Fuel exhaustion incident...

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by denverpilot, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    No, not in the airplane.

    Left the house this morning with half a tank of gas in the Yukon.

    Driving my approximately 40 mile commute, the truck stalls at a stop light. I’m on a back road quite a way from a gas station.

    I restart it thinking it’s the stupid GM fuel pump I had replaced a couple of years ago puking again. Or the electrical connector problem it had.

    Ok. It’ll limp a bit before it dies if it’s that. Let’s get to civilization first then deal with it. Might limp all the way to work and then I can Uber it down to meet Karen and deal with it later.

    Notice the fuel gauge is about 1/4. That’s odd. Did that drop?

    Start it up and head north again. Now noticing the fuel gauge is lower than it should be but not sure why yet. Still hasn’t clicked.

    Truck stalls anytime it decelerates. Hmm. Uh oh. That’s not electrical or a pump failing. That’s fuel sloshing in the tank.

    Wait a sec. Now that gauge says 1/8. Was the float stuck in the tank and I’m running low on fuel? Crud. Didn’t reset the trip odo like I usually do so not sure of mileage on this tank.

    Okay now we’re in “land the Yukon” mode at the next gas station. I know where it is and now I’m watching the gauge. I still think I have a float or sensor issue but it’s getting low fast.

    Get to the stop light before the gas station by half a mile. Truck stalls. Damn it. Come on.

    Start it up. It’ll make it. Gauge reading a hakr above empty now. Get to the light to turn into the station. The low fuel light now comes on. Thanks Chevy. Truck sputters but doesn’t quite stall.

    Turn into the station and their entrance places the nose of the truck slightly downhill. Truck really stalls. Dang it. Come ON.

    Three start attempts it’s idling weird but it’s clear it’s out of fuel. Limp it to a pump.

    Fill it up thinking “damn gas tank sender”!

    Start it up to leave and co-worker texts a question. Haven’t left the pump yet so I answer it. Some dude comes walking up...

    “I think your truck is leaking fuel.”

    Open door and get out and I can HEAR it. High pressure spray from somewhere and fuel blowing all over the ground. Turn truck (and fuel pump) off. Let station guy know about spill. They toss down some absorbent stuff and go back inside.

    Find a reputable shop a long way from home. Talk to the owner. Get a recommendation for a tow truck.

    And now I wait.

    @jesse is going to tell me to tow it to the Ford dealer and trade it as-is on a new F-150. LOL.

    Effing vehicles.
     
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  2. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Why dontcha just trade it in on a new F-150?
     
  3. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude

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    Be glad it wasn't the airplane. I tried that, isn't fun.
     
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  4. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Nate will be at the Ford dealer in 3... 2... 1...
     
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  5. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    You bought Chevy. What did you expect?
     
  6. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    That reminds me, I need to locate and cut an access hole for the fuel pump of the 1998 Chevy Lumina I'm currently driving. You can tell this car was designed before computer modeling was any good just by changing the battery. The 2002 Chevy Impala I had was a way better car.
     
  7. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Took awhile but this reminds me of an incident my junior year in college (‘twas the 80s). Roommate number 1 takes call - sorry to hear that and no I can’t help you. I asked what’s up and he sez roommate number 2 is broke down on the south side of town. I say gimme 20 minutes...Get there and gas squirts all over engine compartment but it’s easy to find the ruptured hose. I’ve got fuel hose in my stash of spares. Ten minutes later roommate number 2 is good to go.

    The previous summer I had fixed a coworker up with spark plug leads from my stash of spares.

    These days I don’t carry any spare parts or tools...I also don’t drive an ancient mustang...
     
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  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    What year model? Engine?

    If you go get a F-150, be sure to ask for the dresses that come with them......:lol::lol::lol:
     
  9. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Don't do it!!!! As a life long Chevy man, I thought I'd try the grass on the other side of the fence a few years ago. I've had two total piece o' ****e F-150s in a row. Won't be doing that again anytime soon. To be fair, they were pretty good trucks until around 80-100K miles. After that, the problems never end. I gave them two good tries. I'm out.

    Meanwhile, the GMC has 180K miles and hasn't caused a lick of trouble. NONE!

    Nate, I have a crew cab Sierra and a crew cab F-150 of the same vintage. I have about 8K more dollars in the ford and it has nearly 50K fewer miles on it. You saw which one I drove to Denver. That's right, General freakin' Motors. I won't even let my wife take the Ford out of town anymore. Crappy engines, crappy trannies, crappy steering, and crappy suspensions. Other than that, they are great vehicles. ;)
     
  10. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff

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    And... why is that not a good idea? :p
     
  11. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    My experience is that older vehicles aren't worth the hassle. Buy new, keep for 10 years or so.
     
