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Thread: The Phantom Of City Sadar Road

  1. #1
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    Default The Phantom Of City Sadar Road

    When I first started this thread, I had just taken delivery of a stock, recently-auctioned 1984 TLC FJ40.

    Gaari to khareed lee, lekin I had little/no idea of what I was going to end up doing to the vehicle. For a very long time, I planned to give it a "decent" sort of makeover: something involving some nice tyres, a respectable paint-job, comfortable seats, a roll cage, and that's about it. At that time, little did I know what was in store for me...

    Somewhere along the line, this project developed a life of its own. Baaton baaton mein, it metamorphosed from being a quick, run-of-the-mill restoration into something quite ambitious and challenging. Something that was in-your-face, and in-your-guts. Something, the likes of which we had seen chronicled in the pages of Off Roader magazines...but something which we'd never really attempted back home.

    This rebuild is STILL ongoing. It's far from over, just yet. But along the way, it's indeed become something which seems to have a life of its own. Ironically, this as-yet-unfinished vehicle has developed a...character.

    While it may not be the most ego-stroking fact...a lot of people know "The Phantom...jiss ka maalik woh Fouad Hafeez hai"...rather than knowing "Fouad Hafeez...jiss ke paas woh Phantom hai"

    Also, along the way, this vehicle has been instrumental in my making a huge number of friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers alike. Without a doubt, all of these people are gentlemen; sporting enthusiasts, and engine afficianados, and automotive hobbyists...with whom, a common love for the sport, has brought us to common ground. Their support, good wishes, advice, expert opinions, constructive criticism, and attention to detail, has made this hunk of steel slowly emerge into its current shape. I have no doubt that the end product will be a fusion of the ideas and aspirations of all of these friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers. To all of you; my deepest gratitude. It has been (and will be) one helluva ride, so far!

    For now, though, this thread (having picked up over 700 replies) is going to undergo some TLC of its own. A chronicle (in pictures) of all the water that's flown under the bridge, thus far, as we progress towards the desired end state (shown in the last picture of this post). Let the photos begin!

    And...I think it's about time for some of the photos to change here, too.

    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - RollingChassis035 zps67b9d7d2
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - Exploration026 zps20dca66c
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - OwnFrameOnChassis002 zps86716bb0
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - Phantom4DoorI010 zpse8e4302f
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - Phantom4DoorIII004 zpse055a2d0
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 3 3 12001 zps9289e65c
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 10 3 12010 zpsdaaace95
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 24 03 12006 zpsab6f3b06
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - DSC00080 zps6c2ea17e
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - PhantomGolay001 zps8f934202
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - DSC00021 zps79bf4c3a
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - DSC00126 zpsc1ca419e
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - DSC00153 zpsf2360921
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 2012 08 13172155 zps7be6141c
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 2012 08 19164453 zps145bd85a

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Default A More Refined Artistic Representation

    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -358813

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    Ok.

    Now to explain this picture (and crystallise some thoughts in the process).

    The Phantom is pretty tall. I'm 6'3", and I can NOT climb into it, unaided. For any passengers who have to climb into it, it's going to be virtually impossible for them to do so, via the front door. It would be a VERY uncomfortable arrangement.

    So...a rear set of doors.

    These doors would be "slimmer" than the front ones. The front doors of an FJ40 are 34" wide. These ones wouild probably be in the region of 28" wide. The lower edge of the doors would have to be curved, so as to conform to the wheel arches. This would make them sit nice and flush, and not look unwieldy.

    The roof, of course, will be detachable; since it will be bolted onto the rest of the body. The doors would be removable, as well. The centre "column" between the front and the rear doors, would also double as an anti-roll bar. So, remove the roof, and the doors, and you have an open top jeep, albeit, with two door wells, rather than just one. Which will mean TWO sets of pipe half-doors for the open air experience.

    The "daala" of the Phantom, would serve little purpose other than to take the enormous spare tyre. Perhaps a tool box. Maybe enough space for a tow-chain, maintenance materials, and the like. Other then that, I do not visualise that much else would fit in there.

    The footboard between the front and rear wheel arches would stretch from one end to the other. This running board would be perched atop 3' diameter rock sliders / belly skidders to prevent any possible damage to the underpinnings of the truck (not MUCH of a worry because of ride height).

