97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I just edited a little from my original post. My 97 Devil deville uses up rotors ever few thousand miles ...
  1. #1
    norm is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    I just edited a little from my original post.
    My 97 Devil deville uses up rotors ever few thousand miles or so. The front has gone through 3 rotors and no new pads.
    New front rotors at 40,000 MILES
    New front rotors again at 55,000
    New rear rotors at 60,000
    NEEDs new FRONT ROTORS NOW AT 60,000

    All pads are original from when I bought the car used from the Cadi dealer. Cadi dealer mechanic sees no caliper problem.

    They keep making me pay for new rotors. GM blames the problem on me.. though I don't tow, nor load my car up with heavy loads, nor drive up mountains or off road. .. never. No accidents, no hard driving. Definately no customer abuse.=== I mean no abuse by customer.. maybe from GM IMHO

    GM won't tell me where they did the recall work at// the brake module replacement.
    GM won't give me a copy of the cars work history even though I bought it at a Cadi dealer. What do I do to get that? My Cadi dealer salesman didn't even know that they keep records. ?

    feel free to email me at gogodutch@hotmail.com
    or page voicemail at 800 894 6352 if you know about this problem.

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    Devil_concours is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    Quote Originally Posted by norm
    My 97 Devil deville uses up rotors ever 5000 miles or so. The right front has gone through 3 rotors and no new pads.

    They keep making me pay for new rotors. GM blames the problem on me.. though I don't tow, nor load my car up with heavy loads, nor drive up mountains or off road. .. never.

    GM won't tell me where they did the recall work at// the brake module replacement.
    GM won't give me a copy of the cars work history even though I bought it at a Cadi dealer. What do I do to get that?

    feel free to email me at gogodutch@hotmail.com
    or page voicemail at 800 894 6352 if you know about this problem.
    that doesn't make sense at all. You should try talking to the manager. If that doesn't work, call cadillac @ 1-800-333-4CAD
    They will take care of your concerns for you by calling up the dealer

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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    This whole thing sounds a little fishy to me. When you say it's going through rotors, do you mean they're getting warped, or are getting worn down? I'm assuming you mean they're warping since I can't imagine a way to get the rotors to wear out faster than the pads unless you're using some SERIOUSLY aggressive friction material.
    Warped rotors usually have something to do with excessive heat and/or improper lug nut torque.
    Either way, there's more than meets the eye to this issue and your dealer doesn't seem to be helping you out.

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    norm is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil_concours
    that doesn't make sense at all. You should try talking to the manager. If that doesn't work, call cadillac @ 1-800-333-4CAD
    They will take care of your concerns for you by calling up the dealer
    =========================
    I have been on the phone dozens of times for two years with various Cadi customer care offices around the country who have talked to the dealer at least a dozen times.
    They all claim it is my fault for worn down rotors ... not warped.. no new brake pads?
    The Cadi customer care supervisor won't even give me her name.
    They all say that their file on my car is proprietary and they won't release it to me.

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    norm is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Katshot
    This whole thing sounds a little fishy to me. When you say it's going through rotors, do you mean they're getting warped, or are getting worn down? I'm assuming you mean they're warping since I can't imagine a way to get the rotors to wear out faster than the pads unless you're using some SERIOUSLY aggressive friction material.
    Warped rotors usually have something to do with excessive heat and/or improper lug nut torque.
    Either way, there's more than meets the eye to this issue and your dealer doesn't seem to be helping you out.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Rotors are not warping, they are just wearing out. I bought the car used from a Cadi dealer. I assume the pads are OEM, but GM won't give me the car's repair history. I have never replaced pads. I need to replace the front rotors for the third time in just 2 years- with very little mileage.

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    BUILDINGCTSAMG is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    In the long run if you buy a baer big brake kit ull save money and get rid of the problem....also youll have much better braking ability!

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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    Quote Originally Posted by norm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Rotors are not warping, they are just wearing out. I bought the car used from a Cadi dealer. I assume the pads are OEM, but GM won't give me the car's repair history. I have never replaced pads. I need to replace the front rotors for the third time in just 2 years- with very little mileage.
    Just my opinion,
    The very 1st thing that i would do is Replace your front pads and have the Rotors Turned on a lathe to "True" them. Try that 1st and see how things go & stop > after that your car should brake smoothly with no Viberation when you are braking. I would also replace the back brakes as well. A bad brake Calliper could also cause problems with your front brakes if they aren't opening all the way! Get rid of those old front pads!