  12. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    I know where there's a good ol' 96 Honda for sale.
    Bidding is still open..
     
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  13. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    They wouldn't take your airplane for a new F-150? For shame...
     
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  14. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I buy new, keep until they prove to be unreliable. Usually in the 10-15 year range.
     
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  15. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I got to see Jesse's truck this weekend. And I have to say, it's orders of magnitude nicer inside than any GM vehicle I've ever seen. That includes a Cadillac. I have a really hard time spending the kind of money new trucks cost on something with a crappy interior. So on that, the F-150 wins in my opinion.

    How will it last at 180k? Who knows. Coworker of mine bought a 1st gen Ecoboost with 160k on it and he likes it.

    Me, I got a Cummins.
     
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  16. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The fuel gauge sensor in my BMW motorcycle was an electronic strip that when it fails, it locks the fuel level at whatever it was when it failed. The one day when I forgot to set my trip odometer to track mileage, it decides to fail at a quarter tank, and I ran out of gas on the freeway.
     
  17. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude

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    :D:D Not sure which is worth more.
     
  18. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Lack of pre-drive inspection ....

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I buy 1 year old vehicles from the dealer, enjoy the remainder of the warranty, and drive 'em 10 years or more, until they start having problems. Then buy a replacement, and sell the old one.
     
  20. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I swore off of GM almost 30 years ago. Cheap feel, maintenance issues, bad service, and not honoring warranty. 3 torque convertors before I dropped that POS. Nissan, Toyota, Ford and Honda now for me.
     
  21. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Surprised you didn't drop it after the 2nd one.
     
  22. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    When I was a mechanic 35+ years ago Nissans, Fords, Toyotas and Hondas made me a pile of money. They were crappy cars, poor design, cheaply put together, but you could buy a base model for less than 2000 bucks.

    All makes are better cars now than they were 30-35 years ago.
     
  23. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    I never understood the concept of brand (dis)loyalty. I job hop every 4 years or so. If I screwed up your product 30 years ago because I'm a bad worker and you've sworn off that brand because of me then there's a real good chance I've ended up working for the company where you've pledged your current loyalty today. Same goes if I did something brilliant 30 years ago except in reverse.
     
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  24. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Same here. I just replaced a 2007 Honda Accord with 270K miles with a new one. Yes, there are slightly lower cost options (almost new), but I'd rather know the vehicle from Day 1, so I'm not buying a vehicle that was abused or neglected.
     
  25. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I’d be especially wary of used cars for the next few years as the unscrupulous unload flood damaged cars.
     
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  26. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    My next vehicle, barring sudden, unforeseen need (it's happened before, a deer went across my wife's hood from the side . . . ), will be at least a 2019 model. Just because of Harvey and Irma.
     
  27. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    I was riding a Kawasaki 250 dual sport we shared among our family, when it started to sputter. I reached down to turn it to reserve, and found that it already was on reserve. The rule was whoever hit reserve had to fill the tank.
     
  28. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I don't trust my family to replenish the toilet paper. No way I'd trust 'em to fill up the gas tank...
     
  29. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Bah stuff happens, sounds like a cheap fix and you will be on your way.
     
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  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    So it was a blown fuel line. The armored/braided jumper line that goes from the hard line on the frame rail up to the fuel filter blew out, and the little insert ring that seals it and “teeth” that hold it to the plastic nipple before the fuel filter assembly were gone out of it. Yay washboard roads.
     
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  31. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Line Up and Wait

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    For all gm or ford truck bashers,,, they both have the same 10 speed tranny now..
    I do prefer fords technology they have put into the dual overhead 302 and V6's, loads of power out of small packages.
     
  32. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    :thumbsup:

    Cheap fix, compared to replacing the vehicle Nate. Keep driving it till the wheels fall off. That's what I do with all my trucks. When you do a full cycle amortization every additional mile you get out of it is cheaper than any of the ones before. Until the wheels fall off. ;)

    My wife's '03 GMC Sierra 4X4 1/2 ton is past 300k miles and we haven't had the heads off it yet. My '10 Denali 1/2 ton AWD is past 160k and just getting broken in. First two GMs in what was a solid Ford pickup family, and no complaints. And my '06 F350 Powerstroke (yes, the one with that "bad" Harvester engine) is past 200k and just runs and runs pulling the horses up and down the hills here in the Rockies in Mrs. GRG55's oversized angle haul trailer.

