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The Unique Blend: Ford Explorer Sport Trac – The Perfect SUV/Pickup Hybrid

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac: A Unique Blend of SUV and Pickup Truck

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a versatile SUV/pickup truck hybrid that was first introduced in 2001. It is built on the same platform as the Ford Ranger pickup truck and shares many of its components.

The Sport Trac was designed to appeal to customers who loved the utility of a pickup truck but also needed the passenger-carrying capability of an SUV. In this article, we will provide an overview of the Sport Trac and detailed information on its available transmissions.

Overview of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac

The Sport Trac has an unmistakable look that sets it apart from other vehicles on the road. It has a four-door cab that can seat up to five passengers and a five-foot cargo bed.

The bed is covered by a hard tonneau cover that provides security and protection from the elements. The Sport Trac is available in two trim levels: XLT and Limited.

The XLT comes standard with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The Limited model comes standard with a more powerful 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque.

The Sport Trac comes with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle has a maximum towing capacity of 5,060 pounds when properly equipped.

The Sport Trac is also available with a number of features that make it a capable off-roader. These include a terrain management system, hill descent control, and skid plates.

Overall, the Sport Trac is a versatile vehicle that is well-suited for a variety of tasks. Its combination of SUV and pickup truck capabilities make it unique in the marketplace.

Detailed information on the available transmissions

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac comes with a five-speed automatic transmission. This transmission is standard on all Sport Trac models and provides smooth and efficient shifting.

The transmission has a number of features that enhance its performance and reliability. These include a torque converter that locks up at cruising speed, a low-friction design, and electronic controls that optimize shift timing and torque management.

The Sport Trac’s transmission also features a manual shift mode that allows drivers to manually select gears using the shift lever. This mode can be useful in certain driving situations, such as when towing a heavy load or driving on hilly terrain.

The manual shift mode is engaged by moving the shift lever to the left from the “drive” position. Once in manual mode, the driver can select gears by moving the lever up or down.

The Sport Trac’s transmission is available with an optional four-wheel drive system. The four-wheel drive system features a two-speed transfer case that allows the driver to switch between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive modes.

The transfer case is engaged by a switch located on the dashboard. The Sport Trac also features a “4×4 Low” mode that provides additional torque for off-road driving.

In addition to the standard automatic transmission, the Sport Trac is also available with a six-speed manual transmission. This transmission is only available on the rear-wheel drive XLT model and features a smooth and precise shifting action.

The six-speed manual transmission is well-suited for customers who enjoy the engagement and control of a manual transmission.

Conclusion

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a unique vehicle that combines the utility of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying capability of an SUV. Its standard five-speed automatic transmission provides smooth and efficient shifting, and its manual shift mode and four-wheel drive system make it a capable off-roader.

For customers who prefer the engagement and control of a manual transmission, the Sport Trac is also available with a six-speed manual transmission. Whether you need to haul cargo or transport passengers, the Sport Trac is a versatile and capable vehicle that is well-suited for a variety of tasks.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Manual and Automatic Transmissions

When it comes to choosing between a manual and an automatic transmission, there are several factors that drivers should consider. Each type of transmission has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately comes down to the individual preferences of the driver.

Manual Transmissions:

Manual transmissions, also known as “stick shifts,” require the driver to manually shift gears using a clutch pedal and gearshift lever. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of driving a car with a manual transmission:

Advantages:

1.

Greater Control: Manual transmissions give drivers greater control over the cars acceleration and speed. Drivers can rev the engine higher and shift into lower gears to increase acceleration or shift into higher gears to conserve fuel on long drives.

2. More Engaging: Many drivers find that driving a car with a manual transmission is more engaging and fun than driving an automatic.

It requires more skill and effort to operate, which can make the driving experience more rewarding. 3.

Better Fuel Economy: Cars with manual transmissions typically get better fuel economy than cars with automatic transmissions. This is because manual transmissions don’t rely on a torque converter to transfer power from the engine to the drivetrain, which can sap power and reduce efficiency.

