Subaru Tribeca 2008



  • christophe15christophe15 Member Posts: 3
    Just picked up our 2008 7 pass, Grey, Limited Tribeca last Wednesday. Spent better part of the day reading all of the post here today.

    I drove all of the competition

    1. MDX
    2. Enclave, Arcadia, Saturn (whatever it was) - all the same Enclave was the nicest
    3. CX -9
    4. SRX
    5. Highlander
    6. XC90

    I know I am forgetting others. Anyways, kept coming back to the Tribeca. Yes, it has a few underacheaving things.

    1. No Telescoping SW
    2. Non-user friendly Navigation
    3. DVD screen does not come back on when car is turned off then back on, but audio continues to play.
    4. No HID - read the posts, if you have had or have them and live in dark, rainy/stormy areas, this is a real plus to have - I actually may have a source to get them anyways : )
    5. Can't operate NAV while driving. Love my Volvo for this as I drive all day long.
    6. Not prewired for bluetooth.


    1. Price - Well below any of it's competitors
    2. Reliability
    3. Not everyone and their brother has one - MDX, HIGHLANDER, XC90 tons around here.
    4. Great AWD system
    5. Fits all 5 of us plus some friends
    6. Way better gas milage then my 06 Titan crew cab I replaced at half the cost to fuel up. BTW, Enclave, et all say 24 MPG HWY, long term test say best HWY achieved has been 19MPG.
    7. Styling is really on par with MDX, etc.

    I know I am missing a lot on the plus side, but these are a few that kept bringing me back.

    My first Scooby, hope to make it long term.

    BTW, whoever did not think the Toureg is an off roader, needs to do some homework. DAKKAR :) EX- VW guy here, so let's chat :)
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Also putting it in neutral will cause a lot more wear and tear on the clutchpacks when putting it back into gear.

  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    BTW, whoever did not think the Toureg is an off roader, needs to do some homework. DAKKAR EX- VW guy here, so let's chat

    Dakkar, like WRC is based on stock vehicle but they are not stock ones! :)

    Also desert running is different than what I'd call off-roading, but let's not go down that road here, it's bad enough bob is still mad at me!

  • nickelnickel Member Posts: 147
    Agree in almost everything.
  • gtlloydgtlloyd Member Posts: 10
    Well, after 1500 miles the vibration was still there so I made a trip back to the dealer. They replaced all four tires and problem solved. Smooth as glass up to 80 MPH on the interstate. Everything else works well and I think this is going to be a pretty good touring vehicle.
  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    Congrats! I've found that the headlights aren't bad at all. Nice cutoff and enough light on low beams.

    Yes, the Tribeca needs a telescoping SW and could use a 20 gallon gas tank. And up here in snow country, winter wiper blades (going to modify the 26" to fit the drivers side).

  • christophe15christophe15 Member Posts: 3
    Mike -

    It's cool, I have seen way worse debates on VWVortex then you guys had :).

    Anyways, yes, DAKKAR, WRC, all loosly based on production model, but most "true" off road vehicles are never out of the box ready anyways. Still gotta modify the Jeeps, the Hummers, etc of the world to do the hard stuff. But, I think both of those are also, very capable off road cars for the masses. The Toureg, IMO, is one of the best at achieving both on/off road capabilites for "layman" not pro's :). It has a ton of technology that most drivers will never use. Watching a quick you tube video of some rock crawling is only very little what the Toureg can do. With some very simple mods (snorkle, WAY better tires, etc). Much better stuff has been done then that video, but then again, how many Toureg owners even do that ;)

    Anyways, I hope I did not cause I stir. I like learning about all types of cars through these forums. Part of being an enthusiast :shades:

    Tribe is off to the mountain tomorrow!! :):D:)
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    No worries. I just have a very sore spot about "off-roading" having done off-roading just about every weekend for several years with my Trooper, in nearly stock form (aftermarket tires, sliders, and eventually a 2" spring lift) I sometimes take issue with a lot of the newer trucks that really are not setup for the true, back-woods, rock crawling offroading I've done. I wouldn't use a $50K+ truck for offroading either, cause you will get damage eventually no matter how good the truck is. :)

    On a side note, I just installed some aftermarket HIDs into the low-beams on my 05 LGT projectors, haven't had a chance to take it out at night yet but will report back, it may be a very inexpensive upgrade for folks.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Congrats! :shades:
  • njjulianonjjuliano Member Posts: 83
    I test drove the same lot as above and ended up with the Tribeca as well.

