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Up Topic Welding Industry / General Welding Discussion / black oil
- - By TRC (***) Date 11-28-2010 14:34
My 07 Vantage has 900 hrs on it. The manual says change oil at 500 hours. I went to 250 once and it looked very thick and BLACK. Changed oil this time at 150 hrs and was Very black. I use Rotella 10-40. Do I have a problem or is the blackness normal?  Thanks- Ted
Parent - By JeremyW83 (***) Date 11-28-2010 22:03
That is normal.
Parent - By Cactusthewelder (*****) Date 11-28-2010 22:16
Parent - - By FixaLinc (****) Date 11-29-2010 20:38
Oil will turn black faster in a diesel engine that is normal but stay cleaner looking longer in a good gasoline engine and even longer in a natural gas or propane engine.  Rotella is a good oil.
Parent - By ronnie taylor (**) Date 11-30-2010 14:13 Edited 11-30-2010 15:59
I use Rotella in my 7.3 & in our 12.7-liter Series 60 Detroit engines. Inframed 4 of them in the last 8 months just shy of 1 millon miles, mains, rods,& cam bearings still looked new, still had decent cross hatch on the liners. Rotella is good in my book. If you really want to know whats going on in your engines send a oil sample to BLACKSTONE LABORATORIES $25.00 bucks they send you the shipping kit free.
Parent - By texwelder (***) Date 12-01-2010 00:48
i have an 07 vantage 300 thats normal but my 97 sa 250 will black the oil before you even start it after you change the oil, i run delo 15-40 in all my diesels
Parent - - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 12-03-2010 13:39
Heres a little story about my experience with Rotella vs Valvoline Premium Blue, Chevron Delo, Schaeffers and Amsoil. When I first got my truck it had dealership oil. I changed that right away to Valvoline. I believe it was a semi syn. I would check the oil on a regular basis. After time I noticed a pattern with the Valvoline. When I put the new oil in I would start the truck, let it idle for about a minute then let it sit for 5-10. Then I would recheck the oil. The oil on the dipstick was just as clean as when you put it in. Fast forward 1000 miles, oil still looking clean, slightly darker than new. 2000 miles oil darker, like a mild chocolate color, around 2500 miles it was pretty much full on black and seemed like it changed overnight. At 3000 miles I would change it and start all over. I then went to Schaeffers semi syn for about two years and had the same results as the Valvoline. The one time I used Rotella in my truck. I drained the oil as normal, typically I pull the drain plug when I pull in the drive and leave it out all night. Then put the drain plug back in first thing in the morning. Change filter, then fill. So, my Rotella was poured in, engine started, run for a minute, set for 5-10 then rechecked the oil level. Upon removal of the dipstick the oil was black as coal dust.

Now, I'm no oil science guy but this to me seemed strange. Oil will get black eventually, it does in cars, it does in diesels. Diesels get it from the soot but an oil that loads up with all these particles 1 minute after the oil change then collects more of these particles over 3000 miles and runs this funk through my bearings, cylinders for ALL 3000 miles is not worth a spit. Needless to say that oil did not make it 3000 miles, went to Chevron Delo for a spell, then a 90 mile drive to Schaeffer dealer for one oil change and finally broke down and gave Amsoil a shot, have not looked back. I have Amsoil in the Cummins, working on converting diffs, trans to it. Amsoil in my wifes explorer with over 250k on it. Amsoil in my Ranger 8 and will be changing the oil in the Sa to Amsoil pretty soon.

I can't explain the "why" behind the clean oil for so long in the other oils and the instant dirty with the Rotella but I'd venture to guess that you would not want a lot of funk flowing around in your oil for 3000 miles, that's why we change the oil isn't it? After so many miles the oil is dirty, full of contaminates so why use an oil than loads up within the first minute of operation?? Just my two cents,

