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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 9:04 am

I've just overhauled my rear brake caliper. Soda blasting, new pistons, new seals, new banjo joint washers. Also overhauled the rear master cylinder. Clean up, new piston and seals kit and new banjo joint washers. Now I'm trying to bleed them.

Bought a vacuum pump system which seems to doing the job of sucking the fluid through. Did the front caliper first then the rear. The system has been drained of all fluid so I'm starting with empty lines.

The front one kind of went OK, I think, but the rear one just keeps pouring air bubbles out. The brake lever is offering 'no resistance' at all. I've used half a litre of fluid so far and I would have expected at least some resistance from the lever by now. The only result so far is that the caliper pistons have moved from the fully home position to resting against the pads, but no pressure from the lever.

Does anyone have any experience of this or have any tips or tricks. I don't want to waste any more fluid until I'm sure I'm doing it right.

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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 9:28 am

Did you bleed both the upper and the lower valve on the front brake caliper before starting on the rear brake?
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Jolly Bodger
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 9:54 am

After a similar struggle with a Hornet900 I found 'back bleeding' with a large syringe worked for me. If you do try it use a turkey baster to remove fluid from the brake reservoir otherwise it could spill over and of course dont re-use the fluid.
JB
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lloyd193
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 10:17 am

Loosebearing wrote:
I've just overhauled my rear brake caliper. Soda blasting, new pistons, new seals, new banjo joint washers. Also overhauled the rear master cylinder. Clean up, new piston and seals kit and new banjo joint washers. Now I'm trying to bleed them.

Bought a vacuum pump system which seems to doing the job of sucking the fluid through. Did the front caliper first then the rear. The system has been drained of all fluid so I'm starting with empty lines.

The front one kind of went OK, I think, but the rear one just keeps pouring air bubbles out. The brake lever is offering 'no resistance' at all. I've used half a litre of fluid so far and I would have expected at least some resistance from the lever by now. The only result so far is that the caliper pistons have moved from the fully home position to resting against the pads, but no pressure from the lever.

Does anyone have any experience of this or have any tips or tricks. I don't want to waste any more fluid until I'm sure I'm doing it right.

Since air is a lighter fluid than other liquids it tends to remain on the surface, It does not like to flow down. Rig up a support for your IV appearing devise so that your resevoir is higher than your master cylinders. Your clear tube line should fit the caliper bleeders securely. Fill your IV reservoir with sufficient fluid so that air is never allowed to enter your down tube. Remove the tops of your master cylinders so that you can see the levels.

Open the bleed screw you have attached the down line to, I find starting at the rear works best. Allow fluid to flow from your IV reservoir backward into your rear reservoir, Slowly working the brake lever as the fluid back flows removing the air from the system.

Do not allow the level in the master cylinder to overflow, Remove the excess fluid as you progress.

Repeat this procedure on all bleed screws front and rear until you are sure that all air has been removed and you have hard levers.

Brake fluid is available in Quart containers or larger, Use DOT 4 or 5 Do not use cheap 3 or bargain fluid. Happy motoring lloyd 193. swing

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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 11:50 am

Thanks guys,

Meldrew, I didn't bleed the upper nipple as I thought that the front brake is a completley separate line. Is this right?

Jolly Bodger, I think 'black bleeding' will be my next attempt but I'm concerned about air being sucked through the threads of the bleed screw 'into' the system ??

These are things I've picked up from surfing the subject. Of course not much of it is generic. It's a minefield out there
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Murf
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 4:12 pm

I've never gone wrong with going to auto parts store, they sell a little bottle with a magnet attached with hoses that attach to your bleeder nipple. Just keep adding fluid to the upper reservoirs until the little bottle is full.
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 4:41 pm

Wow, that sounds like a magic trick !

I'll start googling the web right away
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 4:48 pm

BTW, lloyd193,

I didn't quite get your procedure but I'm trying to use a vacuum. Is your method gravity fed or pressurized by a compressed air supply?
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Jolly Bodger
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 5:55 pm

I didn't have any problem with air leaking past the bleed nipple but you could always put a little smear of copper grease on the threads before you start.
JB
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lloyd193
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Loosebearing wrote:
BTW, lloyd193,

I didn't quite get your procedure but I'm trying to use a vacuum. Is your method gravity fed or pressurized by a compressed air supply?

Gravity feed like an IV in a hospital, From the bottom up so that all air in the system is forced up into the master cylinders and out of the Calipers, lines and proportioning valves. Happy motoring lloyd 193. swing
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Sidewinder Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Just a little clarification on fluid types.....Honda spec is DOT 4 (DOT 3 is obsolete)
DOT 5 is Silicon based, and is NOT compatible with DOT 4 systems or fluid.

