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· Registered
125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The project was for my wife's '98 CE, and it was easier than I thought it would be. Lasted no more than 20 minutes tops :)

The objective was to replace the burnt out 194 bulb that provides the backlighting for the right part of the speedometer. Here are the steps:

1) Locate and remove the 2 Philips screws (circled in yellow) on top of the gauge cluster plastic frame.

2) Pull the frame out grasping the top and bottom ends (you may need to use a screwdriver to gently pop out the sides). Don't worry about the plastic material of the frame; it's fairly strong.

3) The instrument cluster should now look like in the pic below. Next, locate and remove 3 Philips screws (circled in yellow) from the actual cluster.

4) Lift the cluster up and out of the dashboard, and unclip the 4 electrical connectors from the cluster.

5) To access the backlighting bulbs, locate the 3 green-colored sockets (circled in yellow) on the back side of the cluster. Just twist to unlock, and pull out the 194 bulb attached to the socket. It's that easy :D

The pic below shows the burnt out bulb on the far left, what the actual bulb looks like in the middle (with the green rubber cap), and a brand new 194LL clear bulb ($2.75 for a 2-pack from Wal-mart). The green rubber cap must be saved for the new bulbs since that is how the green colored backlighting is obtained. Of course you can put in a different color rubber cap (like blue or red) but my wife loves the stock green. You can find these rubber caps at your local auto parts or performance shop, or find a local dealer at

Hope this helps anyone out there with backlighting problems or issues :cool:


· VVT-1MZ + ES5spd
Toyota Corolla
2,023 Posts
This is your overall source for just about any question you might have on the 8th gen corolla. It's will be updated as long as great threads are being created. If you cant find it here then it must be one hell of a question :lol:


Make Your Own CAI DIY Link:

Exhausts: BBP did/does make one. I Can’t find info on it as of now. Most people just by mufflers and get the rest of the exhaust custom made. (Magnaflow, Ebay)

Drops: (thanks Hummerh2o)
For the biggest drop look into coilovers.

Next best drop is Tein S Tech: 1.9 Front, 1.4 Rear
I recommend ebay seller: aj_squared08
Price: $194.99
Tein H Tech: 1.3 Front, 0.8 Rear.
Price: $192.40

Skunk2: 1.3 all around.
Price: $213.94

*Cheap stuff*
CM Canuck Motorsports: 1.8 Front, 1.7 Rear.
Price: $150.95[/font]

Spring Tech: 1.8 drop all around.
Price: $103.90

Interior: the Infamous HVAC lighting:
Bulbs: Cluster=3 194 bulbs
HVAC=2 74 bulbs
Shifter=1 74 bulb Ignition ring=1 74 bulb

Exterior: Common Tire Sizes: 17" 205/40x17
16" 205/45x16
15" 195/50x15<< probably the best 8th gen corolla DIY website IMO

Feel free to add anything i've missed because i'm only human. so :welcome: to our FAQ.

· Vivir el momento
19,645 Posts

All suspension parts from 7th generation (1993-1997) and 8th generation (1998-2002) are completely interchangeable.

Typical coilover options depend upon your budget and can range anywhere from $500 all the way to over $3000 for a quality set.

Aftermarket struts that are recommended (listed in order of highest performance and price to lowest performance and price):

1. Koni Yellows (Strut inserts that require your stock shock housing to be modified, gives the best handling characteristics, adjustable dampening)
2. Tokico HP (A bit stiffer than stock, very good compromise between ride quality and improved handling)
3. KYB GR-2 or Bilstein Touring Class (OEM replacements, very soft riding, similar to stock. Perfect for replacing your blown stockers).

A good place to purchase OEM Toyota parts online is: 1st Toyota Parts, I've dealt with them many times over the phone and they are always helpful and offer fast shipping and great prices.

· Beware of pigs
Little Pig
2,540 Posts
Time to plunk down my brain dump!

Generation 8.0: 1998-2000
Generation 8.5: 2001-02

Model year differences

Gen 8 Corollas received a facelift in model year 2001. Differences are new bumpers which also required changes to fenders, slightly larger and curved corners, change from single H4 bulbs to 9005+9006 for the headlights. Also new is an opening for factory fog lights, standard on S but not available for all other trims.

