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2016 SSO Slimline Bumper

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by LostSherpa, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Mar 4, 2018 at 7:17 PM
    #741
    pc3coyote

    pc3coyote IG: pc3coyote

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    Installed my @SouthernStyleOffRoad slimline hybrid bumper and am super happy with it! Please see below for some more info.


    Options Installed

    Overall Quality


    This is probably one of the most impressively engineered truck parts I’ve seen, at least for what I’ve installed on my truck. Huge kudos to Kevin and his team on the design of this. There are several other manufacturers with similar bumpers (both small fab shops and large names) but SSO was the first with this design and it is true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Packaging Quality

    Packaging was extremely impressive with with an ample amount of hard molded foam, bubble wrap, and shipping tape to protect the bumper and accessories in a stout cardboard box. There was no damage of any kind in shipment which was impressive for such a large box weighing ~75 lbs. Everything was neatly organized. All of the various hardware came in individual bags with printed labels identifying the bolts/nuts which were all kept in a large envelope. No missing hardware at all which is always a huge relief. The lightbar and its associated hardware was protected in its own packaging but was also inside the large box. Everything was in the large one box, there wasn’t several boxes to keep track of or get lost.

    Bumper Quality

    The bumper itself is pretty much flawless. It fits the lines of the truck perfectly and really is slim. It doesn’t protrude out far at all unlike some of the other options on the market. The hoop is a really nice touch and size without being obtrusive (also unlike some of the competition). I’ve already gotten several compliments and that it looks like a factory add-on. All of the brackets and bolt holes lined up perfectly which is impressive given the complexity of how it interfaces to multiple parts of the truck’s frame. There are 3 bolts each for driver and passenger frame rails and 1 bolt each for the driver and passenger side of the lower radiator crossbar for a total of 8 bolts holding it onto the truck which feels very stout and secure. The accessories accommodations all worked perfectly and everything fit well: the light bar cutout and mounting brackets, the winch fairlead mounting holes, and the winch motor mounting holes. The powdercoating was flawless with the exception of one small minor chip, smaller than a nickel, on a corner of the side which didn’t bother me a great deal since it looks like great quality on 99.9% of the bumper. There are also nice subtle touches to the SSO design like the included trim molding that is quite hefty for what it is, covers the cut lines, and really blends the bumper into the truck for a clean look. There are also two additional powdercoated wing brackets that connect the bumper to the sides of the OEM front bumper cover. This is another nice touch that adds a good deal of rigidity, not only to the slimline bumper, but also to the plastic side bumper covers.

    Customer Service

    Customer service is great at SSO and everyone is super friendly (Kevin, Margen, and Gwen). They are very pleasant to talk to and happy to help with any questions that you may have. They send detailed emails with order updates throughout the build process (parts received, bumper built, bumper went to powedercoating, bumper shipped, etc). It’s really nice to feel involved and to stay informed throughout the process especially when it’s a custom part like this that has a little longer lead time than an off-the-shelf part. For some reason, I didn’t receive those emails including to my spam folder but the issue was likely on my email end since it sounds like everyone else hasn’t had that problem. Either way, the SSO team was quick to respond via email/phone to provide an order update.

    Shipping Time

    Ordered over the phone on 11/29/17 and received on 2/9/18 in central Florida with the hold at FedEx location option. Total wait time was 10 weeks and 2 days but this was also ordered right around the Black Friday / holiday / fall group buy mad rush so completely understandable. Quality is amazing especially for a small fab shop so it is 110% worth the wait although you may get a little antsy with excitement waiting.

    Instruction Tips

    I recommend using my instructions below while referencing the SSO instructions for photos and more info each step of the way

