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Old 10-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
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TSX Starter Replacement Guide

I couldn't find any reliable instructions or guides so I decided to write one up.
Every other post I could find gave unreliable information.

This job is not nearly as hard as you might think. I did it in about 2 hours and I took my time.

2004 TSX
1. Remove battery cables.
2. Remove intake manifold. Pictures shown below for bolt locations. Once all the bolts and connectors are removed the manifold will lift out. Be careful not to pull anything and break a connector. It will need to come out at an angle tilting downward towards the battery to get from underneath of the wiring on the throttle body side of the motor. Have something at the ready to plug up the coolant lines you unplug.
NOTE: I believe one of the connectors labeled as AIR HOSE by the throttle body is actually a COOLANT LINE.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

3. Once the intake manifold is out of the way you should see the starter.
Click the image to open in full size.
I used a bolt to plug up one of the coolant lines. The other line I moved to the side pointing upward and it did not leak.
Click the image to open in full size.
4. Removing the starter is much easier with a 1/2 " drive wrench. I did not have the 14mm socket in 1/2" drive for the rear bolt so I had to use a 3/8" wrench. You will need to center the wrench or it will twist the extra long bolt. I removed the coolant overflow bottle(not pictured) to give me more room for this procedure. I imagine removing that extra long bolt will be easier with an extra long wrench in 1/2" size.
Picture showing the old starter removed with bolts shown for clarity.
Click the image to open in full size.
5. Installing the starter should be easy now that everything is out of the way. Reconnect the 2 cables and tighten the 2 bolts.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
6. Reconnect the manifold and look over all the connections 3 or 4 times to make sure you have them all in place. I reused the metal gasket for the intake manifold. I tightened up the manifold in a FOIL pattern and got all the bolts snug and repeated the pattern to avoid pinching the gasket. I did not use a torque wrench but you may want to if you are not confident you won't over tighten the bolts. The manifold(s) are aluminum so you do not want to crank down hard with your wrench or you will crack it!

I used a Chinese starter fromv DB Electrical. I paid $86 just week ago and now it's at $98.
http://www.dbelectrical.com/p-129-ne...1-smu0311.aspx

The new starter is fantastic! No more sluggish starts or the dreaded "click click I hope it starts the next time issue".

Done!
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Last edited by burijon; 10-17-2011 at 10:21 AM.
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The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to burijon For This Useful Post:
djpinoy (01-19-2013), gideon's_test (03-19-2013), lulusworld (10-25-2011), main70072 (10-17-2011), ness18 (12-15-2012), Rocket_man (11-05-2012), shahab88 (12-14-2012), Timmy18 (10-10-2014), tsxnub (10-22-2011)
Old 10-17-2011, 9:40 PM   #2
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Nice!
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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Excellent post for DIY'rs! Thanks.

good luck
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Old 10-22-2011, 2:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for your DIY. I'm sure we all gonna need this in near future.
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Old 10-23-2011, 8:53 AM   #5
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Were the three bolts under the intake manifold removed through the runners or from underneath? Big challenge or what?

good luck
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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Great job. Sticky this DIY!
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #7
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It sounds like a lot of work just getting to the starter. I am not aware of having any car in the past where you had to remove the intake manifold just to get to the starter.

I believe early acuras such as the first generation integras did not need to remove the manifold just to get to the starter.
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Old 10-24-2011, 8:33 PM   #8
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Manifold appears to be accessible.

On 3.2 TL's one of the CV axles must be pulled to access the starter.

I had a 2.5TL w/ bad starter. The starter is underneath the manifold, and access is terrible, but it is just barely possible to do w/o removing the intake manifold.

All-in-all, things could be worse.

good luck
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Old 10-25-2011, 5:17 PM   #9
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Since you have to remove the whole front end of the car to replace the clutch, it should come as no surprise that this job isn't as easy as one might think it should be.
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Old 10-27-2011, 9:38 AM   #10
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TexasHonda, All the bolts for the manifold are easy to get to and are accessed through the runners. They are all in front. The difficult one is the bracket attached to the bottom.

Simba, the job really was not bad. I'm assuming that 04-06 TSXs are similar if not the exact same layout on the motor.

