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Old 03-15-2022, 10:10 AM   #1
Luthin
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Default A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Does anyone know if these are still available? Rock Auto doesn't list one for my 98 SL2 that I can see, and when I found the original part number it looks like they are discontinued?

I'm redoing my entire AC system except for the evaporator, and the original switch probably still works but it is all rusted and corroded. Given that literally everything else in the system will be brand new, it seems prudent to replace this piece as well. Is there a different switch that will work here but just isn't listed as a replacement part?
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Old 03-15-2022, 01:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

What is the OEM P/N?

Try peeking at <ackits.com>
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Old 03-15-2022, 01:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Partgeek shows an AC-Delco switch.
https://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/19...re_switch.html
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Old 03-15-2022, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

This looks to be the OEM Part Number: W0133-1800107

As Kevin noted, Parts Geek shows a listing for it, as do several other sites. But Parts Geek and all those sites are either 'Out of Stock' or 'Discontinued'. I don't see a listing for it on ackits... Is it possible they just discontinued this part with no alternative replacement? Worst case it sounds like that switch can be jumped to make the compressor run...but I would assume doing that as a permanent solution would be very no bueno.

I assume the switch still works, but the whole system hasn't been functional for 11 years now, so I really want to start with all new equipment so I know where I stand.

https://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/19...re_switch.html
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Old 03-15-2022, 02:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

For some reason my edit function isn't working. Correction to the OEM Part Number above. This appears to be the OEM number: 21030824
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Old 03-15-2022, 02:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

There are several options related to the combination low/high pressure ac switch; use it as is and presume none have ever been proven to fail, continue searching for a replacement using GMs oem number (you can find oem numbers from several GM parts online sites), and pose the question to ackits.com for expertise in technical solutions.

Bypassing this ac pressure sensor is not wise for one reason. It protects the compressor against loss of refrigerant (lower than normal pressures) by sending a disable signal to the pcm to disable power to the compressor clutch. Bypassing this switch simply removes this protection and allows the compressor to run regardless of refrigerant levels. When loss of refrigerant occurs, lubricating oil won't return to lube the compressor resulting in permanent damage to internal parts. Refrigerant circulates lubricant throughout the system as a mist, returning to the compressor for continuous lubrication. Once refrigerant leaks out from a rupture, pinhole, loose fitting, incorrect repairs, lubrication oil can't circulate as the compressor continually runs without lube. Instant destruction. The ac pressure switch prevents compressor self destruction. Vehicle refrigeration basics.

The only time to temporarily bypass this pressure switch is while troubleshooting a faulty compressor clutch coil and/or verifying loss of refrigerant. Bypassing it lets the pcm power the compressor whether refrigerant is there or not. A simple reminder; loss of refrigerant means little to zero lubrication.
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Old 03-15-2022, 03:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Thanks for the input Fdryer. Are you saying this part very rarely, if ever, goes bad? Maybe that's why there are no replacements made for it anymore?

In your opinion, is the most realistic course of action just to leave the existing sensor in place as it is likely still good and will not fail in the foreseeable future?

Fwiw, the existing system had effectively no refrigerant left in it, and the compressor would not turn on, so that would imply that the switch was doing it's job. Although, I did not try to jump it to get the compressor to run.
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Old 03-15-2022, 03:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

There are several reasons for ac pressure switch failure; corrosion breaking down manufactured crimped seals to allow refrigerant to leak (factory greenish/yellow dye remains permanent in GM ac systems and will glow with an inexpensive uv blacklight) or the pressure sensor fails to work. As mentioned, temporarily bypassing this switch by simply disconnecting it from its two wire connector and inserting a paper clip or wire into the wiring harness should allow the pcm to power the compressor clutch coil. The engine may not need to run with ignition on and pressing power to ac. You should hear a distinctive metallic click as the compressor clutch coil powers up and pulls in the clutch with metal to metal contact. If not, start the engine and observe the compressor - the center clutch should spin with ac on. Switch off ac and the clutch should disengage and stop turning as the pulley still rotates. Do this only to verify; the pressure switch operates, the compressor clutch coil powers up and the compressor runs. Remove the bypass wire/paper clip and the compressor coil should lose power. Never use this bypass permanently.

