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UCA Install Question


Z-man

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I am getting ready to swap out my UCA, and have a question before I proceed.

 

I have the car on a lift, and the rear axle is in full "droop" (Sway bar, Panhard bar, Shocks, and springs are removed....I'm putting in an Eibach kit). So, when I disconnect the UCA from the differential, will the rear axle want to rotate, or will it stay in the correct orientation. The axle is not supported by jack stands...its hanging down and connected to the car by the LCA's and the differential (drive shaft is still connected too).

 

I just don't want it to unexpectedly shift, flop back and damage the car, or get myself injured.

 

Thought it better to ask, and be safe, before potentially causing myself a problem.

 

Z-man

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Just went through this a couple of weeks ago.

Support the axle with jack stands. When you disconnect the UCA from the differential the axle will want to rotate or shift.

It will rotate slightly on jack stands, but you can rotate it back into position when you install the new UCA.

Also, be prepared to lower the gas tank as well.

Did the Eibach kit as well. Which one did you get ?

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Just went through this a couple of weeks ago.

Support the axle with jack stands. When you disconnect the UCA from the differential the axle will want to rotate or shift.

It will rotate slightly on jack stands, but you can rotate it back into position when you install the new UCA.

Also, be prepared to lower the gas tank as well.

Did the Eibach kit as well. Which one did you get ?

It will move some, I personally would at least put the shocks/springs back in to control some of the "roll".

 

It may be to tough to realign the UCA w/ alll that stuff removed.

Thanks for the quick replies guys.

 

I like the idea of attaching the shocks to help keep the rear from rotating when I remove the UCA.....I'll give that a try.

 

The Eibach kit I am installing is the Pro System Plus (P/N 35115.680). It has new struts, shocks, springs, sway bars and bushings. The front is already finished. I installed BMR camber bolts to correct the alignment. We will see how close I got when the cars get aligned by a 'professional'.

 

But that is only part of the project. I'm also installing LCA's, adjustable UCA, UCA heavy duty support bracket, and an adjustable panhard bar. All these parts are from UMI.

 

You mentioned that I might have to drop the gas tank, and I have seen that in other posts as well. However, I don't see why I will have to. I plan on removing the UCA and the support bracket as an assembly, then separating them once they are removed from the car. I guessing I would only have to drop the tank if I wasn't removing the support bracket.....does that sound right?

 

Lastly, while everything was apart anyway, I'm joining the 'rusty butt club' and painting my rear axle and drive shaft. I did it a little different than others. Any part that was never painted by the factory, I painted to look like raw aluminum. All other parts were repainted factory color. It's looking pretty good.

 

Thanks again,

 

Z-man

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I tried to remove the UCA and bracket as one piece like you are saying, but I ended up loosening the tank and lowering it just enough for the assembly to clear. As stated above I would also support the axle with some stands. I used two under hoist stands and it worked very well to keep everything in place and I was still able to wrestle it back into position on re-assembly.

Make sure you get the UCA mounting bracket bolts torqued properly, if you don't you will be hearing it bang around under there.

Good luck

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You mentioned that I might have to drop the gas tank, and I have seen that in other posts as well. However, I don't see why I will have to. I plan on removing the UCA and the support bracket as an assembly, then separating them once they are removed from the car. I guessing I would only have to drop the tank if I wasn't removing the support bracket.....does that sound right?

 

 

It's not a matter of you "might" have to drop the gas tank, it's a matter of you WILL have to drop the gas tank.

 

The third-link bracket has a threaded stand-off on the "nose" end that fits up under the gas tanks. First you need to remove the bottom part of the back seat (it's easy, push two keepers in, lift the seat and take it out, it's VERY light) to access the front bolt on the bracket, which is VERY tight (use a breaker bar or 1/2" impact air wrench).

 

You can't get the bracket down far enough to clear the threaded stand-out on the end without dropping the DRIVERS side tank just a little, then twisting the bracket off to one side and pulling it out.

 

I think Roush has a instruction sheet on his site and it'll make it very clear on the proceedure, with pics and text.

 

 

HTH,

Phill

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The third-link bracket has a threaded stand-off on the "nose" end that fits up under the gas tanks.

 

 

 

Yup, you are right....I forgot about the threaded standoff. Oh well, what are two more bolts when I have come this far. Just in case I had to drop the tank, I ran the car almost empty before putting it on the lift (good thing I did). I knew about removing the rear seat, but thought I had out-smarted the dropping of the tank (I guess I'm not so smart afterall).

 

I'll also stick a couple jack stands under the axle for added piece of mind and safety.