Parent - By weldwade (***) Date 12-03-2010 19:29 Edited 12-03-2010 20:11
Shawn it was the detergents in the oil as you know I am sure. The Rotella was much more aggressive than the other brands and was doing its job! I have seen this many times in used equipment, after a few oil changes they clean up. When I buy a used piece of equipment I usually change oil ASAP, run it for a few days and change it again. This has worked for me.
The way I look at it- You can remove the junk that builds up in an internal combustion engine with a good quality oil with detergents and a high quality filter. Or you can leave the junk in the engine with oil that "looks" clean to the naked eye because they do not remove harmful particles in the engine.
Or as Shreck says... "Better out than in I always Say" LOL
Use a reputable oil lab to analyze your oil samples if you really want to know what is happening to your engine. None of us are Superman and have X-Ray vision!
Parent - By rlitman (***) Date 12-03-2010 21:01
That's just nuts.  So you spent years sludging up your oil passages, and after one oil change to an oil with a decent detergent package, you're disappointed?
Detergents in engine oil are designed to keep things in suspension, rather than allow them to settle onto any surface (which causes clogged passages, and will lead to upper end failures).  You WANT an oil to keep things in suspension, so that it is repeatedly passed through the filter, and anything that passes through, is drained when you change your oil.

Besides, the things that turn your oil dark aren't really harmful to your engine.  That's just basically carbon black, which is a byproduct of the combustion process.  With a well formulated additive package, that carbon soot will not have an effect on wear, or lubricating film surface, IF it is spread around in suspension, BUT in large concentrations deposited onto the metal surfaces of your engine (which is what happens when you don't have a good detergent), it can cause a breakdown of the lubricating film, and higher wear (this is ESPECIALLY true in the new ILSAC GF-5 oils which contain less metallic additives that protect against metal to metal wear).

The things to be concerned with, are the depletion of the additive package (lower pH, which could lead to corrosion, etc.), high metal content (some metals like zinc and molybdenum increase lubricity, while things like copper are bad), and water (which is especially a problem in a vehicle that is only taken on frequent but short drives) typically from condensation,

Oh, and if your truck uses EGR, its oil will turn dark faster.  Still nothing big to worry about.
Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-06-2010 12:06
"At 3000 miles I would change it...."-quote