The point of the post is for DIYers. I only spent $100 and 2 hours of time. The starter is still quick to start the motor!
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Old 10-29-2011, 8:11 AM   #11
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Nice job, burijon. It's good to know that removing the i.m. makes this job easier. Question. So the starter you bought is really better at starting the engine than the o.e. one?
Overall this job doesn't really seem that bad. I just swapped a b18c into my EM1. This is a piece of cake in comparison.
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Old 11-05-2011, 9:09 AM   #12
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The OE starter seems to die a slow death. The new one for sure is quick and zippy in starting the motor. Will it last as long?
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Old 11-06-2011, 3:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burijon View Post
TexasHonda, All the bolts for the manifold are easy to get to and are accessed through the runners. They are all in front. The difficult one is the bracket attached to the bottom.

Simba, the job really was not bad. I'm assuming that 04-06 TSXs are similar if not the exact same layout on the motor.

The point of the post is for DIYers. I only spent $100 and 2 hours of time. The starter is still quick to start the motor!
The 04-08 TSX's are virtually identical under the hood (and I'd bet the 2nd gen. pretty much too), so it's the same job. I wasn't really implying that the job is all that horrible (and I'd probably do it myself, so thanks for the thread). I guess my point was that I find it (what's a good word for between interesting and incredible?) that we accept as normal the fact that we have to disassemble/remove major assemblies (be them electrical, mechanical or body parts) to access serviceable items (those that are designed to wear out)(take the bumper off to replace a fog light lense? hmm.....). This is evidently the new normal. I'm showing my age I'm afraid. I remember jacking up one side of the car, throw down a sheet, crawl under, and 15-20 mins. later, bingo.... new starter. I'm not saying I pine for those days, just that some things really were easier in the bad old days.
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Old 11-07-2011, 2:23 PM   #14
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I am curious as to how much an OEM starter from Acura would be. Anybody know?
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Old 11-07-2011, 5:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miamicarfan View Post
I am curious as to how much an OEM starter from Acura would be. Anybody know?
Looks like 2 different part numbers, but they cost the same.

31200-RAA-A52 STARTER MOTOR ASSY. (SM-61) (MITSUBA)
or
31200-RAA-A53 STARTER MOTOR ASSY. (SM-71) (MITSUBA)

$458 at the dealer; $344 online Acura dealer.
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Old 11-08-2011, 2:51 PM   #16
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On the denso starters for the accord, you could replace the contacts and solenoid easily. It looks like this starter has a different setup.

The principles should be the same to repair the starter. I wonder if replacing part #7 would fix the problem in the picture below? Has anyone tried to repair a weak starter on here?

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-12-2011, 7:38 AM   #17
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This is awesome, I was able to change my starter over the weekend. Without this DIY I would not have been able to. Thank you VERY VERY MUCH...
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Old 05-12-2012, 4:46 PM   #18
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Replaced my starter today. Thanks for the instructions, it would have been much harder without them, thanks!

The job is not easy, took me about 5 hours and a trip to Autozone. A stuck hose alone took an hour. All bolts are easy to access except the lower bracket bolt. I tried to access it from above and from under the car, no luck. It's near impossible to get in there with an open end wrench or a ratchet. Finally I was able to loosen reaching from above with a short breaker bar that could pivot the socket 45deg.

My advice - start with the bracket bolt if you don't want to give up half way through. Find/buy the right tool, loosen it, then work on the rest of the project.

Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2012, 7:03 AM   #19
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Thanks again for this.

The starter may be repairable. When you have the click-click-click starter noise, the problem is worn contacts on the solenoid switch. This part looks replaceable on this starter (Note, I have not done this on TSX starter) and Acura parts shows a parts set (plunger set < $10) which may contain the contacts. Sherco Auto Parts also has starter contacts for many starters. If repairable, you can save a few bucks.

good luck
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHonda View Post
Thanks again for this.

