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Old 08-09-2014, 02:16 AM   #1
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My 3.8 with 3.73 and 33's vs the 3.6 and 3.21's...

Trying to search, but not having too much luck. I know the 3.73's will far surpass the 3.21's on a 3.6 with 33's.... but how about compared to my old 2011 with the 3.73's.

My wife wants a second Jeep, and all I'm finding out there are Sports with the 3.21's. She wants it set up just like our current JKU. Nice chunky 285/70/17's and 17x9 rims. My 'Yeti' is by no means a power house with the 3.8, but it does it's job. I just figure if I'm going to get a second one I want to notice the extra 70 HP. Is it best to just keep looking for one with the 3.73's... It will also be an auto trans.
Or will the new engine with the taller gears just pretty much equal out to my 2011 with the better ratio....

She's really looking at this one right now... we'll be changing out the shoes right away...



We're going to set it up like my 2011...


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Old 08-09-2014, 02:22 AM   #2
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Never drove a 3.8

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Old 08-09-2014, 02:25 AM   #3
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Never drove a 3.8
Good to know........ thanks.........
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:47 AM   #4
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I've had both and the 3.8 is a significantly better match for the JK. If you are even asking this question don't buy the 3.21 gears because obviously some level of performance matters to you. If you were asking which gets better fuel economy I would tell you don't even think about it get the 3.21. It's a very simple tradeoff.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:07 AM   #5
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Good to know........ thanks.........
.........yea, not the most helpful post ever. My bad.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:17 AM   #6
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I haven't driven an automatic with either engine, so this response is based solely on looking at gearing and the gear charts and not any practical experience. The 5 speed automatic tied to the 3.6 has shorter gears across the board, so it looks like the 3.6 with 3.21 gears will at least equal the performance of the 3.8 and 3.73s.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:57 AM   #7
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Dunno about the 2011 but I had a 2012 w/ 3.21, and have a 2014 w/ 3.73. Both 4 doors, both manual. 3.21 had 285/70/17 32" (measured for Procal) and 3.73 has willys wheeler wheel/tire setup (32" mt)

3.21 - 6th gear was usable only at speeds of 70+, but only used to maintain speed. Going up small inclines, I'll have to downshift. Offroad - SUCKS. Passable on LEVELED offroad situations but that's it.

3.73 - 6th gear can be used @40mph and it will climb even on small inclines. Can be used to pass on freeway situations. I haven't wheeled it yet but feels promising.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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I have a 2014 auto with 33's and 3.21's, I ordered it and it came in while I was in Hawaii with a 2011 Auto with 3.73's rental. I flew back and picked up my new one the next day so I drove them almost back to back within a day. These 2 Jeeps are completely different driving machines. I cannot believe the difference, I'll admit when I jumped in my rental jeep and took off toward the hotel I thought "crap what have I done ordering a new Jeep that is struggling go up hills and shifting down all the time" as soon as I stopped I checked the engine and it was a 2011 with a 3.8 whew! The 3.6 with 3.21's is my daily driver and I have zero complaints, lots of power, great in town and on the highway and even in the mountains I find I drive it more than my 05 Rubi because it's more comfortable etc. Keep in mind though mine and the rental are both 2 doors.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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ok I admit I am lost a bit on your question. What kind of performance are you asking about? Onroad? offroad? Gas mileage?

I had a 2010 Rubicon with 3.8, auto, 4.10 and stock 32s
I have a 2013 a Sport with 3.6, Manual, 3.21 and stock 32s then the 33x12x15 duratracs.

If I were mainly concerned with Rock crawling, the 2010 was better. The 2013 is better in EVERY other fashion, even with the lower (numerically) gears.

Yes, 6th is almost (not fully) useless, but it still is tremendously better than the 4 speed auto in the Rubi. The Rubi could NEVER find a gear on the highway. The slightest hill and it was downshifting to 2nd. Once the revs hit 3K there is no difference between the motors. The first bit I never rev'd my Jeep that high. Especially after going to the 33's I rev it more because the lighter combo makes it feel faster

Now if I were getting one again today, I might have waited a little bit to find 3.73s. I think they are worth the cost from the factory but I am not so upset with my 3.21s that if I couldnt find them, I would wait 3-4 months to find them.

One more thing. My 3.8 had 24000 miles when I got it. It also used oil how I drive - a lot of sitting then short local drives but nothing on long interstate travel. The 3.6 has no such issues, came with a warranty (the 2010 was out of warranty) and gave me 6 years of tire rotations and oil changes.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:25 AM   #10
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Gearing aside, the 3.6 is a better motor than the 3.8. More economical all around and more powerful.

My guess is that a 3.6 with 3.21 gears would still out perform the 3.8 with 3.73 gears.