Maintenance items

Spark plugs
Non-VVT-i: NGK BKR5EKB-11/Denso K16TR11, optionally BKR5EKPB-11/PK16TR11 platinum
VVT-i: NGK BKR5EIX-11 iridium

Engine oil
3.4 litres of any recent 5W-30 engine oil. Mobil 1 synthetic is a known good match to the 1ZZ engine. I use it myself. With good maintenance, tall oil filter (below) and Mobil 1, 8 months/8000km oil changes is possible, even for older 98-99 Corollas.

Oil filter
Stock size: 90915-YZZF2, PH4967 (for cross reference only; for your car's sake don't run FRAM :lol:)
Tall size (stock on 2ZZ, but fits perfectly on 1ZZs): 90915-YZZF1 (Recommended),PH7317

Manual transaxle oil
Two quarts of API GL-4 or GL-5 75W-90 gear oil. Red Line MT-90 is recommended. Use a 24mm socket to open the drain and fill plugs.

Dexron III ATF. Dexron VI should also be compatible. See user manual for capacity. Drain and fill every 2 years is enough for most situations. Open drain plug with a 10mm hex head. Fill through the dipstick tube.

5.8 litres of a 50/50 mixture of Toyota Red and distilled water. Get it from a dealer. Grocery store, drinking grade distilled water is sufficient. Do NOT use spring water.

Cleaning MAF
Only Corollas with VVT-i has it. When MAF gets dirty you will notice a drop in gas mileage; CEL may come on with code P0171. Unscrew MAF from airbox, spray electric contact cleaner on two wires, one exposed, one shielded, be sure to clean both wires.

Wheels and tires

Stock steelie weigh 18lbs each.

Stock tire size
S/LE/VE Touring (98-00): 185/65/14
VE/CE: 175/65/14
Same speedometer calibration is used for all Corollas. You can step up to 185/65/14 with impunity.
Most common wheels found at this size are 14x6" +38 offset.

15" size: 195/55/15. Most common wheel spec at this size is 15x6.5" +40.
Another common size is 195/50/15. Only recommended if your stock size is 175/65/14.

16" and 17" sizes: see above

Wiper blades
Stock size is 18" passenger side, 20" driver side. 19" passenger and 21" driver blades can be used, but the wiper will move slower.

Common mods

Front end conversion
8.0 gen Corollas can have a 8.5 gen front end installed. Details elsewhere in this thread. Once the conversion is done, factory fogs can be installed (see below).

Fog lights (Some additions by Cyberbilly)
Factory fog lights can be installed on an 8.5 gen, or an 8.0 gen with the 8.5 front end. In addition to installing the lights themselves, the turn signal stick on the steering column must be replaced with a turn signal stick off of an S model, which has the fog light switch built in. The Toyota part number for this stick is 84140-02080. Finally, a small relay (part number 90080-87010, same as another small, gray relay in that area) has to be installed to an orange socket near the flasher relay, located above driver side kick panel.
All 8.5s (only) are pre-wired for fogs, as well as the signal stalk with fog light switch. You have to run your own wires, including providing for the relay, on a 8.0 gen.
Without a front end conversion, the tallest fog lights you can fit through a 8.0 bumper without cutting anything is 1.5".

Rear end conversion
The only external difference between 8.0 and 8.5 is the backup light lens on the trunk, which is an easy swap. To do this swap without breaking anything you need a long reach needle nose pliers to remove three clips in addition to the 3 nuts.
A not so visible change is the emergency trunk release lever on inside of trunk lid.

Getting a Tachometer
Consider swapping in a factory gauge cluster with tachometer before even thinking about anything else. With two caveats this is plug and play.
Caveat 1: With the facelift some wiring to the gauge cluster was rearranged. 01-02 can use 98-00 clusters by swapping pins 2 and 3 in the blue plug; 98-00 cannot use unmodified 01-02 clusters.
Caveat 2: You must transfer the speedometer from your old gauge to retain odometer reading (and stay legal). This is held to the cluster only by 5 screws which doubles as electrical contacts.
With the tachometer you also gain an outside temperature readout, but a ambient temperature sensor is needed. Get it from the dealer. All gen8s are pre-wired for all these.

