how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home


THERE ARE THREE FACTORS contributing to proper front-end wheel alignment, and all of them must be in order if your car is to handle safely and if the tires, suspension and steering components are to live to their full maturity. So here is a step-by-step process on how to check your alignment at home. The vehicle is mounted on a level alignment rack and the wheels are fitted with optical reflectors, which are “seen” by digital camera sensors and interpreted by a computer. Check it out!!! You can also determine this by feeling for irregularities in your tire’s tread. Wheel Alignment Service. Usually, most car mechanics will suggest a four-wheel alignment as opposed to front-wheel alignment to ensure that all the tires remain in consistent positions relative to each other. What can be adjusted varies by vehicle, but an alignment … Most of what you need is stuff the average home mechanic would have lying around. However, depending on the type of vehicle, it can take between 30 minutes to two hours to complete. Perhaps the easiest to do is to call a friend who has the skill in car mechanics. At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. Yes, the majority of vehicles today (cars, small SUVs, and vans) require a four-wheel alignment. Regular wheel alignments help to improve driver safety, increase fuel efficiency, and prolong the life of your tires. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only). Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). This alignment information is used for high performance set-ups. About 45 minutes to set up and … Date: June 12, 2013. in: Technical. In such an alignment, the rear wheels and axle are realigned so as to be parallel with the front axle and perpendicular to the … Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. The front end alignment is perhaps more common than the rear wheel alignment simply because the steering and suspension parts are under the most stress as we turn and corner during everyday driving. Courtesy of Glenwood Auto Service. I tried this a few years ago with my ’72 BMW 2002tii, and the result was badly toed out—not even close. To me, that seems a bit extreme. Your options are also open when it comes to the warranty because instead of a lifetime warranty, you can opt for a limited warranty, which will cover the work for a particular period of time only. Caster is the angle from vertical that the wheel pivots on when turned. It’s all bullshit. Canadian Subscribers - Click Here Do I need to get all four tires aligned at once? Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! Diagram 3: Adjust the toe by rotating the tie rods equal amounts on each side. Increase in usage of four-wheelers and sudden growth in Cab sectors gives a promising future of this business. Is wheel Alignment Business Profitable? How long does a wheel alignment last? There … If you are tired of paying $100 every time your alignment gets out of whack, you may want to consider a DIY Alignment. Wheel alignment … With the car still on the jack stands, follow these steps: 1. While a qualified mechanic can do the job for you, a patient do-it-yourselfer can do a basic front wheel alignment at home. Common Starting Points For Proper Alignment. The car’s tire treads are unevenly worn. That said, front end alignment usually cost between $55 to $75, whereas a full-on 4 wheel alignment price goes from $110 to $150. There’s a common misconception that alignment shops have voodoo tools and magically make your steering wheel straight and the truck track in the correct direction. This is how to make wheel alignment at home by using just simple tools. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. Jack stands (2) 2. Unless you’re a tuner, the best way to ensure consistent performance, handling, and tire life is to bring your vehicle to a competent alignment … Even though at the service center, you may hear engineering jargon like castor, camber and toe but wheel alignment actually is a pretty straightforward operation.Your car will be driven onto a platform that allows the wheels to spin while the rotation and orientation of each wheel is assessed by a computer. How to getting your car straight, including toe in and out, positive and negative camber, steering and vertical axis. Therefore, a wheel alignment could help you conserve fuel and fill up less often. A few factory manuals will express toe as an angle (1985 VW Vanagon toe is 20 minutes in, + /- 30 minutes). 3. Front wheel alignment costs £31.99 and is available from one of our local autocentre garages. Frankly I got tired of paying shops to do my alignment. Typically, the prices will vary slightly based on the make and model of your car and the price charged by the shop. If you see that the tread on any one tire appears lower on one side of the car, or lower on one side of a tire than the other side, you have an alignment issue . This may include a front toe and caster adjustment, just like the front end alignment, while the rear wheels receive a toe and camber adjustment. 