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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    The smartest thing you could do right now is go to Midas and take advantage of their "lifetime" brake warranty. Plus, I bet they are able to diagnose your problem.
    I had over 50 '97 Devilles in our fleet and NEVER had a problem like you describe. There MUST be something wrong.

  10. #9
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    Has the dealer ruled out the possibility of a "sticky" or malfunctioning caliper or other brake component causing your problem?

    Have you looked into aftermarket pads and rotors? Here's TireRack's selection. There are others. Do not get drilled rotors, or deeply slotted ones for that matter. Dimpled or lightly slotted *may* be OK.

    Personally, I'd try the Brembo replacement rotors front and rear with the Satisfied Pro ceramic pads assuming 4 wheel disk brakes.

    I don't believe Midas' (or other shops) "lifetime brakes" includes anything other than pads.

    Also, proper seasoning & bedding is important. Here's Baer Brakes method:

    Rotor Seasoning for Street or Light Track Applications

    The first step in preparing the brake system for duty is to “SEASON” the rotors. The most visible effects are that of burning the machine oils from the surface of the iron and establishing a wear pattern between the pad and rotor. The most complex task it performs is that of relieving the internal stresses within the material. If you’ve ever poured water into a glass of ice, and noticed the ice cracking, then you’ve witnessed, first hand, the effects of internal stresses. The rotor casting and cooling processes leave the rotor with internal stresses.

    By gradually heating the material, the crystalline matrix will reconfigure to relieve these internal stresses. After these stresses are relieved, the rotor is ready to accept the heat of bedding pads. Heating the rotors before they are fully seasoned can result in material deformation due to the unrelieved internal stresses in the material. This deformation may cause a vibration from the brakes. In order to prevent this vibration, all PRO-RACE+ rotors are trued before shipping.

    Rotors need to be gradually elevated to “race” temperatures before any severe use. A “nibble”, or slight vibration, normally indicates rotors that were heated too quickly. After initial “Seasoning”, when running your car at open track events or serious canyon carving, you should use the first lap of a session (or first couple miles of open road), to warm the brakes as well as the engine, gearbox, etc. Where an engine turns chemical energy into motion, the brakes turn that motion into thermal energy....and lots of it! And where there is no cooling system for the brakes as there is for the engine, and there’s not, the brakes could use the courtesy of a warm-up lap.

    Remember to ALWAYS WARM THE BRAKES before any heavy use!

    Seasoning Procedure:
    1. Before you begin, please note: The following represents the minimum recommended “Seasoning” process. If your situation offers any opportunity to perform gentle preliminary “Seasoning” outlined in Step 2 below for a longer period of time, this will generally render even better performance and increase further long term rotor life.
    2. Use the vehicle for 5 to 6 days of gentle driving. Use the brakes to the same extent that you used the stock brakes, DO NOT TEST PERFORMANCE or ATTEMPT HEAVY USE UNTIL ALL ITEMS OUTLINED HAVE BEEN COMPLETED. It is imperative that excessive heat is not put into the rotors at this stage. They need temperature-cycling to relieve the internal stresses.
      Note: Zinc plated rotors (which are an extra cost option) need a couple of extra days of driving to wear through the plating before “Seasoning” actually will begin.
    3. Find a safe location where the brakes can be run to temperature.
      • Your goal is to gradually increase brake temperatures with progressively faster stops. Start by performing four 60 to 70 mph stops, as you would in the normal course of driving.
      • Next, perform four medium effort partial stops (about 50 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with five minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
      • Then, perform four medium-hard effort partial stops (about 75 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with ten minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
      • Park the car and allow the brakes to cool overnight to ambient temperature. You are now 50 % done with the rotor “Seasoning/Bedding” procedure, proceed to STEP 4 the following day.
    4. Return to the safe location where the brakes can be run to temperature.
      • Make sure the brakes are warmed to full operating temperature and then, perform four medium effort partial stops (about 50 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with five minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
      • Then, perform four medium-hard effort partial stops (about 75 %) from 60 mph down to 15 mph. Follow this with ten minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
      • NOW, make six HARD partial stops from 60+ mph down to 15 mph or until rotors have reached an operation temperature of between 900 and 1,100° (Note: Temperature paints to accurately measure rotor temperature may be purchased from Baer Racing). Every effort should be made to perform this procedure without locking a wheel. Follow this with ten minutes of freeway driving with LITTLE to NO BRAKING to allow the rotors to cool.
    5. Let the system cool off over night. The rotors are then ready for the next step in Preparing your Brake System: Bedding Pads.
    Pad Bedding for Street or Light Track Applications

    Bedding brake pads has a couple of important effects. The friction material in semi-metallic pads is held together by an organic binder, usually a type of phenolic material. As the pads get hot, the binder boils, and burns, from the top surface of the pad. Once this burning or “Bedding” takes place the friction material makes proper contact with the rotor.