    1. Unpack bumper and verify that all hardware and accessories are accounted for
    2. Follow my LED light bar write-up for instructions to remove the grill/wind deflectors
    3. LIGHTBAR INSTALL ONLY: Follow my LED light bar write-up to install and wire the wiring harness (minus connecting the light bar for now) along with the switch
    4. I’d then recommend stepping directly into the preps for cutting without removing the bumper. It seems to be much easier to cut the bumper while it is supported and installed. It is also less overall work I think and there is less risk that you’ll damage the bumper or its clips in the process. You can skip all of the sections of the SSO instructions for the removal and reinstallation of the OEM bumper cover.
    5. Use a combination of SSO’s guide and @WILDPEAK ’s guide to lay out the 1” blue painters tape and draw the cut line. WILDPEAK’s recommendations to taper the cut line 1/4" back on the angles/curves worked well. For that, I started with measuring 1/4" horizontally from the side where the angle/curve part meets the line of the bumper that slopes backwards steeper where I made a dot. I then went to the top of the bumper for that side where it starts angling down and where the vertical solid molding stops/small grill portion starts and marked a dot on the far outside of the 1” tape. I used a flexible metal ruler to connect these points with a line and that was my new cut line. It should look similar to what WILDPEAK showed. One area to be careful for is the next step where the SSO instructions were a little confusing at least for me. This is on the sides past the angled/curve part where the line of the bumper slopes backwards steeper. Be careful here to not make your cut line to close to the side of the bumper cover. You want to maintain enough space to add the trim molding afterwards. It should be a little less than your 1” you used previously on the top and angled portions. You want to make sure you have enough material leftover for the trim molding. Overall, I’d recommend being generous with your cuts. You can always go back and cut off more by holding up the bumper to assess but you can’t go back and add material. Thankfully, once you tighten the bumper down, any gaps will get much, much smaller. You can also loosen the trim molding some to help close up any small gaps.
    6. Next is cutting the bumper (the scary part). Make sure you have pants, a long shirt, gloves, eye protection, and even potentially a bandana for your face. All of that may seem like overkill but those little hot pieces of plastic can be painful. I used a Dremel 3000 and the largest blade from this Harbor Freight high speed steel rotary saw blade set. Go slow, start at the top going horizontally, and then work your way down the sides and towards the back. You’ll have to go deeper than you think especially towards the back. Take your time! You should be able to remove the cut portion which gives you access to the rest of the hardware that we need to remove. I used a bastard file afterwards to clean up the cut lines.
    7. We’ll now remove the aluminum crash bar by using a socket wrench to remove the three nuts on the frame rails per side and the small bolts on the bottom of the OEM bumper cover sides for the brackets that go to the aluminum crash bars. Loosen one side of the horizontal cross beam that joins the two frame rails together but don’t remove. You should now be able to remove that whole assembly at one time by gently sliding it off the welded bolts of the frame rails. There are small orange threaded clips in the holes from the OEM bumper cover sides where you removed the bolts which you can remove at this time with needle nose pliers.
    8. Remove the OEM tow hook (if you have one) from the lower radiator crossbar in addition to the bolts (1 per side) that hold the crash protection extensions in place. Do not remove those extension pieces.
    9. With two people, lift the bumper into position lining up the three holes on each side of the bumper to the three welded bolts per side onto the frame rails. Do not install any nuts. Visibly check that the cut lines look good and that there are no interferences. It’s okay if there’s a small gap, that will be closed once it is all tightened. Carefully remove the bumper.
    10. If you do not need to cut off any additional material, install the trim molding by pushing it onto the cut edge of the bumper cover all of the way around. Use a razor blade to cut off any extra trim molding that you don’t need.
    11. LIGHTBAR INSTALL ONLY: Install the light bar into the bumper mounting brackets using the supplied allen bolts that came with the light bar.
    12. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: Install the fairlead onto the bumper using a socket wrench and the supplied bolts that came with the winch. @koloheboy had some helpful instructions in a post that I referenced for this write-up.