    Some jugaar is going to be necessary for the positioning of the fuel filler cap. I reckon some readjustment of the gas tank will also be required, because of the additional seats in the rear.

    I'm still fond of the idea of a Series 70 dashboard and steering wheel. Preferably in black. Power windows. Central locking. Will probably have to buy these mechanicals, together.

    Am gravitating towards a combination of bright colours with matte back embellishments. Orange and Black. Yellow and Black. Garnier-Fructis-Shampoo-Bottle-Green and Black. Note to self: agar kaala karna hai, Fouad, tau dashboard bhi kaala lena!

    Some jugaar is going to be needed for sound-proofing and insulation. Behind the engine bay, and on the floor of the Phantom.

    There was always the option of a "full" body SUV shape. Personally, after much reflection, it's too similar to the "buses" that ply between Pindi and Muzaffarabad or Pindi and Gilgit. I think the double cabin with short tub style makes the vehicle look aggressive, and somewhat fierce. Given it's purpose...I think that look is a good idea.

    Let's see how it turns out, on ground!
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ehsankiani View Post
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 358495

    Couldnt help but post this picture from my yard
    45LV or a 45 would both look great with those tires
    Ehsan
    Raja Saab, that is one ridiculously hot machine-in-the-making. I LOVE it dearly.

    The debate for me though, is one of practicality and applicability.

    Like I said, I'd like Phantom to be a comfortable vehicle for the most part. Which could seat 5 people and potter around town, aimlessly. And then, be able to shed away some metal and REALLY flex its muscle as a naked off-roader. The SUV design makes this, virtually impossible. There would be too MUCH hassle unbolting a long, full-sized cabin away. An act, which would probably need to be supervised by the denter Ustaad who set it up!

    The single cabin would be too small for my needs, now that I think over it. So while I'd originally planned on a singe king-cab, it makes much more sense for it to be able to accommodate 5, after all.

    Zindagi rahi (aur agar iss Phantom ne mera deewaliya NA nikaala) tau kabhi kahin eik long wheelbase FJ40 based gaari pe ikathe kaam kareinge Suhaib Bhai.
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fouadhafeez View Post

    Zindagi rahi (aur agar iss Phantom ne mera deewaliya NA nikaala) tau kabhi kahin eik long wheelbase FJ40 based gaari pe ikathe kaam kareinge Suhaib Bhai.
    IA sir IA
    Ehsan

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fouadhafeez View Post
    Zindagi rahi (aur agar iss Phantom ne mera deewaliya NA nikaala) tau kabhi kahin eik long wheelbase FJ40 based gaari pe ikathe kaam kareinge Suhaib Bhai.
    Fouad Bhai: Aik se dil nahin bharey gaa
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    Fouad Bhai: Aik se dil nahin bharey gaa

    LOL.

    Waqayee. Phir tau majboori hai, ke iss tarah ki do gaariyaan banayee jaein. Ya phir teen!
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Default

    On my way to Jamil Ustaad.

    Today, he'll be mounting the Phantom's own body on the frame, after the necessary kaat chaant to the body. Am going firm on the double door closed-body short-rear-tub look, Insha Allah.

    Wish me luck!

    Pictures to follow, shortly.

    Fouad.
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Default Kaat Chaant

    We're going through the cutting/chopping of the Phantom's body, today. Just positioning the chopped bits in position, for now. The modifications should be touch-welded with one another, by the end of the week, Insha Allah.

    Instead of 1st April, the "ready" date from Jamil Ustaad has been extended to the 3rd week of April. Already!


    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -359451 The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -359452
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    Default Comparisons Are Odious

    Yes. I know.

    However, I couldn't resist taking this picture (not a very nice picture its is, either).

    Shown, are the Super Swampers next to a BFG wheel. An idea of the enormity of the Phantom's footprint can be gauged by the fact that the tyre in the picture next to the TSL is 33x12.5x16.5. A pretty big tyre in itself, which looks like a spacesaver stepni beside the Swampers!


    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -359453
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    Default My 2 cents....

    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - filephp?id6611
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - filephp?id6611
    Raja Saab, that post of yours just makes me SO @#$%ing happy, I can't even BEGIN to tell you!

    a 24 inch stretch of the wheel base is EXACTLY what we've done on the Phantom.