Disadvantages:

1. More Difficult to Learn: Driving a car with a manual transmission requires skill and practice.

Some people may find it difficult or intimidating to learn, especially if they are used to driving an automatic. 2.

Noisy: Shifting gears on a manual transmission can be noisy, which can be irritating to passengers or neighbors. 3.

More Expensive to Repair: Manual transmissions have more moving parts than automatic transmissions, which can make them more expensive to repair. Automatic Transmissions:

Automatic transmissions use a torque converter to transfer power from the engine to the drivetrain.

The car’s computer system controls the shifting of gears, so drivers don’t need to manually shift gears using a clutch pedal and gearshift lever. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of driving a car with an automatic transmission:

Advantages:

1.

Easy to Drive: Automatic transmissions are extremely easy to drive. Drivers simply need to put the car in drive and press the gas pedal.

2. Less Fatiguing: Since drivers don’t need to worry about shifting gears, driving an automatic can be less fatiguing and more comfortable, particularly in stop-and-go traffic.

3. Easily Accessible: Automatic transmissions are the standard in most modern vehicles, which means drivers can easily find replacement parts and mechanics who are trained to work on them.

Disadvantages:

1. Less Control: Drivers don’t have as much control over the car’s acceleration and speed as they do with a manual transmission.

2. Lower Fuel Economy: Automatic transmissions aren’t as efficient as manual transmissions, which means they typically get lower fuel economy.

3. More Expensive: Cars with automatic transmissions are typically more expensive than cars with manual transmissions.

Exploring the History of Manual Transmissions in Ford Vehicles

Manual transmissions have a long and storied history in the Ford Motor Company. In fact, the company’s founder, Henry Ford, was an early proponent of manual transmissions.

Here’s a brief overview of the history of manual transmissions in Ford vehicles:

1903 – The first Ford Model A was equipped with a two-speed planetary transmission that was operated by pedals. The driver would use the clutch to engage the transmission and then use the pedals to shift gears.

1928 – Ford introduced the Model A, which was the first Ford car to feature a synchronized manual transmission. This allowed drivers to shift gears more smoothly and with less grinding.

1939 – Ford introduced the first mass-produced car with a clutchless manual transmission. Called the “Ford Tractor Transmission,” it was used in the Ford V8 car and truck lines.

1949 – Ford introduced the “Ford-O-Matic,” which was the company’s first automatic transmission. It was an optional feature on certain Ford models.

1964 – Ford introduced the Mustang, which came standard with a 3-speed manual transmission. A 4-speed manual transmission was available as an option.

1977 – Ford introduced the Tremec 3550 5-speed manual transmission, which was the first 5-speed manual transmission in a Mustang. Today, Ford offers a range of manual and automatic transmissions in its vehicles.

The company’s Mustang sports car continues to be available with a manual transmission, as do several other models. Automatic transmissions are the norm in most Ford vehicles, however, as they offer greater ease of use and convenience.

In summary, the choice between a manual or automatic transmission is ultimately up to the driver and their personal preferences. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and no single type is inherently better than the other.

The history of manual transmissions in Ford vehicles is rich and diverse, with the company constantly innovating to provide drivers with the best possible driving experience. 5.

Comparison of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac to Similar Vehicles in its Class

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a unique vehicle that combines the utility of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying capability of an SUV. While there are not many vehicles that directly compete with the Sport Trac, there are several similar vehicles in its class that offer comparable features and capabilities.

Here’s a comparison of the Sport Trac to its closest competitors:

1. Honda Ridgeline: The Ridgeline is a mid-size pickup truck that is similar in size to the Sport Trac.

It has a unibody construction, which gives it a more comfortable ride and better handling than traditional body-on-frame trucks. The Ridgeline also comes with a standard V6 engine, automatic transmission, and available all-wheel drive.

However, it has a shorter bed length than the Sport Trac and a lower towing capacity. 2.