    Doesn't really matter what brand, most trucks will last a loooong time if maintained well and driven sensibly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Stop being the voice of reason. LOL! :)

    Here’s the fleet “problem” right now. My truck and her truck are going to wear out at the same time.

    We probably need to start leapfrogging the trucks to not buy two of them in 3-4 years.
     
  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    For more detail on that...

    Her truck is at 147,000 miles. She puts 18,000 a year on it. For the first four years we were out here due to her driving for work back then,she accumulated 25,000/yr (100,000 miles) in four years. So that has slowed quite a bit. (As has her tax write off for business mileage. LOL!)

    My truck is at 157,000 and I put 22,000 on vehicles every year.

    I’ve been splitting time between the Yukon and the Subaru (which has 138,000 on it and is coming up on 18 years old) besides a few thousand on the Dodge every year. Usually 3 days of Subaru and 2 of Yukon, based on carting the doggies around or not. They can ride in the Subaru, but it’s a tad uncomfortable for the 85 lb boy.

    The Dodge has one job. To tow things. Specifically our 12,500 lb trailer that we sold this summer. It also tows the 8 x 20 enclosed cargo trailer as needed.

    Otherwise, a Ram 3500 DRW isn’t a great daily driver and it sucks bad in snow. If it was a SRW I’d sell the Yukon and drive the crap out of it. It’ll last another 150,000 or more, easy. But winter daily driver with a DRW suuuuuuuucks.

    So we’re considering selling the Dodge, and the Yukon and replacing with a new or nearly new half-ton.

    This would reset my mileage clock and remove a vehicle from insurance and maintenance, but if we have a loan on the half-ton, the insurance is a wash until we pay it off probably.

    The Subaru stays for now, but we would stop putting big miles on it. Might even grace it with indoor parking and a battery tender if we go that route.

    It becomes the spare car which is almost a necessity out here. If a pickup goes into the shop, or gets wrecked and is getting fixed, etc... our workplaces and schedules don’t mesh well, so anything more than a drop off and a “Bye, love ya... see ya later...” becomes a huge logistics problem more than once or twice a week.

    And Uber doesn’t like coming out here. Did it once. Driver was pretty nervous at the end. LOL. :) Seeing cows and losing her cell coverage completely had her wondering if it was worth the fare. Haha.

    So...

    Karen is 3.5 years away from 200,000 miles and while I hope her ‘08 Lincoln LT lasts longer, I don’t want to bank on it. She does love that thing so if it needed medium money at some point around 200,000 we’d probably repair it again. Once. Ha. (Stupid cam phasers, grumble grumble...)

    When I’m at the office full time, I’m putting 96,000 miles on a vehicle in 4 years. (Otherwise known as depreciation hell.)

    So if I bought today I’d be at roughly 100,000 when she needs her replacement vehicle. She’d be at 200,000.

    One of the harder numbers for me to quantify is whether or not I should go with an HD truck. There’s a decent chance an HD truck of any make will make it to 300,000 miles which for me will only be 12 years. That’s getting out into “The Amazing Carnak” guesswork timeframes (who knows what we will be doing or if we will still be living here in that many years) but I’ve driven the Yukon for 9+.

    So long term driving them doesn’t bother me. I’ve put 110,000 on it since ‘08.

    I’ve put about 50,000 miles on the Subaru.

    It’s a mileage and depreciation game here.

    Tack on lost time to these stupid repairs and long tows or driving 80 miles round-trip to go pick them up after repairs, and that’s a bigger annoyance factor than driving around the block to go pick it up when fixed too.

    Ultra cheap would be to sell the trucks, flog the crap out of the Subaru, and use Karen’s truck to tow the trailer as needed. Not sure we need to be quite that cheap.

    Could also sell the Yukon (it ain’t worth that much) and alternate flogging the Subaru and the Dodge. The Dodge will easily outlast anything else we own right now. Especially with the work I did on it to make it a reliable tow vehicle. The fuel bill would be nicer on the F-150, but not enough to come anywhere near closing the price gap. I’d enjoy it more, but I don’t dislike any of them. Just hate breaking down while trying to get things done.