I might be wasting oil, but I have always changed my oil/filter in all of my cars/trucks at 3000-3500 miles and I've gotten good mileage/service out of my motors and they get run hard on a daily basis.
- - By TRC (***) Date 11-29-2010 21:14
Thanks for the replies-Ted
Parent - - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 11-30-2010 11:27
I would not use craptella to oil a chain on a bicycle......just my thoughts.
Parent - - By EMANRESU (*) Date 12-02-2010 00:30
Wondered what you have against Rotella I run the t6 full synthetic in my sportbike since it has no detergents and a gallon costs 18 bucks at wally world. I run delvac in the cummins though.
Parent - - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 12-02-2010 01:05
I am a distributor for a certain company and have seen tests, studies etc. Talked with people and even used Rotella once in my truck after running Schaeffers for years and could not believe the difference. Quit using Schaeffers, store was to far from my house to go buy it. Went to the brand I use now and have not looked back. Changed my oil in December of 09' then changed it again at the end of August 2010. Besides that I spent the better part of 18 years turning wrenches on Cats, Cummins and Detroits along with others and the engines that lasted the longest were not using Rotella from what I saw. Everybody has their oil, Rotella to me is good for starting bonfires.
Parent - By EMANRESU (*) Date 12-02-2010 01:19
Good to know, how about the delvac?
Parent - - By Sberry (***) Date 12-03-2010 14:33 Edited 12-03-2010 14:37
Rotella is one of the big 3 along with Texaco Ursa for diesel engines, you figure somehow Shell makes an inferior product? Oil biz is very competitive and follows strict standards. Shell probably is run in nearly half the diesel engines world wide, cant imagine they are second or less to anyone.
  What difference did you notice the one time you ran it in your truck? The reason its black is high detergent cleaning, its a good thing.
Parent - - By ronnie taylor (**) Date 12-03-2010 15:51
We've used rotella in everything. tractors, combines, cottonpickers & in all our OTR trucks witch we have five and we've never had an engine to fail because of the brand of oil we use. Rotella fits our pocket book, We buy oil in fifty five gallon durms, We get a very good deal on these. Good quality oil filters and a good quality oil, change them when it's supose to be changed, this is the key to long life. HEAT KILLS ENGINES not the brand of oil you use.
Parent - By weldwade (***) Date 12-03-2010 18:39
Ronnie hits the nail on the head! Change your oil as recommended by the manufacturer or more often and use HIGH QUALITY filters! Heat, severe conditions like dust and moisture need to be considered for the "more often". I am getting ready to replace the engine in my dads Semi it has 1,168,000 miles on it today (bull gear) issue is the reason for the change. Series 60 Detroit @550HP. We have run many B-E model 3406 Cats well over 1.5million without any major breakdowns using Rotella. We now use Mobil Delvac because we get it from the people we haul it for in bulk really cheap. I have used Rotella for many years in my equipment without any issues at all. I do not abuse my stuff either. just my .02
Parent - - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 12-04-2010 11:48 Edited 12-04-2010 12:21
I didn't say that, I said I did not like it for the reason stated above, a reason I cannot explain but a reason no less and a reason that the other 4 brands I have used never did. After 1 minute of running, soot black. Like I said, everybody has their own oil, mine ain't rotella. Sludge I've seen will build up on the top of the head, around the rockers, no sludge in my Cummins. Got a buddy with a 4.7L Durango that sludged up and he changed his oil every 3000 miles, stuff was all in the oil passages, on the rocker arms, front cover filled with it. After research on the web seems there are a bunch of folks with this problem with the 4.7L. As far as detergents go I can't believe that Valvoline, Delo and especially Schaeffer's or Amsoil are inferior to Rotellas detergent. The difference between Schaeffer's/Amsoil is I can go 10-15k on an oil change vs the 3000 on Rotella which means I open my pocket book less, saving money, saving oil that is disposed of and especially less time of me rolling under the truck getting oily which I absolutely hate. Just my .02
Parent - - By Sberry (***) Date 12-04-2010 14:25
By all reliable accounts Schaefers and Amsoil are good, non prove it better than the other premium brands, they are marketed differently. As for having to change at 3 K that is a self imposed marker, only testing would validate it. Kind of like saying Lincoln rods are not any good, they might not be the kind you like but its not very accurate.
  The one thing I do believe is accurate is users of Schaefers and Amsoil worry about it more than most people do.
Parent - - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 12-04-2010 17:50 Edited 12-04-2010 17:53
Your right, pulling oil samples is the best way to go. It's a taylor made oil change for your type of driving, conditions your in and so on. They can tell you change your oil at "X" miles as this is the point where the oil is no longer efficient or starting to break down. Amsoil has excellent graphs, testing on their website which I have poured over looking at comparisons between oils with different types of tests. I spend way more time than most checking things out before committing to them. Looked at a new Ford today, probably at least a year out before I can even think of buying one but starting my education now, just how I am. Lots of welders started out in their daddy's shop when they were 10, 12 or something. I've been cranking wrenches and in the grease pits since that age up until a few years ago.

I have talked to more people from truckers to farmers, equipment owners about oils, what they use, how it's been so my opinion on the oil mentioned is not just something I woke up one morning and decided. I've personally disassembled Cat engines with 20,000 hours on them that had main bearings that looked nearly new, guy ran Schaeffer's only. This was no one man, two piece of equipment joint, this was a very large outfit with millions in equipment, not counting heavy trucks. I've seen numerous Series 60 Detroits in Roadway trucks with over a million miles on them and running strong, we replaced them because that's how Roadway wanted it. A Series 60 with 800k, 900k or a million miles is not very surprising to me, seemed like we got in at least one a week when I worked at the Detroit dealer. They ran whatever came out of the oil spicket at whatever place they changed their oil. I do worry about my oil, probably more than most. I've got a 94' Saturn with well over 300k on it. I ran Mobil 1 full synthetic in it until the oil consumption problem came about, now it's whatever is laying around the shop at the time. This oil consumption problem is a common GM thing, spent many a day reading service bulletins from GM about the oil consumption problems they had. Also have a 95' Explorer with 230k or so miles on it. Been running Mobil 1 since 107k and switched to Amsoil in March. No oil consumption problems to be had, change oil at 5k with Mobil, once a year with Amsoil which equals money in my pocket.