Recommended Intake upgrades
K&N drop-in filter, #33-2672
And a number of intakes mentioned elsewhere

Electrical mods
Battery is group 35.
A group 35 Optima Red is available, so is a rarer group 35 Optima Yellow, but there are questions about Optima's reliability. OTOH my factory Delco Freedom 55D23L, rated only for 310CCA, served for 9.5 years after rolling off Cambridge ON.

Horn upgrades
Two horns can be wired - there is no one way to do it.
ZZE110 only has one puny horn from factory. Favourite upgrades are two Hella Supertones. Fiamm Freeway Blaster is also an option. If you must have an air horn, try Stebel Nautilus Compact.

Power amenities
All gen8s are only partly pre-wired for power mirrors. Additional wires and jacks are needed for each of the front doors.

In car entertainment
One single DIN slot under center vent, one double DIN slot below HVAC controls, usually taken up by a storage bin or box.
On a Prizm, there is one double DIN slot below HVAC controls occupied by the radio, located higher than in a Corolla.
Front speaker is 5.25", rear speaker is 6.5".

LED upgrades
There is no light failure sensor of any kind on 8th gens so LEDs for brake lights are plug and go. An LED-compatible flasher is required to use LEDs for turn signals - this is a flasher-specific thing. Load resistors are not recommended. Use CF13GL-02 from V-leds or superbrightleds.
Make sure the bulbs you use in CHMSL and front turn signals have LEDs that fire sideways.

Seat belt reminder conversion
There have been numerous reports of seat belt reminder failures on 8.0 gens caused by a contact inside the seat belt spool coming loose. 8.5s have this contact at the buckle and are immune from this problem.
I posted a conversion DIY on corolland and also corollacustomz.
EDIT: Someone tried my fix and it works! :D (Includes link to the actual DIY on corolland)

Transmission Swaps

A245E->C59 swap
Manual swap is a major undertaking, but besides all the fun in driving a stick, if done right is worth it as it opens the door to a lot of advanced gas saving (read hypermiling) techniques. Not to mention the auto tranny cannot be flat towed. Axles are identical for all trannies.
Clutch pedal have 4 mounting points, 3 nuts and a bolt. One nut screw on a stud on cross brace, one bolt bolts to firewall. Neither points are present on an auto car.
Needs repinning connectors on VVT-i engines with 4-speed auto.

A131L to C59 should be same, if not a bit easier.

A131L->A245E swap
Needs repinning connectors on VVT-i engines. Should get ECU from same generation 4-speed auto car. You gain one more gear and improved highway mileage.

2ZZ-GE swap
Has been done. Fabrication is required, as is the 6-speed transmission that goes with it. 1ZZ and 2ZZ have different bellhousing patterns.

Gen 8 Corollas gained VVT-i in model year 2000. With VVT-i also comes the change to individual coil-on-plug setup which places one coil on top of each spark plug and use of iridium plugs. 98-99 use two ignition coils, firing two cylinders at a time.

VVT-i is more for emissions than performance, although VVT-i-equipped 1ZZ-FEs in ZZE110s are rated 5hp more at 125hp.

1ZZ-FEs have no fuel return line. Fuel pump and pressure regulator are all in the tank, which like the fuel filter in these cars is not usually a maintenance item.

· Registered
92 Posts
Here's some really generic brakes/steering diagnosis (I've seen this asked a bunch of times in the last few months):

1. The steering wheel shakes/vibrates at certains speeds. This is usually due to the wheels/tires being out of balance. A quick and free check would be to rotate the rear wheels/tires to the front (assuming the rear wheels/tires are in balance). Get the wheels/tires balanced and rotated at your local tire shop.

2. There is vibration/shaking when I'm braking. This is usually due to "warped" rotors. You can try to re-bed the brake pads to the rotors. If this doesn't work you should replace your rotors and possibly replace your brake pads as well.

3. The car pulls left or right when I take my hands off the steering wheel. This is usually due to the car being out of alignment. Get the car aligned.

· Registered
9 Posts
Here's some really generic brakes/steering diagnosis (I've seen this asked a bunch of times in the last few months):

1. The steering wheel shakes/vibrates at certains speeds. This is usually due to the wheels/tires being out of balance. A quick and free check would be to rotate the rear wheels/tires to the front (assuming the rear wheels/tires are in balance). Get the wheels/tires balanced and rotated at your local tire shop.