    13. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: Install the control box onto the motor. (X2O) Use the side motor mounting option of the winch (not the middle option) following the supplied winch instructions and the provided brackets that came with the winch. You’ll have to remove 4 bolts from the bottom of the control box to remove the gray curved bottom brackets. Also remove the little black bracket tabs used for the middle install option. You’ll reinstall the 4 bolts in the bottom of the control box with the new black brackets provided with the winch. Use the two supplied screws to connect the control box to the motor. Wire the winch control box to the motor as shown in the winch instructions. It is super easy and is color-coded with letter identifiers (A-A, B-B, etc). You’ll use a socket wrench to tighten the nuts for these connections on the motor.
    14. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: Install the winch onto the bumper. (X2O) There’s a square nut that gets inserted into a pocket of the winch for each corner, and then the bolt gets inserted through the bumper hole up into the winch from the bottom. The pocket in the bumper where the bolt is inserted upside down to go into the winch is extremely tight especially for the front two mounting bolts so take your time and be patient. Small hands are helpful. I used a standard wrench and an adjustable wrench but a slim ratchet wrench would be perfect for this.
    15. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: Secure your winch rope through the fairlead onto the drum by tightening it onto the bolt on the drum. Note the directing of the spooling which should be pointed out on the drum. (X2O) It goes under the drum cylinder and over the top onto the bolt since the drum spins forward/down when it spools in and backwards/up when it spools out.
    16. With three people, carefully lift the bumper onto the welded bolts of the frame rails being mindful of the winch rope coming through the fairlead and the three cables that still need to connected (+ battery cable for winch, - battery cable for winch, +/- cable for light bar) if applicable, make sure you lift those up and over the OEM bumper cover. Very loosely tighten the three nuts per side on the frame rail.
    17. Reinstall the grill per LED light bar write-up without reinstalling the wind deflectors. It is very tight getting it behind the hoop so be careful and patient. It’s best to get the bottom tabs insert first and then rotate the top of the grill inward. Once the bottom tabs are in, you can snap it into position and reinstall the 2 push tabs and 2 bolts.
    18. Take a look at the bumper and adjust the positioning before tightening things down. Tighten down the 3 nuts per side for the frame rails with a socket wrench. Use a socket wrench to also tighten the provided bolts for the lower radiator crash bar brackets from the bumper which is 1 per side. Pull the trim molding out in any areas if needed to close the gap between the bumper and OEM bumper cover.
    19. We’ll now add the extra wing brackets provided with the bumper. They go from the lower bottom portion of the new bumper with two supplied small black bolts to the OEM bumper cover (where we removed the orange clips before) with the remaining two bolts that were provided (1 per side). These can all be done with a socket wrench. You may need someone with long arms here to get down past the grill. It’s also a tight space to get the bracket aligned with everything (new bumper on one side and two plastic pieces of OEM bumper cover on the other) so take your time.
    20. LIGHTBAR INSTALL ONLY: Wire the light bar to the wiring harness with two heat-shrink butt connectors and high quality electrical tape as shown in my LED light bar write-up. + to + and – to –. Ziptie the cable out of the way.
    21. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: Connect the + and – battery cables of the winch to the battery terminals. You’ll temporarily remove the nuts on the battery terminals with a socket wrench to slide them onto the terminals and then reinstall. Ziptie the cable out of the way.
    22. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: (X20) Connect the remote to the winch (just for the first use per the winch instructions). Slowly spool the winch drum ensuring that the cable spools neatly without bunching up one side. There’s a lot of cable so it’ll only fit if it spools neatly.
    23. LIGHTBAR INSTALL ONLY: Test your light bar with your cab switch.
    24. WINCH INSTALL ONLY: Test your wireless winch functionality with the remote. Also disengage your winch clutch (through the access holes if you have them or from under the hood) to test free spooling the rope a few feet and then reengage the clutch and use the remote to respool it. Close your hood.
    25. FLATLINK INSTALL ONLY: If you are installing a flatlink, free spool the winch cable away from the truck. Use the Dremel, or similar, with a cut-off wheel to cut two lines in the winch hook lug to remove the hook. Use snap-ring pliers to remove the snap-ring in the flatlink and slide the pin out. Install the flat link onto the winch rope, reinstall the pin, and reinstall the snap ring. Respool the winch rope.
    26. Admire your work and the beauty that is this bumper!

