BqUICK

Electra GSX Road Racer

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Michael,

I LIKE the idea of a combination aviation/automotive website. So much of WWII aviation is intimately linked to the automotive industry, from the B24 bombers built by Ford to the Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 refined and built by Packard (and used in the P51 Mustangs the Tuskegee Airmen flew), to Buick-built(!) radial engines for bombers, there would have been no Army Air Forces without the U.S. automotive industry!

There is a Buick advertisement from the war years touting the radial aircraft engines they built for bombers. I believe they were specifically for the B17, but that could be wrong. I hope to find the ad again. I think a link to it was posted on this very forum.

Good luck with the site, I'm sure it will be a beauty when it's done.

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The turnout at New York International Speedway was pretty weak when I got there around sundown last Friday. There were less than 25 cars! By 7:30 cars came pouring in, once the word was out the weather would hold I guess.

At 4,670lbs, stiff road race suspension, and 44psi P-Zeros tires, and anti-sway bar still hooked up, it was super hard getting the beast off the line. I granny'd her each time slowly giving her more power. The track seemed "slick" without weight transfer. 15 feet or so out, she'd finally hook and would really pull hard. She would also die in 3rd gear, which is something my street Electra does not do. The street convertible runs 15.35 at 90mph in the 1/4 and pulls strong past 120mph, top down! (Vrated tires and > 2.56 high speed gears)

I think our 4.11 gear was just too much gear and that took us well out of our torque band (3,000 - 4,500) especially with those short 26" tires! The Overdrive did not help much either.

Our first time out we ran 15.206 @ 97.56 with a .797 cruddy reaction time. This was her very first time on any track and she seemed to run okay through the gears until 3rd. It was like putting on the brakes! It was a very mushy 3rd gear and the comp I held off till third just sailed past me! Here again, we shifted into 3rd at too high an RPM. The Tach was not working too well either, being sever hundred RPM off.

14.436 14.367 then 14.395 followed with me adding a bit more power off the line each time. On runs 2-4 I engaged the OD in top gear only. On runs 3 &4 it came in and out of OD like it had a short. Best run was 14.367 @ 97.3; with a .644 R/T; 60'- 2.356; 330'- 6.008; 1/8- 9.296 > @76.12; 1000'- 12.048.

The 4th run was actually the worst run even if it was not the slowest! There are two reasons why I say this. First, I launched with 3rd locked out thinking I would actually do just two gears and kick in the OD in 2nd only. Big Mistake! There is something about keeping it in 1st or 2nd that causes a tranny fluid oil leak which goes over the headers! At the 1/8th and in second, I hit OD which did not work well. It jumped in and out a couple of times. The cockpit filling with smoke, still trying to get a decent time I hung in there and shifted into 3rd. It all sounded like I hit 6 gears! It was the slowest run in mph but still the 2nd fastest! It was probably the most dangerous.

Second, I pretty much coasted the last 3rd of the way and still beat two of my previous times due to a better launch! It also proved to me that third gear was is worthless waste of gas, at $6.75/gallon I might add! My shift points are too high, I probably need to get into third much faster to take advantage of the low end torque.

I got some valuable data, won some nice races and saw some dynamite cars. Vettes, Audi, GTO, and other imports were there. Lots of hot turbo imports just blasting air through their "quiet" exhaust systems doing 12s & better. There was a 1970 Buick GS with a "NOSTAGE 1" license plates and slicks doing good 11.9s.

My guess is that low 13s are possible with a little tuning; 90/10 shocks, sticky tires, and a trans re-program. In any case, we had a blast! My kids and I had fun and I was able to keep them off of video games for a whole Friday night!

God Speed

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i can't reply directly to the tranny you're using but when we race a TH-400 locked down into 2nd it will generate excess heat / pressure and puke fluid out after a while. it will also eventually burn up the clutch pack.

i assume the same is happening with yours.

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Bquick, Cool pics!! My opinion is 411's are to low a gear, too much torque multiplication. I'd try a set of 3.50 gears at best as these torque monster buicks looove to pull shocked.gif!!! You just can't knock them down they make soo much torque it's sickning! I have a feeling that once you get everything sorted out, you will be pleased with the results. Trust me I KNOW what buicks can and will do!

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It is interesting that you have two new members checking this thread. The fan base grows. Did you ever get the web site up for the car? I wanted to order a shirt, and was waiting to see the mailing address and to whom to make the check to.

