    A tubeless tire that's mounted on a wheel without a rim bead will very easily deflate and come off its mounting as soon as it is stressed a run at low pressure. And a pothole or curb will instantly cause total deflation if there's no bead to hold the tire in place.
     
  19. cheesey

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    you mention convenience as a reason for going tubeless, by being able to use Fix a flat...

    Fix a flat does not care or know whether it is being used with a tube or tubeless tire... and may even work better with a tube...

    I would think there is more exposure to things that can go wrong using a tubeless tire, on wire wheels ( designed to be used with tire and tube) than the inconvenience of perhaps replacing the tube at time of repair after using Fix a flat.
     
  20. Tinbender

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    I am talking about if you have a loss of pressure. Then a tire with a tube in it is going to come off the bead just the same as a tire without a tube in it. If you do not have a loss of pressure then it does not matter. So either way it is the same.
     
  21. f308jack

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    Wrong.
    A tyre with tube will not suffer immediate and total deflation if the heel of the tyre loses contact with the rim-lip. Definitvely not the same.

    Best,

    Jack.
     
  22. SteviePPS

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    Thank you.
     
  23. Tinbender

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    Ok. I thought all of this was talking about a tire that has lost pressure. I don't think you are going to break a fully inflated tire lose on any type of rim but I guess anything is possible. I have been running tubeless tires on my 330GTC for over 30 years. I am running them on alloys but the alloys are made for tube type tires and do not have the extra lip.
     
  24. Longstone Tyres

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    #22 Longstone Tyres, Jun 11, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Bless them https://www.borrani.com have invented a clever new system for making tubless wire wheels for modern cars but they don't work with classic because they need a completely different wheel centre.
    Maser GTS front xray.jpg
    mini Cooper (6).jpg
     
  25. Longstone Tyres

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    Incidentally; we have just had another phone call today from an owner of a modern Morgan fitting low profile tyres on so called tubeless wheels, because they had failed and he had air leeking round the spokes. It's not good.

    Stick with https://www.borrani.com/en/ruote-borrani-milano.html

    Incidentally, I have got a few Borrani Books, which are up for grabs. If you would like one email me through the Borrani.com web site.

    I'll be utterly upfront, I am happy to pay the postage on these books because I need you to ask for them by going through the Borrani web site, because google likes that sort of thing. As i am in business; i have to get down on bended knee and pray to the all mighty god Google; which has more power than any other organisation that doesn't have an elected leader. (and possibly more than some governments)
     
  26. SteviePPS

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    Hi Dougal, your website seems to be down. As for the books up for grabs....

    Best,

    Steve
     
  27. Longstone Tyres

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    Hi Steve

    The web site seems to be working, infact someone last night asked for a Borrani book, unfortunately they are in South Africa. Which is possibly one of the most expensive places to post to. I only have so many.

    We have also translated this web site into
    Russian https://www.borrani.com/ru/
    Arrabic https://www.borrani.com/ar/
    Japanese https://www.borrani.com/ja/
    &
    Chinese https://www.borrani.com/zh/
    In an attempt to spend as much money on carriage as possible.

    Please have a play with the fitment guide; It offeres tyres and wheels, let me know if you find any mistakes.
     
  28. f308jack

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    Hi Dougal,

    That is me in S Africa. Had to cut and paste your e-mail address from the site, link itself appears to be inop.
    If it helps, I can provide an alternative address in Holland?

    Best,

    Jack.
     
  29. SteviePPS

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    Will do! Just sent you an email with some photos.
     
  30. Longstone Tyres

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    Did you get the book?
     
  31. SteviePPS

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    Nope. Did get a quote for rebuilding some Borrani's that I'm still chewing on...
     
  32. Tinbender

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    I received my book. Thank you very much.
    Terry Phillips
     
  33. Enigma Racing

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    Great picture and judging from the amount of stuff you are carrying I can understand why
     
  34. Longstone Tyres

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    Just out of interest, on the subject of tubeless wire wheels this wheel came into my shed yesterday. it is a tubeless wire wheel; (i am not happy about mentioning brand names).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gce9-VU_X_s

    Just fit Inner Tubes the ones on this link are generally Michelin which are the best.

    There are racing tubes out there with bolt in valve stems, but they are not as good as the Michelin Airstop tubes.
     
  35. SteviePPS

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    Received the book, thanks Dougal!
     
  36. Bob Zambelli

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    My apologies for not following up on my original post but a number of things have come up including landscaping and flood control, all of which have caused unavoidable delays.
    I'll be posting very soon.

    Bob Z.
     
  37. Longstone Tyres

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    Hi Bob

    I'm dying to know? and so are Borrani

    I'm not being sarcastic. if there really is an solution we'd love to know.