    Some race/performance pads, like the Performance Friction’s line of pads, are designated as “pre-burnished” from the manufacturer. In our experience these pads still benefit from“bedding”. “Bedding” pads establishes a wear pattern between the pads and rotor. Some pads, like the Performance Friction pads, deposit a layer of carbon in the surface of the rotor. They need that layer of carbon to perform at peak efficiency.


    Bedding Metallic or Carbon/Metallic Pads - (NEVER DRAG the brakes)

    1. Note: Never “Bed” pads on rotors which have not first been “Seasoned.” Always allow a substantial coast down zone when bedding pads that will allow you to safely drive the car to a stop in the event of fade.
    2. Perform four repeated light to medium stops, from 65 to 10 mph, to bring the rotors to temperature.
    3. Perform two heavy stops, back to back, at a point just pending wheel lock, from 65 mph to about 5 mph.
    4. Drive for five to ten minutes to create cooling airflow, without using the brakes if at all possible.
    5. Perform three light stops in succession.
    6. Perform eight heavy stops, back to back, at a point just pending wheel lock, from 65 mph to about 5 mph.
    7. Drive for ten minutes to create cooling airflow, without using the brakes if at all possible.
    Metallic brake pads need high temperatures to keep the pad “Bedded”. If you drive the car for a period of time without using the brakes extensively, you may need to “Bed” the pads again. This is not a problem. Simply repeat the procedure.

    When switching from Performance Friction Carbon Metallic pads to semi-metallic brake pads (something we do not recommend), you will need to wear through the layer of carbon that the PFC pads have deposited in the rotor surface. The new pads won’t grip well at all, until this layer of carbon is removed.

    Racers should “Bed” a few sets of pads at a time. In the event you need to change brake pads during a race, you MUST use a set of “Bedded” pads. Racing on “non-bedded” pads leads to a type of “fade” caused by the binding agents coming out of the pad too quickly. This is called “green fade”. These binders may create a liquid (actually a gas) layer between your pads and rotors. Liquids have a very poor coefficient of friction. This condition is the reason for reverse slotting or crossdrilling rotors, as it allows a pathway for the gasses to escape.

  11. #10
    Katshot's Avatar
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    I'm not sure why you're recommending against cross-drilled and/or slotted rotors. The heavy-duty Brembo and Baer rotors utilize those very features.
    The fact that the poor guy's rotors are wearing out suggests there is a MAJOR problem with the brake system and/or there may have been an improper choice of friction material on his car by the dealer.
    Either way, even under fairly stressful use, the "stock" pads and rotors are quite capable items on this application. There is definately a problem with his car, possibly a compound problem that is causing this issue. Suggesting that he go out and dump $1000 on aftermarket items is (IMO) a bit much, and to be honest, they may not fix the problem.
    My suggestion to go to a Midas was mainly to get another set of trained eyes in the mix. It's obvious that he's NOT being properly serviced at the dealer and is therefore spinning his wheels there. My hope would be that another technician will find the problem, repair the problem and then if he wants to, he can pursue getting his money back from the dealer. At least this way he gets his brakes fixed finally.

  12. #11
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    Quote Originally Posted by Katshot
    I'm not sure why you're recommending against cross-drilled and/or slotted rotors. The heavy-duty Brembo and Baer rotors utilize those very features.
    From Baer Brakes FAQ:

    In years past, crossdrilling and/or Slotting the rotor for racing purposes was beneficial by providing a way to expel the gasses created when the bonding agents employed to manufacture the pads began to break down at extreme temperatures. This condition is often referred to as “green pad fade” or “outgassing”. When it does occur, the driver still has a good firm brake pedal, but simply little or no friction. Since this normally happens only at temperatures witnessed in racing, this can be very exciting!

