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Old 08-16-2014, 07:17 PM   #1
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Let's talk Axle/housing upgrades: Built 44 or 60 that retains 5x5 pattern

So I started looking at the entire picture of my build and my philosophy is do it right the first time and avoid doing things over.

So first thing is to upgrade the d30. Researching the rubicon 44, beefing up the 30, prorocks, curries, teraflex. So my hope was to buy the housing then start piece mealing things together. Next year I'll tackle the front axle.

I want, however, to keep my rugged ridge wheels (18x9") and possibly go to a 38" tire. I don't want to worry about things breaking/bending ect. and will be going the arb route in back and front (once I determine which housing ect.). I wanna run 4.56 or 4.88 as My rig will be a DD.

So my research has led me to believe....

D30<beefy D30=d44<beefy d44<prorock and equalivalent 44<prorock and equivalent 60

So knowing what I want do, what are your recommendations?

My wheeling might not be stupid/aggressive ect. but I wanna do it right...or as right as possible the first time and I'm okay with it taking a year to build but don't wanna have to worry about beating it up a bit. The d30 is great but I'm worried with about every rock it go over/hit...seems my focus is mainly on not breaking stuff vs. increasing driving skills and enjoying my rig. Again, unless rugged ridge makes other bolt patterns, I wanna stick with the wheels I have.

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Old 08-16-2014, 07:37 PM   #2
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Dana 60s are 5 on 5 1/2. (Ford pattern). Sticking with the rims (and the wallet hit) are the limiting factors.

Bob K.

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Old 08-16-2014, 07:43 PM   #3
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if you move up to a 60 you arent keeping those wheels. I have yet to see a 5 on 5 60, and I dont believe it to be possible.

mine is 8 on 6.5


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Old 08-16-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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If you want to use 38" tires in the future it may just be better to use new wheels with a larger bolt pattern. At that point it would be worth it to have a larger center bore to fit full float bearings in the rear and manual hubs in the front. One way or another, 38" tires will not be cheap. How much are you willing to spend?
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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Great discussion. So if I want to keep my wheels, what are the choices I have?

I'm thinking I'll have 7-8k into the front then move to the rear. My goal would be to get the housing and keep it stored away and start collecting pieces throughout next year. And I at least want to run 37's without having to worry too much about breaking or bending anything.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:22 PM   #6
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Once you start completing swapping axles because you want to significantly increase its strength and off road performance you are starting a significant mod of your Jeep . Keeping your wheels should not be a mitigating factor. Sell your wheels and get the correct ones for your build.

I don't necessarily agree entirely with the performance chain of differentials you constructed but just match up your front diff with the rest of the build. When you plan a major build, you should have a balanced system with a weak link that is well defined and easy to fix. What are you planning to do to you rear diff?

If you aren't doing aggressive off roading then you probably don't need half the mods you think you do. Mods are great and we all enjoy building our Jeeps but a stock Jeep with good rubber can go many places with a skilled driver.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:23 PM   #7
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Maybe my best bet will be to build my front next year, build the rear the next and then get some wheels/tires to use with them over the course....but that 2 years I gotta watch my front end sit in the garage....I just love the rugged ridge wheels look.....but maybe this would let my go to spyderlocks and get the same look (color matched rock rings).

Maybe a prorock 44 is a good way for me to go.

I'm okay with putting money into the jeep, however, I doubt I can justify 16k in axles in one year...have to spread it out so I still have a lady to come home to haha.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
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If yours gonna run 38's I wouldn't even try anything less than 60's unless it's a street queen.

Don't waste your time on beefing up factory 44's.

Dynatrac doesn't reccomend anything more than 37's for there ProRock 44.

If your gonna build junkyard axles then your gonna have to change wheels, or run adapters.

If you have Dynatrac build you some ProRock 60's they will put whatever bolt pattern you want in them. But then again if your spending $18k+ on a set of axles and don't wanna spend some $$$ on beadlocks seems like your not really gonna need pro rocks.

I beat on my factory trussed & gusset'd 44 and it didn't take much to bend it with 37's.

The ProRock 44 that's under it now is a BEAST compared to the factory junk 44.

And I gotta ask why 38's?? Seems like the oddball for jeeps. In a pinch your more likely to find someone with a 37 you can borrow, hell prolly even a 40 before you found a 38.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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^youre right....I meant 37's....but if plans go right (retire the jeep as a DD) and I can achieve 60's maybe I skip 37's and go to 40's. I do see the dynatrac has the trail series 60 that comes in 5x5.

I guess I just know my patience level and will want to install it by the end of next year vs. having it sit. I'm okay with getting beadlocks and can get the same look I like so that's not out of the question....just posted to start a discussion and get more opinions and to understand what I might be missing.