Chevrolet Avalanche: The Avalanche is a full-size pickup truck that has a unique design that allows the vehicle to convert from a pickup truck to an SUV. Like the Sport Trac, it has a four-door cab and a short cargo bed.

The Avalanche also has a standard V8 engine and available four-wheel drive. However, it has a higher starting price than the Sport Trac and is more expensive to operate and maintain.

3. Toyota Tacoma: The Tacoma is a mid-size pickup truck that is known for its durability and off-road capabilities.

It comes with a standard four-cylinder engine, but a V6 engine is available. Four-wheel drive is optional.

The Tacoma has a shorter bed length than the Sport Trac, but a higher towing capacity. However, it does not offer the same level of passenger comfort and convenience features as the Sport Trac.

4. Nissan Frontier: The Frontier is another mid-size pickup truck that offers a good balance of utility and comfort.

It comes with a standard four-cylinder engine, but a V6 engine is available. Four-wheel drive is optional.

The Frontier has a slightly shorter bed length than the Sport Trac, but similar towing capacity. However, it does not offer as many features or options as the Sport Trac.

Overall, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a unique vehicle that offers a combination of features and capabilities that cannot be matched by any other vehicle in its class. It has a comfortable and spacious interior, a flexible cargo bed, and capable off-road and towing capabilities.

6. Insight into the Design and Engineering of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac was designed to appeal to customers who wanted the utility of a pickup truck and the passenger-carrying capacity of an SUV.

To achieve this, Ford used a combination of design and engineering to create a vehicle that was unique in the marketplace. Design:

The Sport Trac’s design is based on the Ford Ranger pickup truck and the Ford Explorer SUV.

It has a four-door cab that can seat up to five passengers and a five-foot cargo bed. The bed is covered by a hard tonneau cover that provides security and protection from the elements.

The Sport Trac’s exterior styling features a rugged and aggressive look that sets it apart from other vehicles on the road. Inside, the Sport Trac features a spacious and comfortable interior that is well-suited for long drives.

The vehicle comes with a number of convenience features, such as power windows and locks, air conditioning, and a sound system. It also offers a number of available options, such as leather seats, a navigation system, and a moonroof.

Engineering:

The Sport Trac’s engineering is based on the Ford Ranger pickup truck. It shares many of the Ranger’s components, including its frame, suspension, and drivetrain.

However, Ford made several modifications to the Ranger’s chassis to make it more suitable for passenger use. The Sport Trac is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and comes with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The vehicle has a maximum towing capacity of 5,060 pounds when properly equipped. The Sport Trac is also available with a number of features that make it a capable off-roader, such as a terrain management system, hill descent control, and skid plates.

Conclusion:

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a unique vehicle that combines the utility of a pickup truck with the passenger-carrying capabilities of an SUV. Its design and engineering make it a versatile and capable vehicle that is well-suited to a variety of tasks.

While there are several similar vehicles in its class, the Sport Trac’s combination of features and capabilities make it a one-of-a-kind vehicle that is sure to appeal to a wide range of drivers. 7.

Analysis of the Sport Trac’s Performance and Handling

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a versatile vehicle that offers a combination of SUV and pickup truck capabilities. In terms of performance and handling, the Sport Trac delivers a solid and enjoyable driving experience.

Let’s take a closer look at the vehicle’s performance attributes and handling characteristics:

Performance:

The Sport Trac is available with two engine options. The standard engine is a 4.0-liter V6 that produces 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque.

This V6 engine provides ample power for everyday driving and light towing. For those seeking more power, the Limited model comes standard with a 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque.

The V8 engine significantly improves acceleration and towing capacity. Both engines are paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.

The transmission offers smooth and timely gear shifts, contributing to a refined driving experience. The Sport Trac offers responsive acceleration, allowing drivers to swiftly merge onto highways or pass slower vehicles with confidence.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the V6 engine registers respectable numbers, while the V8 engine may be slightly less fuel-efficient due to its larger size and increased power output. Handling:

Given its larger size and elevated ground clearance, the Sport Trac’s handling is surprisingly good.