That'd being said I'd still try to get the 3.73 gears for the 3.6 if you can... Changing them after the factory will cost a lot more.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:40 AM   #11
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Gearing aside, the 3.6 is a better motor than the 3.8. More economical all around and more powerful. My guess is that a 3.6 with 3.21 gears would still out perform the 3.8 with 3.73 gears. That'd being said I'd still try to get the 3.73 gears for the 3.6 if you can... Changing them after the factory will cost a lot more.
That is a matter of opinion. The 3.6 may be a bit more powerful then the 3.8 but it certainly is not better. The downside of the 3.8 combo is not the motor but the crappy gearing of that 4spd auto. Running the auto with OD off or changing diff gears makes a huge difference. As for economy, I get average 17-20mpg with 35" tires, 3.8 w/ 3.73 run OD off and programmed.
On a side note, none of this power difference or economy matter or make a bit of difference off road, only for the DDs.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:11 AM   #12
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That is a matter of opinion. The 3.6 may be a bit more powerful then the 3.8 but it certainly is not better. The downside of the 3.8 combo is not the motor but the crappy gearing of that 4spd auto. Running the auto with OD off or changing diff gears makes a huge difference. As for economy, I get average 17-20mpg with 35" tires, 3.8 w/ 3.73 run OD off and programmed.
On a side note, none of this power difference or economy matter or make a bit of difference off road, only for the DDs.
Considering the 3.6 gets 83 more hp then the 3.8 I would call that almost the difference of a 3.8 having a supercharger in order to compete, so that's not a bit more power but rather a lot. 99.9% will use their Jeeps for DD's at least another 90% of the time that will be on pavement so it doesn't matter whether one will feel a difference off road or not, it's on road where most need the extra hp.

I own a 2012 and could potentially have the head problem, but Chrysler has extended my powertrain warranty for the left head to 10 years or 240,000kms so I'm quite happy with that and the newer heads were redesigned so issue solved yet Chrysler never could resolve the oil usage issue with the 3.8.

Point I'm getting at is both engines had their issues but you can't even compare the two performance wise as the old 3.8 can't compete with the new 3.6 in every aspect, the lack of power is what kept me out of a Wrangler and once they finally wised up and put some hp under the hood I didn't hesitate to finally get into one.

I do recommend that the OP get 3.73 gears though if going to larger tires even if he has to order the Jeep. I went with 3.73's from the get go as I knew I was going to 33's and the two are a perfect combo.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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Less then 80hp diff (209-285) in a range of rpm that most of us wont use. Torque is much less of a difference AAMOF a 3.8 programmed for premium has mor torque then the 3.6. Honestly don't know what the torque spec is on a 3.6 on premium ( if there is one).

The lack of power you felt was more a product of tranny and gearing then it was engine. The 3.6 is the reason I haven't upgraded yet.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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Less then 80hp diff (209-285) in a range of rpm that most of us wont use. Torque is much less of a difference AAMOF a 3.8 programmed for premium has mor torque then the 3.6. Honestly don't know what the torque spec is on a 3.6 on premium ( if there is one). The lack of power you felt was more a product of tranny and gearing then it was engine. The 3.6 is the reason I haven't upgraded yet.
You're really going to say the 3.8 minivan motor is superior to the 3.6 Pentastar?

The power isn't that high in the RPM band and is easily useable.

All gearing being equal the 3.6 wins hands down.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:57 AM   #15
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Here's your torque numbers. The 3.6 makes more torque for a longer time. All the way from 1200 up. That's a pretty usable rpm range if you ask me. Though I do agree the 3.8 would have felt like a much better motor had the auto trans not been terrible.

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Old 08-09-2014, 12:00 PM   #16
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As a side note I have a 3.8 still with an auto and 4.10 that is programmed. I love it and it must be a freak because it runs well and gets decent gas mileage on 35's about17-18 but the 2014 is hands down a better driver at all speeds if we are talking DD.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:06 PM   #17
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3.8 is rated at 202 @ 5200; Torque: 237 @ 4000 the 3.6 makes 40% more hp and 12% more torque. You can put the 5 speed auto in the 3.8 and it's still not going to perform any where near the 3.6.

I've driven a 3.8 with 3.73 gears on 33's and it was a slug compared to my 3.6 with the same set up both were 6 speed manuals.



All I would be saying is "see ya"
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:18 PM   #18
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You're really going to say the 3.8 minivan motor is superior to the 3.6 Pentastar?
The 3.6 is a minivan motor too, it's used in the Chrysler Town & Country, and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Just sayin'.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:21 PM   #19
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Funny how touchy people can get over their silly little V6s. They both suck.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:32 PM   #20
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Funny how touchy people can get over their silly little V6s. They both suck.
I wouldn't agree!
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:39 PM   #21
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They both suck.