Technically, no one has ever proven these ac pressure sensors failed because of a lack of understanding of how and when it operates to protect the compressor against self destruction. This sensor works immediately as soon as low side pressure falls below approximately 40 psi. All ac systems are sealed at factory assembly with normal standby pressures around 70 psi, lower in subfreezing temps but well above 40 psi.

There's a high pressure relief valve on every compressor to open if operating pressures exceed 450+psi. R134a operating pressures fall between 25-250+ psi. The only difference between the ac low pressure sensor and high pressure relief valve are the mechanical designs for each range of pressures and a simple electrical set of contacts in the pressure sensor. Both operate under their designed operating pressures with one having electrical contacts to send a ground signal. Both work silently almost forever without fail.

Corrosion leading to a seal leak and faulty electrical contacts are the only two reasons I can imagine to have a ac pressure sensor fail. A system that hasn't run in years to me means its dormant. Making correct repairs to vehicle ac systems is not for the average diyer but can be repaired by almost anyone willing to learn with an open mind.
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Old 03-15-2022, 04:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Have you tried here, under the "W" number?

https://www.automotiveterms.com/part...1800107/736050
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Old 03-15-2022, 05:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Knowing that there is a built in high pressure safety valve on the compressor makes me feel better. That was a concern of mine about bypassing the switch - I don't want anything to go boom. That being said, I understand the importance of the low pressure safety the switch provides as well.

I wouldn't consider myself the average DIYer - I've removed the engine and transmission and sent them in for rebuild and done everything else in between on this car. The AC is one of the systems I've never touched; regardless, I'm definitely in the 'willing to learn' camp.

I see green staining around the hose crimp connections with the blacklight. New ones are on order. Since you mentioned leaks at this sensor (which hadn't occurred to me as a possibility!) I took the blacklight to the area around the sensor as well. I see areas that are glowing green below it, but that looks to me like it's corrosion. I've attached 2 pictures, one under blacklight, and one under a worklight so you can see how corroded the sensor is (and why I wanted to replace it). By contrast, if I shine the blacklight on the intake manifold, I get all kinds of green glowing from the corrosion on that. So apparently the dye isn't the only thing that will cause a green glow. What do you think?

I have the compressor out of the vehicle already, and the battery disconnected etc, but I am 99% confident the switch is functional. My main concern at this point would be if it's leaking, and/or probability of it giving me trouble in any way down the road. I'd like to re-do this AC and have it be good for another 20 years. That's how I do things.

Link to images: https://imgur.com/a/IkUpCNg



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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
There are several reasons for ac pressure switch failure; corrosion breaking down manufactured crimped seals to allow refrigerant to leak (factory greenish/yellow dye remains permanent in GM ac systems and will glow with an inexpensive uv blacklight) or the pressure sensor fails to work. As mentioned, temporarily bypassing this switch by simply disconnecting it from its two wire connector and inserting a paper clip or wire into the wiring harness should allow the pcm to power the compressor clutch coil. The engine may not need to run with ignition on and pressing power to ac. You should hear a distinctive metallic click as the compressor clutch coil powers up and pulls in the clutch with metal to metal contact. If not, start the engine and observe the compressor - the center clutch should spin with ac on. Switch off ac and the clutch should disengage and stop turning as the pulley still rotates. Do this only to verify; the pressure switch operates, the compressor clutch coil powers up and the compressor runs. Remove the bypass wire/paper clip and the compressor coil should lose power. Never use this bypass permanently.

Technically, no one has ever proven these ac pressure sensors failed because of a lack of understanding of how and when it operates to protect the compressor against self destruction. This sensor works immediately as soon as low side pressure falls below approximately 40 psi. All ac systems are sealed at factory assembly with normal standby pressures around 70 psi, lower in subfreezing temps but well above 40 psi.