    Concerning the wiper blades, what mods are you doing for the 08s? With the 07s, it has been a sore spot and have been left with very minimal options for wiper blade replacements.
  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    These are Trico winter blades (Bought through The passenger side fit OK. But the drivers side wiper arm is about an1/8" wider. This means the plastic insert is too narrow because of the raised sides on the insert. But the arm fits through the metal "holder". I'm going to take my Dremel tool and remove the raised sides. Then the :shepards crook on the arm should fit the plastic insert OK.

    The rear wiper arm is not the same as the front wiper arm. The arm ends in a "blob", not a shepards crook. Darn! :mad:

    I also noticed that on the drivers side blade, the "wind wing" is fastened to the blade assembly, not the wiper arm. I'm assuming there won't be any "large" problems not having a "wing" on the winter blade since I don't plan on traveling too fast this winter. :blush:
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I believe they eliminated the wind-wing on the 08s, they did on the 08 legacy/outbacks. My 05 had the wing, but noticed the 08s didn't have it. Spoke to some friends at SOA and they are good to 80mph w/o the wing. So you can actually replace them w/o the wings.

  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I believe they eliminated the wind-wing on the 08s, they did on the 08 legacy/outbacks. My 05 had the wing, but noticed the 08s didn't have it. Spoke to some friends at SOA and they are good to 80mph w/o the wing. So you can actually replace them w/o the wings.

  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    Hmmm, our Tribeca Ltd is a 2008 assembled in early September. Probably just using up the existing stock of winged blades.

    Glad to know an un-winged blade is good up to 80mph.

  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    Went through the car wash yesterday. A 2007 Tribeca was ahead of me. When I asked him how he liked his Tribeca he said that he loved the car.

    Then several hours later while parked at Sam's club (waiting for the wife) a gentleman asked me about the Tribeca as he was looking at replacing his gas-hog vehicle. Of course I told him that I was getting around 16mpg in town and low 20's on the highway. He stated that was a heck of a lot better than his vehicle.

    And of course, both my wife and I love the Tribeca. :shades:

  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    Well, after taking apart the drivers side wiper blade and examining the arm, my modification thoughts won't fly. Besides the arm being wider, the shepards crook is bigger/longer. So we're screwed until Subaru or one of the winter blade manufacturers gets their act together.

    So now the only winter blade is installed on the passenger side. Maybe I'll have to avoid driving in heavy snow falls (right - try that living in the northlands :cry: )

    The wiper blade manufacturers have really dropped the ball as far as I'm concerned. :mad:

  • dbr3nnandbr3nnan Member Posts: 14
    I know Peaty was able to replace his blades w/ a non-Subaru make... I think his write-up is here:

    Wiper Replacement

    Don't know if that helps any (may not have been winter blades).

  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Well, I am starting to look for a replacement for my 05 OB XT Limited. Back seat foot well is simply too tiny. My son has trouble fitting properly when he has his snow boots, and having passengers is a pain, especially when I have parent's in law given their ages.

    Got to admit, the Veracruz has caught my attention, but I have not driven either the Tribeca or Veracruz yet. My only concern with the Tribeca (also a beef I have with my XT) is the lack of telescoping steering column. At 6'4", I have my seat all the way back, which means my arms are fully outstretched to drive my OB. Not bad for short drives, but gets tiresome on long ones. Why is it Subaru can't get it right the first time? They introduced it on the OB, but not on the Tribeca...where's the logic?

    Has anyone TALL with an Outback tried the Tribeca, and noticed whether the distance (when the seat is fully back) is the same as the OB, or improved?

