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Well I've had my JK for almost a year and feel I do not have enough info on these two lifts to make a good decision on which of these kits will best fit my very demanding standards...
I have a 2011 JK rubicon as a daily driver... That being said I would say it spends more time in the woods all summer long (3-4 months at best) than on the road. My afternoon dog run with my two Alaskan Malamutes for example (a ten mile moderately difficult CR at 10000ft) is longer than my commute to work. They run way faster than me and are my transportation in the winter when the jeep can go no further... sorry enough about the dogs...
I live at 9000' at the base of the continental divide in Colorado so most of my adventures go up from there and include a huge verity of terrain. most trips start out on a smooth dirt road which progressively gets worse (i like to drive these fast) then the climbing begins. Many creek crossings, mud pits, boulders the size of houses... you know high country Colorado stuff. My goal every weekend is to go further than everyone else so i have the woods to myself and don't have to deal with the flatlander invasion.
The decision.
both kits seem to have great tech
both require some permanent mods (i'm not afraid of)
both are relativity comparable in price
reviews are great on both
just can't seem to find enough about the bad... I know that there has to be some regrets out there. what do people miss about their stock rubi? does the higher center of gravity cause the jeep to slide easier in the snow (tires excluded from the equation)?
I want a kit that performs better than stock in all applications.
Any insight, good, bad, ugly i wanna hear it so don't be shy. the more unfiltered the better.
 

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2 or 4 door?

What I miss about my stock Rubi? Probably running a long arm system because I rock crawl extensively in a 4 door JK on 37s with 6" of lift and I'm on the arms alot. I have a 2008 and there weren't many options for lift kits with 37" tires back then. I have a Rubicon Express 4.5" long arm which "were" notorious for premature bushing failure but have been redesigned. I elected to go with Metal Cloaks Duroflex upgrade kit for Rubicon Express and I am pleased with the performance of these flex joints. Can't give you exact tech on their performance as I haven't taken measurements but I will say that my JK rides smooth and is responsive on and off road. I don't have plans to change my setup other than maybe going a little bigger in tire size.

Here's a link to another thread that may be of interest to you.

[URL="http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71064&highlight=metal+cloak"][url]http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71064&highlight=metal+cloak[/URL][/URL]
 

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I ran Rock Krawler 3.5'' Max Travel on my last rig (2dr.) and currently run the full Metalcloak gamechanger on my new JKU. I can provide a little insight about both companies, but obviously my RK lift wasn't a long arm so the comparison may not be exactly what you're looking for.

With that being said my RK kit never disappointed me at all. I will say however that so far the Metalcloak setup performs better in every situation and the on road ride is significantly better than the RK on road ride was. I ran the RK kit with bilstein 5100's so that's part of the equation too. I do attribute some of the on road ride being better because the new rig is a JKU though. I'm extremely impressed with the MC 6pak shocks though. The flex of their kit is absolutely ridiculous. If you like driving fast over terrain you'll like this setup better most likely. Not sure which shocks you planned to run with the RK kit though?

Another thing to note is that there's no extreme modifications with the MC setup, but of course with the RK long arm you'll be cutting off the stock control arm bracket locations and also adding the cradle for the 3-link to the rear axle. You said it didn't bother you though, so that's a wash.

I can't currently give any insight about sliding in the snow as of yet while being off camber. I really like both RK and MC stuff. The RK stuff did well all around, but personally I feel the MC does everything a little better. We'll see how the joints of the MC setup hold up over time though.

Sorry for the long winded post, but hope it helped a little.
 

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If you make the commitment long arm is almost always the way to go.

Short arms struggle to provide the same ride quality no matter what their bushings are made of. If you want to run high speed through bumpy terrain then long arm is where it's at.

Whether that's rk, ft, tf, etc. the comparison above is short arm to short arm. The long arm kit is a completely different animal.

Then add some air bumps and HOLY CRAP can you drive it hard over rough terrain.
 