So maybe a good question is what's my best route to go with my current 35's and desire to go to 37's and something I don't have to be REALLY concerned with playing around in rocks?
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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I would stick a ProRock 44 under the front with some RCV's and an arb locker, in the rear I would do an ARB locker and 35spline CroMo axles.

This will give you many good years of enjoyable wheeling on 37's.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:53 PM   #11
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^Thanks! That might be the way I go. My goal is to just not have to worry much about the front and don't want to sink tons of money into a 30 and later on wish I went with something better after doing a gear change and arbs...if that makes sense. I'm easy on the skinny pedal but want to be able to have confidence in my rig. Stupid question....what if I get a prorock 44 and truss it? Again...sorry if these are dumb questions...just trying to understand the paths I have available.

I love how the jeep drives and looks now and want to start strengthening my platform.

Has anyone had experience with the trails series 60?
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:09 PM   #12
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Don't spend a dime on that D30... It'll be a boat anchor in no time.

The Unlimited ProRock 44 has 1/2" tubes, 10* of Seperation built into the super beefy C's. If you beat on it hard enough to bend it a truss ain't gonna help. Trust me... When you see it in person you will see what I mean.

I have no personal experience with the Trail 60's other than from what I've been told by Dynatrac. It's just there regular housing, the PR housing has more clearence. It's a semi float axle, and is more of a budget 60.

You can get a trail 60 in a PR housing... There's TONS of options! And like I said earlier if you call Dynatrac and ask them they will build you whatever you want, any way you want.

Kinda like Burger King "have it your way"
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:24 PM   #13
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Sweet! Thanks! I think I'll definitely give them a call. It doesn't bother me to have to get different wheels but honestly really like what I have now. Also, if they can build a 5x5 PR 60...I can still get spyderlocks...so the limiting one would be the 5x5.5.

I wanna at least have a plan so when I do gears and ARB's I'm not throwing away money into a 30 so I need to understand the best platform to go with and looks like best bet is call to em'.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:28 PM   #14
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Currie will build a RJ60 that takes the stock knuckles and 5x5 hubs, but then you have a 60 that has shit outers.

When you go to a 60 you generally try to get away from ball joints and do something like king pins. You also generally go to manual hubs. I think a lot of the 60's run 6 or 8 lug wheels too, although with Currie or Dynatrac they will make whatever you want.

As long as your wheels arent beat to shit you wont lose much if any buying new ones and selling your old.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:46 PM   #15
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Sweet! Thanks! I think I'll definitely give them a call. It doesn't bother me to have to get different wheels but honestly really like what I have now. Also, if they can build a 5x5 PR 60...I can still get spyderlocks...so the limiting one would be the 5x5.5.

I wanna at least have a plan so when I do gears and ARB's I'm not throwing away money into a 30 so I need to understand the best platform to go with and looks like best bet is call to em'.
My rear 44 has held up pretty good so far with 37's, chromoly axles under Hemi power for a few years now.... Soon as she goes it's gettin a ProRock.


If you order it from a vendor like northridge, 4wp, etc you get what they have. If you get it from Dynatrac themselves they will get you whatever custom brackets/setup you need.

They have got the best customer service hands down. Answered all my dumbass questions over and over again, one of there techs Robert took time out of his own day to meet up with me to hook me up with some brackets just so I didn't have to drive all the way to Huntington Beach... Maybe a 15 min drive.

They've definetly got a customer for life!
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:00 PM   #16
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I ran ProRock 60's in my TJ.. They can be made with the lug pattern you need. for 37+'s all the stock axles even with inserts and all the other crap, are just going to fail at some point once you go over a 35 and you spending more money for something you could have solved the 1st time.. The 60's will allow you run 37 to 40's without an issue assuming the rest of the jeep is setup correctly. OR you could save a ton of cash.. run 35's beef up stock axles and call it day and use the 1000's you just saved for other toys..
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:42 AM   #17
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I ran ProRock 60's in my TJ.. They can be made with the lug pattern you need. for 37+'s all the stock axles even with inserts and all the other crap, are just going to fail at some point once you go over a 35 and you spending more money for something you could have solved the 1st time.. The 60's will allow you run 37 to 40's without an issue assuming the rest of the jeep is setup correctly. OR you could save a ton of cash.. run 35's beef up stock axles and call it day and use the 1000's you just saved for other toys..
Totally understand. However, I didn't want a rubicon because I knew I wanted to go a different route but knew one day I'd have to face the music with the d30. It sounds like I can still have all the high quality stuff but just have to switch wheels with a 60. Or go PR44 and get all upgraded stuff....but does this mean I still have crappy other stuff?