It strikes a nice balance between SUV comfort and pickup truck stability. The Sport Trac’s independent front suspension and solid rear axle allow it to handle bumps and potholes with ease, while still maintaining stability on the road.

In terms of maneuverability, the Sport Trac’s turning radius is tighter than expected, making it easier to navigate in tight spaces. Its power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system provides precise and responsive control, offering a comfortable and confident driving experience.

The Sport Trac is also equipped with several features that enhance its handling and performance. For example, the available four-wheel drive system provides better traction on slippery or off-road surfaces, ensuring a confident drive in various conditions.

Additionally, the Sport Trac offers an optional terrain management system, allowing drivers to select specific modes based on road or weather conditions, optimizing performance and handling accordingly. Overall, the Sport Trac’s performance and handling capabilities are commendable.

It offers a smooth and comfortable ride, responsive acceleration, and capable handling that provides drivers with a sense of control and confidence on the road. 8.

Key Features of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac is a versatile vehicle that combines the benefits of an SUV and a pickup truck into one attractive package. Let’s explore some of the key features that make the Sport Trac stand out in its class:

1.

Dual-Purpose Cargo Bed: One of the standout features of the Sport Trac is its unique cargo bed. With a length of five feet, it provides ample space for hauling gear, equipment, or recreational items.

The bed is also equipped with a hard tonneau cover, which protects cargo from the elements and provides added security. 2.

Spacious and Comfortable Interior: The Sport Trac’s interior offers a balance of comfort and functionality. It can comfortably seat up to five passengers with enough legroom and headroom to ensure a pleasant ride.

The rear seats can also be folded down for additional cargo space when needed. 3.

Powertrain Options: The Sport Trac offers two engine options to suit various needs. The standard 4.0-liter V6 engine delivers sufficient power for everyday driving and light towing, while the 4.6-liter V8 engine, available in the Limited model, provides increased horsepower and torque for those who require more hauling or towing capability.

4. Off-Road Capabilities: The Sport Trac is designed to handle off-road adventures.

Depending on the configuration, it may come equipped with features such as an available four-wheel drive system, a terrain management system, hill descent control, and skid plates. These features enhance the vehicle’s capability to traverse challenging terrains with confidence.

5. Safety Features: The Sport Trac prioritizes safety and comes equipped with an array of safety features.

These may include advanced airbag systems, stability control, anti-lock brakes, and available features such as blind-spot monitoring, rearview cameras, and parking sensors. These safety features work together to provide peace of mind for both driver and passengers.

6. Technology and Convenience: The Sport Trac offers a range of modern technologies and convenient features.

Depending on the trim level, it may include features such as a touchscreen infotainment system, smartphone integration, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, navigation system, power adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, and more. These features enhance the driving experience and provide added comfort and convenience.

7. Towing Capability: The Sport Trac is capable of towing respectable loads.

When properly equipped, it can tow up to 5,060 pounds, making it suitable for towing small trailers, boats, or other recreational vehicles. In summary, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac offers a variety of key features that set it apart from its competitors.

From its versatile cargo bed to its spacious interior, powerful engine options, off-road capabilities, and advanced safety features, the Sport Trac provides a unique blend of utility, comfort, and convenience that can cater to a wide range of drivers’ needs. 9.

Safety Features that Come Standard on the Sport Trac

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac prioritizes safety and comes equipped with a range of standard safety features. These features are designed to protect both the driver and passengers, and to help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

Let’s take a closer look at the safety features that come standard on the Sport Trac:

1. Advanced Airbag System: The Sport Trac is equipped with a comprehensive airbag system that includes dual-stage front airbags for the driver and front passenger.

These airbags deploy with varying levels of force based on the severity of the impact. The vehicle also includes side-curtain airbags that extend along the length of the cabin to provide head protection in the event of a side collision or rollover.

2. Antilock Brakes (ABS): The Sport Trac comes standard with an antilock braking system that prevents the wheels from locking up during braking, allowing the driver to maintain steering control.