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Arm length is only one (small) factor in determining ride quality and overall suspension characteristics. Out of those two, I'd go MC.
 

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Arm length is only one (small) factor in determining ride quality and overall suspension characteristics. Out of those two, I'd go MC.
arm length is NOT a small factor determining ride quality??!!. You have to be kidding me.

JK control arms are already fairly long, which gives you a lot of leeway but to say that the difference between them is small...

that's just bullshit.

obviously spring rates and shock valving will come into play quite a bit. But for high speed running and bump compliance... long arm absolutely owns a short arm. and this isn't even a rock krawler fanboy rant. I mean pretty much any long arm...
 

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arm length is NOT a small factor determining ride quality??!!. You have to be kidding me.

JK control arms are already fairly long, which gives you a lot of leeway but to say that the difference between them is small...

that's just bullshit.

obviously spring rates and shock valving will come into play quite a bit. But for high speed running and bump compliance... long arm absolutely owns a short arm. and this isn't even a rock krawler fanboy rant. I mean pretty much any long arm...
No bullshit.

I've spent a lot of time and money testing this. I assure you, arm length plays less of a factor than you think. Some of the poorest-driving rigs I've been in had much longer arms than my personal rig and it surely didn't help their cause, and that's just one small sample.

Arm length is focused on too heavily and is really placed on a pedestal by those that don't necessarily know the difference (not saying you don't). Take two identical rigs, one with 24" arms @ 10* and the other with 40" arms @ 10*. By all intents and purposes, you won't notice a difference. Now take the same 24" arm @ 10* and raise the other rig a couple inches to angle those 40" arms @ 20*. I bet you still don't notice one difference in ride quality but on paper, the first rig should ride better. On paper, this whole longer arm = better ride concept makes sense. It just doesn't materialize in real life. Arm angle, the ends on the arm, shocks, coils and sway bars make a much larger difference. Absolutely zero bullshit.
 

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No bullshit.

I've spent a lot of time and money testing this. I assure you, arm length plays less of a factor than you think. Some of the poorest-driving rigs I've been in had much longer arms than my personal rig and it surely didn't help their cause, and that's just one small sample.

Arm length is focused on too heavily and is really placed on a pedestal by those that don't necessarily know the difference (not saying you don't). Take two identical rigs, one with 24" arms @ 10* and the other with 40" arms @ 10*. By all intents and purposes, you won't notice a difference. Now take the same 24" arm @ 10* and raise the other rig a couple inches to angle those 40" arms @ 20*. I bet you still don't notice one difference in ride quality but on paper, the first rig should ride better. On paper, this whole longer arm = better ride concept makes sense. It just doesn't materialize in real life. Arm angle, the ends on the arm, shocks, coils and sway bars make a much larger difference. Absolutely zero bullshit.
yes but the same rig with 24" arms at 10* chaning over to 40" arms will NOT have them at 10*. Hence the entire point of long arms. reducing the angle of attack of the arms.

assuming the lift height is unchanged the long arms will have a better angle, allowing the suspension to be more responsive to the terrain.

take nick's JK for example (i use his a lot because we changed a lot on it) vs my JK.

we were both on the same coilovers, mine on RK short arms and his on RK long arms. I couldn't TOUCH him through the fast rough stuff. I just couldn't keep up. mine was beating the hell out of me. But you get into his and it was like riding on marshmellows.

now that is an apples to apples comparison. same joints, same shocks, different arm lengths.
long arms make a HUGE difference.
 