There's a high pressure relief valve on every compressor to open if operating pressures exceed 450+psi. R134a operating pressures fall between 25-250+ psi. The only difference between the ac low pressure sensor and high pressure relief valve are the mechanical designs for each range of pressures and a simple electrical set of contacts in the pressure sensor. Both operate under their designed operating pressures with one having electrical contacts to send a ground signal. Both work silently almost forever without fail.

Corrosion leading to a seal leak and faulty electrical contacts are the only two reasons I can imagine to have a ac pressure sensor fail. A system that hasn't run in years to me means its dormant. Making correct repairs to vehicle ac systems is not for the average diyer but can be repaired by almost anyone willing to learn with an open mind.

Last edited by Luthin; 03-15-2022 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Added Images...forgot I cant attach them directly.
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Old 03-15-2022, 05:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Doesn't look like that one's available anywhere either? Parts Geek has a listing for it, but I don't see how to purchase it. I'm assuming that's because they don't have it. Fwiw I called my local GM Dealer and they cannot get the part anymore. The lady gave me some line about it being 'over produced by the aftermarket, blah blah', which obviously isn't true. But either way they can't get me the part either.

https://www.partsgeek.com/gbproducts...-01125736.html


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Have you tried here, under the "W" number?

https://www.automotiveterms.com/part...1800107/736050
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Old 03-15-2022, 08:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Those two images seem to show little to no dye but cameras and cellphones may not capture fluorescent dye unless lighting is setup for contrast. The naked eye has the largest resolution with electronics a close second but electronics must be manipulated to capture specific colors. A system that's opened should allow oil and dye out for examples of GM dye. R12 systems never used dye and I think it was difficult for dealer mechanics not trained in ac repairs to find leaks with older sniffers and propane torch. Dye makes its almost a no-brainer for anyone willing to buy a uv blacklight to search for damaged ac systems. Personally, I believe 98% of vehicle ac problems are the leaks no one wants to find but readily runs to the store for the combination leak sealer and r134a for instant repairs. Ackits has snapshots of damaged ac systems using sealer from amateur repairs. Not many people admit the mechanic in a can works.

The pressure sensor may present another problem when unscrewing it from its fitting, a schrader valve. The problem may be from the two metals, steel sensor body and aluminum fitting with galvanic corrosion occurring between two dissimilar metals almost guaranteeing the equivalent of a mechanical loctite preventing removal. Aluminum is very soft and a severely corroded threaded steel sensor may not allow loosening with greater torque twisting, damaging the aluminum T fitting. Try unscrewing one from a junk yard system to see how much corrosion occurs in threads between sensor and fitting.
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Old 03-16-2022, 12:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

I hadn't considered the galvanic corrosion issue either, but I did notice that the aluminum line this sensor is mounted to also does not appear to be available anymore either. Given all of that I think I'm just going to leave it be.

Is it possible/advisable to add new/fresh dye to the system so that any new leak would be obvious? I'm assuming any dye that I did have will be long gone since the only OE pieces remaining will be the evaporator and that aluminum line the pressure switch is mounted to.

What do you think about this stuff: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...=6928&jsn=1623

Is that a snake oil, or does it actually work? Sounds like the Saturn system takes 5oz of oil, but this does not replace any of the oil, so I would put 5oz of PAG 100 in, as well as the full 1 oz in this bottle. Sound correct?
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Old 03-16-2022, 01:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

I vote snake oil.