John

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Bquick's car rules!! I to have been folowing for a long time, over a year now. I love anything that's different and of course powerfull. It's kind of interesting how I found the site, I was messin around just typing names of cars in odd combinations to see what it would come up with under my search engine. I put in 10 sec electra and the electra GSX tread came up! I've been hooked ever since. The time that I came in Michael's car was still at the chassis shop without the paint job all of the work like the narowed 9inch rear with adjustable 4 link, wildwood brakes, cage and pee gee built stage1 just grew on me and I thought, it's about time. Simply a breath of fresh air from the norm grin.gif!!

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All,

Thanks for the support and encouraging replies. Yes, the "Tuskegee Airmen Racing Enterprises" tee shirts are available and we are developing a web site as I speak.

Make a $22.50 check out to "Michael Joseph, JGST", (S/H which is about $2.50) bucks. $5 goes to the New York Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Educational Assistance fund, for Black youth pursuing careers in Aerospace. Thus far the Faithful Pursuit has raised over $3,200 for that fund since her rollout for the Airmen in April of 2004.

Let me know your size and mail to:

Michael Joseph

154 Cayuta Street

Corning, New York 14830

The other day, I was in the Faithful Pursuit's 24' trailer and under the soft light, examined the GSX ram air induction contours of the apparently flat black cowl. The form of that one detail took years of thought, hours of design work and 80 man hours of fabrication to complete. In '99 or so I obtained the induction part of a '70 GS hood from the Buick Doctor in Vermont. In 2003 I watched as Dave Machuga cut the holes in the Electra hood to my scribe marks, and welded in each bank of GS ram air induction. He would weld an inch, then allow the metal to cool for 20 minutes or so as to minimize the warpage. After 40 hours of work, even then the results were astonishing as it began the transformation from a large flat 80 lb. luxury barge hood to the cowl of a musclecar. The inlets were welded flush to the wide flat expanses of Electra skin which warped slightly and symmetrically from each inlet to the center of the hood out on both sides. I then, watched in wonder as the symetrically warped metal was shrunk, by the magic of master auto body alchemist, Tim Putman, who made thousands of spot welder hot points, drawing the contours back into a smooth velvety GM perfection!

The Buick Midnight Blue was spayed on without a clear coat and looks flat black even in direct sunlight. Only a high intensity flash photo taken inches away reveals the blue metallic nature of the dark cowl.

The spectacular results were a realization of a dream I had after vowing to rebuild her, better, stronger, and faster after she was heavily damaged in a spectacular three car wreck on a cold New York City street, nearly thirty years ago.

I am really pleased that so many of you approve!

God Speed!

PS: The Tuskegee Airmen, now in their 80's, have chosen to go on a special and dangerous mission to Iraq to show support support for our military men and women engaged in the war over there. May God Speed them safely to their destination and return them safely to our American shores. cool.gif

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Sorry it took me so long to reply, I've been very busy. Thanks for posting shipping details. I personally feel that what you're doing by in support of the Tuskegee Airmen is fantastic and even more fun with your faithful persuit GSX. There are many Americans that don't know or even understand the many untold contributions and sacrafices that Black Americans have in our American history. It needs to be told! I definitly will be ordering a T-shirt. What really would be cool is to see your car in a mag like Hot Rod, Car Craft, or Popular Hot Rodding, maybe even the Car Craft real street eliminator. A Cadillac did win one year so a Buick would just the cooler grin.gif.

Chad

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Chad,

Thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate that. Periodically, I share the details of what you guys write in with the Tuskegee Airmen. A few have seen the thread as well as many personal friends and family.

I just finished sheet rock and plaster or our garage. We extended it about 8' back in '98 or so and just got around to finishing up the detailing, including garage floor speckled paint. It looks pretty good. We filled about a hundred, no kidding, holes! This is the first winter the garage is actually warm!

I'm trying to work out a trans 3rd gear bog issue at the moment. I really want to take the car to the track tomorrow for some 1/4 mile action. I have really long lines on my tranny cooler and I suspect that I am pushing a lot more fluid in high gear. Does anyone know if that may be true?

My trans builder, Kevin Walter, is in the mid-west somewhere and we never did test it out before he left.

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Doing some 4:00am suspension adjustment with levels and a laser. I thought I would take a break and share this with you today.

Armistice Day is the anniversary of the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning ? the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.

This was gladly celebrated as a national holiday each year in many of the former allied nations. After World War II, it was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations. In many parts of the world, people take a minute of silence at 11:11 as a sign of respect, as suggested by Edward George Honey in a letter to a British newspaper.