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yes but the same rig with 24" arms at 10* chaning over to 40" arms will NOT have them at 10*. Hence the entire point of long arms. reducing the angle of attack of the arms.
You're forgetting one thing--the mounts. Move the axle-end lower mounts up. Angle reduced. Again, arm length is not the only thing at work here.
assuming the lift height is unchanged the long arms will have a better angle, allowing the suspension to be more responsive to the terrain.
Please explain, in technical terms, what you mean by "more responsive." Again, lift height and where the mounts are located both have an affect on arm angle.
we were both on the same coilovers, mine on RK short arms and his on RK long arms. I couldn't TOUCH him through the fast rough stuff. I just couldn't keep up. mine was beating the hell out of me. But you get into his and it was like riding on marshmellows.

now that is an apples to apples comparison. same joints, same shocks, different arm lengths.
long arms make a HUGE difference.
I've done a similar comparison through high speed whoops using my personal TJ (all custom 'mid' arm suspension) and another TJ using TNT's long arm kit (very long, flat arms). A couple JK's, LJ's and other TJ's all with varying suspensions were in that group. Nobody was running faster through the whoops than me and the difference was significant. My lower control arms were a measly 17" long but were nearly flat. Good shocks, springs and AR's at both ends. I was floating over the whoops while the others were getting beat up.

I've driven plenty of TNT, RE, and RK long arm equipped rigs, along with plenty of well-built shorter arm rigs using good components. Those longer arms didn't help them ride any nicer than the short arm guys and in some cases, they rode worse, obviously in no small part due to other factors. My point is arm length alone doesn't determine how a rig will ride when compared to something else with shorter arms. It certainly doesn't hurt to have flatter arms but don't think for a second that a rig with shorter (and even steeper) arms can't ride better. There's just no real correlation. My personal rig's arms have gone from 17" @ 20*, 17" @ 8*, and is getting ready to be 23" @ 5*. I'm not expecting a difference in ride quality and that's OK....it rides very well.
 

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You're forgetting one thing--the mounts. Move the axle-end lower mounts up. Angle reduced. Again, arm length is not the only thing at work here.

Please explain, in technical terms, what you mean by "more responsive." Again, lift height and where the mounts are located both have an affect on arm angle.

I've done a similar comparison through high speed whoops using my personal TJ (all custom 'mid' arm suspension) and another TJ using TNT's long arm kit (very long, flat arms). A couple JK's, LJ's and other TJ's all with varying suspensions were in that group. Nobody was running faster through the whoops than me and the difference was significant. My lower control arms were a measly 17" long but were nearly flat. Good shocks, springs and AR's at both ends. I was floating over the whoops while the others were getting beat up.

I've driven plenty of TNT, RE, and RK long arm equipped rigs, along with plenty of well-built shorter arm rigs using good components. Those longer arms didn't help them ride any nicer than the short arm guys and in some cases, they rode worse, obviously in no small part due to other factors. My point is arm length alone doesn't determine how a rig will ride when compared to something else with shorter arms. It certainly doesn't hurt to have flatter arms but don't think for a second that a rig with shorter (and even steeper) arms can't ride better. There's just no real correlation. My personal rig's arms have gone from 17" @ 20*, 17" @ 8*, and is getting ready to be 23" @ 5*. I'm not expecting a difference in ride quality and that's OK....it rides very well.
you're comparing all drastically different rigs. different valving alone could be what you're feeling vs your tj. i've ridden in RE equipped TJ's with the RE monotube shocks and thought my fillings were going to fall out.

but then got back into my RE equipped TJ (back when i had my yellow one) with 8" skyjacker springs and different shocks and it felt like it was on marshmallows (sp?).

i don't feel like getting into it on here. There's some die hard MC fans on here and that's fine. i'm not going to go back and forth for 50 posts about the positives and negatives. I'll just stick with what i know works and what's been proven to work and hold up.

oh ya last thing. Nick and i have both changed over our dedicated rock crawlers to custom RK arms with their krawler joints. I bent a 3" OD 1/4" wall rear LCA and nick bent his front DOM links. The pure beef of the RK arms is impressive. and the new joints are awesome. I don't think either of us will be having any issues anymore.

solid bar stock is where it's at for strength. It works out to almost twice as strong... I have the numbers somewhere.
 