    Soooo...we have a 114 inch wheelbase to work with!

    *BIG GRIN*
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    Default FJ 44 Icon

    Sir, after reading your last few pages of posts, I would really recommend that you shoudl model your body on the FJ44 Icon developed by this company called TLC founded by Jonathan Ward in California. Your wheelbase is the same and all seems to fit except that you need to let go of the dala and the hard-top!!! More later but links to the FJ44 gallery on the TLC site here:

    FJ | Gallery | FJ-44 | ICON
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    its not a bigger rather biggest tyre ever in Pakistani FJs ... good going Fouad sb...

    Quote Originally Posted by fouadhafeez View Post
    Yes. I know.

    However, I couldn't resist taking this picture (not a very nice picture its is, either).

    Shown, are the Super Swampers next to a BFG wheel. An idea of the enormity of the Phantom's footprint can be gauged by the fact that the tyre in the picture next to the TSL is 33x12.5x16.5. A pretty big tyre in itself, which looks like a spacesaver stepni beside the Swampers!


    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 359453
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    Default Excellent Making JEEP

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee View Post
    its not a bigger rather biggest tyre ever in Pakistani FJs ... good going Fouad sb...
    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -359973

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    Sir, after reading your last few pages of posts, I would really recommend that you shoudl model your body on the FJ44 Icon developed by this company called TLC founded by Jonathan Ward in California. Your wheelbase is the same and all seems to fit except that you need to let go of the dala and the hard-top!!! More later but links to the FJ44 gallery on the TLC site here:

    FJ | Gallery | FJ-44 | ICON
    Absolutely right, Sir. When you sent me that picture, last night I did some pretty heavy googling of my own, and stumbled onto the website, quite by accident.

    I love the shape of the 44. And its function-over-form approach. However, WHY should this not be BOTH? A hardtop-daala AND a softtop-daala, too?

    I'll show you some more frantic photoshopping which I did. Hopefully, that will illustrate my point of view, clearly.

    As always, your input is priceless!
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee View Post
    its not a bigger rather biggest tyre ever in Pakistani FJs ... good going Fouad sb...
    Allah khush rakhe, Adeel!

    Will be looking forward to your valuable advice, and best wishes in the future, as well.

    Fouad.
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Default Design Pictures of the Hardtop/Softtop FJ445 Phantom

    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -360143 The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -360144 The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -360145 The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -360146 The Phantom Of City Sadar Road -360147
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    Now to explain the pictures.

    Picture 1 is a shot of the hardtop-daala, which I'd posted earlier. Basically...the same wheelbase as the pictures which are covered later.

    Pictures 2 through 5 are those of an Icon FJ44. The wheelbase of these vehicles is EXACTLY the same as the Phantom (as Suhaib Bhai had pointed out).

    My point is...when the roof is going to be removable...and the daala is virtually an extension of the body...what stops us from wanting to have BOTH options...i.e., Hardtop AND Softtop? It'd be an interesting vehicle...a hybrid of so MANY different combinations and permutations, combined in one, I think.

    Your views please, brothers?
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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    Sir, firstly anything is possible out here, you could have a hardtop or softtop or both and a dala or no dala! But in light of my experience of working with these things in our environment, there are a couple of key reasons I recommend going with just a soft-top no dala. [By dala I mean the separated platform from the body which requires the cab at the back with a hard-top]:

    1. Cost: While it does not appear so at the outset, there is significant difference in the cost of a hard-top vs a soft top. When you get down to the parts, finishing labour and fabbing, the hard-top (particularly in this case) will easily end up adding to the overall cost significantly...

    2. Stability: The FJ40 hardtop with its mirrors and sides and heavyish fiber top ends up adding significant weight on top of the vehicle. My brother Ehsan is a vehemient opponent of the FJ40 hard-top primarily for this very reason. Traditionally the hardtop FJ has had a reputation for turning turtle at high speeds on the road. Off the road if your looking to do any serious offroading, this factor would come into the equation given how high the hard-top will sit on your vehicle sits...