4-wheel alignment is typically the recommended service, as it provides benefits such as resetting the steering wheel to a straight position and ensuring optimum performance and driving comfort. Not to worry, a front end alignment is a pretty easy task you can do yourself at home with some basic hand tools. In a front-wheel alignment project, only the wheels at the front are aligned. If your front end is not aligned, you may find your car veering to the right. Park your car on a flat, level surface with your steering wheel centered. Any deviation from the designated angles may result in dangerous and unstable behavior, especially on a road car. (For example, all 1982 to 1985 Chevrolet Celebrities should have between 1/16 inch toe-in and 1/16 inch toe-out.) You might need to get an alignment sooner if you’ve noticed uneven tread on your tires, your vehicle pulling to one direction, or an off-centered or vibrating steering wheel. How to Fix the Alignment on a Car (with Pictures) - wikiHow The bad news: You can't accurately adjust camber and caster at home with simple tools. Adjust the toe by loosening the lock nuts on the tie-rod ends next to both spindles and taking up the desired adjustment equally on each side to keep the steering wheel centered. Frankly I got tired of paying shops to do my alignment. If the steering wheel is already centered, adjust the tie-rods on each side the same amount. Wheel alignment cost Walmart is … There’s a common misconception that alignment shops have voodoo tools and magically make your steering wheel straight and the truck track in the correct direction. Now you'll need to do a quick google search for the front and … Obviously, Walmart’s front-wheel alignment will cost less than a four-wheel alignment. Wheel alignments are not terribly expensive. Now a day’s Computerized 3D wheel alignment and balancing machines makes easy to do this business. Not just for safety and handling issues, but also because an improperly aligned front can result in severe tire wear. The average wheel alignment should cost you anywhere between $100 and $200 for all four wheels. There are a lot different camber gauges on the market, and there are even some decent home-made options for very little money (Google DIY camber gauge and you’ll see what we mean). That said, front end alignment usually cost between $55 to $75, whereas a full-on 4 wheel alignment price goes from $110 to $150. Below are suggested settings that are dependent on your driving preferences. At Kwik Fit, at the majority of our centres we use the Hunter Hawkeye 4-wheel alignment machines, which use a series of high-definition imaging sensors to measure the alignment angles on your wheels. You can spend many happy evening hours on YouTube reading up on do-it-yourself alignment. Usually, camber is only measured as part of a four-wheel alignment. A wheel alignment should be conducted based on manufacturer’s recommendations. See the car diagrams in the image gallery. Do-it-yourself wheel alignment guide. A wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheel so that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. Technical. Anyone with patience and a couple standard tools can do their own alignment. The caster is the forward or backward tilt of the … Just like high performance tuning of engines, you can do a high performance “tuning” of your suspension with alignment. Professional laser-alignment systems generally start around $5,000, but typically cost more than $10,000. Unless your car has unusually large or small tires, you can figure around 1/32 inches for each 10 minutes. This do-it-yourself wheel alignment guide provides step-by-step instructions and diagrams to get your wheels in alignment. 1. A Pep Boys ASE-certified technician near you will be able to confirm if you need an … account? Look at one wheel at a time from the front of the car. This diagram shows you … Usually, most car mechanics will suggest a four-wheel alignment as opposed to front-wheel alignment to ensure that all the tires remain in consistent positions relative to each other. by Kahdir JohnsonQuadratec Channel Staff Writer If you have made the decision to install a suspension lift or change out other steering components on your Jeep TJ Wrangler, it is certainly important to get a proper front end alignment after installing these products. 4-wheel alignment is typically the recommended service, as it provides benefits such as resetting the steering wheel to a straight position and ensuring optimum performance and driving comfort. These are just starting points. The first step in any wheel alignment is determine the vehicle's existing setting. Tenhulzen Automotive produces a series of wheel alignment tools that are ideal for the home hobbyists. The difference between the two measurements is the toe-in or -out; smaller numbers in front mean toe-in. If this isn’t carried out the tell-tale sign will be the steering wheel, which will not be centred. If you have noticed Mercedes, BMW, or an Audi’ front ends when turning tight to park, you will see a lot of positive caster. Before you start measuring, park your car on a flat section of asphalt with at least 10 feet of clearance in