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you're comparing all drastically different rigs. different valving alone could be what you're feeling vs your tj. i've ridden in RE equipped TJ's with the RE monotube shocks and thought my fillings were going to fall out.
I realize that. My personal rig has been the constant. I've changed nothing but arm length and arm angle and the seat-of-the-pants ride quality is no different. Believing that too many people put arm length on a pedestal won't be changing any time soon. :)
but then got back into my RE equipped TJ (back when i had my yellow one) with 8" skyjacker springs and different shocks and it felt like it was on marshmallows (sp?).
8" springs......:eek:
I'll just stick with what i know works and what's been proven to work and hold up.
I'll do the same. :)
oh ya last thing. Nick and i have both changed over our dedicated rock crawlers to custom RK arms with their krawler joints. I bent a 3" OD 1/4" wall rear LCA and nick bent his front DOM links. The pure beef of those arms is impressive. and the new joints are awesome.

solid bar stock is where it's at for strength. It works out to almost twice as strong... I have the numbers somewhere.
Beef is good, but I hate weight. I'll be running 2" x .25" wall DOM links until I pony up for 7075 or 4130 chromolly links. Resilient as hell and light weight. :)
 

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I realize that. My personal rig has been the constant. I've changed nothing but arm length and arm angle and the seat-of-the-pants ride quality is no different. Believing that too many people put arm length on a pedestal won't be changing any time soon. :)

8" springs......:eek:

I'll do the same. :)

Beef is good, but I hate weight. I'll be running 2" x .25" wall DOM links until I pony up for 7075 or 4130 chromolly links. Resilient as hell and light weight. :)
yup 8" springs (equivilant to RE 5.5" spring if that makes you feel any better). needed the clearance for the 38.5's.

i agree that weight is the enemy of the JK. But being as it's already a pig, i'll take the stronger components where i need them.

for cross sectional resistance to bending:
For 2.00" diameter solid material I = 1/4pirexp4 = 1/4*3.14*1.000exp4 = .785in4
For 2" diameter 1/4" wall tubing I = 1/4piroexp4-1/4piriexp4= 1/4*3.14*1exp4 - 1/4*3.14*.75exp4 = .537in4

Yield strength:
2.00" Solid 1020 Cold Rolled Steel
76,000 pounds = F * 1.000/.785 therefore F = 76,000*.785/1.000 = 59660 pounds of force
2" Diameter 1/4" Wall 1026 DOM Tubing
70,000 pounds = F *1/.537 therefore F = 70,000*.537/1 = 37590 pounds of force


then you compound that by looking at the resistance to bending once DOM has been deformed (or crushed)...

solid bar is where it's at. I want to say the difference in weight for 4 arms was like 30 lbs...
 

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I cant get to Metalcloak's site form work so what is in the mid arm kit to make it comparable in price to a Rock Crawler Pro LONG ARM?? :cwm13:


I have the RK Pro Long Arm with 2.5" springs. I agree with 2k2WranglerX here in that a Long Arm is superior to a mid arm so this isnt a fair apples to apples comparison in my opinion.

The Pro is aluminum so there are weight savings to consider.
The Pro is a 3 link rear so there is less binding.
RK has a lifetime warranty.

Again I cant get to the site, so check to see if MC is giving you the same parts as the RK kit or do you need to buy additional components.

As for shocks, the concept behind MC is cool but I just dont have full faith in it. I would go with a high quality coilover or remote resi so that you wont have any problems flying down those dirt roads.
 

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I cant get to Metalcloak's site form work so what is in the mid arm kit to make it comparable in price to a Rock Crawler Pro LONG ARM?? :cwm13:


I have the RK Pro Long Arm with 2.5" springs. I agree with 2k2WranglerX here in that a Long Arm is superior to a mid arm so this isnt a fair apples to apples comparison in my opinion.

The Pro is aluminum so there are weight savings to consider.
The Pro is a 3 link rear so there is less binding.
RK has a lifetime warranty.

Again I cant get to the site, so check to see if MC is giving you the same parts as the RK kit or do you need to buy additional components.