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Old 08-09-2014, 12:39 PM   #22
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Well thanks so much for your responses guys. I'll definatley just search out the 3.73 in our second Jeep. I'm sure there are some out there. To one of the guys (I think KC Hawker) that didn't understand my question, thanks for your response anyway. When I talk performance, I just meant overall. Like when you are driving up hill on a mountain road, or getting up to speed on the road... just general performance. We are in the mountains almost every week, and it would just be nice to have some extra power out there for even just general driving. Thanks all. I haven't even test drove the new motor yet... I'm afraid I'll just want to trade mine in too....
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:42 PM   #23
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Nothing wrong with the 3.8L or 42RLE just have to be smarter than the Jeep. Don't try to drive around in overdrive at low speeds or with super big tires and you will not have any problems and have just as much power that you need for a Jeep vs the 3.6L if this 3.6L was so much better with all this gobs of power why doesn't it get better gas mileage than the 3.8L? The only ones who seem to pick up any better numbers are ones with 3.21 gears and those complain that it sucks in hills. If you took a 3.8L and a 3.6L Jeep and fitted them with the same everything both would get identical gas mileage. So for a 21 year old design to get what this penta jesus engine has I say is more amazing. Heck the 3.8L is heavier and bigger than the 3.6L The one area the 3.6L will win out all day is pure performance from stop and go thats it. Other than that the 3.8L is much better suited to a Jeep because it shares identical RPM range the 4.0L did just with a little more top end. The 3.6L isn't bad but, its not the end all be all and its not the best V6 Chrysler has made. 3.8L will go do as that engine. Its simple,reliable and still keeps up with the emissions after all these years. My 3.8L had a spun rod bearing on piston four ran almost 70k before I saw any shavings in the oil and even then it still ran pretty decent. The tech said the amount of wear on the bearing cap had been there for pretty much the life of the engine. I know a 3.6L would not run that long on a spun rod bearing. It might make one oil change. The oil usage and rod bearings were cause by poor machine work. The engine design had been sound from day one and we are only talking about a handful of JK'S. Some of the oil usage was faulty PCV valve. Internet makes everything 10x worse than what it really is or better depending. You will be fine if you choose that set up by the way. I run 265/70/R17s with 2.5 inches of lift with no problem. In the hills or high wind I turn overdrive off and have no problem running 75 to 80 with ease. Once these tires wear out I will go either 285/70/R17 or 295/70/R17 just depends. Know it will be Nitto Terra Grapplers.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:52 PM   #24
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Nothing wrong with the 3.8L or 42RLE just have to be smarter than the Jeep. Don't try to drive around in overdrive at low speeds or with super big tires and you will not have any problems and have just as much power that you need for a Jeep vs the 3.6L if this 3.6L was so much better with all this gobs of power why doesn't it get better gas mileage than the 3.8L? The only ones who seem to pick up any better numbers are ones with 3.21 gears and those complain that it sucks in hills. If you took a 3.8L and a 3.6L Jeep and fitted them with the same everything both would get identical gas mileage. So for a 21 year old design to get what this penta jesus engine has I say is more amazing. Heck the 3.8L is heavier and bigger than the 3.6L The one area the 3.6L will win out all day is pure performance from stop and go thats it. Other than that the 3.8L is much better suited to a Jeep because it shares identical RPM range the 4.0L did just with a little more top end. The 3.6L isn't bad but, its not the end all be all and its not the best V6 Chrysler has made. 3.8L will go do as that engine. Its simple,reliable and still keeps up with the emissions after all these years. My 3.8L had a spun rod bearing on piston four ran almost 70k before I saw any shavings in the oil and even then it still ran pretty decent. The tech said the amount of wear on the bearing cap had been there for pretty much the life of the engine. I know a 3.6L would not run that long on a spun rod bearing. It might make one oil change. The oil usage and rod bearings were cause by poor machine work. The engine design had been sound from day one and we are only talking about a handful of JK'S. Some of the oil usage was faulty PCV valve. Internet makes everything 10x worse than what it really is or better depending. You will be fine if you choose that set up by the way. I run 265/70/R17s with 2.5 inches of lift with no problem. In the hills or high wind I turn overdrive off and have no problem running 75 to 80 with ease. Once these tires wear out I will go either 285/70/R17 or 295/70/R17 just depends. Know it will be Nitto Terra Grapplers.