A few of my friends in the TAI, the present day public service organization that the Tuskegee Airmen founded in 1972, went over to Iraq to visit the new 332nd group. These are some of the men that signed the red tail on the Faithful Pursuit, Electra GSX.

It was a good trip and I really have to hand it to the 85 year old soldiers for going into the war zone, particularly where there have been some road side bombs going off.

Let us remember all great Americans who sacrificed so that we could enjoy our freedoms. Maybe some day we will not have to fight anymore wars but until then we will continue to support our troops.

http://www.afnews.af.mil/iraq/balad/102705-tuskegee-balad.htm

God Speed! laugh.gif

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Just got my Tuskege Airmen Wings of Eagles T-shirt today! Fits like a glove and looks Fantastic! Well worth the money! Bquick, you've done a great job on the design! wink.gif

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Buster,

I am glad that you liked your new tee shirt! I cannot tell you the amount of work that went into the design as well as the sponsor list on the back!

We should come up with new designs in the future but we still have a few hundred to get sold to help us move forward. Thanks for your help!

Michael

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With the winter more than half over, its time to get serious again about this year's events. One of my past projects was implemented in one of our manufacturing plants and I have been working on another device for another plant. I'll be pretty busy with work over the next few months!

I fired the Electra GSX and drove it around a bit. I took it to get weighed, with me the spoiler and about 1/3 tank of fuel. It is exactly 4,700 lbs! I then took her abound some traffic circles on the moist ground. She was very predictable as I took her into a slide and recovered.

The dilemma with trying to do drags is that she was set up with a road race limited slip with the clutches adjusted for maximum traction around a corner. If both tires wanted to spin at the same rpm around a corner, it would make for good drag launches, but I'd have swapped ends for sure!

I really want to get her timed for maximum potential stright line so I may opt for a spool for drag use only. I have 4.11 and 26" tall tires and even with overdrive it does not make for efficient running even at a drag strip.

A switch to 3.91, 28" tall tires, and a high stall converter may do the trick. I'd have to switch it all back, including a 2.47 limited slip for the high-speed action later this summer.

Does anyone out there have a really good switch pitch transmission that can handle 550 ft-lbs or more?

God Speed

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Hey BqUICK,

Can you post all the numbers from the best run you made?

I was thinking you are using too much stall. Buick (and Cadillac) engines produce a lot of low end torque.

It's my understanding that you need high stall only on high revving engines that have no low end. So having high stall on one of these engines is counter productive.

You'd probably run a faster 1/4 mile with the 2.47 LS rear with 1800-2000 stall than with the 4.11 or 3.91 and high stall.

IMHO.

David

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David,

You may be right, however the past experience of Scotty Guadagno and his 11 sec 4,700lb Electra lean towards tall gears and high stall. He ran 12.4 and 11.7 with nitrous. He built my engine with a higher torque curve than standard, 535 ft-lbs at 4,500 RPM. Really high considering stock is 510 at 2,600 RPM! Traction was our main issue as well as functionality of the transmission, perhaps due to low transmission fluid levels.

Here is the data from our first rin last year. We only ran one night.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Our first time out we ran 15.206 @ 97.56 with a .797 cruddy reaction time. This was her very first time on any track and she seemed to run okay through the gears until 3rd. It was like putting on the brakes! It was a very mushy 3rd gear and the comp I held off till third just sailed past me! Here again, we shifted into 3rd at too high an RPM. The Tach was not working too well either, being sever hundred RPM off.

14.436 14.367 then 14.395 followed with me adding a bit more power off the line each time. On runs 2-4 I engaged the OD in top gear only. On runs 3 &4 it came in and out of OD like it had a short. Best run was 14.367 @ 97.3; with a .644 R/T; 60'- 2.356; 330'- 6.008; 1/8- 9.296 > @76.12; 1000'- 12.048.

</div></div>

I adjusted the shift points down and will put in the rear that we need for our high speed long distance runs. Faithful Pursuit was really designed for sustained high speed, we really thought it would be fun to do some 1/4 mile action to asses the 6 speed setup. We have some work to do yet!

God Speed,

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I took the trailer out of storage today and brought it to my home for the first time since fall. Jacked up the rear of the racecar, removed the tires, and will take the chunk out this weekend.

It will be replaced with a spool so that I can do a little drag action this spring. Some minor suspension mods, 29" - 30" slicks should do it.