As for shocks, the concept behind MC is cool but I just dont have full faith in it. I would go with a high quality coilover or remote resi so that you wont have any problems flying down those dirt roads.
$3,999 wish the new lots of uptravel shocks... although i don't see what would fix the angle of attack of stock length arms like IMPED was talking about



1414-GC-A
6PAK SHOCK, 14 TRAVEL X 14 COMPRESSED
1213-GC-A
6PAK SHOCK, 12 TRAVEL X 13 COMPRESSED
SS-2001:
DUAL RATE COIL SPRINGS, JK FRONT 3.5 4D
SS-2002:
COIL SPRINGS, JK REAR 3.5 4DR
7105
DUROFLEX CONTROL ARMS, JK WRANGLER
7020:
6PAK, SHOCK MOUNT KIT, JK LOWER REAR
7021:
6PAK, SHOCK MOUNT KIT, JK UPPER FRONT
7015:
SWAY BAR LINKS, JK 12.25 LENGTH
7032:
BUMP STOPS, 2.0-4.0 JK REAR
7040:
SELECTABLE BUMP STOPS, 1.0-4.0 JK FRONT
7016:
TRACK BAR, JK FRONT, SOLID CHROMOLY
7106
TRACK BAR KIT, JK REAR, SOLID CHROMOLY
SS-1100:
BRAKE LINE KIT, JK FRONT OR REAR 24.5


RK



System Benefits:
-The best highway ride and handling out of any long arm system
-Versatile 3 link or 4 link front end geometry.
-Progressive Rate Front Coil Springs
-High clearance lower control arms made from 2” solid 7075 Aluminum!
-Independent 3 Link Rear Conversion
-Adjustable Anti-Squat Feature
-Rear Shock Relocation Brackets
-Front Spring Retainer Clips
-Drag Link Flip Kit
-H.D. Drag Link
-H.D. 7075 Aluminum Tie Rod
-Rear Heim Jointed Sway Bar Links
-Rear Coil Spring Degree Wedges
-Bomb Proof Front Track Bar Bracket Assembly
with Stabilizer Relocation Hole!
-Bomb Proof Rear Track Bar Assembly
-The Best Off Road Ability of any Long Arm System
-Allows for 35 Inch Tires or 37's with Flat Fenders Front and Rear
-Abuse Proof Lifetime Warranty on All Hard Parts


personally for the $ i'd go with the 3.5 steel kit with coilovers: 4700



-Massive 2 5/8" Diameter 11" Travel Coil Overs Up Front
-High Clearance Lower Control Arms
-Drag Link Flip Kit
-H.D. Drag Link
-Excellent Highway Ride and Handling
-Improved Off Camber Ability
-Adjustable Front Lift Height
-Independent 3 Link Conversion Front and Rear
-Adjustable Anti-Squat Feature
-Rear Shock Relocation Brackets
-Heim Jointed Rear Extended Sway Bar Links
-Rear Coil Spring Degree Wedges
-Bomb Proof Rear Track Bar Bracket
-The Best Off Road Ability of any Long Arm System
-Run up to Massive 37" Tires with Flattie Fenders!
-Abuse Proof Lifetime Warranty on All Hard Parts

System Includes:
(2) massive 11" travel 2 5/8" diameter coil over shocks assemblies with dual rate coil setups, (2) upper coil over mounts made from 1/4" thick laser cut steel, (2) lower coil over mounts made from 1/4" thick laser cut steel, double adjustable front track bar made from 1.5” solid alloy steel, precision welded front track bar relocation bracket, (1) front track bar bracket support with stabilizer relocation hole, (2) high clearance-adjustable front lower control arms made of 2.0” solid alloy steel, (1) high misalignment–adjustable front upper control arm made from 1.625” solid alloy steel, adjustable front sway bar disconnects, front long arm mounts and cross member made from 1/4" thick laser cut steel, H.D. drag link assembly, (2) long travel linear rear coil springs, double adjustable rear track bar made from 1.5” solid alloy steel, precision welded rear track bar relocation bracket made from ¼” thick laser cut steel, (2) high clearance-adjustable rear lower control arms made of 2.0” solid alloy steel, (1) high misalignment–double adjustable rear upper control arm made from 1.625” solid alloy steel, (1) rear independent 3rd link mount made of 1/4" thick laser cut steel, (1) weld on rear axle cradle with adjustable anti-squat, rear long arm mounts made from 1/4" thick laser cut steel, rear extended sway bar links, long travel stainless steel brakes front and rear, rear coil spring degree wedges, hardware and detailed instructions.


and once you contact bustabizz on here you're going to be less than that 4700 dollar number. He HOOKED us up on our parts.
 