    No Interferences with Suspension, Negligible Sagging

    No issues whatsoever with OEM TRD Sport suspension, less than 0.5” sag with almost ~150 lbs added, I genuinely cannot visibly see any sagging and wouldn’t know if I didn’t measure it. I’ll likely upgrade the suspension down the road since the extra weight will expedite any sagging or wear and tear on the suspension down the road.

    See below for the differences in height for two reference points on the truck.

    • A: OEM front bumper cover just in front of fender flare driver side
      • Before bumper: 21 6/16”
      • After bumper: 20 15/16”
      • Height change: - 7/16” = - 0.4375”
    • B: bottom of OEM lower radiator crossbar, driver side
      • Before bumper: 16”
      • After bumper 15 9/16”
      • Height change: - 7/16” = - 0.4375”


    No Interferences with Wheels and Tires

    No issues whatsoever with OEM 17-in 4Runner TRD Pro matte black wheels and larger BFG LT265/70R17 load range C All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. No rubbing of any kind even at full lock, in reverse, over bumps, etc.

    See below for my wheel setup and how it compares to the OEM TRD sport setup.
    • OEM 17-in Tacoma TRD Sport wheels and Toyo P265/65R17 Open Country A30 H/T tires
      • Wheels: 17" diameter, 7.5" wide, 30mm offset
      • Tires: P265/65R17 size, 30.6" diameter tire, 10.4" wide, 6.8" sidewall
    • New OEM 17-in 4Runner TRD Pro matte black wheels and BFG LT265/70R17 load range C All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires
      • Wheels: 17" diameter, 7" wide, 4mm offset
      • Tires: LT265/70R17 size, 31.6" diameter tire, 10.4" wide, 7.3" sidewall
    • Overall gain from stock
      • 20mm wheel offset, 1"/3.3% tire diameter, 0.5"/7.4% tire sidewall

    Minimal to No Impacts to Drivability

    Even with stock suspension and 150 lbs on the front of the truck, I really did not notice any impacts to the drivability. If anything, there was an extremely small understeer around 30-50 mph but that may be my brain paying tricks on me since I read that another user reported that. If that understeer is there, you’d have to be extremely focused to feel it because it really felt exactly the same before I installed the bumper as it did after.

    The Most Important Part - Photos



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  2. Mar 4, 2018 at 7:21 PM
    #742
    PNWTacoma

    PNWTacoma Well-Known Member

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    PNW Adventures on Kings, SCS F5 on BFG KM3 315/75/16
    Impressive write up with pics as well. Props to you! :hattip:
     
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  3. Mar 4, 2018 at 7:57 PM
    #743
    Grand dude

    Grand dude Well-Known Member

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    cool stickers and a baseball card With clothes pin, sounds awesome ! wicked
    @pwalnut you ever make it up to the northeast, you can help me with mine, it scares me to death, I got no skills in this, yours is perfect
     
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  4. Mar 4, 2018 at 9:45 PM
    #744
    pc3coyote

    pc3coyote IG: pc3coyote

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    Thanks! I appreciate it!

    Thanks! I could have done a little bit better job with the cut lines on the sides but the trim molding does a great job covering any imperfections. It really isn't too bad! The cut itself was only a few minutes with maybe 10-15 minutes of taping and measuring before hand. It took me 1/2 day to install but I also had a winch and light bar and go slow :)
     
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  5. Mar 4, 2018 at 9:46 PM
    #745
    NateWest

    NateWest Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Mar 4, 2018 at 9:48 PM
    #746
    pc3coyote

    pc3coyote IG: pc3coyote

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    :cheers:
     
  7. Mar 4, 2018 at 10:06 PM
    #747
    Skydvrr

    Skydvrr IG: @kalopsianick

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    Honestly....this seems like a shill review. My bumper was much less impressive. They shipped it to the wrong address, the box was shity as fuck with scuffs on the tips of the bumper, the individual bolt bags you speak of had holes, the light bar hardware was all over the box. Multiple reviews of hoops being welded out of level and this review seems like a ploy to save face. I could be wrong, but my Spidey sense is tingling.
     
  8. Mar 4, 2018 at 10:15 PM
    #748
    pc3coyote

    pc3coyote IG: pc3coyote

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    I do not work for SSO, they are in Louisiana and I am in Florida. That review is my own words from my own experience. I even recommended not following their directions as written which is why I wrote my own. I did also mention a small chip in the powdercoat in mine as well but it was only one and was small and a corner that's not noticeable so it didn't bother me.

    I'm sorry you had that experience. Did you reach out to them? When others had issues, they seemed quick to resolve them even fully replacing the bumper if warranted.

    I truly didn't experience any of the things you mentioned minus the small nick in my powdercoat. Yours may have been an unlucky draw or damage from the shipping company. It’s possible that SSO took feedback from reviews like yours and implemented fixes on more recent orders for a better experience.

    Mine was double boxed with the light bar and its hardware inside the inner box in its own packaging. The individual hardware bags were in the inner box in a large envelope.

    I may have came off as overly enthusiastic but I was just really happy with my install and was unaware of others having issues. I'd recommend giving them a call tomorrow during business hours if you had problems with your order and haven't reached out previously.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  9. Mar 4, 2018 at 11:05 PM
    #749
    Grand dude

    Grand dude Well-Known Member

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    cool stickers and a baseball card With clothes pin, sounds awesome ! wicked
    Mine arrived in perfect condition , and to the address I gave them
     
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  10. Mar 5, 2018 at 5:39 AM
    #750
    Skydvrr

    Skydvrr IG: @kalopsianick

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    Sorry, it did seem a lil over enthusiastic, Which seemed odd because of all the drama with them recently. My issues don't warrant any calling or anything like that, it more or less just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies. Like it's indicative of other things.