2. There is vibration/shaking when I'm braking. This is usually due to "warped" rotors. You can try to re-bed the brake pads to the rotors. If this doesn't work you should replace your rotors and possibly replace your brake pads as well.

3. The car pulls left or right when I take my hands off the steering wheel. This is usually due to the car being out of alignment. Get the car aligned.
Thanks so much for the information! I think my 99 corolla has all three problems (maybe two): my car vibrates at around 70 and my car is shaking when I'm braking. How much does it cost to fix? Should I go to the dealership or loca mechanic? If I don't fix the problems, will they affect MPG?



· Old Fart
2002 Corolla LE
911 Posts
Thanks so much for the information! I think my 99 corolla has all three problems (maybe two): my car vibrates at around 70 and my car is shaking when I'm braking. How much does it cost to fix? Should I go to the dealership or loca mechanic? If I don't fix the problems, will they affect MPG?


The rotors are about $150 a set, plus the labor to install them. It is pretty straight-forward so a local mechanic should be able to do it. Not replacing them won't affect your MPG, but it wil cause addtional wear and tear on your front end. Steering and suspension bushings will wear out quicker which will cost you more in the long run.

· Feel the vibe.
01 Corolla S
703 Posts
Heres an idea... ready?


Seeing as how this is a Faq.
haha dude, you dont have to be an asshole.

anyway, it cracks and leaves an exhaust leak. the design is flawed - it causes vibration against front sway bars during acceleration. furthermore, the welding of the o2 sensor location is too far out and contributes to the CEL p0420 because the sensor is placed too far out of the exhaust airflow.

· u&#653;op-&#477;p&#305;sdn
1,914 Posts
I have the header and yes it's a pain in the ass if you don't want to spend the money to get it done right. It's working properly now problem free after I got a flex pipe welded in and the header welded directly to the downpipe to eliminate all leaks.

btw, add this to the list for a full list of suspension components.

Ultimate suspension guide for 7th and 8th gen Corollas.

· Beware of pigs
Little Pig
2,540 Posts
please pin this to the top of the forum or create an FAQ. another vote from me. it would really save a lot of time. would help if there are links to transmission level checking, transmission flushing. I searched, read it, then lost the pages. :( we need a thumb tack.
Level checking:
M/T: With car level, open the fill plug (higher, towards front of car) and stick your finger in there. fluid level should be level with bottom of fill hole.

A/T: Run car at idle, apply brake, shift through all levels from P to L and back. With engine warm, pull red dipstick and read it just like engine dipstick. fluid level should be between two higher notches.

A series of unusually frequent (eg. 300 miles) tranny fluid changes. Only really applies to A/T.

· NoLa Rolla
'05 Corolla S 265K+ miles ('98 Corolla VE deceased in 2008)
721 Posts

· u&#653;op-&#477;p&#305;sdn
1,914 Posts
any faqs about exhaust???? need serious help finding one or making one
Here's a few pointers.

Don't buy the premade bolt on systems out there. They're all garbage. Purchase a decent muffler. I recommend a Magnaflow normal oval muffler. Look around your area for a muffler shop that does mandrel bending. Have them create your catback exhaust using your muffler. In some cases, they can source the muffler for you on the spot as well. Exhaust tips are extra, but if they can source your muffler, they'll have a selection of tips as well. Look to spend around 50 dollars for a quality tip. The entire exhaust should run anywhere from 2-300 dollars.

· Beware of pigs
Little Pig
2,540 Posts
All you need to know about 01 Front end conversion

I just completed a front end conversion myself and it's not as easy as Vamp's guide indicates. Below is Vamp's guide re-rendered, based on the original text, plus my first hand experience.

(Disclaimer: Piggy had an collision in 2003 that I think was not properly repaired. Front end was since adjusted but something was still off. Got to get my body shop and discuss. So YMMV)

This mod is quite involving, so plan to spend the whole weekend on it (that is if you don't want to rush it).

