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Author Topic: clean up and polishing Windshield and rear glass molding  (Read 7280 times)
tmodel66
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« on: December 09, 2009, 11:09:59 PM »

I have good molding that is original to my '69SS.  I would like to keep it but as you probably know it is "white" dull. I have tried several polishes and wax and cream and I am just wasting my time and money. Can anyone tell me where to send it to get it polished out  like new?  I am about to do a  face lift and spruce it up a little and I just can't get it to shine like it's supposed too.

Thanks 





Daniel
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Daniel  
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2009, 11:41:21 PM »

Daniel,

   I just did this to my 67 camaro. Get a grinder and put a polishing wheel on it. Then get a couple of sticks of polishing compound, one cleaner & one final polish, and CAREFULLY go to work. The original stuff polishes out to a brilliant shine!

Todd
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tmodel66
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2009, 11:50:52 PM »

Thanks Todd  could you give me the name of the stuff you used?  Still better give me the part number off what you used along with the name then I can't go wrong.
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Daniel  
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2009, 07:38:47 AM »

Dan, take a look at this site and read the tech docs as well as the forums  http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/  Lots of info on polishing.  I did my stainless trim, easy, but time consuming.  It came out nice!
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 03:22:23 PM »

Daniel,

  I got it @ Lowes ( of all places ) I just got your reply & I'll go out to my shop tonight and see the exact name of the 2 polishes I used. If that will be helpful I'll be glad to do it.

Todd
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JohnZ
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 11:17:58 AM »

The original stainless steel reveal moldings were flash-chromed after polishing, to protect them from oxidation/dulling; to polish them, you first have to get through the clear chrome layer, and when you're done, they should be flash-chromed again, or they'll dull over time.
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tmodel66
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 05:02:21 PM »

Thanks for the insight John.      Bet you don't know where a chap could get the flash chrome done?   I don't know about replacement moulding.   Do they fit ?
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Daniel  
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 10:15:15 AM »

Thanks for the insight John.      Bet you don't know where a chap could get the flash chrome done?   I don't know about replacement moulding.   Do they fit ?

You'll have to check with platers in your area to see who can do flash-chrome. I haven't heard anything good about the fit of reproductiion reveal moldings - perhaps someone else can comment who has experience with them.
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 12:18:33 PM »

I tried the repo moldings about 2 years ago. They were thiner than original and the fit was bad. So unless they have been improved since then, I would'nt recommend them. I repolished the originals. I didn't know about the chrome flash but I think  it will take quite a while for polished stainless steel to oxidize. Especially if you keep after them with metal polish once and a while.
Good Luck
Sam
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JohnZ
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 11:42:52 AM »

I didn't know about the chrome flash but I think  it will take quite a while for polished stainless steel to oxidize.

It only becomes obvious where you have two pieces next to each other and one is flash-chromed after polishing and the other one isn't - the one that's chromed will maintain kind of an icy-blue appearance in natural light, and the one that's not will eventually take on a slight yellowish cast. If all the adjoining pieces aren't chromed, you probably wouldn't notice it.
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Sauron327
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 02:22:30 PM »

I didn't know about the chrome flash but I think  it will take quite a while for polished stainless steel to oxidize.

It only becomes obvious where you have two pieces next to each other and one is flash-chromed after polishing and the other one isn't - the one that's chromed will maintain kind of an icy-blue appearance in natural light, and the one that's not will eventually take on a slight yellowish cast. If all the adjoining pieces aren't chromed, you probably wouldn't notice it.

Yup. And you'll find out if you are polishing them and you go through the f. chrome when sanding out imperfections. There is a distinct difference in color.
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 06:30:04 PM »

Daniel,
 
         Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.  What I used was #3 soft metal cleaning compound first and then switched to the #5 high gloss polishing compound. Both came from my local Lowes.

Todd
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L78 steve
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2009, 06:48:58 PM »

Flash chrome?  I've been filing ,sanding and polishing SS trim for ages and never seen any evidence of a layer of chrome.  Are you sure about this?
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2009, 08:09:22 PM »

I've sanded some nasty imperfections out and not all showed a color distinction. The ones that did were were indeed a yellowish hue underneath in contrast to the rich bluish overtone they have. Some I hammered out and sanded, beginning with 220 up to 2500, cutting them deeply and did not see a variation.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2009, 01:01:51 PM »

Flash chrome?  I've been filing ,sanding and polishing SS trim for ages and never seen any evidence of a layer of chrome.  Are you sure about this?