ABS enhances stopping power and stability, particularly in emergency braking situations. 3.

Stability Control: The Sport Trac incorporates a stability control system that helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle during sudden maneuvers or in slippery conditions. This system uses sensors to detect when the vehicle begins to skid or lose control and applies individual brakes or reduces engine power to restore stability.

4. Traction Control: Traction control is designed to improve the vehicle’s grip on the road surface, especially in adverse weather conditions.

The Sport Trac’s traction control system automatically adjusts engine power and applies the brakes to specific wheels to prevent wheel spin and enhance traction. 5.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS): The Sport Trac comes equipped with a TPMS that alerts the driver if any of the tires are significantly underinflated. This feature helps to prevent tire blowouts, improves fuel efficiency, and enhances overall safety by ensuring proper tire pressure.

6. Child Safety Features: To ensure the safety of younger passengers, the Sport Trac includes child safety locks on the rear doors.

These locks prevent children from accidentally opening the doors while the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, the vehicle has lower and upper anchor points for child safety seats, enabling secure installation.

7. SecuriLock Anti-Theft System: The Sport Trac features Ford’s SecuriLock anti-theft system as standard, which uses an encoded ignition key to prevent unauthorized starting of the vehicle.

This feature enhances security and reduces the risk of theft. 10.

User Experience with the Sport Trac’s Manual Transmission

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac offers a choice of transmissions, including a manual transmission for those who prefer a more engaging and hands-on driving experience. Here, we explore the user experience with the Sport Trac’s manual transmission:

1.

Engaging Driving Experience: The Sport Trac’s manual transmission provides drivers with a sense of connection to the vehicle and the road. Shifting gears manually allows drivers to have full control over gear selection, resulting in a more engaged driving experience.

Many enthusiasts appreciate the tactile and mechanical feedback that is inherent in manual transmissions. 2.

Smooth and Precise Shifting: The Sport Trac’s manual transmission is known for its smooth and precise shifting. The gear lever is well-positioned, allowing for easy and effortless gear changes.

The transmission’s design and engineering enable seamless transitions between gears, enhancing the overall driving experience. 3.

Driver Control: With a manual transmission, drivers have the ability to choose the gear that best suits their driving conditions and preferences. This control over gear selection allows for optimal performance, whether it be for quick acceleration or fuel efficiency.

Manual transmissions also provide the opportunity for downshifting and engine braking, which can be advantageous in certain driving situations. 4.

Learning Curve: It is important to note that driving a vehicle with a manual transmission requires some level of skill and practice. For those who are new to manual transmissions, there may be a learning curve to master the timing and coordination required for smooth gear changes.

However, with practice, most drivers quickly become comfortable with the manual transmission. 5.

Potential Drawbacks: While many drivers enjoy the engagement and control of a manual transmission, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. For some, the constant shifting of gears can be tiring, particularly in heavy traffic or during long commutes.

Additionally, manual transmissions may not be as smooth as automatic transmissions in stop-and-go traffic situations. However, these drawbacks are often outweighed by the benefits of driver engagement and control.

In conclusion, the Sport Trac’s manual transmission offers an engaging and hands-on driving experience appreciated by those who prefer to have more control over their vehicle. With smooth and precise shifting, drivers can enjoy a heightened level of connection to the road and a greater sense of control.

While it may require some initial practice, the manual transmission in the Sport Trac is generally well-regarded, providing an enjoyable driving experience for enthusiasts. 11.

User Experience with the Sport Trac’s Automatic Transmission

The Ford Explorer Sport Trac offers an automatic transmission option for those who prefer a more convenient and effortless driving experience. Here, we explore the user experience with the Sport Trac’s automatic transmission:

1.

Seamless Shifting: The Sport Trac’s automatic transmission is designed to provide smooth and seamless shifting. The transmission’s computer-controlled system monitors various factors such as engine speed, vehicle speed, and throttle input to determine the optimal gear for efficiency and performance.

This results in smooth gear changes that go unnoticed by the driver. 2.