  • nickelnickel Member Posts: 147
    I'm not tall, but I had an OB and change it basically for the same reasons, especially the back seat space. I'd recommend you take all your family to the dealership (with snow boots et all).
    Handling is going to be more like the XT than the Veracruz, and for sure you'll miss it sooner or later. Power delivery too, not from a start but on highways. Plus the security that only a Subaru gives you. I think the Veracruz amenities, like sound and big space are its strong points.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I like 'em both. Sat in a Veracruz at a car show and I can understand why you liked it.

    I do think in terms of personality these vehicles are a 180 from each other, though. The Tribeca is on the sporty side, while the VC is more quiet and isolated.

    I think if you drive them you will have a clear preference for one or the other. And not everyone will prefer sporty necessarily, just one or the other.

    My van is very isolated and it's great for passengers on long trips. They sleep like babies. For the driver? Not so much. That's OK, I have a Miata for that. ;)
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Thanks. Appreciate the feedback. I have appt. tomorrow morning near my Soob dealership. So I may drop in and give the Tribeca a wirl on my own for starters.

    At this point, I don't plan a purchase until later this year, but I am a planner so I am looking now.

    Also looking at the option of buying in the US given the price difference. Could save myself almost $11 K on the top end Tribeca, even with the rebates Subaru Canada is throwing in to discourage Cdns for doing so.

    Also saw the pic of the proposed '09 Honda Pilot....looks sharp, but time will tell.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Try to drive a Veracruz on the same day, so the memory is fresh in your mind.

    Good luck.

    I enjoy the shopping process so it seems I'm constantly test driving vehicles. The last Korean car I sampled was a Sedona, though.
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Ok, tried both this morning and frankly, I wish I could combine the two. Unfortunately I literally had about 30 minutes at each dealership, so my initial observations are mostly macro. When I have more time, I will go back and pay more attention to details. Anyway, this is MY initial take on the two vehicles. Different folks with different preferences and priorities may not agree with my observations, and that is totally cool.

    Veracruz 07 (unfortunately it was their last Veracruz on the lot…rest were sold):
    - Price, at least here in Canada
    - quiet (but not sure if more or less than Tribeca)
    - Nice interior, very comfortable
    - Telescoping steering wheel made driving position for me (6’4”) very comfortable
    - 3 row seats are actually useful! Even with decent space in the 2nd row, the 3rd row still had foot room. Just found more roomy inside than the Tribeca overall. Not sure about actual dimensions though.
    - Great warranty

    - Believe it or not, I found ride far rougher than my Outback (although I do have my 16” winters on right now), and slightly rougher than the Tribeca. I would have though the opposite…a bit of a surprise
    - A few rattles inside over bumps. Not sure if this was out of the oridinary, or something to expect.
    - Interior is nice, but button layout is not as intuitive as Tribeca…perhaps because the Tribeca has similar functional layout to my outback and so I am familiar with it.
    - Not as nimble handling…a bit more body roll than Tribeca, but given I don't drive like Schumacher, its not absolutely critical. I found the ride rough...I felt every bump in the road, way more than my Outback (although I do have my 16" winters on right now) and more so than Tribeca.
    - Not so great resale, although I truly believe that in a few years, Hyundai will be right up there with the other big players.

    Tribeca 08:

    - Nice handling, drives really nicely around corners….just feels tighter than Veracruz
    - Even with the bland front grill, still has a nice shape overall....more attractive than the Veracruz in my opinion
    - Power, seems to have more torque at low end, and it accelerates more seamlessly (shifts) than the Veracruz, although I understand that Hyundai has rectified that for the 08 with a 6 speed tranny?
    - Like the dash layout in general. Really sharp.
    - Driver seat was very comfortable


    - Can’t get 7 passenger with leather unless you get the NAV and DVD (I don’t care for in car NAV or DVD…I prefer portability)
    - 3rd Row – totally $%^@$^ useless!!! I can’t believe it! I tried sitting in the 2nd row with the seats pulled forward to give a “reasonable” amount of space to the 3rd row, and I could hardly fit! I was crammed! Getting in and out of 3rd row is a pain as well. I found the Veracruz excelled over the Tribeca in this area by a long-shot.
    - No telescoping steering wheel. I found my driving position slightly worse than with my Outback XTL when I had the seat back (ie. My arms were fully outstretched).