Yes. Virtually all GM exterior stainless trim was flash-chromed after polisihing. "Chrome" is clear, and is less than a thousandth of an inch thick. Chrome on bumpers is different - it has nickel underneath it - that's what gives it the silvery look. "Show chrome" (which GM never used) has copper underneath the nickel.
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2009, 02:55:11 PM »

"Show chrome" is one reason I never use restored cars as a reference. Others include spotless satin black underbodies, shiny boosters, slick bc/cc paint with "buried" stripes. They were not like that new.

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L78 steve
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2009, 05:58:44 PM »

I have never noticed this coating.  I will be cleaning up some Nova trim soon and will look carefully.
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2009, 06:50:52 PM »

William I know this is off the topic but I am about to invest a ton of money in my car.  The spotless underbodies bit has me worried as does the shiny booster. I am a perfectionist by charector defect and very meticulous. Would making the car look as good as possible  put me on a black list? I thought that was the name of the game. Any help before I get knee deep in this project would be GREATFULLY appreciated.
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Daniel  
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2009, 09:33:59 PM »

"Over-restoration" has been a hot topic in the industry for as long as I can remember. Possibly because of it survivors now command great respect whenever knowledgeable people see one at a show. Even if it shows age and wear someone is likely to spend hours examining it. The days of wet-sanded & buffed frames and over-finished components commanding respect has passed. I know of several totally original cars with runs, drips, dirt and weld spatter in the paint. That's how it was. The trend today is to restore the car as it looked new-not build a show car.

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tmodel66
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2009, 09:21:03 AM »

Thanks for the reply William and that is what I intended to do. I agree with you about the over-the-top style of restoration. I want my car as close as I can get it to the day it was bought new and nothing more. Thats why I started this thread so I could keep it as original as possible.  Adding an option that was not original to the car is a distraction rather than a compliment in my eyes. But after all is said and done I still want it to look as good as possible.
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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2009, 10:09:29 AM »

I guess it's just a personal choice. While making a expensive restoration just like it was done originally sounds good, it is still a "restored car" and not original so I don't know how much better you stand to gain when eventually selling it. I have seen a few people talk about doing their restoration this way, but I don't know if I agree that this is a "trend."
I have a very hard time doing sloppy work on a 3-4 year project because that's the way it was once done, but that is just me.
Enjoy your project!
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william
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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2009, 12:02:13 PM »

Somewhere on one of the sites there is a thread concerning the restoration of a 68-70 Nova. The underbody was done in satin black. Since it is not possible to duplicate under body overspray with bc/cc, after the car was painted they completely taped off the body. The shop then positioned the body as it would have been on the line and sprayed gloss enamel [car is white] along the rockers and rear, perfectly duplicating the factory overspray pattern on the underbody.

That's what I mean. I believe Caudells was the first to do this over 10 years ago on an Orange COPO Camaro. People were shocked.

There are several current threads discussing how to best duplicate factory overspray so I'm thinking it is a trend. You're certainly free to do yours with no overspray at all, nice polished stainless brake & fuel lines, phony looking firewall "graffitti" nice glossy radiator, show chrome bumpers, etc. But it didn't look like that new.

I have to pick on someone a bit. Some years back I was asked to critique a fresh resto on a COPO Camaro. About all I could find was no undercoating in the wheel wells-the factory did all 4 BTW; nice & sloppy. He admitted he could not bring himself to do it. I'll bet to this day it still doesn't have any!
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jl8dale
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2009, 12:12:26 PM »

I have a nice original pace car mostly untouched with checking in the paint, overspray on the bottom, orange overspray from the striping  on top of the trim tag, and fading of the interior vinyl.
I drive it almost every weekend in the summer and I look at my "restored" cars collect dust. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2010, 11:33:31 AM »

"Over-restoration" has been a hot topic in the industry for as long as I can remember. Possibly because of it survivors now command great respect whenever knowledgeable people see one at a show. Even if it shows age and wear someone is likely to spend hours examining it. The days of wet-sanded & buffed frames and over-finished components commanding respect has passed. I know of several totally original cars with runs, drips, dirt and weld spatter in the paint. That's how it was. The trend today is to restore the car as it looked new-not build a show car.