Easy to Drive: The automatic transmission removes the need for manual shifting, making it incredibly easy to drive the Sport Trac. Drivers simply need to put the vehicle in drive and press the accelerator pedal.

This convenience is particularly beneficial in heavy traffic or during long commutes, where the constant shifting of gears can be tiring in manual transmissions. 3.

Responsive Performance: The automatic transmission in the Sport Trac delivers responsive performance, allowing for quick and efficient acceleration. When the driver needs more power, the transmission downshifts to a lower gear to provide the necessary torque.

This responsiveness contributes to a confident and enjoyable driving experience. 4.

Adaptive Transmission: The Sport Trac’s automatic transmission is often equipped with adaptive technology that adjusts shift timing and shift firmness based on the driver’s inputs and driving conditions. This adaptability ensures that the transmission is always in the appropriate gear for optimal performance and efficiency.

5. Towing Capabilities: The automatic transmission in the Sport Trac is designed to handle towing tasks effectively.

It has the ability to downshift to lower gears automatically to provide increased torque and better control when towing heavy loads. This capability enhances the Sport Trac’s towing performance and allows for a smoother and more stable towing experience.

6. Fuel Efficiency: The automatic transmission in the Sport Trac also contributes to its overall fuel efficiency.

With advanced control systems and adaptive shifting, the transmission optimizes fuel consumption by keeping the engine operating within its most efficient range. This can result in better fuel economy compared to manual transmissions, as automatic transmissions can shift more precisely and swiftly.

Overall, the automatic transmission in the Sport Trac provides a convenient and effortless driving experience, with smooth shifting, responsive performance, and optimal fuel efficiency. 12.

Maintenance Tips for Sport Trac’s Transmission

To ensure the longevity and proper functioning of the Sport Trac’s transmission, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

1.

Follow Manufacturer’s Recommendations: It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for the Sport Trac’s transmission. This typically includes regular fluid changes, filter replacements, and inspections.

Adhering to the recommended maintenance intervals will help prevent premature wear and potential transmission issues. 2.

Check and Change Transmission Fluid: Regularly check the transmission fluid level and condition. The transmission fluid serves as a lubricant and coolant for the transmission components, and its condition can affect the transmission’s performance.

If the fluid appears discolored, has a burnt smell, or is low, it may be necessary to change the fluid. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate type of fluid and intervals for fluid changes.

3. Use the Correct Fluid: When replacing transmission fluid, it is important to use the correct type of fluid specified by the manufacturer.

Using the wrong fluid can lead to inadequate lubrication or damage to the transmission. Refer to the owner’s manual or consult a qualified mechanic to ensure the right fluid is used.

4. Avoid Heavy Towing beyond Capacity: While the Sport Trac is capable of towing, it is crucial to stay within the vehicle’s recommended towing capacity.

Exceeding the recommended capacity can put excessive strain on the transmission, leading to premature wear and potential damage. Consult the owner’s manual for the Sport Trac’s towing capacity to ensure safe and appropriate towing.

5. Be Mindful of Driving Habits: Certain driving habits can impact the transmission’s longevity.

Avoid excessive acceleration and aggressive driving, as this can put unnecessary stress on the transmission. Also, come to a complete stop before shifting between drive and reverse gears, as abruptly shifting while the vehicle is still in motion can cause damage to the transmission.

6. Regular Inspections: Have the transmission inspected regularly by a qualified mechanic or dealer service center.

They can identify any potential issues or signs of wear early on, allowing for prompt repairs or adjustments. Regular inspections can help prevent major transmission problems and extend its lifespan.

By following these maintenance tips, Sport Trac owners can ensure the longevity and optimal performance of the transmission. Regular maintenance and responsible driving habits are key to preserving the functionality and reliability of the transmission for years to come.

13. The Importance of Thorough Research and Test Driving Before Purchasing

Before making a significant purchase like a vehicle, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and test drive various options to ensure the chosen vehicle meets your needs and preferences.

This holds true for the Ford Explor

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