    Dougal
     
  38. Bob Zambelli

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    #36 Bob Zambelli, Aug 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    OK, here’s my procedure. (I purchased everything I needed at the local Ace Hardware store.)
    1) Mount the wheel on the front, angle it out. The first picture shows what my wheel looked like before cleaning.
    2) Using a cup-type rotating wire brush, clean off all dirt and corrosion as shown in the second picture. When you’re sure it’s clean, clean it again.
    3) Blow off all dirt and debris from the wheel, especially at the spoke nipples.
    4) Wipe thoroughly with a rag soaked it lacquer thinner.
    5) Blow off again.
    6) Using a caulking gun, apply a liberal blob of silicone sealant to each nipple as shown in the third picture. Don’t worry – neatness doesn’t count.
    7) IMMEDIATELY after applying the silicone, wrap the wheel very tightly with vinyl electrical tap as shown in the fourth picture. Overlap the tape around ¼ inch and stretch it a bit.
    8) Using a folded paper towel, firmly wipe the taped area while rotating the wheel. This is very important as it forces the silicone firmly down in and around the nipples. It will appear as in the fifth picture.
    9) Let the assembly cure overnight – at least twelve hours.
    10) While rotating the wheel, spray a liberal coat of FlexSeal on the tape as shown in the sixth picture. Allow to dry for a few hours and then apply a second coat. Let the FlexSeal cure for at least 24 hours.
    That’s it. You’re ready to install some nice valve stems and mount the tires.
    By the way, there is one more step that I may or may not use. If I decide to do so, I’ll post more info tomorrow.

    Bob Z.
    seal1.jpg
    seal2.jpg
    seal3.jpg
    seal4.jpg
    seal5.jpg
    seal6.jpg
    seal7.jpg
    seal8.jpg
     
  39. Longstone Tyres

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    Hi Bob

    I thiink that is probably as good as it gets. However I personally would not run tubeless like that.

    it is fair to say we come accross far less failures with tubeless wire wheels that are only centre laced. but that is not say we don't have any failures with centre laced tubeless wire wheels. One springs to mind that was on a Modern Morgan +8.

    Also really, i would want the safety rib that modern tubeless wheels all have (which is why the tyre makes that big bang when it jumps up onto the bead). I think in the 60's they started making tubeless tyres, and fitting to them with on plain rim, but it didn't take long for them to develop the safety rib which all modern wheels have.
     
  40. Bob Zambelli

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    Hi, Dougal.
    Thanks for the reply - you've made some good points.

    My main reason for going tubeless is the amount of driving I do.
    Remember, my GTC is an everyday driver.
    If I get a flat with a tube-type tire, I have to go through all the usual work to change it. This can be a bit uncomfortable alongside the interstate or next to a guardrail!
    Keep in mind that I have to empty the trunk just to get at the spare, jack and hammer.
    With the tubeless tires, I simply apply a can of Fix-A-Flat and I'm on my way.
    I can look into repairs when I return home.

    As far as the safely rim aspect goes, I have experienced a major failure with a tube-type tire at speed. The tire exploded and instantly lost all air.
    It did not come off the rim.
    I posted a photo of the tire a while back - I'll try and find it to repost.

    Bob Z.
     
  41. Bob Zambelli

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    #39 Bob Zambelli, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The photo speaks for itself!

    Bob Z.
    fixflat.jpg
     
  42. Longstone Tyres

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    Hi

    You should not be getting punctures with good tubes in correct size tyres. (i think Michelin tubes are the best. If you run over a nail you only have yourself to blame; you should swerve round them). Can i suggest that the reason you had punctures historically is because you should not fit inner tubes in tyres of less than 70% profile. https://www.borrani.com/tubeless-wire-wheels.html

    I have been checking this out with both Michelin and Pirelli and they confirm that low profile (lower than 70%) should not fit inner tubes.

    I did ask one of these puncture repair aerosol people if they were happy with their products being used with inner tubes and the salesman that was in my office (chasing his commission ) said something along the lines of "Erm, i'm sure it will be fine". However when i asked him to confirm it with his technical department; i didn't hear from him again. I'm sure it would be a nightmare changing a tyre with that gunk in the inner tube.

    I understand why you want to do it. I do however still recommend fitting the correct size XWX , with top quality tubes. (Rubber valve stem tubes are4 better than bolt in tubes) i think the best way to buy tyres an tubes is to ring us up and do a deal.

    I appreciate the expense of these tyres is not insignificant; I have just bought myself a cheapo Rolls Royce Silver Shadow which are generally fitted with crappy wobbly side walled tyres that are intended to eradicate all experience but they just don't handle. i am going to have to fork out nearly quarter of the value of the car on a new set of Michelins, so i can enjoy it the way i want to.


    I admire someone using a car like that as an everyday car. I generally drive old cars all the time too, though generally older than that. Here is a short film i made with 2 of the cars i often drive to work:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jFqB4M8_1c

    Dougal
    Longstone Tyres
     
  43. Bob Zambelli

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    Hi, Dougal
    Maybe you can see a nail while driving on the Interstate at 70 MPH - I surely cannot!
    In the 140,000+ miles I've driven my GTC, I have had only one nail puncture. It was at speed, on a track and at well over 100 MPH - rest assured that I did not see it.