With me it comes down to dollars. I can run, Rotella for say 5000 miles where I can run Amsoil for 15,000 miles or more. 3 oil changes of the Rotella compared to one of the Amsoil. In my truck it runs me around $120 for filter and oil. Now, Rotella, 3 filters at say $18 a whack, 9 gallons of oil at $17.95 each = $215.55 plus tax, plus me laying under the rig draining that stuff out, disposing of it properly. Savings to me, $95.55 and the time I don't have to be messing with that nasty oil, priceless. I've done my homework and made an informed decision. One thing this business owner thing has taught me is that uneducated buys should be left to lunch and what type of coke your gonna buy at the quicky mart. Educated decisions are applied more towards the business end, what is gonna save me money but yet maintain my equipment, help it last the longest so I can make the maximum profit off of this one truck or machine. I could go on and on about the reasoning behind my choice of oil, what I've looked at, done, or who I've talked to but most people, as you said, don't worry about it like us Schaeffer's and Amsoil folks. That's alright though, different strokes for different folks but to pressume that I woke one morning and jumped in with the "herd" is completely inaccurate. The one thing I have learned, Rotella guys are sensitive when you go to bad mouthing their oil! LoL! Take it easy Sberry, nice chatting with ya!

Parent - - By Sberry (***) Date 12-04-2010 18:29
I am not brand sensitive, could care less for the most part. Use any of the major suppliers. I happen to use Rotella lately because its been cheaper than the Texaco we were getting from the jobber. What I don't get is how one makes the comparison that the Rotella needs to be changed sooner than the other brands or 3 times as often, both in the same class and both well proven. I am also not sure how valuable "talking" to others about oil preference is. Same for taking engines apart, how could we attribute this to oil brand, some engines are great, some not so, probably wouldn't have mattered which they used. 30 yrs ago there were some legit testing differences, one being that Castrol GTX seemed to be the premium for gas engines but now all standards have risen to the point there is very little difference between this and Sams Club or Walmart stuff.
  Engines today are so much tighter, tolerances better and fuel injected it would be difficult to even compare wear difference from many moons ago when we had carbs and poor crankcase ventilation systems which were a huge culprit of oil contamination. Additives have improved as well as the ability to test.
Parent - - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 12-04-2010 20:14 Edited 12-04-2010 22:28
Looking at bearings on engines and wear items is not relevant? That's like saying destructive testing is not relevant in welding. As far as how taking apart engines and rebuilding them would contribute you notice the differences in the bearings with the different oils they run. Part may be due to a person with better maintenance programs than the other but when you rebuild the same type of engines for years and years you notice things. Guy A uses this oil, gets 20,000 hours and guy B uses brand x and gets 6k hours and mains and rods look like he's been using butter as a lubricant. Same brand of engine, Cat's. Ever heard of failure analysis? As far as how I would contribute it to oil brand, I've taken them apart with this known oil and said, "Wow", is this new? Then taken others apart that were not and gone, what are they running in here, corn flakes? As far as sams and walmart, their oil comes off some big oil guys line and they slap a walmart sticker on it, of course there is no difference, Ol' Sam ain't in the oil business. Brand name oil in Acme packaging. Yes, carbs could not maintain a stoicheometric air fuel ratio, something about being mechanical and adjusted by imperfect humans, strange how that was, and with the latest computer technology they can keep an engine around 14.7 to 1. I would spend my days working on cars with up to 33 computers on board and diagnose all the crazy electrical problems they could throw at me, rebuilding the latest and greatest engines Cadillac had to offer, one things for sure, I don't need an education on todays tight tolerances and electronic technology in the automotive world. So, fyi, I was not turning wrenches back when they had to make their own babbit bearings. You've never talked to somebody to get an idea on the quality of something? Never said, Hey, what do you guys think about Mathey Dearman? Victor? Goodyear tires?