William, with a growing trend in original restorations can you recommend a book or books with important facts and illustrations for us 1st gen fanatics?  If not, I sure wish you guys would get one published!  I am sure you have all the info you need to put on together and what little you lack can be had right here.  Just a thought.
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68camaroz28
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2010, 07:06:12 PM »

Not to muddy the waters but at Hershey two weeks ago I was talking to a leading auto Chrome & Stainless Polisher company representative. I asked about the flash chroming and he knew and was 100% sure that was only completed on high end GM cars like Cadillacs and the such and he has never had it on Camaro trim. He told me nicely I do this for a living and there is no flash chome on Camaro trim. Told me to go home and put a magnet to the trim. Then another person jumped in with the same thing and they told me this is a mis-communication that some people believe but they do this all the time and Camaro trim was not flash chromed. Ok, ok, I ended the conversation with no argument but did say this information had come from a Camaro guru who is highly respected.
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« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2010, 07:06:37 AM »

I agree with William...many parts in today's cars are over restored, including "Bright Work". Bright work is a term used to describe Chromed, Polished or Anodized metals as they came from the factory. Chromed pieces were made from less expensive metals such as,"White Steel" or "Pot Metal" which you find on trim pieces such as bumpers and louvers. Stainless was used on window moldings and could be polished to a chrome like appearance...but more importantly to cut down on reflective light. So, if you remove the top layer of a metal and find white steel or pot metal underneath you will know which pieces were meant to be chromed.

I've used the term Polishing & buffing before which has absolutely nothing to do with dipping a rag into a solution and applying by hand. This is a mechanical procedure when done correctly can bring back stainless and aluminum metals to a factory like finish. Some shops use modern techniques to apply chrome plating to various metals for a chromed like appearance which they never had originally.



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JohnZ
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« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2010, 09:25:50 AM »

and he knew and was 100% sure that was only completed on high end GM cars like Cadillacs and the such and he has never had it on Camaro trim. He told me nicely I do this for a living and there is no flash chome on Camaro trim. Told me to go home and put a magnet to the trim.

There are many folks out there who do outstanding work repairing and polishing stainless trim like reveal moldings, trim rings, etc. and don't know the originals were flash-chromed after polishing, or simply don't have access to a plating shop or don't want the hassle or added cost. Flash-chroming stamped stainless trim pieces after polishing was the GM Engineering standard so they'd have the same appearance when new and after several years of exposure to the elements.
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« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2010, 09:41:32 AM »

John...without going through the hassle of digging through tons of docs or Cd's do you have any references readily available from back then that explains "flash chrome" and why and when it was used?
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« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2010, 09:47:23 AM »

Step 6, last paragraph, also references this finish.

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticles/corp_0506_stainless_steel_corvette_trim_restoration/steps.html

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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2010, 10:00:33 AM »

Thanks for the link this is exactly what I was referring to.

I would still like to here from John. He was, as we all know a Assembly Plant Mngr., and if he says the pieces were flash chromed then they were and maybe some of us has been restoring them incorrectly.

Since the term, "Flash Chrome" is foreign to most of us I would like to see literature explaining this process.
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2010, 10:18:18 AM »

The moldings seen polished to a screaming shine are incorrect. Except for one remaining NOS driprail mldg, I've had NOS moldings and they do not look like the pretty polished pieces. I've polished stainless as stated earlier and the evidence of flash chroming is obvious when it's cut through.
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« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2010, 10:38:11 AM »

Cutting through? I think you mean a white residue. This has more to do with getting the metal too hot and burning the stainless. Screaming shine? The only way to get a screaming shine is to get it chromed. This is why stainless is polished and buffed.

As I stated earlier, flash chrome is foreign to me and it sounds like a fine overlay and not something you would burn through but easily cut through. I don't doubt anyone about flash chrome I would just like to see something that explains the process. Does it mean the same thing as re-chromed or is it a completely different process and finish?
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Sauron327
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« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2010, 11:10:34 AM »

That's not what I'm talking about. I've never seen white residue on stainless and I've got a pile of it. White patina is found on the aged anodized aluminum. When one removes the dents as I have and uses various grits of paper prior to buffing a deliniation can sometimes be seen in the finish. It's the flash of which John is speaking. I've never burned the stainless from excessive heat. I'm well aware of buffing techniques from countless cars painted over the years. Common sense. There is a big difference between highly polished stainless and an original piece; that is what I mean by a screaming shine. When you find out all the details and procedures in the flash chroming process kindly post them or a reputable link.
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« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2010, 11:25:15 AM »

When you find out all the details and procedures in the flash chroming process kindly post them or a reputable link.
 