I would add dye. I used this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008QDXPFK

And this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008133KB4
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Old 03-16-2022, 02:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

If you are replacing everything except evaporator coil, txv and the suction side hose, be sure to buy a seal kit containing all the seals to replace every seal. Lube them only with r12 (mineral oil) or plain drugstore mineral oil, not pag oil. The flat seals for compressor input and output are left dry. Save your money on dye. Buy a container of either pag 46 or 100 oil premixed with dye. There are previous threads where service manuals state pouring specific amounts of oil into compressor, drier, and condenser coil to distribute oil (and dye), ensuring the compressor has immediate oil and on first run, return oil. Something like a few ounces in compressor, an ounce in condenser coil and about a quarter ounce in drier. Refrigerant, and oil, flows from compressor discharge side to condenser coil to filter/drier to thermal expansion valve to evaporator coil and returns to compressor suction side. Oil is generated as a mist, flowing everywhere. Refrigerant at the liquid stage in the condenser coils carries oil into the drier then on past the txv. Liquid refrigerant expands immediately in the evap coils while absorbing heat and returns to the compressor with the oil mist. Continuous lubrication as long as sufficient refrigerant flows.

Reading over the years tells me about a quarter ounce of dye is all that's needed in vehicle ac systems. Adding more isn't needed since it stays permanently in solution and only marks the leak site when damage occurs, along with oil. An ounce of dye is overkill. On a rebuild with a new or rebuilt compressor, service manuals never suggest adding additional miracle oils. The only things circulating in every ac system are refrigerant and dye. No one in commercial ac repairs uses snake oil or sealer. If a repair shop does use them then either they're padding the bill or not professionals. As a diyer with service manuals, I follow specific procedures without adding to procedures. As mentioned previously, 98% of vehicle ac failures are due to eventual leaks occurring or outright damage. Aluminum stress hardens from everyday driving, more so over potholes than glass smooth roads. If copper weren't so expensive and heavier than aluminum, the auto industry would have used it. Copper has better strength and less prone to stress hardening.
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Old 03-16-2022, 02:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Once again, thank you both for the feedback. A few questions:

What is 'drugstore mineral oil'? Would old school dino 10w-40 motor oil work for this, or you're referencing a very specific oil that is required for these seals? When I google 'drugstore mineral oil' I get results for baby oil...

I do have a full seal kit on order: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...pt=13290&jsn=8

I figured for $1.80 I couldn't go wrong...

I will look up the other threads RE: adding oil to various parts of the system. The new (not rebuilt) compressor I'm getting comes prefilled with 3 oz of oil already. As I understand it, the system takes 5 oz, so that leaves me some room to put oil elsewhere.

I found the dye Weix mentioned at my local FLAPS for $12.99. Rock Auto doesn't appear to carry any dye, which I find odd. Any objections to adding that to the oil? I'm having a hard time finding PAG100 with dye already in it. It does appear that 1/4oz is what the manufacturer recommends adding; is there a downside to adding the full ounce? It may be overkill, but otherwise this stuff is just going to sit on the shelf in my garage forever, so if extra will help even a little and not hurt, I might as well put it in.


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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If you are replacing everything except evaporator coil, txv and the suction side hose, be sure to buy a seal kit containing all the seals to replace every seal. Lube them only with r12 (mineral oil) or plain drugstore mineral oil, not pag oil. The flat seals for compressor input and output are left dry. Save your money on dye. Buy a container of either pag 46 or 100 oil premixed with dye. There are previous threads where service manuals state pouring specific amounts of oil into compressor, drier, and condenser coil to distribute oil (and dye), ensuring the compressor has immediate oil and on first run, return oil. Something like a few ounces in compressor, an ounce in condenser coil and about a quarter ounce in drier. Refrigerant, and oil, flows from compressor discharge side to condenser coil to filter/drier to thermal expansion valve to evaporator coil and returns to compressor suction side. Oil is generated as a mist, flowing everywhere. Refrigerant at the liquid stage in the condenser coils carries oil into the drier then on past the txv. Liquid refrigerant expands immediately in the evap coils while absorbing heat and returns to the compressor with the oil mist. Continuous lubrication as long as sufficient refrigerant flows.