    3. Utilization: Having driven/owned both hard and soft top jeeps in both CJ and FJ formats, I can safely say that the hard-top only adds value for a daily driver / expedition vehicle. This on the other hand is a highly tecnical offroading vehicle build! With those tires and specs, this will never be an enjoyable expedition/long trip/daily driver vehicle and from what I understand, you already have a couple of good ones for those purposes. Plus, there is no equal of the liberty of going topless when the situation allows and dropping the windshield down kee to kyaa hee baat Hence, I don't see what additional benefit having a hard-top would bring you while adding the complications/hassles I have pointed out above.

    4. Simplicity vs Sophistication: I feel that the beauty of the FJ40 is in its simplicity! The more you complicate an FJ40 build particularly in terms of aesthetics and interiors, the more painful, expensive and less enjoyable the overall result becomes. The reason in my view is that say what you will, the FJ40 is in its heart a "jeep", the more you try and make it into a limosine/modern landcruiser the less rewarding the ultimate result will be. Even if you look closely at the very very expensive TLC Icons, you will realize that these are also in essence very simple and saadi vehicles.... I am sure that Jamil Ustad as always will do a wonderful job at whatever you agree for him to do. However, we do not have the luxury of drawing everything on AUTOCAD before we start a project which the TLC Icon guys always do down to the minor details. As a result, there are limitations and complications when you get down to the nitty gritty details particularly in this case, where as I understand it, a whole ton of the hard-top/dala components would have to be desi fabbed.

    All said and done I can sense that you probably want to create a unique and awe inspiring vehicle. I can assure you (after looking at the pic below) that when you get this thing on the road, for resons self explanatory, no one (including yourself) will give a rats a*** as to whether there is a hard/soft top or a dala/bhandala on it If it was me, I would just drive it as it stands with a roll cage and let the body stuff come later (or maybe never )

    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 357822

    Hence without any agenda and with all due respect to your aspirations for the build, my ultimate recommendation is to (i) keep it simple (ii) keep the cost as low as possible (iii) focus time and effort on the mechanical stuff which is far from all said and done at this stage! and most importantly (iv) remember to put in a full roll cage on that animal! All the Best!

    PS: My bill is in the mail
    "If YOU don't believe in what you're doing it'll never work."

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    fouadhafeez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuhaibKiani View Post
    Sir, firstly anything is possible out here, you could have a hardtop or softtop or both and a dala or no dala! But in light of my experience of working with these things in our environment, there are a couple of key reasons I recommend going with just a soft-top no dala. [By dala I mean the separated platform from the body which requires the cab at the back with a hard-top]:

    1. Cost: While it does not appear so at the outset, there is significant difference in the cost of a hard-top vs a soft top. When you get down to the parts and the finishing, the hard-top easily ends up adding to the overall cost...

    2. Stability: The FJ40 hardtop with its mirrors and sides and heavyish fiber top ends up adding significant weight on top of the vehicle. My brother Ehsan is a vehemient opponent of the FJ40 hard-top primarily for this very reason. Traditionally the hardtop FJ has had a reputation for turning turtle at high speeds on the road. Off the road if your looking to do any serious offroading, this factor would come into the equation given how high the hard-top will sit on your vehicle sits...

    3. Utilization: Having driven/owned both hard and soft top jeeps in both CJ and FJ formats, I can safely say that the hard-top only adds value for a daily driver / expedition vehicle. This on the other hand is a highly tecnical offroading vehicle build! With those tires and specs, this will never be an enjoyable expedition/long trip/daily driver vehicle and from what I understand, you already have a couple of good ones for those purposes. Plus, there is no equal of the liberty of going topless when the situation allows and dropping the windshield down kee to kyaa hee baat Hence, I don't see what additional benefit having a hard-top would bring you while adding the complications/hassles I have pointed out above.

    4. Simplicity vs Sophistication: I feel that the beauty of the FJ40 is in its simplicity! The more you complicate an FJ40 build particularly in terms of aesthetics and interiors, the more painful, expensive and less enjoyable the overall result becomes. The reason in my view is that say what you will, the FJ40 is in its heart a "jeep", the more you try and make it into a limosine/modern landcruiser the less rewarding the ultimate result will be. Even if you look closely at the very very expensive TLC Icons, you will realize that these are also in essence very simple and saadi vehicles.... I am sure that Jamil Ustad as always will do a wonderful job at whatever you agree for him to do. However, we do not have the luxury of drawing everything on AUTOCAD before we start a project which the TLC Icon guys always do down to the minor details. As a result, there are limitations and complications when you get down to the nitty gritty details particularly in this case, where as I understand it, a whole ton of the hard-top/dala components would have to be desi fabbed.