Here is the parts list:

01-02 Headlights
01-02 Corner Lights (I bought Depo OEM replacements)
01-02 Bumper (or body kit)
01-02 Bumper Mounting Arms
(bought mine from dealer, $16 each)
01-02 bumper Mounting Bracket (goes behind metal bumper bar, see below)
Two 9005 bulbs (high, came with headlight)
Two 9006 bulbs (low, came with headlight)
Two 9005 sockets (pulled from a gen7 at a junkyard)
Two 9006 sockets (Canadian Tire, $8, or pull from a junkyard)

I DID install the fog lamps :D. If you score a pair of factory fogs ($100/pair on fleabay), PM me and I'll help out with a wiring diagram. No matter how you get your sockets, the wiring is going to be the same.

Let's begin by taking the stock bumper off. I marked the screws with red arrows. Those are 10mm. The plastic clips I marked with blue arrows. You remove those by popping the center part out with a flathead screwdriver and then removing the whole thing. Be careful not to break them off. If you do, go order some from the dealer ($3.3).



There are two more screws on each side. Both 10mm. One is located on the very end of the bumper, marked by the bottom arrow. (The correct order for installing this screw, from top to bottom, is: support arm, bumper, screw plug, mud shield, screw.) The other one is hidden by the black plastic mud shield. It's flexible, so just use a socket wrench, and push the plastic towards the inside to get to that screw. Once you found it, it's easy to remove. Now that you have off the screws removed, pull the bumper cover forward. It will slip off the white plastic guides and come off. The foam absorber will be most likely still be attached to the bumper. Pull it off. If it's stuck to the bumper cover, fish it out. You'll need it for installation. Now, you're car should look like this, but with corners.

Remove the corner light. They are held on by a small screw that screws into the headlight. Once it's off, get a firm grip on the corner light and pull it off directly forward.

(Vamp pic retained for arrow reference)

Next remove the headlights. First remove the top bolt, marked by the very top arrow, then the side bolt. The third bolt, marked by the very bottom arrow, is hard to get to. Use a long socket wrench extension. It seems to have a big enough washer that you can reuse in mounting your 01 headlights (see below), so make sure you keep it.
Now, remove the bolt holding the adjuster, marked by the yellow arrow, and the whole headlight should be off. Once the whole headlight is off, disconnect the socket (pull on it really hard). Now your car should like exactly like the first picture. The first part is done.

The hole for the front mounting bolt are NOT the same. Where you would find the threaded hole for your bolt on a 01, you will find a bigger hole on a 98 that allows the horizontal aiming mechanism to go through. This is when you need an oversized washer to fill up that hole so the bolt can be secured. The threaded hole for that bolt are on a metal piece that is welded to the chassis which is different between 98 and 01.

(toyodiy; also refer to 1st pic in Vamp guide)

As you can see there is a lot of difference in design. ... Toyota could have come up with the face lift sooner, but I guess marketing strategy always wins. At the point it's wise to replace the mounting arms. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, see pic below. It's a thin black beam that extends from the body to the outer bottom edge of the bumper at a 45 degree angle.

On 98-00 it's about 1 inch too short for the 01-02 bumper. Remove it, and replace it with the 01-02 one. The mud shield will not reach it now, so don't worry about trying to attach it to the new arm. Or you can get a 01-02 mud shield from dealer or junkyard. The driver side is more involved.
You can also try to get at it via that long extension you used to remove the headlight, if that's what you used. If not successful, then read on. You'll need to remove the resonator box. It's held on by 2 screws and a bolt. Remove your battery and the plastic tray it's on. You'll see a gold-looking bolt, unscrew it. The first screw you can see directly from the front. The last screw is hidden behind the mud shield. Push it towards the resonator box from the inside of the wheel well and you'll see a screw. Remove it and then you'll be able to pull the resonance box down and out of the way. Now you can get to the mounting arm screw. Replace the arm with the new one. It's up to you if you want the resonator box back on the car. I noticed a little power loss at high speeds after I removed it, so I suggest putting it back on.

Before we jump into wiring the headlights up, let's modify the bumper so that the 01-02 bumper cover fits. Marked with yellow arrows are the two steel guides. Those will not fit the 01-02 bumper. The small ones ("energy absorber mounting bracket") are easy to remove. They are held on by a rivet. You can either drill out the rivet with a drill (drill works better than rotary tool here), or just grab it with something big and rip it off. The rivet will pop off. The bigger guide is removed by unscrewing the two nuts (marked by the red arrow) on each side and removing the bumper. Then, the guides can be simply taken off the bolts. For the bigger guide, try to source the correct ones for 01-02. If you have it, replace it with the 01-02 version at this point. The finger on top of them slips into a slot on the fender and provides support for the bumper cover in case some j-asses decide to sit on that area. The finger on the 98-00 version is a few mm higher and won't fit 01 bumper covers. Replace the bumper back in its place and secure it. The nuts must be torqued properly to 27 ft-lbs.
When I did mine I found 4 U-shaped metal plates that aren't mentioned anywhere. I just left them there. You probably won't find anything similar.