Reading over the years tells me about a quarter ounce of dye is all that's needed in vehicle ac systems. Adding more isn't needed since it stays permanently in solution and only marks the leak site when damage occurs, along with oil. An ounce of dye is overkill. On a rebuild with a new or rebuilt compressor, service manuals never suggest adding additional miracle oils. The only things circulating in every ac system are refrigerant and dye. No one in commercial ac repairs uses snake oil or sealer. If a repair shop does use them then either they're padding the bill or not professionals. As a diyer with service manuals, I follow specific procedures without adding to procedures. As mentioned previously, 98% of vehicle ac failures are due to eventual leaks occurring or outright damage. Aluminum stress hardens from everyday driving, more so over potholes than glass smooth roads. If copper weren't so expensive and heavier than aluminum, the auto industry would have used it. Copper has better strength and less prone to stress hardening.

Last edited by Luthin; 03-16-2022 at 03:05 PM. Reason: Disregard TXV question - figured out it's the expansion valve
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Old 03-16-2022, 04:12 PM   #17
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

GM service manuals mentions adding only specified amounts of refrigerant and make up oil to a system, no more no less. Older r12 systems left room for more r12 than recommended, increasing high side pressures that's detrimental to overall efficiency with increased load on the engine and higher operating temperatures on the condenser coil. V8s and V6s have excess power, 4 cyl engines do not. Adding more refrigerant, oil and dye than recommended simply loads the system down and may increase operating pressures as well as greater heat generated from higher discharge pressures. Your choice to stay with service manual recommendations or risk unintended consequences. Plus there's less total volume to allow extra fluids in r134a systems. More is not better in these ac systems.

Drugstore mineral oil - baby oil. Mineral oil doesn't absorb moisture but pag oil does. Lube fittings and seals with pag oil will attract moisture and accelerate corrosion, the chemical loctite to seize fittings. Motor oil is not recommended. Again, your choice to do it right to restore ac operation back to factory conditions or risk issues using other methods. Your car, your ac system to do as you please.

Extra dye, oil and refrigerant goes along with costs of repairs whether diy or commercial.
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Old 03-23-2022, 01:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Still working on this off and on. My filter drier came with a small kink in the hose near the hose clamp connection. It was all kinked over in the shipping container from Rock Auto and has re-formed a bit, but there's still a slight kink. Is this anything to be concerned about?

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Old 03-23-2022, 02:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

The slightly kinked rubber hose shouldn't be a problem. This would be a problem if the hose bend radius allows the kink to remain. Reinforced rubber hose sometimes takes a set when restrained to memorize bends. Once installed the memory bend tends to go away. Many radiator hoses are deliberately heat formed to conform to bends. I'd be concerned if the kink remains and strangles liquid refrigerant flow. Driers have liquid refrigerant flowing in and out so a small kink won't restrict flow. Straightening the kink and heating it with a hair dryer should remove any memory caused by shipping. Reinforced rubber hoses have at least one layer of fabric netting for high pressure to prevent hose expansion/burst strength. My guess is the inside diameter is around 1/4" or metric equivalent.
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Old 03-23-2022, 06:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: A/C Refrigerent Line Pressure Switch

Ok thanks. I wasn't sure how much any possible restriction would matter with the pressures these things run at, etc.

Stay tuned. More to come.


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The slightly kinked rubber hose shouldn't be a problem. This would be a problem if the hose bend radius allows the kink to remain. Reinforced rubber hose sometimes takes a set when restrained to memorize bends. Once installed the memory bend tends to go away. Many radiator hoses are deliberately heat formed to conform to bends. I'd be concerned if the kink remains and strangles liquid refrigerant flow. Driers have liquid refrigerant flowing in and out so a small kink won't restrict flow. Straightening the kink and heating it with a hair dryer should remove any memory caused by shipping. Reinforced rubber hoses have at least one layer of fabric netting for high pressure to prevent hose expansion/burst strength. My guess is the inside diameter is around 1/4" or metric equivalent.
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