    Dunno. Just dunno. Thinking. Numbers say either buy new now, or flog something other than the Yukon, and that’s the Dodge. Subaru is an automatic so Karen needs that as her backup vehicle. She won’t drive the Dodge. It’s a manual.
     
  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hmm. Or flog all three and get the Dodge more into the driving rotation.

    That’s less than 8000 miles a year each.

    And buy a flatbed trailer so I can be my own towing service. LOL. No seriously. Hmm.

    Except for towing the Dodge. That’d be entertaining behind the Yukon.

    Hmm. Price of a flatbed trailer big enough to haul a dually on it... and a winch that can get it up on there... hmmm. LOL.

    I need to crunch more numbers.
     
  36. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I have to wonder if you're spending more money keeping old trucks running than it would cost to buy new sooner. Especially if you consider your time valuable and or opportunity costs.
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Spending too much time, definitely.

    Money? No not really. In 110,000 miles the Yukon has had various minor breakdowns but none of them any significant money. Fuel pump, known problem with them, dash lighting and gauge cluster servos, new HVAC control unit popped into the dash from Amazon, and that’s really about it. Little relatively cheap time consuming crap.

    The Dodge, *I* broke it the big time one. Blew the head gasket. Decided to fix it up better than new but the dollar amount I put into it was mostly optional.

    Karen’s truck, nothing at all money wise until the cam phasers and that’s a well known problem on the Fords. Although I didn’t know about it. She usually handles all maintenance on her truck for marital bliss purposes but I dove in when it really sounded broke. Ha.

    Subaru has needed the standard 90,000 timing belt replacement and I did the valve cover gaskets myself when I found oil in the spark plug well when I was changing plugs. Common problem, relatively easy fix. It’ll come back on a boxer 4 banger. Just the nature of the little beast.

    Karen’s VW was the nightmare car, and I did NONE of that work. The extended warranty we bought almost on a whim because it was so cheap, shelled out over $13,500 in repairs over the life of that car, and we bought it new. What a POS.

    So you hit the nail on the head and I was complaining to @jesse off line about it earlier. It’s that breakdowns and the time to drop things at a shop or do them myself, and keep the little things caught up, oil changes, belts, hoses, stupid stuff like that, that I refuse to pay someone else to do, that sucks a bit too much of my time. It’s not awful, but it’s too much.

    There’s “frugal” and then there’s “wasting my time”. Having a newer vehicle just towed to the dealer and telling them to fix it under warranty if needed would be nice. It was nice on the VW even if it happened way too often.

    An airpark house with a car lift in the hangar next to the airplane would be ideal... then one could transition from changing brakes on the truck to washing and waxing the airplane without having to drive a half hour both ways. :) :) :) The airplane needs a bath and a polish real bad.

    Nope, it’s not the dollars. All of the current vehicles have been cheap to maintain by comparison to the many total beaters I’ve owned when younger. But it does suck down too much “free time”. (There’s no such thing as free time. Just lost time to do something else.)
     
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  38. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Back in the day I did that to myself a few times. Bike begins to sputter, reach down to put it on reserve, and DAMN, already on reserve.

    Short story: Was dating a girl in small town on the Hudson river, and had a 20mi ride to get there. About half way, the bike went on reserve, but I didn't stop for gas as I was running late for dinner. I figured I'd fill up on the way home. So, I leave for home about 10pm, and this smallish town must roll up the sidewalks early. As I ride out of town, I pass several closed stations. I keep riding, hoping to find an open station, but no luck. Aaaaannnd, the bike runs out of gas. OK, push bike up hill, drift slowly down, push up hill......rinse, repeat.

    After pushing for a good 30-40min, at the top of a hill I see an oasis. At the bottom is a brightly lit Shell station. YAY! I drift down and begin filling the bike. The store clerk comes out and says you're darned lucky, I close at 11. I look at my watch, it was 10:58. I didn't pass another open gas station the rest of the way home.

    Lesson learned, from that day forward, ANYTIME the bike went on reserve, I filled at the next available station. Of course bikes no longer have reserve, they now have low fuel lights like cars, but the I still fill up first available.
     
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  39. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    you could try a strip/reseal, but I'd recommend bladders. :D
     
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  40. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    As far as a trailer big enough for the dually, you can flatbed equipment haulers on CL all day long for $2K or less. 5K-7K axles (10K-14K GVWR) are more than enough for a dually, and no rails to worry about squeezing the dually wheels inside. Add a cheap winch on the nose in a tongue-mounted storage box and you can even rescue the vehicles when they're not able to move under their own power.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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