There is an issue with fitting the 01 bumper on the 98 side guides. The guides are the little white balls that mount on the fender and ensure a tight fit of the bumper. Here's the picture of the universal fender I got a hold of. You can ether buy the 01 fender (which probably have both holes there anyway) or you can modify yours to look like this one. You'll need a nibbling tool. You can get them from Radio Shack, and it basically allows you to cut any shape hole in sheet metal. Just drill a hole in the middle where the guide is supposed to go, and nibble outwards until you got a perfect size hole for that white ball guide.
If you are looking for measurements, place the hole (9mm x 9mm) 18mm back, and 12mm down from where the hole for 98 placement is. Because of interference from the welded metal frame behind, you probably will not be able to install the guide ball properly and will need to bend some metal and/or cut a slot on the guide itself for it to go in. I had to do both to RH side and didn't bother to punch this hole on LH side.

Alright, now the fun starts. Let's begin by looking at the picture. As you can see, the 01-02 headlights have two bulbs. I tied the two black grounds together. That's how they connect to the ground on the H4 socket. Assuming you already cut the wires on your current socket, clean the wires. Here's which wire is which, and how they connect:

Red/Black (Ground) to 9005 and 9006 grounds tied together

Red/Green (Low Beam) to 9006 (Low beam) positive

Red/Yellow (High Beam) to 9005 (High beam) positive.

If you are lucky as to score a pair of male H4 plugs, do this soldering off the car and just plug everything in when done. This has the additional benefit of making this mod reversible.

After you are done your set up should look similar to this. I soldered the wires together, and then used shrink wrap to insulate them. Remember to slide the piece of heatshrink on BEFORE soldering! :D Make sure you insulate the contacts; you don't want the rain to short out your contacts. Secure the headlight with the side bolt and the top screw and test out your wiring. Make sure it works before you put everything back together.

You can probably get by without cutting anything metal, unlike a Camry gen4.5 headlight conversion. But I am doing a HID retrofit simultaneously and needed cutting for the HID projector to clear anyway.

Noticed that I used a white ziptie at the hard-to-get-to headlight bolt hole to secure the fog light wiring.

For me, here is where I am having fun.

(Vamp; Buurin's experience is different)
The third mounting point is tricky. I simply took apart the adjusters that were once there, and then used it as a spacer. You can really use anything, as long as the headlight points straight and flows with the lines of the bumper. Rincon and myself (following his idea :thumbsup:) used oversized (fender) washer. Vamp guide illustrates using bits of the now-obsolete horizontal aiming screw. I recommend using the base instead, for you can actually thread an M6 bolt in for mounting. There is no horizontal aiming mechanism here on a 01-02 headlight. I used nothing between chassis and headlight. Instead I used one of the headlight bolts with an attached big ass washer from the back and nut+6mm washer through front.

Since the pic shows the relevant part, I'll mention this here. The two top bolt holes to the bumper cover are placed closer together in a 01 bumper, so much that force needs to be applied (ie. metal brackets needs to be ever so slightly bent) for them to bolt up.

(Buurin, never mind the fogs and HID retros :D)

This is the final product. Slide the bumper cover on. Secure it in the reverse order. If you do decide to install the new guides, make sure the plastic pieces that slip on them make it to the guides. Everything else that keeps the bumper cover on should be sufficient to hold it in place. Put corner lights on, check and re-aim the headlights. OK, now you are really done. Enjoy! You'll notice that optics on the 01-02 headlights is far more superior to the 98-00 headlights.
Not to mention it actually has space to retrofit an FX35 projector which can't go in the 98-00 headlights, being only 90mm tall. :D

· NoLa Rolla
'05 Corolla S 265K+ miles ('98 Corolla VE deceased in 2008)
721 Posts
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