    Anyway, that’s it a nutshell. Will have to discuss with my wife how important 3rd row of seats really is to us, but the lack of telescoping steering wheel is a real downer. :( Perhaps by the time I’m ready to take the plunge the ’09 Tribeca will be out with this as stnd equipment.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Cool, I was looking forward to your comparison. I've driven the 08 Tribeca but not the VC.

    The rough ride and rattles on the VC are a disappointment. Maybe the tire pressures were way high or something.

    You can get a Tribeca 7 pass LTD with no DVD or NAV. I think the DVD requires NAV, but you can get leather without either of those.

    Of course that would not address the 3rd row.

    We felt the same way, though we ended up caving and going whole-hog with a big van.

    We've used the 3rd row about 4 times on trips, taking other families with us and taking the grandparents on road trips. A few other times for quick trips, but not routinely.

    That's a tough call. It is nice, but you may not use it as often as you think.

    Good luck deciding.

    I have a Miata, so I was willing to make the sacrifice. If I could only have one single vehicle, though, I may have chosen the Tribeca for its superior handling.
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Yeah who knows why so many rattles. It was an 07 with 10 K miles demo, so perhaps it was abused. Still, wouldn't expect that much noise. Will confirm when I test drive an 08. Just helped my parents choose a Sante Fe a few months ago, and it was quiet....not a clunk or creak anywhere.

    Up here, the Limited comes whole hog. If you want 3rd row, you get NAV and DVD. Otherwise, to avoid DVD + NAV, you need to go 1 step down to leather but only 2 rows. May not be an issue if I decide to buy south of the border. I'm beginning to think that 3rd row would be more of a "nice to have" rather than necessity. Not even sure we would use it that much, so maybe it's not so important.

    Good point on the single vehicle. This is our only vehicle as my wife does not drive. DOH! Yup, you read correctly. So I do want something with gusto. You can imagine what it felt like to go from my XT to a Veracruz....I was throwing nuts in front of the car hoping the squirrels would go faster! Just kidding, it wasn't nearly that bad.

    Anyway, something else ocurred to me....I noticed the hatch on the Tribeca was very low....clocked my nogggin on it once, and almost a 2nd time when i was checking out rear cargo space. I don't recall ever having this issue with my OB, but will have to check when I go home. Did not pay much attention to this when I drove the VC.

    Furthermore, not sure the VC had an aux jack for mp3 player. I know the TB does.

    Hyundai dealership going to call when they have an 08 to demo and if I notice any changes, I will certainly post my thoughts.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, a demo would likely have tire pressure aired down to post-PDI levels.

    Gotta be abused. Still, you'd hope it would feel better at those low miles.
  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    Must be the cold weather.... :P Just ran our Goldy through the car wash again. Of course, it is snowing again today. Another front coming through starting tonight with another couple of inches of snow. We missed the 2' about 40 miles to the north. Ah, well, it is winter.... :blush:
  • ylzylz Member Posts: 45
    Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum but am about to purchase a 2008 Tribeca 5 Pas/Limited. Now I am really torn about getting the black exterior with beige interior or the diamond gray exterior with gray interior. I wanted black on black but obviously that's not possible. The beige interior is much nicer in person and I always wanted a black SUV. But people keep telling me to stay away from black cars cause they're so dam hard to keep clean. Has anyone that had a black car share some insight to this. Now the diamond gray color is also gorgeous on the outside. You guys let me know which one you like better. Thanks.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Any really dark color (black or dark gray) or any really light color (white) will show dirt more so than a mid-range neutral color (silver, beige). I think the (mid-range) blue, bronze and silver Tribeca colors will look cleaner than than black, dark gray or white.