    However, with today’s race pad technology, ‘outgassing’ is no longer much of a concern. When shopping for races pads, or even ultra-high performance road pads, look for the phrases, “dynamic surface treatment”, “race ready”, and/or, “pre-burnished”. When these or similar statements are made by the pad manufacturer, the pad in question will likely have little or no problem with ‘outgassing’. Ironically more pedestrian pads used on most streetcars will still exhibit ‘outgassing’, but only when used at temperatures normally only encountered on the racetrack.

    Although crossdrilling and/or slotting will provide a welcome path to expend any gasses when and if they develop, it is primarily a visual enhancement behind today’s often wide-open wheel designs.

    Crossdrilling offers the greatest gas relief pathway, but creates potential “stress risers” from which cracks can occur. Baer’s rotors are cast with crossdrilling in mind, from the material specified, to curved vanes, behind which the holes are placed to minimize potential crack migration. Slotted surfaces are what Baer recommends for track only use. Slotted only rotors are offered as an option for any of Baer’s offerings.
    The fact that the poor guy's rotors are wearing out suggests there is a MAJOR problem with the brake system and/or there may have been an improper choice of friction material on his car by the dealer. Either way, even under fairly stressful use, the "stock" pads and rotors are quite capable items on this application. There is definately a problem with his car, possibly a compound problem that is causing this issue.Suggesting that he go out and dump $1000 on aftermarket items is (IMO) a bit much, and to be honest, they may not fix the problem.
    I agree there is an underlying problem which needs to be corrected. However, the stock brakes are not stellar even when working properly - they fade easily and the pads don't last very long with hard use. The aftermarket parts I listed (WAY less than $1000, Katshot, more like $300 assuming the car has rear disk brakes, and likely less than OEM Cadillac parts - you didn't follow the link, did you? ) - should last longer while improving fade resistence and decreasing stopping distances.
    My suggestion to go to a Midas was mainly to get another set of trained eyes in the mix. It's obvious that he's NOT being properly serviced at the dealer and is therefore spinning his wheels there. My hope would be that another technician will find the problem, repair the problem and then if he wants to, he can pursue getting his money back from the dealer. At least this way he gets his brakes fixed finally.
    I definitely agree that the car needs a comprehensive evaluation by a capable brake specialist wherever one can be found.

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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    In the info you provided from Baer, it specifically states that:
    Ironically more pedestrian pads used on most streetcars will still exhibit ‘outgassing’, but only when used at temperatures normally only encountered on the racetrack.

    The basically state that pro-grade racing pads will rarely off-gas but we aren't talking about racing pads here. You couldn't even use racing pads if you wanted to. The poor guy would have an accident the first time he tried to drive the car if he did.


    They also state:
    Crossdrilling offers the greatest gas relief pathway, but creates potential “stress risers” from which cracks can occur. Baer’s rotors are cast with crossdrilling in mind, from the material specified, to curved vanes, behind which the holes are placed to minimize potential crack migration.

    This is pointing to the fact that they themselves market (and recommend) cross-drilled rotors, and that theirs are "cast with cross-drilling in mind".
    I'm not sure how after reading this stuff you can still recommend against their use. Sorry, it seems a little contradictory.
    And yes, I did check your link, and yes you could do it for less than $1000 but in all fairness, there were several levels of upgrade parts in your linked site and I was choosing the "worst case scenario" and adding the usual amount for labor and accessory parts that would commonly be used during a job like this.
    Taking this into account, I think you must admit that the job COULD run at least CLOSE to $1000.

    Either way, I'm not looking to start another debate here. I don't think the guy should have to run out and put a bunch of high-dollar, high-performance, aftermarket parts on his car when a "properly" serviced and operating OEM system should provide more than adequate service for damn near anyone. And to be honest, if he needs more than the OEM system can furnish, the dealer maybe correct in blaming his driving habits for the problem. I'm assuming that the guy feels his requirements are average based on his comments.

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    Either way, I'm not looking to start another debate here.
    Nothing wrong with debate if both sides remain calm and reasonable.

    I have Baer Claw brake systems on both my Syclone and Typhoon, and in fact organized a Baer group purchase for the SyTy crowd a couple of years back, and in doing so learned a few things - directly from the experts at Baer.