Mid 12 Seconds may be achievable with a high stall converter. We will see.

God Speed! cool.gif

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My HUGE P-ZER0 roadracing slicks arrived this week. They are 360/710-17" or 15" wide by 28" high!!! shocked.gif They are taller and wider than my old 13" X 26" P-ZERO all weather tires.

The big wheel wells in the Faithful Pursuit were designed to handle bigger tires and these are about the limit! I trial mounted them on our 12" rims and they look awsome. laugh.giflaugh.gif

We will cycle the suspension through full travel to assure that all clearnces are satisfied. wink.gif

There is still a lot more to do to get ready for the spring and summer action. When my schedule is in better shape I will publish it. I'd like to stop by Smartin's track! It looks awsome and his track photos are always clear and sunny with nice track conditions. grin.gif

Happy Easter and God Speed,

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I pulled the axles and the center section and drove them to Pen Yan, NY to GT Performance. Gary Tyler built the rear back in 1999 or so for me and I told him to put a spool in it so we would get better bite off the line. The center section will retain its nodular case, denoted by a big "N" in the front of it between the case structural webbing. In addition Gary will be building another center section so we can change to road race gears quickly.

The Faithful Pursuit should be able to do 12 second quarter miles once we can get some more power to the ground. We spun most of the way through the 60' last year and had to "granny it" for what felt like an eternity before we could apply full power. Our best time was low 14s at 96 or so mph. Tom Wagner coached me on the use of 28" tall tires coupled with a good high stall torque converter should work with the 4.11 to 1 gear we currently use. Our Allison truck converter has an advertised stall of about 1500 - 1800 rpm. This, although good for high speed, is not suited for the 1/4 mile launch characteristics I want.

I bought an EDGE torque converter that is being custom built for my application. I honestly did not know there was so much to converter technology. They claim that a high stall converter need no longer be restricted to 1/4 mile applications. Their high precision and tight tolerances can assure higher "coupling efficiency" and now 2800 rpm stalls are capable with the 4.11 in addition to low slippage when "pushing lots of air" at 160mph+ using my 3.33 and GV overdrive.http://www.edgeracingconverters.com/about.htm

They were very knowledgeable and were willing to take the time, through a few phone calls, to answer my questions and assure me this thing could handle my torque and other requirements.

The 9-1/2" converter should reduce rotating inertia over the old 13" Allison and will make the engine more responsive over its range of shift and rpm recovery.

I am really excited about the improvements to my car and cannot wait to see what they do at the track. There will be no "horsepower" mods this year, only traction, transmission, and suspension. Better weight transfer, transmission coupling, and adhesion to the asphalt should go a long way to achieving better times. We will upgrade brakes to better rotors as well in the coming months.

God Speed,

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I picked up the rear end center section and it really looks great! I took a few photos and hopefully they will be up soon. The spool is a nice heavy duty unit and I was surprised that it takes so much less effort to turn the assembly. GT Performance did a nice job.

The EDGE RACING converter came this week as well. It is pretty light and small compared to the massive 13" ALLISON unit currently installed. The new ROMAC balancer and this EDGE RACING converter should have a dramatic effect on the reduction of the rotating mass. I should be able to note some increase in responsiveness but who knows what that is really worth? Maybe .005 sec in the quarter?

The headers came out last night. I had to pull the motor mount bolts and raise the motor to get the driver's side out! They sure were ugly, rusty, and holey!!!

We will weld them a little, finish the surfaces a bit and send them to JETHOT on Monday. They should be back in about 2 weeks.

Next trick is the 90/10 suspension and some light weight wheels and tires. If we can swing this drag race transformation, it will really be neat!! My guess is that we can hit 12.9 at 110mph. We shall see!

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Curtis Buffington races a Black 1970 Electra 225 Coupe. It is about 4700 lbs and attains 1.75 sec 60 foots with mid to high 12s and no nitrous.

Scotty Guadagno raced a green 1970 Electra 225 Coupe that would do 12.4 through the exhaust with white walls! 11.7 with the headers un-corked and slicks! 4700 lbs on the bottle.

There were many fast Electras that I have witnessed outrunning even some wicked rotary engined racers. It is unusual to say the least to see 2.5 tons moving that fast!