HOWEVER, there is a new DOT 5.1 fluid that is compatible.
It also has a higher boiling point than either DOT 4 or 5!
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 15, 2017 2:46 am

The gravity feed system is interesting, I'll give it some thought.

I'm gonna have a another attempt today with my vacuum system. I'll put some copper grease on the nipple threads too, just in case.

I'm sticking with DOT4 fluid. Seems to be the obvious choice.

Thanks all, I'll update later
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phils a winger
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 15, 2017 5:46 am

What ive found is tying the brake lever to the handlebar overnight helps get stubborn air out of the lines and restores a lever pressure.Sounds like black magic but its worked on at least 5 different scooter and bike brake overhauls
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 17, 2017 2:32 pm

Well folks, I give in.

The bike is going to a garage to have the brakes bled. I figured that if they can't get any joy then I have a problem.

It's going in on Thursday so let's see. I'll keep you posted. I don't know about you but I'm curious !
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 22, 2017 9:21 am

Well, the garage has done it. It was straight forward in the end, I guess I was a bit impatient. There's a little too much lever travel for my liking but I'll try the overnight lever tie to see if it improves things and then rig up the IV system for the future. Next job: the front brake. Will it be a dream or another nightmare?
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 22, 2017 9:58 am

FWIW, The rear brake lever has more travel (feels a bit spongier) than the front brake. The reason being that the left lever also must travel far enough to activate the start switch circuit.

After all you've been through to sort the rear brake the front brake should be easy peasy.
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lloyd193
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 22, 2017 10:45 am

Loosebearing wrote:
Well, the garage has done it. It was straight forward in the end, I guess I was a bit impatient. There's a little too much lever travel for my liking but I'll try the overnight lever tie to see if it improves things and then rig up the IV system for the future. Next job: the front brake. Will it be a dream or another nightmare?

Now that you have hopefully gotten all the air out of your rear brake. If you gravity feed thru Both front bleeder valves, One at the time. All the air will be forced up into your front master cylinder and out of the system.

Be sure that you use sufficient fluid so that you have removed all the old fluid, Do not allow that master cylinder to overflow. Happy motoring lloyd193. swing
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NWSSC
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PostSubject: Brake Bleeding Nightmare Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:04 am    Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 22, 2017 12:39 pm

I arrived back in town to late on this one. Hopefully you have your problem solved. After buying the same brake bleeder you purchased and having the same problem I tied the levers down with good success and suggested it here.You are right the bleeder screw threads allow air to be drawn in on some vehicles. One more suggestion,after doing a lot of disk brake work on the older Vetts I would suggest never to open up the complete system all at the same time. It can be very time consuming to bleed the complete system. Howard
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 25, 2017 2:10 pm

Thanks all,

Thanks for your comments and wise words. The rear brake is biting better now so less pressure on the lever but if I had to pull up at high speed?......mmmmm?

Meanwhile, it's time to get some miles clocked up before winter......then, the front brake....... Neutral

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Sidewinder Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 25, 2017 10:05 pm

With all this talk of bleeding brakes I decided it was time for mine too.
Complete flush and fill.

I bought a vacuum bleeder from harbor freight, $21 and a coupon got it to 17 bucks!

That, and a $4 bottle of DOT4 and I was ready...

I started with the L/H side, I suctioned off the old fluid from the reservoir and filled to the top.
Next, connected suction line to the lower bleed valve and pumped the vac pump, opened the bleeder.
I continued adding fluid and pumping the vac pump till I got completely clear fluid in the collector. Then moved to the rear caliper and repeated.
With both bleeders tight I repeatedly pumped the rear brake lever for a couple of minutes.  
I repeated the process to remove any remaining air.
The front brake was the same procedure, but only one valve.

When I test rode it, both brakes were flawless!

Total time was about a half hour, but without the vacuum bleeder it would have taken half the night!
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 26, 2017 12:39 pm

I have a feeling that refilling the system without draining it may present less problems.

As I had removed the rear caliper the system had to be dry (well, as dry as possible!). I expected lots of air to come out while bleeding but after 500ml of fluid and half an hour with no result I suspected something was wrong. I never did figure out what.

I am going to re-bleed the system now that it's full. I'm going to try the old one-way tube and depressing the brake lever to about half travel only. Let's see what happens....
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Pics of the Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 29, 2017 12:15 pm

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Slide_14

First I loosened the sliding bolt as this can be awkward with the caliper off the bike.

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Fluid_13

Then I disconnected the fluid journal.....

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Brake_12

And rested it in a jar

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Calipe20

Then I took the bracket to swing arm bolts out

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Pad_re12

Then the pad retaining pin

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Slide_15

Here is the slide bolt.

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Pads_k12

The pads had seen better days

Brake Bleeding Nightmare Piston17

Pistons not looking good either.