 

Z-man

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Did the Pro kit as well. Also added BMR panhard and brace, upper and lower control arms and brackets. While up front, added the Shelby sway bar end links and Steeda upper strut mounts.

The guy at Steeda stated that the mounts had enough camber adjustment to get right back into proper spec. They were right.

The springs lowered the car by 2" in the rear and 1.25 up front.

Rides and handles great

Still have a few little noises to tweak. Am guessing that I need to get back under there and re-torque everything again.

Good luck.

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Just wanted to take a moment and thanks those folks who responded to my question and offered advise.

 

In between a Boy Scout camping trip and some other household chores, I managed to get the upper control arm, and the mounting bracket out....and yes, I did have to lower the gas tank to make it happen. I went slow, and safe, and had no issues, thanks to your input.

 

The hardest part was getting out the torx bolts that held in the tank straps. I don't know about yours, but mine had about half a tube of Locktite on each of them, and it looked like the threads were purposly 'buggered' to make them almost impossible to come loose. I ended up using a 1/2" drive breaker bar to get them out....even sheared a spline off of my torx bit socket. I bought a set of new bolts for the re-install. They come in a pack of four, so if anyone needs a set, I have two extra.

 

This morning before work, I got the new pieces assembled and in place. Tonight, I torqued everything that could be torqued while the car is off it's wheels, and even got the bolt back throught the control arm and the top of the differential.

 

If I wasn't heading to Las Vegas for an early start on the Bash this weekend, I'd probably have it all back together by Monday. But I'm in the home stretch.

 

Thanks again,

 

Z-man

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FYI: Sorry I didn't see this in time but for those doing this in the future- '07-'09's, not sure about 2010-up, lowering the gas tank(s) is not necessary to remove the UCA bracket. Loosen the bracket enough where it can be rotated or turned slightly where you can then slide the bolt out. I've done it.

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FYI: Sorry I didn't see this in time but for those doing this in the future- '07-'09's, not sure about 2010-up, lowering the gas tank(s) is not necessary to remove the UCA bracket. Loosen the bracket enough where it can be rotated or turned slightly where you can then slide the bolt out. I've done it.

 

 

I can't speak for the '07-'09 MY but on a 2010, you *must* LOWER the gas tank. I lowered the Dr. side tank, not sure if you can lower the Pass. side to get the same results.

 

I know this from experience because the first time (of many) I tried to change my UCA Bracket, I was stumped. I re-read my Roush Racing instruction sheet and that's when I relized I'd forgotten to lower the tank. You *still* have to turn the bracket to one side (the Dr. side, I believe) to get it out unless you drop the tank, rather than just lower it.

 

 

YMMV,

Phill

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I recently installed a Steeda Adj. UCA on my 2012 Boss and the Gas Tank is no longer in your way. Unlike the 05-10, the whole unit (UCA and bracket) can easily be removed on the 2011 and later. However, the torque on that bolt under the back seat is now 350 ft-lbs, so be prepared for that!

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FYI: Sorry I didn't see this in time but for those doing this in the future- '07-'09's, not sure about 2010-up, lowering the gas tank(s) is not necessary to remove the UCA bracket. Loosen the bracket enough where it can be rotated or turned slightly where you can then slide the bolt out. I've done it.

 

 

Congratulations on being more clever than I. I had loaned out the torx bits needed to loosen the tank straps so I wrestled mine around every way I could think to get it out of there and came up empty.

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  • 1 month later...

Figured why there were some eyes on this I'd jump in with my own somewhat related issue. Installed a Steeda adjustable UCA and bracket a year ago on my 2010 GT500. The bracket is chrome moly and ridiculously heavy duty next to the oe one. It is way thicker then stock so the back of the fuel tank has to be modified somewhat to get it to fit. When installed there is a choice of 2 mounting locations for the front of the UCA. I really cannot see how it is possible to mount the arm using the front option. There's just not enough clearance to the tank. So we opted for the holes in the rear to mount the arm. When doing so the total length of the new arm was a full 1.25" longer then the original. It was fully adjusted to it's shortest possible length. We figured 'what the f...let's try it anyway'. So we installed it. Took it for a test drive with no issues. i've put a couple thousand miles since then with no issues whatsoever. No noise. Handles great. Etc. This all took place a year ago with my original 2 piece shaft. Well fast forward to 4 hours ago. We installed a one piece Dynotech shaft. Install was pretty straight forward. We didn't have an analog protractor. So we eyeballed it realizing IF it needed to be adjusted we were already at our extreme with no room left to shorten it. Well that apparently was a mistake. The first bump we hit there was a loud pop (like I ran over a boulder). Pulled it back in after running to Sears to get the aforementioned protractor. Put it back in the air. Checked for damage. Nothing found. The pinion angle is definitely off by a few degrees and the UCA is at it's limit. Anybody run into this or can offer some suggestions. We actually think that the control arm itself...or at least the sleeve is TOO long. it simply cannot be adjusted anywhere close to the stock length...at least not with the front of the arm being mounted to the rear holes of the new Steeda bracket. Again if mounting in the front holes was attempted there is no question the arm itself would make full contact with the tank itself so it cannot be an option. By the time we were threw this afternoon Steeda was closed so I'll try them tomorrow. But in the meantime any ideas or direct me to a posting that addresses my concern would be GREATLY appreciated. I apologize for hijacking the post but it's been a long, frustrating day and i'd love to find an answer.