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You're forgetting one thing--the mounts. Move the axle-end lower mounts up. Angle reduced. Again, arm length is not the only thing at work here..
where are the brackets that move the LCA's up in that kit? i'm not seeing them?

*edit* after looking at the kit it looks like it moves the shock mounts up with the 6 pack shocks. but does nothing to address the angle of the arms. i don't know what you're talking about.
 

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where are the brackets that move the LCA's up in that kit? i'm not seeing them?

*edit* after looking at the kit it looks like it moves the shock mounts up with the 6 pack shocks. but does nothing to address the angle of the arms. i don't know what you're talking about.
I wasn't referring to any particular kit, just in general suspension terms relating to our discussion of length, angle, etc. There's more ways to reduce the angle of your links than lengthening them. The stock LCA mounts on the axle hang down several inches below the center line of the axle tube. My mounts are moved up to flush with the tube. Nothing to catch on and a much lower link operating angle resulting in a more favorable instant center location. :)
 

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I wasn't referring to any particular kit, just in general suspension terms relating to our discussion of length, angle, etc. There's more ways to reduce the angle of your links than lengthening them. The stock LCA mounts on the axle hang down several inches below the center line of the axle tube. My mounts are moved up to flush with the tube. Nothing to catch on and a much lower link operating angle. :)
my mounts on my TJ are also moved flush with the bottom of the axle tube as well.

But (and it's a big but) we are comparing kits long arm vs short arm, and NEITHER of these kids provde a provision to do so. so looking at it as so, the long arm WILL have a better angle than the short arm. while other factors will be in play, that is a significant factor.
 

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I agree, the angle will be lower.

How much does it matter? We'll most certainly disagree here, as my testing and research will lead me to answer "in terms of ride quality, it won't." The RK setup will likely have a favorable instant center location, though.

LCA mounts are cheap and readily available. But I also wouldn't advise decreasing the vertical separation at the axle without addressing the frame mounts. If someone is going to do that, you might as well cut it all off and go all new mounts to reap the full benefits.

I'm not here to vote in favor or against either one. I'm simply stating "what if's" and being the devil's advocate in order to promote some more advanced thinking.
 

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I agree, the angle will be lower.

How much does it matter? We'll most certainly disagree here, as my testing and research will lead me to answer "in terms of ride quality, it won't." The RK setup will likely have a favorable instant center location, though.

LCA mounts are cheap and readily available. But I also wouldn't advise decreasing the vertical separation at the axle without addressing the frame mounts. If someone is going to do that, you might as well cut it all off and go all new mounts to reap the full benefits.

I'm not here to vote in favor or against either one. I'm simply stating "what if's" and being the devil's advocate in order to promote some more advanced thinking.
i understand, and i'm all about derailing with "what if's" (see aev threads... all of em lol).

but short arm vs long arm on a stock bracket configuration is what we're talking about here.

the benefits to the MC system seem to be progressive coils and the fancy shocks. the joints seem to be split down the middle on people believing them or not.

The RK gives you long arms, coilovers (if he goes with the more baller system), extremely strong arms. also RK will revalve your shocks/coilovers for free if you're not happy with them. so you can have the system set up 100% to your liking fully customized to what you want. also the coilovers give you options for ride height should your needs change or the weight of the vehicle change.

Here's another benefit to a 3 link rear like the RK setup. you can dial in more or less antisquat using the different positions on the rear truss... you also get a rear truss which is nice.
 
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