These are the only pictures I took but I hope it gives an insight for other DIYers
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vmaximus
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jul 29, 2017 5:14 pm

To stop air leaking into the system and before you try to bleed the brakes remove the bleed nipples and wrap PTFE tape around the treads of the bleed nipples , this will stop air leaking when you try either the pump or vacuum method. When I bled my brakes the front bled easily but the back was time consuming, wrapping PTFE tape around the threads certainly helped but still took quite a bit of time and used quite a lot of brake fluid to completely remove all the air from the rear caliper. By the way I used a vacuum bleeder coupled to the compressor to bleed all brakes on the Silverwing and my Sym 400i with success but it failed miserably bleeding the front brake on my 81 Virago and had to resort to operating the front lever slack the tighten the nipple until all the air was removed. Pud
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 31, 2017 12:27 pm

Interesting insight vmaximus.

I wonder if I should take a degree in Hydraulics and get to the bottom of this thing. It's strange how different bikes have different behaviour, even when the bits we're dealing with are essentially all the same.

I haven't tried to bleed the rear brake since the shop got it working, I'm almost scared but curious.
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GLBHOAG
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 29, 2017 2:43 am

Can someone tell me which bleed nipple I need to loosen on my front brake calliper for bleeding my front brake ? There is two and I'm not sure which one to bleed from.
Thanks in advance
Neale
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 29, 2017 11:21 am

I think I read somewhere here on the forum that the upper bleed nipple is for the front brake lever and the lower one is connected to the back brake lever.

If you're bleeding just your front brake then it's the upper one.

And yeah...where is Tandrgee?
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GLBHOAG
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeTue Aug 29, 2017 11:54 am

Thank you very much Loosebearing your advise is much appreciated.
By the Way Tandragee is in N Ireland .


Last edited by GLBHOAG on Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeWed May 22, 2019 4:53 pm

I am prompted to return to this nightmare by an unusual event which happened today.

Whilst trying to make a low speed 180 degree turn from a standing start, I leaned over a bit too far and nearly dropped the bike. Naturally, my instinct was to grip both handlebars to hold the bike from simply dropping to the floor. Once I had righted the bike I noticed my left hand had hold of the brake lever which was tight against the hand grip.

From the posts above you'll see that I have never been happy with the amount of travel on the left lever but surely it shouldn't come in that far?

I've bled this system from time to time using the pumping method but have had no air coming out.

Does tying the levers back overnight really work?
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oldwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeWed May 22, 2019 8:27 pm

Let it set overnight then grab a good handful of both break levers, neither should go to the grips, if they do then there is air trapped somewhere providing both reservoirs are full.
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Easyrider
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeThu May 23, 2019 5:47 am

Loosebearing wrote:


Does tying the levers back overnight really work?

Worked for me when I had problems bleeding the rear calipers on my 2004 Swing. I think that I used a bungy cord to hold the lever as close to the handle grips over night. Seems like the bubble came up through a hole in the brake reservoir.
Also remember that the left lever also controls the center piston on the front caliper.
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The Bern
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeThu May 23, 2019 7:08 am

Loosebearing wrote:
 Once I had righted the bike I noticed my left hand had hold of the brake lever which was tight against the hand grip.

From the posts above you'll see that I have never been happy with the amount of travel on the left lever but surely it shouldn't come in that far?


I suspect you have very little if any problem with your lever movement bud, go out & pull the lever until you hear the second microswitch click, now look at the minimal amount of airgap between the lever & the grip, now imagine how much extra pressure you applied to the lever when 'righting' the bike.

When was it last MoT'd ?  the brake function will have been tested on the rolling road at that point.
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Roadman45LC
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 01, 2019 9:10 pm

Just did my brakes on a 2012 wing with 15800 miles, rotors in spec, had a little trouble with the bleed procedure from manual but phils a winger advice worked great, put zip ties on brake handles and let them set for 6 hours, like new again.MAGIC!
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeSun Jun 02, 2019 11:32 am

Thanks Guys, I'm gonna give it a go. The brakes 'are working', in fact there is more resistance in the rear lever when used in conjunction with the right lever. I've tested them at speed and the tyres will lock up. It was MOT'd OK last September.

My SW needs a clean before I do anything else. Riding in the rain for two days running has left it's mark. Yuk!
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Lost it
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Bleeding Nightmare   Brake Bleeding Nightmare I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 05, 2019 10:39 am

The theory on holding the brake lever in over night is that it pressurises the system, and by definition warms the fluid up as well. So any air bubbles are also compressed. Then when you let the lever go the next day the few compressed air bubbles which by them should have risen to the highest point, just under the master cylinder if you are really lucky, will expand and "pop" intot eh brake reservoir.

I've done this for years, and a few people poo poo the theory, but it's always worked for me.
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