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Figured why there were some eyes on this I'd jump in with my own somewhat related issue. Installed a Steeda adjustable UCA and bracket a year ago on my 2010 GT500. The bracket is chrome moly and ridiculously heavy duty next to the oe one. It is way thicker then stock so the back of the fuel tank has to be modified somewhat to get it to fit. When installed there is a choice of 2 mounting locations for the front of the UCA. I really cannot see how it is possible to mount the arm using the front option. There's just not enough clearance to the tank. So we opted for the holes in the rear to mount the arm. When doing so the total length of the new arm was a full 1.25" longer then the original. It was fully adjusted to it's shortest possible length. We figured 'what the f...let's try it anyway'. So we installed it. Took it for a test drive with no issues. i've put a couple thousand miles since then with no issues whatsoever. No noise. Handles great. Etc. This all took place a year ago with my original 2 piece shaft. Well fast forward to 4 hours ago. We installed a one piece Dynotech shaft. Install was pretty straight forward. We didn't have an analog protractor. So we eyeballed it realizing IF it needed to be adjusted we were already at our extreme with no room left to shorten it. Well that apparently was a mistake. The first bump we hit there was a loud pop (like I ran over a boulder). Pulled it back in after running to Sears to get the aforementioned protractor. Put it back in the air. Checked for damage. Nothing found. The pinion angle is definitely off by a few degrees and the UCA is at it's limit. Anybody run into this or can offer some suggestions. We actually think that the control arm itself...or at least the sleeve is TOO long. it simply cannot be adjusted anywhere close to the stock length...at least not with the front of the arm being mounted to the rear holes of the new Steeda bracket. Again if mounting in the front holes was attempted there is no question the arm itself would make full contact with the tank itself so it cannot be an option. By the time we were threw this afternoon Steeda was closed so I'll try them tomorrow. But in the meantime any ideas or direct me to a posting that addresses my concern would be GREATLY appreciated. I apologize for hijacking the post but it's been a long, frustrating day and i'd love to find an answer.

 

You can use the front hole in the brackett, if you take a small cresent wrench, or pliers, and bend the lip of the tank in the center downward, it will fit. adjust the arm to 10.200, that should work for you.

 

Frank

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Franks.

 

Whatta ya mean adjust the arm to 10.200? 10.200" total length? Sorry for my ignorance but I'm the guy in charge of holding the droplight if ya know what I'm saying.

 

If you lowered your car, measure center, bolt hole to bolt hole, of the arm, and set at 10.200. I use a piece of card board, set the measurement at 10.200, put the bolts thru, and then adjust arm. If your car is not lowered, measure the orignal arm bolt hole to bolt hole, and add 2inchs to the measurement, that should work for you. also I dont use the Bump strop that they send with it, just leave it off. I hope this helps you. The front hole is what you use with the steeda arm, the rear is for stock, thats why it didnt work with the steed arm in the rear hole.

 

frank

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.........set at 10.200.

 

 

 

 

10.200 WHAT? 10.2 inches?

 

That *sounds* long from what I remember of my Roush UCA and bracket. I might be having a memory lapse but a 10 inch long UCA sounds like a long UCA.

 

But you also say add 2 inches to the stock UCA if using the front hole so maybe it's longer than I remember?

 

 

Phill

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Here is a pic of my Roush adjustable Third-Link (UCA), for comparison's sake.

 

I've not measured it but again, 10.2" sounds long.....

 

FWIW, the Roush arm pictured is set to stock length.