    All said and done I can sense that you probably want to create a unique and awe inspiring vehicle. I can assure you (after looking at the pic below) that when you get this thing on the road, for resons self explanatory, no one (including yourself) will give a rats a*** as to whether there is a hard/soft top or a dala/bhandala on it

    The Phantom Of City Sadar Road - 357822

    Hence without any agenda and with all due respect to your aspirations for the build, my ultimate recommendation is to (i) keep it simple (ii) keep the cost as low as possible (iii) focus time and effort on the mechanical stuff which is far from all said and done at this stage! and most importantly (iv) remember to put in a full roll cage on that animal! All the Best!

    PS: My bill is in the mail
    What an absolutely wonderful post!

    Straight off...my very sincerest thanks for the detail which you've gone into. And the words you've used to encourage me; have no peer. Once again...my deepest gratitude.

    First, the soft-top issue. I scoured every word of the Icon site which you'd posted, and there was a good deal of talk about the extraordinarily high quality of the top on some other sites I visited. I've had just one experience rebuilding a soft top Jeep...and that was a '52 Willys. Even then, I'd tried to make sure that the quality of the top was as good as it could get. Unfortunately, though...I drove that Jeep from Siachen to Lahore (over three days), and the top was an utter misery. Squeaks, rattles, hums. Not warm enough in the Northern Areas...and not cool enough in the Punjab. My sole experience: empirical proof of why I'm wary of locally made soft-tops.

    The cost. As always, you're absolutely spot on. I'm being charged an enormous sum for the work. Bear with me though, that for a completely non-technical person such as myself, this is the DADDY of all rebuilds. I'm unlikely (if ever, given the looks I'm getting from my better half, these days) to attempt this sort of rebuild, again. The cost effects have been carefully considered. And I know...they're running on the VERY high side, already. I'm somewhat at peace with that. Not much...but enough.

    Stability. I can appreciate what you're saying. It makes a great deal of sense. I have this feeling that this beast which has undergone such a hugely widened stance (close to 20 odd inches, and has the ability for 4 inches more), SHOULD be laterally stable.The real weight of the beast (thanks to that SOA that you recommended we do) continues to remain (by and large) low. This IS however, going to be a major consideration, when we come to the test and adjustment (T&A) stage. Factually, though, you're dead right. Chadar ki body ka wazan, tarpaal ke chath se ziada hi hoga. Khaam khaa.

    Utility. An excellent point. Which is why this hard top will be fully removable. So as to allow for that sheesha-down experience, WHENEVER required. With a hard top, though, this will be able to remain an all-weather vehicle, should the need arise.

    The Daala. As a matter of fact, I was thinking of NOT having a daala at all. just an arrangement at the rear of the chassis, to accommodate the spare wheel, a spare can, and maybe some tools. This daala, too, will be completely removable. Leaving nothing but the cabin, in terms of weight, should the need arise. For MOST off-road escapades, it'll probably be removed, beforehand.

    The Simplicity Vs Sophistication Theorem. The cold, analytical pragmatist in me KNOWS you're right. The foolhardy, starry-eyed spirit (which actually PROMPTED such an ambitious build) refuses to accept that. Which is why (for the umpteenth time) I actually AM shifting the goalposts, in considering a soft-top option, in addition to the hardtop. Even if I were to keep Phantom a soft-top ALL the time, I'd STILL want to have an option of the hard-top, regardless.

    The roll-cage. Yes. Absolutely. Without any doubt, whatsoever. Yes.

    Your second last paragraph (and that photo you reproduced) have REALLY made this thread (and all the work and money that's gone into the rebuild so far) worthwhile.

    And finally...

    Thanks for your attention. For the time-consuming and exhaustive effort you've put into explaining and outlining everything. I realise, it's because you're a gentleman, and a true sportsman, that you've done so. For that...thank you, friend. It means a great deal.

    Fouad.
    Always buy cars which your children love. They'll be helpful allies against your wife, later on!

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