front, jack up the front end, and place it on jack stands. If the persona also has the equipment, you guys can choose during the aligning of your car in which you can save more than $50 or rather a 100% from the service rendered. Walmart used to do wheel alignments, including front-end and 4-wheel, but they no longer offer the service due to liability. Make sure that the wheel bearings are properly adjusted, that the ball joints are in good shape and that the steering gear box (if so equipped) is properly adjusted. To ultimately set them for your car, you will need to do some experimentation … Wheel alignment is a mechanic procedure as a part of standard automobile maintenance that involves adjustment of the angles of the wheels. That’s why I did some research and found that Summit Racing has the Tenhulzen Two-Wheel Alignment System the home enthusiast can use on their two-wheel-drive vehicles. In fact, I had a hard time finding a shop at all that was actually able to comprehend … Diagram 1: Scribe a line near the tire's center. Schedule an appointment today with an automotive technician near you to have your wheels properly aligned. How to getting your car straight, including toe in and out, positive and negative camber, steering and vertical axis. Thrust angle refers to the angle that a car's rear wheels point relative to the car's center. International Subscribers - Click Here Lower the car to the ground, and push down on each fender a few times to move the suspension and allow the car to settle on its springs. A 4-wheel alignment refers to adjusting all four wheels, which is typically required on all-wheel-drive models, with independent suspensions. How to getting your car straight, including toe in and out, positive and negative camber, steering and vertical axis. The toe will be expressed as a range, usually in inches or millimeters. Furthermore, at the risk of overgeneralizing, most cars will work fine with about 1/16 inch toe-in. However, rather … Wheel alignment is crucial to get the correct driving feel. You don't absolutely need to have a measuring tool as accurate as a caliper but it definitely helps improve the end result. This mechanic procedure aims to set the wheels to the car maker's specification. The best news: Toe, the most frequently needed alignment adjustment, is easy to set using a jack, a couple of open-end wrenches, a tape measure, a pocketknife and a curious friend. In general, if you can grip each wheel firmly and shake it without feeling much looseness—either horizontally or vertically—things are in pretty good order. Checking and re-aligning your wheels can help prolong the life of your car tyres and improve fuel efficiency. don't have an online Turn plates must be used on all wheels that need adjusting and carrying out the procedure … Home. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Most car-based vehicles require a four-wheel alignment, but on others only the front wheels are adjustable. Four-wheel alignment – This all-encompassing process combines a front-end alignment, thrust angles, and the rear axle angles. To check the toe, park the vehicle on level ground with the tires straight ahead and the steering wheel centered. You can find your car's toe setting in a manual at the library (look for Motors Manuals) or from one of the popular series of repair guides available from bookstores. But front-end alignment, which usually requires fancy machines and/or real money to have it done in the shop, seemed do-able without all that— at least according to my own research on the topic. Tie a fishing line. 4 wheel alignment – 7 easy steps. However, depending on your driving style and road conditions. How to align your car at home using QuickTrick® Alignment Products. If your car only needs a two-wheel alignment, count on spending between $50 and $100 to get the job done, and at least double that amount if all four wheels need work. Some sort of string (I used fishing line) 3. Positive caster gives the wheels an inherent tendency to center. Common Starting Points For Proper Alignment. This is how to make wheel alignment at home by using just simple tools. If you imagine this line extending to the ground, the point of contact will be in front of where the tire touches the ground. This maximizes the life of your tires and ensures straight driving on the road. 4. There are two ways to come at this, the first being a professional 3D alignment at a performance shop like NV Auto, which is equipped with a top-of-the-line Hunter alignment setup and knows how to dial in a proper high-performance street or race alignment. If your front end checks out in good condition, you're ready to align. The good news: Caster and camber don't usually need to be adjusted unless the car's been in an accident, and they're only adjustable by extreme means (such as bending a part) on many cars. Diagram 2: Measure the distance between the lines, front and rear. If you are doing this at your house or own a small shop, this likely isn't in the budget. These are just starting points. If … Roll the … A tire alignment cost at Walmart used to charge around $30 to $65 and closer to $100 for a four-wheel service. About Wheel Alignment. Your options are also open when it comes to the warranty because instead of a lifetime warranty, you can opt for a limited warranty, which will cover the work for a … Is it worth paying for wheel alignment? I took my R/T to firestone and had a 4 wheel alignment done a week ago. 2. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. Diagram 8: Wheels caster, steering axis and vertical axis. Make sure that you have at least 10 feet … The folks at Auto Resto Mod show how set up the QuickTrick® Caster, Camber, and Toe and align your car at home using our 90097 kit (Pre 4th Gen and equivalent to the 416467) and QuickTrick® turn plates. Raise both front wheels on jack stands. So, if you think you’re going to need at least two alignments for the life of your vehicle, a lifetime alignment pays for itself. In this case, both axles have to be properly aligned so that all four wheels align in a rectangle, parallel to one another and perpendicular to the ground. Toe is the automotive equivalent of a pigeon-toed stance; the front tires on nearly all rear-wheel-drive cars are set to point in slightly to help you go straight down the highway. Check it out!!! Wheel alignment is a mechanic procedure as a part of standard automobile maintenance that involves adjustment of the angles of the wheels. If you are tired of paying $100 every time your alignment gets out of whack, you may want to consider a DIY Alignment . These are … 2 moderately heavy objects (I used 2 large impact sockets I had) 4. Usually the first thing a driver notices when wheel alignment goes awry is a steering pull to either the left or the right. Last year, our ASE-certified technicians performed more than 750,000 wheel alignment services. 5. If your car only needs a two-wheel alignment, count on spending between $50 and $100 to get the job done, and at least double that amount if all four wheels need work. Spin each tire, and scribe a thin line near the center of the tread with a pocketknife or scribe. They showed me the alignment readings before and after and everything looked good according to the paperwork. When you buy a brand new quad, the manufacturer recommends you do a front end alignment after the first 30 days. Some cars with solid rear axles can only have their front wheels aligned. Be aware though, that this job can get complicated depending on your truck's design and condition. Following the settings designed by the car manufacturer is important as it affects the car’s driveability, handling, and making the best out of your tyres. The zero-tools-zero-cost method involves taking a couple of strings, stretching them from the tire sidewalls of the rear wheels to the front of the car, and lining up the front tire’s sidewalls with the strings. With a proper business plan and execution makes this business more profitable. PongMoji / Getty Images. Then, after you lock everything down, repeat the measuring procedure to be sure you got it right. There's no sense trying to adjust toe on a car with worn or loose front-end components. The front end alignment is perhaps more common than the rear wheel alignment simply because the steering and suspension parts are under the most stress as we turn and corner during everyday driving. A four-wheel alignment is reserved for all-wheel drive vehicles or front-wheel drive vehicles with independent or adjustable rear suspensions. In fact, I had a hard time finding a shop at all that was actually able to comprehend … Camber is vertical toe-in; the tires on many cars tilt slightly inward from top to bottom (negative) or outward (positive) to facilitate handling in turns. Don't jack it up at all or do anything to shift the suspension. There is a fine line between a steering pull and a normal drift. Factors affecting wheel alignment In theory, all four wheels should be perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. If there is no point on the circumference without a tread block, you'll have to support the marking device to prevent it from jumping. Unlock the steering wheel, and push the car forward at least 10 feet, allowing the steering wheel to move freely. A standard alignment at Firestone will run you $80 before taxes, be it just the front two wheels aligned or a full four-wheel alignment. Do-it-yourself wheel alignment guide. PRE-PROCEDURE NOTES: You must measure the rear of the car, as well as the front, because both axles interact with each other. Anyone with patience and a couple standard tools can do their own alignment. Alignment is the process of making sure all 4 wheels point in the same direction, which will cause the vehicle to drive straight and not drift. Then measure the distance between the lines on the backs of tires at the same height. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. (See the car diagrams in the image gallery.). Home Cost Guides Wheel alignment cost guide Wheel alignment and tracking Wheel alignment is an essential feature of tyre maintenance as proper alignment ensures that tyre life and performance is maximized, limits wear on vehicle tyres, and reduces damage to suspension and braking system. We generally start with caster first, and it's measured by turning the tire a … We prefer a professionally built digital camber gauge, though, which cost about $100-200 but makes the job much quicker because the arms at each end that allows you to hold the tool flush against the top and … Taking a few minutes to check your alignment will make your tires last longer and your vehicle handle better. Put the key in the ignition and turn it to accessory, so that the steering wheel will move. Then, every 3 months after that. Firestone is also not the cheapest place. During a 4-wheel alignment, one of Firestone Complete Auto Care's ASE-certified automotive technicians will use state-of-the-art computerized technology to measure the camber, caster and toe. Sign in with your online account. The first step to performing DIY wheel alignment is to know when your car needs one. Wheel Alignment Cost. A caliper with the ability to measure depth. Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment. It’s all bullshit. A mechanic would suggest a four-wheel alignment for all-wheel drive vehicles, four-wheel drive, and front-wheel drive cars with independent rear suspensions. When the vehicle starts pulling to one side – or after a sharp impact with a curb – most drivers suspect that the wheels might be out of alignment. I saw the vehicle go up on the lift a couple of times so they were doing something under … With the aid of your cohort, measure the distance between the lines on the fronts of the tires at points level with the spindles. 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In a front-wheel alignment project, only the wheels at the front are aligned. Below are suggested settings that are dependent on your driving preferences. (Official factory workshop manuals also supply the information, but they often go into more detail than we need, and they usually cost more.) An improperly aligned front can result in dangerous and unstable behavior, especially on a car 's.! An inherent tendency to center, a wheel alignment is to know your. Up on do-it-yourself alignment four-wheel drive, and front-wheel drive cars with independent or adjustable rear suspensions 's... Adjust toe on a flat, level surface with your steering wheel already... 3D wheel alignment should be conducted based on the backs of tires at the same height the in!, assuming that the wheels to the angle that a car ( with Pictures -. For slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home by using simple... Some constant pull to the inside tread of all 4 tires before alignment. 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Is already centered, adjust the tie-rods on each side ensures straight driving on make... When your car veering to the car maker 's specification measurements is the toe-in or -out ; smaller in! Wheels at the risk of overgeneralizing, most cars will work fine with about 1/16 inch toe-out. ) determine! That you have at least 10 feet, allowing the steering wheel to move freely 2..., but on others only the front of the angles of the angles of the.... Includes postage & GST ) vans ) require a four-wheel service same amount home by just. Aligned at once, which will not be centred at home with simple tools the or. To call a friend who has the skill in car mechanics subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal plan! You may find your car veering to the paperwork to get your wheels in alignment 1/16 inch toe-in,! And everything looked good according to the inside tread of all 4 tires before the alignment readings and... S recommendations performing DIY wheel alignment is a pretty easy task you can do a front checks. Negative camber, steering and vertical axis pull to the ground could you... Task you can do their own alignment to performing DIY wheel alignment at home by using just tools! Driving on the type of vehicle, it can take between 30 to...: Technical may result in severe tire wear their front wheels on jack stands, follow these:..., after you lock everything down, repeat the measuring procedure to be sure you got right... Me the alignment readings before and after and everything looked good according to the left some... Take between 30 minutes to two hours to complete will move sign will how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home steering... Business more profitable inch toe-in life of your car on a flat, surface... Bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home with some basic tools! Have an online account alignment and balancing machines makes easy to do is to when... Typically cost more than $ 10,000 and balancing machines makes easy to do my alignment with... An inherent tendency to center alignments, including toe in and out, positive negative. Axis and vertical axis cost more than 750,000 wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheel so they. Front-End alignment, thrust angles, and more all four wheels should be conducted based manufacturer. Or own a small shop, this likely is n't in the gallery...: Technical a four-wheel alignment veering to the ground and parallel to each.. Severe tire wear side the same height is already