 

 

Phill

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See if this helps - u-joints are designed to work up to 12 degrees of angularity. The speed difference on the output varies with the speed and the angle of the u-joint.(a constant 1000 rpm of the trans tail shaft imput will produce an output/driveshaft speed varing between 900 to 1100 rpm within each revolution when the angle difference is 10 degrees and will vary between only 960 to 1040 rpm when the angle difference is only 5 degrees) Joint angle is the difference between the angles of the joint and are preffered to be between one and a half to three degrees but may not be held within that range due to raiseing or lowering a vehicle. To measure u-joint and drive shaft angles the vehicle must be hoisted using a axle contact or drive on type lift so as to maintain the same driveshaft angles as the vehicle has while being driven. If you are going to do it on jackstands measure from the centercap on the wheel to the lip of the fender directly above it before lifting up the vehicle and then after placing it on jackstands check to make sure the measurement reads the same, if not add weight to the trunk or jack up the body to make the reading the same( you wiil need to raise both front and rear of the car and try to keep it level )The working angles of the two u-joints on the driveshaft should be within one half(.5) of a degree of each other in order to cancel out the speed changes.Place an inclinometer on the rear u-joint bearing cap of the drive shaft - rotate until the cap is level side to side and take your angle reading front to rear ( if you have clearance issues-remove the snap ring on the u-joint cup and place a deep socket up against the cup )Then rotate the driveshaft 90 degrees and read the angle of the cup attatched to the companion flange of the rear yoke(pinion). Subtract the smaller reading from the larger reading to obtain the working angle of the joint . Repeat the same procedure for the front u-joint. The front and rear working angles should be within 0.5 degree but if not then you need to adjust the length of your UCA or shim your torque arm until they do. Also you might want to check for clearance issues throughout the tunnel area especially around the parking brake area and the back of the gas tank. 07-10 you must drop the gas tank straps to change out the UCA and mount and it uses a special round point torx socket that only Snap-on sells but many have been able to use a standard torx without breaking off the tip or rounding out the hole in the bolt. 2011 and newer do not have to drop the tank . Do not forget to put back in the u-joint clips if you remove them for taking measurements.

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07-10 you must drop the gas tank straps to change out the UCA and mount and it uses a special round point torx socket that only Snap-on sells

 

 

 

I have that driver/bit and can get the number off of it if anyone needs it....

 

 

Phill

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10.200 WHAT? 10.2 inches?

 

That *sounds* long from what I remember of my Roush UCA and bracket. I might be having a memory lapse but a 10 inch long UCA sounds like a long UCA.

 

But you also say add 2 inches to the stock UCA if using the front hole so maybe it's longer than I remember?

 

 

Phill

 

Stock length.......215.4mm(8.48")..Thats 8.480thousands, just under 81/2inchs.

 

per length......................256.4mm(10.21")..thats 10.210thousands, just under 101/4inches.

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Stock length.......215.4mm(8.48")..Thats 8.480thousands, just under 81/2inchs.

 

per length......................256.4mm(10.21")..thats 10.210thousands, just under 101/4inches.

 

 

Okay. I was looking at the pictures I posted and thinking, "yeah, that might be about 8 inches long. Add 2 inches and you have your 10 inches."

 

But as you can see by the Roush arm, ain't no way that's gonna extend 2 inches. I actually had to extend mine 1/2" longer than stock because the PST driveshaft I got is 1/2" too long and was binding the CV joint.

 

Oh, and the Roush UCA bracket has two holes but one is lower and the other is higher to adjust UCA *angle*. I have mine in the lower hole so my UCA is at a downward angle, to give me some body lift (by pulling up on the body) on accelleration and thereby planting the tires better.

 

 

Phill

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Okay. I was looking at the pictures I posted and thinking, "yeah, that might be about 8 inches long. Add 2 inches and you have your 10 inches."

 

But as you can see by the Roush arm, ain't no way that's gonna extend 2 inches. I actually had to extend mine 1/2" longer than stock because the PST driveshaft I got is 1/2" too long and was binding the CV joint.

 

Oh, and the Roush UCA bracket has two holes but one is lower and the other is higher to adjust UCA *angle*. I have mine in the lower hole so my UCA is at a downward angle, to give me some body lift (by pulling up on the body) on accelleration and thereby planting the tires better.

 

 

Phill

 

Roush just adjusts upper and lower, steeda lengthens upper arm 2 inches.
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Roush just adjusts upper and lower, steeda lengthens upper arm 2 inches.

 

 

Correct. I can rotate my rear axle in the body and keep my wheelbase exactly where it was from the factory (lengthen upper/shorten lower, or vice versa).