    Crossdrilled rotors look cool, no doubt about it. And there are theoretical advantages to them. *But* there are 2 major drawbacks. First, one of the most important characteristics of a rotor is it's mass, and crossdrilling removes a significant portion of that mass. Second, drilled rotors, even those cast with crossdrilling in mind, are prone to cracking. The cracks may not spread as far, or as quickly, but they *will* crack prematurely. There is some debate on the significance of the cracking - whether or not small cracks around the drillholes require immediate rotor replacement or just careful watching. But who wants to worry about that, especially for little or no significant benefit.

    In the info you provided from Baer, it specifically states that:

    Ironically more pedestrian pads used on most streetcars will still exhibit ‘outgassing’, but only when used at temperatures normally only encountered on the racetrack.

    They basically state that pro-grade racing pads will rarely off-gas but we aren't talking about racing pads here. You couldn't even use racing pads if you wanted to. The poor guy would have an accident the first time he tried to drive the car if he did.
    I think you are misunderstanding their point. You didn't quote the whole section, but basically they say that outgassing was a problem with racing pads which has pretty much been eliminated with newer technologies. Ironically, the pads commonly used on "street" cars (i.e. not racing pads) do still have outgassing issues, but only at extremely high temperatures not commonly seen in daily driving so that they do not require crossdrilling or slotting unless you plan to use the same brake pads on "race day".

    So, bottom line, you *might* need to consider drilled or slotted rotors for "street" cars with "street" pads which see occasional track duty (although it's better in this case to have separate "race day" pads!). Otherwise, the only reason to use drilled or slotted rotors is for the cool appearance. To me, the disadvantages clearly outweigh the slight potential advantages. I got this straight from Baer - they actually talked me out of getting my rotors drilled. Others in my GP did go drilled, and the people at Baer laughed...all the way to the bank.

    And yes, I did check your link, and yes you could do it for less than $1000 but in all fairness, there were several levels of upgrade parts in your linked site and I was choosing the "worst case scenario" and adding the usual amount for labor and accessory parts that would commonly be used during a job like this. Taking this into account, I think you must admit that the job COULD run at least CLOSE to $1000.
    I made specific choices for the reasons I've mentioned, and the cost for my recommendations is $300. Brake fade is a real issue with any aggressive braking at speed - true for my Syclone, Typhoon, and STS. Sensible upgrading while avoiding the common mistake of getting expensive, unnecessary, and inappropriate drilled or slotted rotors is both effective and cost effective - a rare and sweet combination!

  15. #14
    C. Dan DeVille is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Wow. I put drilled rotors on my '97 Deville some time ago. About 30k miles. Never had any problems (yet.) I got mine at Summit Racing along with compatible pads. The rotors wer $90/ea and the pads cost about $35. After reading this thread, I hesitate to suggest using this type of rotor. What I will say is to get one or more opinions from local mechanics.

    Art

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    jonrodman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 97 Deville brake rotors keep going bad

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Dan DeVille
    Wow. I put drilled rotors on my '97 Deville some time ago. About 30k miles. Never had any problems (yet.) I got mine at Summit Racing along with compatible pads. The rotors wer $90/ea and the pads cost about $35. After reading this thread, I hesitate to suggest using this type of rotor. What I will say is to get one or more opinions from local mechanics.

    Art
    There are heavy duty Brake Pads which are manufactured exclusively for Limousines. These pads are very abrasive and are known to wear the rotors out before the pads. It sounds to me as if you have the Limo Pads.

    This is not completely bad. The Limo Pads are very hard, very abrasive, and provide excellent braking. People notice quicker responding brakes and a firmer pedal.

    The rotors will wear out. I live in the rustbelt and rotors rust apart within two or three years so I don't care how thick the rotors are when I throw them out. If the inside cooling fins begin to rust apart, then the rotor should be replaced.

    If you want your rotors to last longer, make sure the entire brake system is functioning properly, and change to a less aggressive pad.

    I just pruchased new rear pads and front rotors for my 96 STS. They are cheap. The rear pads cost $15 (one set has pads for both rear wheels) and the front rotors cost $29 ea. I should have asked about front pads and rear rotors, but did not. I am sure you could replace all four rotors and the pads for under $160.

    I do repairs myself because I am too cheap to pay someone else, and don't want people who don't know what they are doing causing problems. Brakes are fairly easy. The brakes on my Seville are the nicest to work on that I have seen.

    Sometimes it does not hurt to throw out all the disposable parts like rotors and pads and start with all new stuff. Sometimes people get what they pay for, but I have been having real good luck for the last few years with the cheapest aftermarket barake parts I can find.

    Jon

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