    I tried an aerosol sealant on the (inner tube) puncture and it was a dismal failure.
    BUT, I have used the aerosol sealant quite a few times on tubeless tires (I drive around 40,000 miles per year) and for nail punctures, the product worked just fine.

    The only 70 series tires I used on the GTC were XWX (215/70 VR 14, as I recall) - all others were 75 series and worked quite well for the type of driving I do.

    Regarding the XWX tires, when I used them, I was very disappointed. In the 40 years I've owned the GTC, I have used Michelin (XWX), Pirelli, Yokahama, Kumho, Goodyear, Uniroyal, BF Goodrich and Bridgestone.
    Of all the tires I tried, the XWX were my least favorite. In the rain, they were just plain unacceptable. They lasted less than 8,000 (mostly highway) miles and YES, all four wheels were aligned to factory specs.
    In any case, I'm not trying to discredit a product - just relating my personal experience.


    Bob Z.
     
  44. Longstone Tyres

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    Hi Bob

    I was only kidding about the nails. we English are renown for our sarcasm which often fails as a form of humor, but we continue regardless.

    we do the original 205VR14 XWX and we also do the 215/70VR14 XWX which is an inch smaller in diameter and half an inch wider. Both are good. i wouldn't think fitting one or the other would effect the longevity of the tyre.

    I am surprised you found the XWX bad in the wet, unless they were old stock tyres.

    I think the XWX is made with carcass structure as the critical part of the design to make them handle in a progressive, ppredictable manner as these rear wheel drive sports cars should be. I wouldn't think longevity was high on their list of features. However i don't tend to get complains on that front. I'm sorry you don't like them.

    I do think it is unusual that you have so many punctures.
     
  45. 2GT

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    Thanks for the tutorial, Bob! Fred
     
  46. beng

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    Just a quick note of support and thanks to Dougal, who answered questions promptly and very generously sent me some wonderful materials on Borrani wheels. He obviously devoted time and expense to correspond with me with no expectation of a sale, given the geographic distance and economic disadvantage of shipping wheels/tires across the pond.

    This kind of service, support and enthusiasm is sorely lacking in our Internet-enabled convenience first world. I am very grateful for your time and genuine dedication to the old car hobby. Thanks Dougal!
     
  47. Longstone Tyres

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    #45 Longstone Tyres, Oct 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thank you for your kind words Beng.

    Lets not kid ourselves. I am mostly in it for the money and we do ship the Michelin Classic range of tyres free of charge to most of the world including the States. Michelin Classic Tyres

    and we have a distributer in the States selling the Cinturato tyres pirelli cinturato

    However i am only involved in this business because i was an old car enthusiast first. and i believe friendly efficient service is important, I'm not just in it for the quick sale we are here for the long run. so please ask anything you like.

    Just for fun to show that i am an old car fan first and foremost; here are a few You tube films of my cars:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT0Y1wOMnuY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jFqB4M8_1c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxx1Zn-NaW8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4ZKOPmeU7c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK2XFb_cKe8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgp0_65_s0k

    Thank you again Beng for your kind words and giving me the opportunity to show off. I hope you like the video's they are just for fun.

    If anyone would like some of our slightly smutty posters they are available free here Vintage Tires I shall be making a Ferrari one soon so if anyone has any imagery i could use please send it along. but for now our current poster looks like this
    germanoctane140515adjustedcmyk.jpg
     
  48. Bob Zambelli

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    The tubeless wire wheel setup is working just fine.

    I drive the car just over 800 miles in the last few days and there is no sign of leakage whatsoever.

    For anyone who drives a vintage car with wire wheels, I highly recommend this fix.
    Tubes are, in my opinion, a royal pain. Harder to install and if you get a puncture, you can't repair it with Fix-A-Flat. I know, I've tried.

    A puncture on a tubeless tire can be temporarily fixed with the aerosol and then permanently fixed with a plug, normally without removing the wheel from the car.

    Just my suggestion,

    Bob Z.
     
  49. Bob Zambelli

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    #47 Bob Zambelli, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I'm happy to report that the fix is still working well.
    I just drove to Hilton Head Island for the show this past weekend and logged around 300 miles.
    A friend recommended the Uniroyal AWS II tires and I chose a 205/75 R 14.
    I'm really pleased with the performance.
    Besides a very good ride, they are very stable and as good in the rain as any tire I've ever used.

    Bob Z.
    gtc whitewalls.jpg
     
  50. John Vardanian

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    Bob, it would be a shame to rash those whitewalls. You ought to invest in some curb feelers. ;)

    Car looks great!

    john
     
  51. Bob Zambelli

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    Full Name:
    Robert G. Zambelli
    Curb finders - GREAT IDEA!! I'll have to locate some.

    I'm thinking of adding some wheel skirts, a continental kit and lake pipes.

    What do you think?

    Bob Z.
     
  52. Admiral Goodwrench

    Mar 2, 2005
    247
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Full Name:
    Robert Phillips
    Dear Bob,

    And do not forget flames.

    Best regards,
     

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