There were also many "urban legends" which invariably get passed down by the old hands who have been around the various tracks and street racer hot spots. :smirk:

I have heard one particular story a couple of times from old timers who have claimed to be present. :D One older man, about 65, who was standing by me at the "hole" at a spot n Brooklyn began"...I've seen cars come and I've seen cars go but I saw a race once..." He did not even look at me as he started on about the biggest race he had ever seen on the street. :crazy:

Here we go I thought, another super monster Chevy story! :P :p :P The wrinkled storyteller says "There was this Corvette, red, he goes on..." "427, tunnel ram through the hood, fastest car there that night..." :P "The vette was beating everyone..." Our heads turned and the conversation paused as we watched a few more cars race by, then he continued as the roar died down. He started in talking about this guy he called "City Boy" who rolled up to the line challenging the Vette.

Where do these names come from I thought? It seemed that all the "Street Legends" always had a handle of some kind. Names like "Hydro", "Wide Track Bob", "Deaf George", I had heard of and even met some of these characters. They were always characters too! :D

1..2..3.. the Vette had City Boy off the line and led him most of the way until the Boy's Nitrous Oxide came on. :smirk: :smirk: The old gent said that they "walked the track after the race" and saw the 10 foot patch where the NOS rocketed this 1969 Electra to victory.

Now my eyes were a bit wide when he said the car was a '69 Electra. :) :cool: :) You certainly do not hear that kind of story much!!! Of course this race was pretty well known in the street racer circles back in the late 70's early 80's. Everyone seems to agree that the big Buick was a silver grey convertible with a black top and wicked fast! When was the last time you saw a big car take out anything with a tunnel ram 427! I'd pay money to see that!

:D :D :D

Also, before "nitrous oxide" took on more trendy names such as "Nitrous", "Gas", "Spray", and the ever present "NOS"; most street guys were scared stiff of the stuff for many good reasons! Blown engines, loss of handling and control were some of the maladies early racers faced before available components got better and you could use NOS and live to drive another day! :cool:

The big Buick crowd seems to have pioneered the use of the stuff back then and were successful to a degree. ;) There were many "unbeatable" big Buicks in NYC for a brief while before everone else got wind of how to manage the gas! Elecras were so successful in drags that people would say "you needed a big car to use it successfully"!

Ah the good old days!

God Speed,

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These headers were rusty, holey, and had thin spots where exhaust blew through. The other side was worse having been cut in 10 places to make them fit a '69 Electra. We will see how all of the repair work and finally JETHOT comes out!

31370101_1513-med.jpg

God Speed,

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When you reinstall the headers, call TA Performance and get their steel core composite gaskets. After every couple heat cycles, make it a habit to grab a box end wrench and torque ALL the header bolts back down. The gaskets compress and the bolts loosen up. When this happens, TICK TICK TICK you have a gasket blow out.

You almost have to be obsessive about retorquing the bolts...do it until they stop getting loose again. And no, the bolts are not backing themselves out. The gasket is compressing and giving the appearance of bolts rattling loose.

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Smartin,

Thanks for the tip! My gaskets came from TA when Scotty Guadagno bult this motor back in '97. We re-torqued them probably three times during the course of header mods to fit the chassis back in '04.

When the headers were removed there was only one loose bolt, port side between 3 &

5. She probably sucked air there as backfires occurred periodically. I think that I will re-use these gaskets as the crush is already out and the car has less than 15 hours of total run time in all these years.

Most of my parts should be back over the next week. The powder coated rear housing looks great. It's not "Show Quality Smooth" but it is very presentable. The 5 bar suspension links returned late last week as well. They are a lot more resistant to corrosion with the DURO-CHROME coating.

Now I know some of you hard core racers are wincing at the use of chrome on life sustaining structural parts! I know that you know about hydrogen embrittlement and what critical part failure can do to you at the most awkward moments, let's say 175mph!

I do not want a spot in "And they walked away!", like our champion racer chassis builder Gary Shaw. Gary's Mustang opens the film with him tumbling it end over end... Gary showed me the car in a heap at the back of his home a few years ago, before his last heart attack. These arms are pretty beefy 4130 Chromoly Steel that have been baked to remove any impurities, like hydrogem molecules, before the Industrial Hard Chrome was applied. IHC differs from regular chrome in that it does not weaken the part, typically it strengthens its surface thus resisting crack initiation and propagation.

These parts resemble a hydraulic rod finish and look quite good. I'll have to gather some photos!

God Speed,

PS: It was good the attend a Memorial Day parade today. My thoughts were with our service people in harms way right now. I also recalled that many service personnel I have met from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Shield, Desert Storm have given so much to preserve our nation. I proudly wore my Tuskegee Airmen tee shirt! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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