When the details are found you should see them right here. I'm not the one that knows that's why I asked. This should clear it up for a lot of us.

I'm wondering if its similar to the anodized finish found in aluminum?

If stainless moldings were chromed at the factory then maybe they should have a brilliant shine. I just can't see chrome coming out any other way. Sorry if it sounds like I'm beating a dead horse but it just doesn't make sense. Some say they don't want a brilliant shine but then say it was chromed at the factory. You can't have it both ways. However, once we have "An explanation of the process", it should answer a lot of these questions. Why don't we give it some time...  Smiley
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Sauron327
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« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2010, 01:35:56 PM »

It's obvious the process is different because the appearance is different. That was also pointed out by John in reply #14. The anodized finish on aluminum is not the same and can be removed differently. Some use oven cleaner and other chems. I never had a reason to. But those I've sold trim to have and then sent it out to be re-anodized. Add that your research work. I'm not overly concerned with all the details but perhaps others are.
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« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2010, 04:22:08 PM »

Not really sure why you hijacked my question but with all due respect I still want to know from someone that was there...
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Sauron327
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« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2010, 04:32:34 PM »

Not really sure why you hijacked my question but with all due respect I still want to know from someone that was there...

 This thread was started by someone else on Dec. 9, 2009 and has had input from various members. It's an open forum. If privacy and one on one problem solving are preferred, an off site discussion is best suited to meet that need.
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« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »

Not really sure why you hijacked my question but with all due respect I still want to know from someone that was there...

I have nothing further to discuss with you.
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L78 steve
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« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2010, 10:26:34 PM »

All I can add is there is definitely a coating of something over the raw stainless on front and rear window trim.
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2010, 06:22:11 AM »

I assume this is what John is referring to?
 
http://www.finishing.com/283/70.shtml

I digress...had no idea chromium in its natural state is clear.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2010, 11:00:11 AM »

I digress...had no idea chromium in its natural state is clear.

Here's the short version:

"Show Chrome" (not seen on factory parts like bumpers) is a 3-step process - copper plate, polish, nickel plate (that provides the "silvery" color), polish, then chrome plate (chrome is clear, provides the "shine", and protects the underlying nickel from oxidation and pitting).

"Factory Chrome" omits the copper-plating stage - nickel is plated directly on the polished raw steel part, then it's chrome-plated.

"Flash-Chrome" is only the final clear chrome plating (about a half a thousandth of an inch thick); used on polished stainless steel trim parts to protect them from oxidation.
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« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2010, 02:45:52 PM »

I feel more confident about discussing this process with would be platters. As I mentioned earlier, this term was totally foreign to me and now it all makes sense.

I'd give just about anything to download that brain of yours.  I like so many others have followed your responses to everything GM. You are a wealth of information and we can always count on you.

Thanks again John!
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« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2010, 09:11:03 AM »

This has been a very interesting thread, and a great chance for some to learn about something they knew knothing about.
There is some good information in Jeff Lilly's book. "How to Restore Metal Auto trim".
 In his book he states that GM SS trim has been flash chromed since 1957 ! I believe it to. They also use a 57 Chevy wheel cover as a test piece, and go into detail on how to remove the flash chrome layer using a muratic acid solution.
  As stated in this thread already, when you break through the flash chrome there appearance of the two finishes is drastic.
I have had limited success with GM SS trim when I remove all the FC. I have found that the base metal is not of very good quality, sometimes even porous, and it flat will not come up to a nice bright luster no matter what you do.
 A few years back I polished some 64-65 Dodge trim that was not flash Chromed. It looked like jewelery when finished. I could tell there was a big difference in the quality of the sheet stock used ?
 On very nice used trim with little or no deep scratches you can get away with some wet sanding, 1000- 2000 grit.
If you ever do this you will notice the chrome is very hard and progress is slow, and for you guys that get it, as you cut into the base metal, it is like sanding filler compared to the FC on top.
 Allot of trim I see has been damaged from handling after it has been removed from a car. I like to bundel it up with tape to keep it from banding together.
 I carry a piece of Camaro trim with me to cruise nights that has half the FC sanded off. Used it several times to prove a point. Grin

Mike
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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2010, 05:53:56 PM »

Mike as always you are the Professor!
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