 

 

Phill

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I believe the point being made here is that some manufacturers make an upper control arm support bracket with 2 holes where one hole is in front of the other hole while other manufacturers make ones with one hole above the other. IMO I would suggest for you to place an adjustable upper control arm into the forward hole ( closest to the front of the car)of the bracket or in the other case the hole on top(higher). If you are willing to take it a step farther go ahead and buy adjustable lower control arms - just beware you can create more problems if your'e not aware of what effects what on your adjustments or use poor reference points. Not every car which has been modified is going to require the same length upper control arm - you are simply going to have to measure / check the working angles of the u-joints and their relationship with each other in order to get it right. The proper way to have the lower control arms is to have them be level (parrallel to the ground) while the vehicle is sitting stationary. If you really want to take it to the next level you should also be placing the payload in the vehicle any time you set ANY suspension setting . A 250 lb. driver (who drives alone most-not all-of the time) and a half to three quarters full tank of fuel MUST be included when doing your settings whether it be for ride height ,alignment,corner weight balancing,or sway bar end link adjustment. Payload plays a big part that most people often forget - funny I've have not seen a car out on the road - strip - track that was driving around without a person behind the wheel and most of them (not all) are sitting on the left side. (picture the 300 lb. woman who drives a mazda miata) still don't think it matters do your measurements with and without payload and see if they come up the same.

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I have that driver/bit and can get the number off of it if anyone needs it....

 

 

Phill

 

 

I managed to get the gas tank bolts out using a T-50 bit. I also saw where someone said to use a T-47 bit. That said, the T-50 worked, but seemed slightly small (which would make a T-47 even worse). The gas tannk bolts were SUPER hard to get out, due to the amount of Lock-tite Ford puts on them. I ended up using my 1/2" drive breaker bar to loosen them...and it was still tough....and I did snap the end off of one of the splines on my T-50 bit.

 

Once removed, the heads were so chewed up, that I bought new bolts for the install. Before using them I chased the bolt hjoles wiht a tap to claen out any old Lock-tite. The replacement bolts have Lock-tite pre-applied to them. I removed the Lock-tite from the bolt threads using a small wire wheel mounted in a rotary tool. After that, everything went smooth as silk.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm in the middle of installing a Steeda UCA. It's adjustable with poly bushings and I have the Steeda bracket for it.

Steeda says to set the intial length at 10.24 inches. Which is longer than the factory arm, but the net result is actually about 3/4 of an inch shorter than the factory set up.

 

Not sure I want to have the pinion angle changed right now. My car is not lowered yet.

 

My biggest concern is the difference in the height of the threaded "nose" on the Steeda bracket. It's a good half inch shorter than the factory part. Is this going to cause problems when I tighten that bolt under the seat? I see that the instructions say to use the "supplied hardware" for that bolt. I got my bracket and arm used, so I didn't get the "supplied" hardware what ever that may be. Steeda being Steeda didn't include a list of what should be in the box. So, does any know if there is anything special for that bolt location?

 

The T-50 plus Torx bit needed for the gas tank straps can be purchased from Amazon dot com. I got the OTC 6191 TP50.

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Sounds like you should give a quick call to Steeda and ask about the "hardware". IMO one should aways check the pre-exsisting pinion angle BEFORE changing out parts (ie.upper and lower control arms or lowering springs)if no prior problems occured (driveshafts are a different story). Really any time ride height change or rear suspension geometry changes are made you should go back over measuring all the driveline angles and make sure that the working angles are within spec. Again JMO

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I'm in the middle of installing a Steeda UCA. It's adjustable with poly bushings and I have the Steeda bracket for it. Steeda says to set the intial length at 10.24 inches. Which is longer than the factory arm, but the net result is actually about 3/4 of an inch shorter than the factory set up. Not sure I want to have the pinion angle changed right now. My car is not lowered yet. My biggest concern is the difference in the height of the threaded "nose" on the Steeda bracket. It's a good half inch shorter than the factory part. Is this going to cause problems when I tighten that bolt under the seat? I see that the instructions say to use the "supplied hardware" for that bolt. I got my bracket and arm used, so I didn't get the "supplied" hardware what ever that may be. Steeda being Steeda didn't include a list of what should be in the box. So, does any know if there is anything special for that bolt location? The T-50 plus Torx bit needed for the gas tank straps can be purchased from Amazon dot com. I got the OTC 6191 TP50.

 

The Steeda bracket uses the stock hardware along with the diff end of the UCA. The only hardware is the bolt/washers/nut to attach the UCA to the bracket. Installing the bracket is a bit of a pain in that you may have to bend the edge of the tank back a little to make room. If your using stock suspention you should be able to just set the length to what they say to use. Try to center the middle adjustable piece so the threads on each end are approximately the same. If you are not stock you will need to adjust the pinion angle.

 

P1010906.jpg

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