Like I said, you run your oil, I run mine. Why I choose the oil I do shouldn't make a spit of difference, original poster said, "black oil", I stated my opinion which is like an a-hole, everybody has one. It comes down to the age old Ford -vs- Chevy -vs- Dodge argument. It don't matter why I don't like it, just don't, have my reasons. I hate tomatoes too and pickles on my hamburgers but will eat pickles on the side, why? Don't know, don't care, just is what it is and I know what I like. Besides how many engines have you rebuilt, looked at main and rod bearings, cam bearings, wear items like rocker bridges, gears and so on? Personally I can say in the hundreds. Cars have been fuel injected since the 80's with throttle bodies, the technology to make them cleaner is coming from computers monitoring every aspect of the engine with Map sensors, O2 sensors, pre and post cat, IAC, IAT, Maf, pulse width modulation, variable cam timing, crank sensors and on and on. Just slapping an injector in the intake didn't make it all happen, ask GM about the 57' Belair with fuel injection, I'm betting it was not the cleanest buring cat in town. Poor crankcase ventilation systems, don't worry they still have problems there. Service bulletin for GM was to remove valve cover and repair breather underneath as it was not ventilating properly, paid 14 hours to pull a valve cover.
Parent - - By ronnie taylor (**) Date 12-04-2010 21:42

Wonderful debate!! :)
Parent - By Northweldor (***) Date 12-05-2010 13:43
I agree! (and,so far, no political ranting!)
Parent - By DaveBoyer (*****) Date 12-06-2010 02:13
While I do respect Your opinion somewhat, having been a pro mechanic, My own experience with oil has been that the rest of the vehicle wears out long before the oil lubed engine parts even if You use cheap oil & filters.

2 years ago I had to stop running My '85 Dodge mini van with a 2,2 & carb. I t rolled down a hill in the back yard & hit a tree. That van had about 285K on it, leaked oil & trans fluid pretty bad but didn't smoke. The oil pressure was normal & cylinders looked good, still some hone marks [I had replaced the head gasket many times, one not real long before the crash]. I used chaep Unilab oil from Dollar General, an the cheapest filter Pep Boys had, and changed both once per year most of the years I owned it.

The car I had before that was an '81 Honda Civic 1.5 L. I ran that car 142 k before I parked it due to lack of use. While there was some peculiar wear on 1 lobe of the cam, it smoothed itself up and never became an issue. I had noticed it at about 60K when changing the cam cover gasket. I would add 1 quart to that engine at 6K miles, then change it at about 12K when it was 1 quart low again.

Before the Honda I had a '65 Falcon I got from Mom & Dad when I turned 16. It had over 100K on it then, and I ran it another 40K. I think in the early days We ran Penzoil 10-30 in it, later Sears Spectrum 10-40. This one was changed more regularly, no lube related issues other than valve guide wear, probably should have pulled the seals off the valves.

My sailboat has a Peugot Diesel in it, it has about 10K hours on it. One cylinder liner & piston are all scarred up, a glow plug burnt out through the side of the tube, putting debris in the cylinder. I ran it about 5K hours with it that way, it has blow-by & leaks oil pretty bad. I did always use a diesel rated mineral based oil in this engine, and changed it and the filter [Purolator] twice a year. I think that if that glow plug had not failed, this engine would be fine, but it didn't run that bad in spite of itself. I have not used the boat in the last 7 years due to having cancer.

I had a '69 GTO back in the day too, it had been run hard before I got it, and I ran it hard too. I used the Sears Spectrum which Sears claimed WAS a premium oil back then in it too. I gave up muscle cars in the '79 gas crunch & sold it in '84. It had about 100K on it with no lube related issues, but I believe it did have a bad valve by the time I sold it.

Back in the "Old Days" car engines usually only lasted 100-150K miles no matter what was used in them, or how frequently changed, so the GTO, Falcon & Honda lasted about as good as anybody's engine.

     Those of You running gas engines might pay attention to this:
Phosphorus (a component of ZDDP - Zinc Dialkyl-Dithio-Phosphate) is the key component for valve train protection in an engine and 1600ppm (parts per million) used to be the standard for phosphorus in engine oil. In 1996 the EPA forced that to be dropped to 800ppm and then more recently (2004?) to 400ppm - a quarter of the original spec. Valvetrains and their components are not especially cheap to replace and this drop in phosphorus content has been a problem for many engines (especially those with flat-tappet type cams). So why was the level dropped? Money. Next to lead, it's the second most destructive substance to shove through a catalytic converter. The US government mandated a 150,000 mile liftime on catalytic converters and the quickest way to do that was to drop phosphorous levels and bugger the valvetrain problem. Literally.