I like HD's suggestion of "I would stick a ProRock 44 under the front with some RCV's and an arb locker, in the rear I would do an ARB locker and 35spline CroMo axles." What is my weak point with this setup?
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:00 AM   #18
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With that setup the R&P are gonna be the weak links... But just to put things into perspective check this out.

From left to right
Standard D60 4.88 - JK D44 4.88 - Standard D44 4.56


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Old 08-17-2014, 11:29 AM   #19
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^wow...kinda scary to wonder what my 30 has in it. Would a JK D44 4.56 be the same as the middle one? I was going to go with the 4.56's since it seems to be the sweet spot for 35's/37's and the 3.6 auto.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:49 AM   #20
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So as I continue to read....it sounds like one big beni to a 60 is to utilize manually locking hubs and I believe this is what computeruser6 was talking about. Information makes it sound like this is the reason why 5x5 doesn't work as it doesn't allow for a large enough center for the hubs (maybe I'm way off but this is what I'm reading). Honestly though, I like my 4wd to be ready at the pull of my lever and it seems if I had manual locking hubs, I'd have to get out and lock then and then pull my 4wd lever?

If dyna can make me a 60 with 5x5, I'm not sure why I couldn't/shouldn't do this. Why not a 60'with RCVs and ARB?

So far I'm thinking the PR44 might be the way to go but want to make sure I ask any questions that come up.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:51 AM   #21
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Back in 2010 I put a Pro Rock 44 in the front of a JK Rubicon. I liked the idea of being able to re-use the stock rubi-locker, and I added stronger alloy shafts for increased strength. Unfortunately I ended up with a driveline vibration problem on that JK that was very difficult to sort out. It came from the front end, and if I removed the front driveshaft the vibration was gone. I ended up having a new driveshaft built, and then rebalancing that driveshaft, and then going back to a stock driveshaft, and adjusting the control arms literally countless times, and rebalanced the tires (twice), and then replaced the tires with a different set, and even re-installed the stock front axle shafts, all in an attempt to rid that JK of vibration. All of that work was only partially successful, and that JK always had some driveline vibration. At that time I said to myself, "self, never again will I go to all of the work to upgrade axles, and not upgrade to an axle with locking hubs".

Flash forward 4 years to 2014, and I'm planning on getting another JK. The best way to do the axle upgrade thing, is to plan on it from day one. Don't waste money on the Rubicon. Don't waste money buying wheels with a 5 on 5 bolt pattern. Just go straight to Dana 60s, and buy 5 on 5 1/2 wheels that will fit with front locking hubs.

So that is what I did, I called Dynatrac and got the information I needed, then called the shop I wanted to do the work, and they ordered the axles from Dynatrac, and saved me a little money in the process. The major difference between a Trail 60 and Pro Rock 60 (other than the shape of the Pro Rock housing that gives it more ground clearance) is that the Trail 60 is built on a standard jig that puts the brackets in a standard location, and the Pro Rock is built custom with brackets positioned just exactly as needed for your particular suspension. Since I only have a basic 3" lift I went with a Trail 60 rear, in a Pro Rock housing, and a Pro Rock front axle. Both are high pinion, with 4.56 gears and Eaton electric lockers. The front axle has the Unlimited upgrade that gives it more castor and 1/2" wall thickness tubes. I went with Dynatrac's standard brakes and steering set up, and Warn premium locking hubs up front.

I cannot stress enough the importance of locking hubs. This Jeep has driveline angles that are quite flat, being as it only has 3" lift, and has high pinion 60s that raise the drivelines by about the same amount, and I have Tom Wood driveshafts with 1350 u-joints. This Jeep is as smooth as glass on the highway. I've had six other JKs, and none of them even come close to this one in smoothness, not even in the same league. This Jeep is smoother than a stock Jeep. It feels like you're driving a car, because there isn't even a hint of vibration. The increased castor on the front axle helps as well. When was the last time you drove a lifted short wheelbase Jeep that stayed straight on the highway with no effort?

I would advise saving your money, and doing it right. Don't skimp with a Pro Rock 44.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:04 PM   #22
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^Thanks! Sort if this is another stupid question....but if dyna can build me a 5x5 60 why shouldn't i do this? Looks like locking hubs are a good idea...however I need to do more reading of how they work...does my 4wd lever still work or does it automatically become 4wd with the hubs locked?

Also....if I plan on keeping the 3.6 for a while...is this going to cause problems?
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #23
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You have to select the front hubs to engage with manual hubs. It only takes a few seconds and if you air down anyway there is no extra delay. I wouldn't keep the 5x5 pattern if I were you so that you could fit selectable hubs in the front. Full float bearings in the rear may also be a wise choice for 37"+ tires.
For my own front axle I kept the stock Rubicon Locker/Carrier and switched to a Tera44 housing. Soon enough I will install a manual hub kit from Spyntec on my front axle. I don't plan on going over 35" so this will be just fine for me. Such equipment is not affected by what engine you have, so no that is not a problem.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:47 PM   #24
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Got ya. Makes sense. Being honest with myself, the jeep will be on 35's for at least the next 3 years or so. But I don't want to worry about breaking stuff.