    DFE171DB-0DDE-436D-8F95-78002773ED0E.jpg
     
  11. Mar 5, 2018 at 5:45 AM
    #751
    pc3coyote

    pc3coyote IG: pc3coyote

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    I was unaware of any drama especially because I’ve been on the forum less for the past few weeks since we’re preparing to move. I only recall hearing good things about SSO in the past. I was in my own happy bubble I guess lol. I’m sorry to hear about the issues you’ve run into. I hope you can get it installed without problems and that you’re happy with the results.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  12. Mar 5, 2018 at 8:46 AM
    #752
    SouthernStyleOffRoad

    SouthernStyleOffRoad Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry there was some damage in shipping to your bumper. We try to protect these products as well as possible because shippers aren't exactly known for being gentle. That being said, we do have a powder coat touch up kit we could send your way that matches perfectly.

    We are unaware of the "drama" you mention, though. We did have a small recall on some of our bumpers after it was discovered the saw that cuts the bull bar was off between an 1/8" - 1/4". We sent out an email campaign to all recent customers asking them to check their bumper if it was affected. We are correcting them to the customers satisfaction including remaking the bumper if necessary.

    We even stopped an entire batch of bumpers ready for powder so that we could cut off the bull bars and correct the issue. We strive for excellence in all ways and would NEVER send out a bumper we knew wasnt 100%.

    If you do have concerns or issues, please dont hesitate to call us at (225) 726-7979 or send an email to info@southernstyleoffroad.com
     
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  13. Mar 5, 2018 at 1:04 PM
    #753
    Murphystaco

    Murphystaco Well-Known Member

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    HOW hard are theese to paint I was debating getting the powder coating or not
     
  14. Mar 5, 2018 at 1:12 PM
    #754
    Grand dude

    Grand dude Well-Known Member

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    cool stickers and a baseball card With clothes pin, sounds awesome ! wicked
    "you want the spit"
    yes get it so much better in the long run
     
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  15. Mar 5, 2018 at 1:14 PM
    #755
    SuperBad

    SuperBad Well-Known Member

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    Truck stuff
    The only difficult part I found to paint was the underside of the winch tray. Theres a very small opening to spray into and it was impossible to see the whole area. I ended up using a paint brush and blind painting the areas I couldnt spray or see. I figure it should be good enough to keep it from rusting.
     
  16. Mar 5, 2018 at 3:35 PM
    #756
    Otis1382

    Otis1382 Well-Known Member

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    Mine is great as well. After attaching a d ring I noticed a chip in the powercoat. Contacted them and marge, I think it was, responded quickly. Sent out a touch up kit and tshirt to me for free. As to the hoop being unlevel they sent out an email, I assume to all of us, alerting us to the potential problem l. I deleted it and forgot about it until @Skydvrr's post. Yes, I have it too but I didn't even notice until this reminded me of it. I have been very happy with my bumper. Excellent service too. Thanks @SouthernStyleOffRoad
    **edit** late to the party. I see sso has already posted about this
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  17. Mar 5, 2018 at 3:36 PM
    #757
    Otis1382

    Otis1382 Well-Known Member

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    @Thunder Fist can address this
     
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  18. Mar 5, 2018 at 3:38 PM
    #758
    Thunder Fist

    Thunder Fist Well-Known Member

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    Like, so many.
    Bro, do the powder coating. They are not hard to paint, but by the time you buy the supplies and put in the work, you’ll be better off having it powder coated.
    I painted mine. It looks fine. But I have to touch up chips in the paint from time to time. If I could do it again, I would have it powder coated.
     
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  19. Mar 5, 2018 at 11:05 PM
    #759
    Murphystaco

    Murphystaco Well-Known Member

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    Thanks powder coating it is
     
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  20. Mar 6, 2018 at 1:55 PM
    #760
    ZachOR

    ZachOR Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Member:
    #184164
    Messages:
    24
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Zach
    Vehicle:
    2016 Quicksand DCSB Off-Road
    Pic in the garage right after install, will get some good pics soon. Install was a breeze without removing the bumper. Simply follow all steps besides bumper removal and you will be good to go:

    slimline.jpg
     
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