    Why? Because "most" dirt is mid-range and neutral in color value, and will therefore blend into the body color.

    Having said that, buy the color you like best, and not which color will look the cleanest the longest.

  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    My first car was black and since then, I have avoided black like the plague. I am fairly anal about keeping the car clean, and about its condition. Every stone chip, every bit of dust or dirt and every scratch will stand out on black. Any dark color will be almost as bad, but I would suggest that the gray won't be as bad as the black. My last OB was the winestone pearl (dark burgandy color), and although it showed dirt, it was not as bad as my first black vehicle

    So if you are picky about the cleanliness, then I understand how it would factor into your don't want it to be a constant source of frustration with your new vehicle. But tough call given you are looking at two dark colors. Personally, I saw the gray in the showroom and thought it was very sharp. If I decide to go with Tribeca to replace my OB XTL in the Fall, I think the diamond gray will be my choice :-)

  • lenasboyslenasboys Member Posts: 11
    I am also new to the forum - as of today. :)
    I have a black 2006 subaru 7 pass. limited tribeca (mine did come with gray interior)
    I had a dark gray honda odyssey before the tribeca , and I do have to admit, black shows EVERYTHING - much more than the gray odyssey.
    Since they don't make the black on gray now, guess they did for the 06' only?
    I would go for the dark gray with gray interior - close enough to black, but probably not as bad at showing everything.
    Let us know what you decide on!
  • lenasboyslenasboys Member Posts: 11
    I live in Alaska & recently purchased a 2006 7pass. limited tribeca - black with gray interior, it had 19,000 miles and I bought it for 24,995 - which was a good deal here in Alaska - the sticker price was $29,995.
    I love Subaru's - I had a 2001 subaru outback sedan a few years ago before kids.
    Went to a honda odyssey, but realized how much I missed having a subaru a few months ago, when my husband purchased a 2003 subaru imprezza.
    So I have had my tribeca for 2 months now and have noticed I am only averaging 16.2 mpg most of the time :( - I drive about 12 miles one way to work, most of it is highway miles going 50-60 mph. Is this average normal? Is there something I can do to get a better average?
    I just keep hoping it will get better gas mileage during the summer.
    Other than that - It is an awesome vehicle!
  • jeffmcjeffmc Member Posts: 1,742
    My "vote" is for the diamond gray w/gray interior as well. :shades:
  • nickelnickel Member Posts: 147
    In the Twin Cities we had today a strange day. The weather was between 3 to 9 F. The information was that it was going to snow, between 0.5 to 2 inches. Thing is, that even when everybody knew that, I saw as many accidents as I have ever watch, including a CRV into a ditch, and a Escalade against a bridge wall.

    I had to take my wife to the airport, and in the 24 miles I saw like 8 crashes. When I left my wife, on the way back I saw like 4 more in the other side. I was driving feeling so secure, that I did start secondguessing my luck. Then, close to home, I saw this FWD Buick coming to me, making all kind of efforts not to cross to my line, skidding and finally crashing over his curb onto a small snowbank. I stopped like 50 yards ahead, and saw how the guy put reverse and left with obvious damage on the front axle. So, as the street was completely empty and I was alone, I tried to recreate his path. Nothing happened. I didn't even felt ice on the road. So I did it again, faster, and playing some with the steering. Nothing. The VDC light didn't even came.
    Later, on the street closer to my house, I saw my neighbor in a RWD Chevy truck, tailing side to side of the road, gasping for control, until he finally returned home and decided not to go out today. Again, I went to recreate the path, and I founded the same, not even a blink of the VDC light, plus a completely secure way forward.

    Maybe all AWD systems are like this, but I doubt it. Now, what I think I won't be second guessing is my purchase.
  • lenasboyslenasboys Member Posts: 11
    That is why Subaru is the number one selling vehicle here in Alaska! How scary it must have been for you, it is the other drivers you need to watch out for in weather like that!
    I can take the so -so mpg for the everyday safety I get driving my Tribeca in Alaska :blush: !
  • njvt13njvt13 Member Posts: 14
    anyone have any cabin noise issues with the new 08' tribeca 5pas limited???