So best bet to run above 37's is 60's with manually locking hubs with arbs.

What is the best bet to do if I keep 35's? Or no bigger than 37's?
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:55 PM   #25
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If the plan worked out, I'd get another DD in the next 2 years and the jeep would become a hobby vehicle. So, I could see myself going really big at that time but as things change this could be way off in the future.

Things I need to do is flat fenders, armor underneath, rear bumper, lockers, regear, and front axle upgrade. I want to accomplish all of this with the least redo which is why I'm trying to figure out the front axle. I want to be able to wheel and not worry about breaking things as the next 2 years go by which is when I'll retire the jeep from DD status.

I wonder if I could get around some of this by regearing and only putting a locker in the rear that will work with the 3.73 and numerically higher gears when I switch to a 4.56 or 4.88 (but it looks like the 3.73 is the mid point of each locker). Or do I not worry about regear and lockers, get everything else complete and then see where I am with the axles....my 3.73 isn't that big of a deal in Dallas but man was it a pain in the ass going through ANY hills.

.....shit the confusion sets in haha.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:16 PM   #26
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The biggest point I have with the 5 on 5 or 5 on 5 1/2 are the unit bearings. When I ran 37's on my '07 JKU it ate 3 sets of those in 2 years. The Dana 60 and some of the standard truck Dana 44s are locking hub, (inner and out bearing mount on a spindle), type axles and can support the bigger tires you are wanting to run.

The rear Dana 60s that come 5 on 5 or 5 on 5 1/2 are semi-floating axles as well. Not a full floating axle.

It is more than just the locking hub thing.

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:35 PM   #27
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^wow...kinda scary to wonder what my 30 has in it. Would a JK D44 4.56 be the same as the middle one? I was going to go with the 4.56's since it seems to be the sweet spot for 35's/37's and the 3.6 auto.
The 4.56 for the JK wold be a bit bigger. The teeth count is what changes the pinion size.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:05 PM   #28
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^Thanks! Sort if this is another stupid question....but if dyna can build me a 5x5 60 why shouldn't i do this? Looks like locking hubs are a good idea...however I need to do more reading of how they work...does my 4wd lever still work or does it automatically become 4wd with the hubs locked?

Also....if I plan on keeping the 3.6 for a while...is this going to cause problems?
The reason for the bigger bolt circle (5 on 5 1/2 instead of 5 on 5) with locking hubs, is because of the bigger center bore that is required on wheels that are made to fit over locking hubs. All of the wheels with the bigger center bore size that have 5 lugs have the 5 on 5 1/2 bolt pattern. Even if Dynatrac could build you a Dana 60 with hubs and a 5 on 5 bolt pattern, you wouldn't be able to find any wheels with a 5 on 5 bolt pattern that had the correct center bore size.

You can also get wheels with a 6 or 8 lug pattern with the correct center bore size.

If you get aftermarket lockers and have locking hubs you can effectively use the lockers in 2-high, 4-high, 2-low, and 4-low, which is a lot better than a stock Rubicon's lockers, that can only be used in 4-low.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by MOPWR2U View Post

If you get aftermarket lockers and have locking hubs you can effectively use the lockers in 2-high, 4-high, 2-low, and 4-low, which is a lot better than a stock Rubicon's lockers, that can only be used in 4-low.
Factory lockers can be wired to ba able to use them at anytime.

The BIGGEST benefit of 1tons is the R&P size, not the hubs. Manual hubs come with 1ton territory.

The decision is completely up to you... Or your wallet. Your looking at $10k+ for a front PR 60. But you really need to ask yourself if your gonna use it to it's full potential?

To me honestly it doesn't sound like it. Your already playing on 35's with a D30 right and haven't broke it yet?

I've had my jku completely airborne and I'm 99% sure that's what bent the front 44. I live in SoCal... Lots of big rocks, tough trails and lots of rocky high speed desert runs coil overed with a hemi and a lead foot and so far my PR44 has survived.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:01 PM   #30
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^not sure Ill use it to its full potential...probably not. I want to have some peace of mind and the d30 doesn't provide me that so instead of sinking any money into a 30 I'd like to work toward something better. 35's or 37's will probably be the largest I go for several years and I am not a speed demon of any kind on the trail but don't want to waste my money on a 30.

So I'm wondering if the PR 44 is the best route for me up front.

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