Same fuel consumption yet the 3.6 is 40% more powerful I'll take those numbers all day long. Normally an engine with that much more power would eat fuel compared to the lessor powered motor so that's just showing how long in the tooth the old design was.

like I said earlier, it's about time Chrysler put some hp under the hood of the Wrangler, now if they ever go to a powerful diesel I'll sign up for that as well.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:22 PM   #25
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Well my thing is if this engine is so advanced and all with all this power why can't it get better gas mileage. The transmisison is suppose to be even geared better. So in reality it seems to me that a 20 plus year design with more moving parts still gets the job done just as good only reliable while being a bigger engine with more mass weight. It shows the 3.6L is not the best V6 ever made when you truly look at more than just numbers. Its not a bad engine its just not something to write home about for all the hype I hear. I can't tell you how many letters I get from Dallas Dodge asking me if I want to sell my 08. For one they want me to lose the lifetime and second because the market moves quicker on pre 11 JK'S. In fact go to any dealership and you will find at least two to three used 12-13 and even a 14 maybe for sell. I have only seen a couple in this area that were 10 and older and those are usually ragged the hell out with 100k plus. What does that tell you? Just saying. I know sometimes folks either like to trade because of something else or can't afford the note but, some of that has to be other issues.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:32 PM   #26
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Well my thing is if this engine is so advanced and all with all this power why can't it get better gas mileage. The transmisison is suppose to be even geared better. So in reality it seems to me that a 20 plus year design with more moving parts still gets the job done just as good only more reliable while being a bigger engine with more mass weight. It shows the 3.6L is not the best V6 ever made. Its not a bad engine its just not something to write home about for all the hype I hear. I can't tell you how many letters I get from Dallas Dodge asking me if I want to sell my 08. For one they want me to lose the lifetime and second because the market moves quicker on pre 11 JK'S. In fact go to any dealership and you will find at least two to three used 12-13 and even a 14 maybe for sell. I have only seen a couple in this area that were 10 and older. What does that tell you? Just saying.
It does actually get better gas mileage.

It's producing more power and torque and achieving there same MPG if not better. It's more efficient. If I'm easy on the throttle I can get up to 21 mpg on the highway. (3.73 gears and 32" duratracs).

Let's do an analogy. Let's say in 60 minutes you're able to produce a maximum of 200 dollars. In that same 60 minutes another person is able to produce 285 dollars.

Which one is more efficient and making more money?
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:39 PM   #27
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Same fuel consumption yet the 3.6 is 40% more powerful I'll take those numbers all day long. Normally an engine with that much more power would eat fuel compared to the lessor powered motor so that's just showing how long in the tooth the old design was.

like I said earlier, it's about time Chrysler put some hp under the hood of the Wrangler, now if they ever go to a powerful diesel I'll sign up for that as well.
How often is your Jeep revving higher than 4k rpms? Because that is the only time the 3.6 shows any significant HP improvement over the 3.8. Mine rarely sees over 3k let alone 4k. 280HP at 6K RPMs means jack squat.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:49 PM   #28
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Thats just what I was getting to say. My Jeep has only ever been over 4,000 maybe one or two times in the 92,000 miles I have had it. I can't see needing a Jeep with a super high revving engine unless you were drag racing or something. The 10 to 15 horsepower it has over the 3.8L below 4,000 rpm isn't enough to run out and buy a 12-14 jk unless you don't have one. Anyone who would trade up to a newer JK for the more power would be stupid too. I would rather drop a 5.7 Hemi in it if I were going to swap powertrains. Make it worth your while.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:55 PM   #29
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Thats just what I was getting to say. My Jeep has only ever been over 4,000 maybe one or two times in the 92,000 miles I have had it. I can't see needing a Jeep with a super high revving engine unless you were drag racing or something. The 10 to 15 horsepower it has over the 3.8L below 4,000 rpm isn't enough to run out and buy a 12-14 jk unless you don't have one. Anyone who would trade up to a newer JK for the more power would be stupid too. I would rather drop a 5.7 Hemi in it if I were going to swap powertrains. Make it worth your while.
I would go with an LS swap. Better HP and MPG than the Hemi. But the new Hellcat would be pretty sexy...and the 8 speed trans...

Also the 5 speed auto trans is the biggest improvement over the 12+ powertrain. Still not enough to make me rush out and trade in my '10 though.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:25 PM   #30
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I would go with an LS swap. Better HP and MPG than the Hemi. But the new Hellcat would be pretty sexy...and the 8 speed trans...

Also the 5 speed auto trans is the biggest improvement over the 12+ powertrain. Still not enough to make me rush out and trade in my '10 though.
Yea an LS swap would be another great option as well. Probably would do the LS2 with the 4l60E but, then the Dana 30 and 44 would have to go if you wanted your differentials to have any life expectancy. Of course the same could be said for the Hemi as well. Dana 60s would be in order for sure when you start cranking out over 300 horsepower because those 44s and 30s don't hold up very long especially the 30 then when you add bigger tires its a ticking time bomb. I guess you could beef up the shafts on both but, for the money and labor involved it would be smarter to just do it right.

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