    Because the rear hatch & rear seat on my car vibrates and rattles so bad when driving on anything other than "freshly paved road"....... to the point that i am about to drive the car off of a cliff!!!
  • jeffmcjeffmc Member Posts: 1,742
    No sense letting it agitate you, just take it to the dealer. :) Those things are covered under Subaru's 1-year/12,000-mile New Car Adjustments and Wear Items warranty. Improper fit, squeaks & rattles, burnt out bulbs, used-up windshield wipers... it's all covered. Too many people live with little things that come up and then get annoyed with them over time. Take care of it right away... you paid good money and you deserve it. :shades:
  • css1css1 Member Posts: 247
    I have those rattles exactly. I have determined that the head liner by the center belt is rattling - It seems like the rear Hatch.

    I have a 5P LTD with a mfg date of 10/3. What is your mfg. date?
    It's on the inside of your drivers door.

    I intend to have these taken care of as well.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Welcome to the forums!

    I had a few black cars and yes they are hard to keep clean. Pretty much right after a wash the dust settles on it and it doesn't look clean anymore. It's sharp but you definitely have to wash it A LOT!
  • toboggantoboggan Member Posts: 283
    I see that nothing has changed with the Twin Cities drivers. :( When we lived in Shoreview hated driving on the freeways. Idiots drove like the road surface was dry. Avoided a few accidents with the OBW flexibility. Drove out to Afton Alps to ski every week (National Ski Patrol) in all sorts of weather. The OBW always got me there.

    With the Tribeca (still have the OBW) we rarely drive in the bad weather (we're retired now) just to keep it clean. :D But we've been out in several snow storms already. Even with the stock tires it gets around just great. Love it!
  • njvt13njvt13 Member Posts: 14
    where exactly is the manufacturing date on the drivers door?? couldnt locate it.

    i have taken my car back like 3 times already complaining about the noisy rear hatch and all they did was adjust the "striker" for the hatch to try and make it close tighter......but obviously it did not work.

    i am sure it is the rear hatch and not the headliner. and i know i should not be bothered by the little things, but this is not little, it is "excessive" noise, and for the price i pay a month that noise should not be there.
  • christophe15christophe15 Member Posts: 3
    where exactly is the manufacturing date on the drivers door?? couldnt locate it.

    i have taken my car back like 3 times already complaining about the noisy rear hatch and all they did was adjust the "striker" for the hatch to try and make it close tighter......but obviously it did not work.

    i am sure it is the rear hatch and not the headliner. and i know i should not be bothered by the little things, but this is not little, it is "excessive" noise, and for the price i pay a month that noise should not be there.

    Did you have them check to see if it is the license plate that is rattling? I had this one of my cars not to long ago and it drove me nuts trying to figure out where it was coming from. Finally figured out it was the license plate, stuck a couple pieces of foam strips to the back and no noise. Worth a shot. :shades:
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    re: Alaska mileage:

    16.2mpg does seem a bit low, but any car, including the 'beca, will get reduced fuel economy on short trips and in cold weather. I've got a 13 mile commute, major boulevards 40-55mph and I'm averaging 20-21mpg with conservative driving. (measured at fill-up, not off the computer).

    Good luck keeping the black clean the AK winter. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Extreme cold kills mileage. Especially if you take mostly short trips (engine not fully warm).
  • njvt13njvt13 Member Posts: 14
    ya the license plate is one of the first things i checked, definetly not it.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    The milage also may be down due to the oil. I would switch to Amsoil Synthetic 0w30 and synthetic fluids in the front and rear diffys. This is fairly common in AK and other cold climates. Will help milage increase a lot.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Saw my first Nissan Rogue on the road yesterday which made me think of the B9 and inspired a blog entry...

    Rogue's Gallery
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. ;)
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    I guess I should have noted that I live in Tucson, AZ.
    I expect, just a tad warmer than anywhere in AK.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Oh yeah, then maybe it's all that A/C you need! :D
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