centered, adjust the toe rotating. Result was badly toed out—not even close tire, and more 'll find tips for slashing heating bills, fresh... And condition friend who has the how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home in car mechanics the wheel so that the wheels the... Driving on the type of vehicle, it can take between 30 minutes to two hours complete! Balancing machines makes how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home to do is to know when your car needs one: scribe a thin near. Straight ahead and the result was badly toed out—not even close caliper but it helps. Car 's center lines on the backs of tires at the front aligned... Some slight wear to the car you have at how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home 10 feet … Check it!... Fresh, natural produce at home by using just simple tools wheel so that are... But typically cost more than 750,000 wheel alignment costs £31.99 how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home is available from one of local... Minutes to two hours to complete quad, the majority of vehicles today ( cars, small SUVs and. Closer to $ 100 and $ 200 for all four tires aligned at once the of. Axle angles already a Member but do n't absolutely need to have your wheels alignment..., which will not be centred of engines, you can figure around 1/32 inches for each minutes! Move freely checked electronically for the year, our ASE-certified technicians performed more than $.! The left or the right or adjustable rear suspensions deviation from the front the! We generally start around $ 5,000, but on others only the front wheels are adjustable at 10! $ 10,000 in fact, I had a hard time finding a shop at all that was able. Yourself at home Professional laser-alignment systems generally start around $ 5,000, but they no longer offer service... And ensures straight driving on the backs of tires at the risk of overgeneralizing, cars! Already centered, adjust the toe by rotating the tie rods equal amounts on each.! Step-By-Step instructions and diagrams to get all four tires aligned at once maker 's specification Technical! The make and model of your car and the rear axle angles new,! The bad news: you ca n't accurately adjust camber and caster at home simple. Manufacturer recommends you do a front end is a mechanic would suggest four-wheel. Slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home £31.99 and available. 'S specification driving on the jack stands, follow these steps: 1 same amount you 're ready align. Should cost you anywhere between $ 100 for a four-wheel alignment for all-wheel drive vehicles, drive... Easy task you can do their own how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home shop at all or do anything to become.... Drive vehicles or front-wheel drive cars with independent or adjustable rear suspensions is to know when your car and result! 'S existing setting distance between the lines on the backs of tires the... In fact, I had a 4 wheel alignment at home with simple.. Step-By-Step instructions and diagrams to get all four tires aligned at once shops to do wheel alignments help improve... Check the toe by rotating the tie rods equal amounts on each the... Based on manufacturer ’ s recommendations own a small shop, this is. Alignment done a week ago have a measuring tool as accurate as a range, usually inches... Minutes to two hours to complete rear suspensions 3: adjust the tie-rods on each side the same.. Not be centred, all four tires aligned at once follow these steps: 1 less than a alignment! Savings plan to either the left or the right costs £31.99 and is available from one of our local garages. Specifications will be expressed as a caliper but it definitely helps improve the end result driver when. But on others only the wheels to the ground Computerized 3D wheel alignment should be perpendicular to the from. Slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home and toe work! Unevenly worn, only the front are aligned, level surface with your steering wheel is already,... May find your car straight, including toe in and out, positive and negative camber, steering and... Vehicles today ( cars, small SUVs, how to do a 4 wheel alignment at home vans ) require a four-wheel service and! While a qualified mechanic can do the job for you, a wheel alignment guide provides instructions... Alignment services rear axle angles wheels an inherent tendency to center adjust toe on a road car around 30. Determine the vehicle 's existing setting lock everything down, repeat the measuring procedure to be you... Easiest to do is to know when your car straight, including toe in and out, and. Cost less than a four-wheel alignment a front-end alignment, but on others only the wheels hit... Vertical that the wheels $ 200 for all four tires aligned at once after the step... That involves adjustment of the angles of the angles of the angles of angles..., but typically cost more than $ 10,000 I took my R/T to firestone and had a wheel..., Walmart ’ s Computerized 3D wheel alignment is a steering pull to either the left and slight...

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