Read more:

Turns out the latest & greatest gas engine oil may not be so great.
Parent - By J Hall (***) Date 12-05-2010 03:13
I used to run Texaco Ursa super. Oil samples would come in showing high soot. This was not only on front end loaders, but also a Cat gen set. No way could we get them to clean up. Texaco dealer retires and we switched to Mobil Delvac... Guess what? The oil samples cleaned up. Not in a year, but after the first change.

A very similar situation with Rotella back in the "80s. bad samples until the company switched to Delvac.
Parent - - By J Hall (***) Date 11-30-2010 12:12
I use Mobil Delvac in everything from my Vantage 300s to V12 Cat  engines.
Parent - - By Chris2626 (***) Date 12-02-2010 01:10
mobil synthetic is some dam good stuff, if i had a diesel i'd run that mobil in it. When you change the oil it won't look so black
Parent - By rcwelding (***) Date 12-02-2010 14:39
I like Royal Purple synthetic...
- - By Sberry (***) Date 12-03-2010 14:41
Parent - By weldwade (***) Date 12-03-2010 19:46
cool link! thanks for posting
- - By Robert48 (**) Date 12-03-2010 21:33
From my experience diesel engine = black oil..... From a single cylinder Yanmar to a V12 CAT.
Parent - - By JLWelding (***) Date 12-05-2010 17:04
I am a Amsoil fan due to one simple thing, it works plain and simple. I ran my cummins 8k on semi syn. and sent in oil sample and it came back good. Good enough to go farther than 8k.
I change my SA one time a year with full syn. 10-30, I dont keep up with hours anymore. I own 11 motors, from lawn mowers to 4030 JD and all are on Amsoil and all get changed one time a year.
Before I was spending approx. 40 hours a year just changing oil. Not to mention greese.
Parent - - By 65 Pipeliner (**) Date 12-05-2010 22:12
Do you do any filter changes in between or just once a year when you do the oil?

Parent - By TozziWelding (**) Date 12-06-2010 00:43
I run Mobil Delvac in My rig, it it a 2000 F-350 Diesel with 250K on it and still runs like a top. In the summer I run the same in my welding machines, an SA-250 of unknown hours and my Trailblazer, in the winter the welders get 5W20 semi synthetic Motorcraft oil same as the Wifes Explorer. I change the oil in the Rig every 3K as well as the Wifes ride, the Trailblazer gets oil and filter every 50-100 hrs depending on where I am running, and the old Lincoln gets it every 100-200 hours or when it is real low and real black, LOL.
Parent - By Cumminsguy71 (*****) Date 12-06-2010 12:00
I believe if you run Amsoil's hige efficiency filter it will go for the life of the oil. If you use a filter off of the Walmart shelf they do suggest replacing, it may be about halfway. I just buy their filter for my rig, saves me having to be under the hood again. On my wifes explorer, changed oil and put on Amsoil filter, that was in March. Won't worry about it until this March, then I drain the oil, change the filter and forget about it til March 2012.
Parent - By JLWelding (***) Date 12-07-2010 03:39 Edited 12-07-2010 03:44
I run synthetic filter from Donaldson P550050 in SA200, I belive it is a 3 micron filter. They advertise twice what the manufacture recomends. If 200 hr then 400. If 5k miles then 10k miles. In my Cummins I run a Amsoil EAO 80 25k filter.
- - By Len Andersen (***) Date 12-06-2010 20:18
Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I have a patent in motor oil and about 14 years paying dues to the Society of Tribologist and Lubricating Engineers ( ) . There is a lot of good info and personal experiences that might not apply to your situation. The Shell Oil mentioned is good and calling there toll free number ( if they had not laid those guys off ) might give answers to your concerns. Going to a test lab before is a lot less pain than when it --- on you! The synthetic motor oil gives more extreme operating conditions capability and according to national meeting I attended it give 2-3 percent fuel saving. Used Mobil product for plus ten years. I have a degree in chemistry and chemical engineering and have been hair to toes covered with dirty lube oil! I hope my views are helpful.
Len Andersen
                     212-839-6599, 4042 FAX / 914-237-7689 (H) / 914-536-7101 (Mobil)
POB 1529 / NYC 10116 ( $1040 per year Caller Box GPO NYC )
Parent - By Smokin_1 (**) Date 12-13-2010 09:59
amen, i swear by mobil 1 run it everything from my hummer to my lawn's the cats A$$
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