The starter may be repairable. When you have the click-click-click starter noise, the problem is worn contacts on the solenoid switch. This part looks replaceable on this starter (Note, I have not done this on TSX starter) and Acura parts shows a parts set (plunger set < $10) which may contain the contacts. Sherco Auto Parts also has starter contacts for many starters. If repairable, you can save a few bucks.

good luck
This plan sounds way too.... ambitious (I'll use a kind word) to me. I'm going to go through all the bullshit of R&Ring the starter, and then putting the old one back in? Umm..... to save like $80 (maybe)? Not a chance; there'd be a new one going in.
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Old 05-21-2012, 5:55 PM   #21
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How do you get the bolt off the black bracket in the bottom of the first image? I cannot even see this bracket with the car slightly jacked up and the plastic rock shield removed.

HELP!?!?
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Old 05-22-2012, 7:33 AM   #22
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I felt the bolt blindly and put my ratchet on it and it turned without much drama. I wish I had a better answer but it did come off. Perhaps if the coolant reservoir was removed first then you might be able to get a better angle.
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Old 05-22-2012, 6:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burijon View Post
I felt the bolt blindly and put my ratchet on it and it turned without much drama. I wish I had a better answer but it did come off. Perhaps if the coolant reservoir was removed first then you might be able to get a better angle.
Got it...finally!

Now, how do I get off the sensor that clips to the back of the IM? I cannot see a thing. I am just reaching at this point, and I'm afraid I'll break it!
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Old 05-22-2012, 6:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burijon View Post
I felt the bolt blindly and put my ratchet on it and it turned without much drama. I wish I had a better answer but it did come off. Perhaps if the coolant reservoir was removed first then you might be able to get a better angle.
Got it...finally!

Now, how do I get off that nut on the top of the starter? I need to replace that electrical cord with my new positive battery terminal cable.
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Old 05-22-2012, 6:39 PM   #25
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Click the image to open in full size. Circled in green.

Do I need a wrench? My socket wrench won't fit!
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Old 05-22-2012, 7:22 PM   #26
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Here's a better shot: Notice why I cannot get a socket or wrench on the nut.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-23-2012, 7:52 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin7894 View Post
Here's a better shot: Notice why I cannot get a socket or wrench on the nut.

Click the image to open in full size.
Anyone? I'm about to try a shallow socket with vice grips, but I think the socket is still too tall.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:43 AM   #28
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Thanks alot for the guide. It is a piece of cake. I was too eager and got messy when removing the coolant hoses. It is a good idea to have something ready to plug the line. Great guide Thanks again!
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Old 10-21-2012, 5:27 PM   #29
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Hey everyone, just finished replacing my starter. Burijon, you're awesome. Worked out nicely. Finished in 3 hours including going to the auto parts store. Easy to do for any skill level.
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Old 10-23-2012, 9:55 PM   #30
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Or you can be a sucker like me and let your acura dealer do it for $600. I learned my lesson and replaced the APP sensor myself when it went out. Piece of cake, much easier than this job it sounds...
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #31
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I know how you feel. I'm tired of throwing money away for easy repairs.....NO MORE!!
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #32
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As a follow up for anyone wanting to get a Chinese starter, the Chinese starter still works but it exhibits the same exact symptoms just a few months later as the original starter did with 100k miles on it. It's sluggish and makes you think the battery is to blame. When I first installed the starter it was strong and quick. Now it's all laggy but still starts.

I still have the old starter and I guess I will try and rebuild it with OE contacts and brushes or whatever you call the guts.

Glad this post is still helping out!
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #33
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How many miles on your 04 TSX? My 2006 is approaching 100K and starts fine.

Let forum know if contacts are replaceable. I found this worked well on one Accord starter. The plunger was OK, but the contacts the plunger hits were worn thin, causing the click, click, click starting. It could be an earlier symptom is weak starting as the contact pressure between plunger and contacts is reduced by wear.

good luck
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #34
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Please post an update if you decide to rebuild the starter. I'm just about 110k andmy starts are still strong but vary between almost instant ignition and 2 clicks. So this is something probably on my horizon.
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Old 11-21-2012, 9:09 AM   #35
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I bought a 2008 TSX with 77k miles on it. When I start the car, is seems to have trouble. I don't get the "click-click-click," but I thought it was a bad battery. I had the battery check and it's like new. Seems like it's just a matter of time before the starter goes and I'm not alone with this problem...
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Old 12-14-2012, 8:30 AM   #36
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Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the pictures and instructions. I changed my srater yesterday and those pictures really helped me.
I also had a slow starter. In the morning wen it was cold, it acted like the battery was dead when I tried to start the car. I replaced the battery, and it was still the same. Now with the new starter, it is Excelent. I get strong starts and car turns on on one turn.
I also used the Chinese after market starter. Bought it from eBay for $89.90 (free shipping) and one year warranty. It is working good for now. I will post here again, of I have any troubles with it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 6:07 PM   #37
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I just wanted to thank you for the pictures and instructions. I just finished replacing the starter and it honestly wasn't a very difficult job at all. While it is certainly a little nerve-wracking to take apart the intake manifold and a good portion of the car, the motivation of saving upwards of $500 kept pushing me along!

I found that the most difficult thing was getting the cable off of the bottom of the intake manifold. Once I was able to get a light on it and see how it was attached I simply clipped the zip tie and it came free. It definitly is a bit hidden and hard to get a good eye on it.

The second most difficult thing was getting to the bolt securing the IM to the car frame (or whatever it was attached to at the bottom). I tried using the usual socket wrench but i needed something with just a bit of a bend. I went to lowes and bought a flexible head ratchet for $10 http://www.lowes.com/pd_266855-29091...855&facetInfo= came back and was able to get the bolt off very quick and easy.

The rest of the removal and install was quick and easy.

Thanks again for the advice. Total estimate from the shop was between $550-$650. It took me about 2-3 hours total time and only cost $100 for the starter from AdvanceAuto and $13 for a new manifold gasket (figured I'd replace it while I had it all opened up).
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Old 01-18-2013, 9:52 PM   #38
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additional notes

Hey, just wanted to say thanks for posting this.

Saved me at LEAST $500. I am a complete newbie when it comes to engine repair, so it took me about 4 hours. It was a major pain to take out the bottom anchor bolt, but it was super easy once I took out the coolant reservoir. DEFINITELY take out the coolant reservoir (its only 2 screws, so easy).

Also, I did not undo the coolant lines. I was able to tilt the manifold out of the way to get at the starter without undoing the cooling lines....definitely recommend doing this to save some time and effort.
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Old 01-19-2013, 6:40 PM   #39
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Thumbs up More thanks! Plus detailed photos + service manual details

Another big thanks to burijon for the original post and photos. I just completed this yesterday, and while it took me a great deal longer, it still saved me a lot of money.

Was having intermittent starts on my '04 ABP TSX 6MT w/ 155k+ miles and had already replaced a bad battery, so I knew that wasn't the issue. Finally found time to dig in and when we finally opened up the starter, found that two of the four brushes had gone short (see the attached photo - the "brushes" or metal contacts in the upper left and upper right corners are significantly shorter than the ones in the lower left and lower right corners). As burijon had mentioned, probably could've just rebuilt the OEM starter, but I went ahead and replaced the whole thing - cost me ~$100 USD after coupon and core charge refund at Advanced Auto Parts.

As a thank you to everyone else here on Acurazine who has helped me over the years, I've posted a detailed photo album of the whole process, which included diagrams from the service manual. I agree with everyone that the bottom-most bolt on the Intake Manifold Bracket was the hardest thing to get to - but I was lucky and somehow got to it with a regular 12mm socket + wrench (found a way to wiggle it through and loosen it up).

2004 Acura TSX Starter Motor Replacement:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=ff811ef00c

Thanks again - and I encourage others who have this problem to try it themselves Good luck!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0247-2.jpg (170.4 KB, 38 views)

Last edited by djpinoy; 01-19-2013 at 6:43 PM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 8:46 PM   #40
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I had to follow this post too, thanks to the OP. Took two hours but there was two of us working on the car.

Anyway, did you guys reuse the intake manifold gasket when you took off intake manifold to get to the starter? For some strange ass reason the local auto part stores by me didn't have one in stock when I changed out starter last weekend.
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Old 03-08-2013, 8:46 PM
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