Did we ever solve the front control arm groan/pop problem? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 06-29-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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Did we ever solve the front control arm groan/pop problem?

I remember shortly after getting my car, I'd get a groan from the front LCA hydro bushings. I also remember there being a bunch of TSBs and revised parts (including one with heat shields for the bushings), but it was never clear to me if the revised parts actually fixed the problem.

I forgot about the issue as my front hydro bushings stopped groaning magically after a while...but now I'm getting some popping from the front floorboard area that I suspect is those bushings. I'm guessing they have become non-hydro bushings as whatever oil was in them has finally dried up.

What are people using as replacements? The latest OEM revision or something else? I'm going to stay away from tubular arms because of all the potholes around here (don't want 'em to fold up) and don't want anything that's going to vastly increase NVH.

I did have front struts professionally replaced two months ago, but have had zero problems. I'll check the torque on the strut mount nuts, etc. to make sure there's nothing loose there.

To help confirm the diagnosis, I've gone to town with spray silicone lube on the front LCA hydro bushings--will see if that quiets things temporarily.
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:14 PM   #2
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So, checked the front struts and all looks good with proper torque on the mount nuts. Silicone spray on the LCA's hydro bushing didn't seem to do much, but I also could get a good angle to apply it from the side of the car.

The other thing it could be is something weird with the front brakes--they have been squealing and have 40k miles on the pads+rotors (although plenty of meat left on the friction material). They're Hawk HPS pads; good initial bite, but noisy and reviews show that they tend to fade rapidly. I'm thinking this is my excuse to give the EBC Yellow Stuff pads a try with some new OE rotors. I've had good success with EBC pads on other cars.

Plus, a front brake job is a nice leisurely afternoon shade tree job--not so with the front LCAs.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:47 AM   #3
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I can't help you but through the years i have read on Mustang Forums about the front lower control arms. I remember reading in the beginning a lot of the replacement control arms would go bad in a few months only to have to be changed again. These were Mustangs under warranty. Surely to poop, the replacement front lower control arms are better by now. Take it to you Ford dealer if you are under warranty. If not and you can replace them yourself, i think Steeda or (maybe both) American Muscle sells them with better bushings and crap like that. Good luck
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:10 PM   #4
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^ Thanks. Warranty's long gone (still have power train, but this wouldn't count). Plus, for me it's been a zero sum game balancing warranty repair vs dealer damage inflicted.

My guess is I'll try to find the latest-revision part (or an equivalent) and go from there. New arm will also provide new lower ball joint, which I"m sure is starting to get clapped out at 64k miles. How hard is it to replace these? I figured you'd probably need an alignment, etc. as part of the job.

Or...should I go aftermarket tubular arms? Decisions, decisions...

That said, to "rule out" front brakes (OK, just because I want to upgrade), I have some EBC Yellowstuff pads on order and will get some OEM rotors too. Should be able to do a complete refresh for a hair over $200.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:38 AM   #5
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^ Thanks. Warranty's long gone (still have power train, but this wouldn't count). Plus, for me it's been a zero sum game balancing warranty repair vs dealer damage inflicted.

My guess is I'll try to find the latest-revision part (or an equivalent) and go from there. New arm will also provide new lower ball joint, which I"m sure is starting to get clapped out at 64k miles. How hard is it to replace these? I figured you'd probably need an alignment, etc. as part of the job.

Or...should I go aftermarket tubular arms? Decisions, decisions...

That said, to "rule out" front brakes (OK, just because I want to upgrade), I have some EBC Yellowstuff pads on order and will get some OEM rotors too. Should be able to do a complete refresh for a hair over $200.

Let me know what you turn up on the lower control arms, I've got that same popping noise on mine about 10k miles ago (she's got 70k on her now) and I'd like to install new LCA's. It doesn't look too hard to do; especially since you can ford ones with bushings and ball joint installed for about 100 bucks each. I just don't know which ones are the upgraded non groaning ones.


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Old 07-06-2016, 11:40 AM   #6
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One other thing, once you change those LCA's you gotta get it aligned again. All the geometry will change a bit and you don't want to chew up expensive tires finding out


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Old 07-06-2016, 12:13 PM   #7
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According to the friendly folks at LMR, they are selling the following, which appear to be the latest revision.

RH - MCF2309 - CR3Z-3078-D
LH - MCF2310 - CR3Z-3079-D

The heat shields are not included.

It's unclear from what I've researched if the rev. D arms actually fix the problem. Aftermarket arms almost certainly will fix it (with some small increase in NVH from stiffer bushings), but will cost 2x-3x more.

And ditto on needing the alignment. Easier to spend the $80-$100 for that then risk ruining a pair of nice tires.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:51 PM   #8
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I replaced both LCA within the first 1K of use. The replacement part was the new revision D, but after another 10K they started to groan again. I went back to the dealer for second time and they did not replace any parts. At this point, I am not sure was what they did. They did not explain anything at all, but the noise disappeared. After another 5K, the noise came back again. The dealer then installed some heat shields, but the problem occurred one again. I 'll suggest you to try aftermarket replacements.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tym_v6 View Post
According to the friendly folks at LMR, they are selling the following, which appear to be the latest revision.



RH - MCF2309 - CR3Z-3078-D

LH - MCF2310 - CR3Z-3079-D



The heat shields are not included.



It's unclear from what I've researched if the rev. D arms actually fix the problem. Aftermarket arms almost certainly will fix it (with some small increase in NVH from stiffer bushings), but will cost 2x-3x more.



And ditto on needing the alignment. Easier to spend the $80-$100 for that then risk ruining a pair of nice tires.

Heat shields? I didn't know those existed. Any idea what they look like or where they bolt up?


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Old 07-06-2016, 11:03 PM   #10
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Here's another MeVo thread with more details: Fix for stock front control arms?.

Here's a post on another forum that illustrates the heat shield that supposedly protects the hydro bushing from engine heat, although I've heard of people using the Rev. D LCAs with this shield and still having the problem come back. GT500 front lower control arms? - The Mustang Source - Ford Mustang Forums
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:38 AM   #11
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Here's another MeVo thread with more details: Fix for stock front control arms?.

Here's a post on another forum that illustrates the heat shield that supposedly protects the hydro bushing from engine heat, although I've heard of people using the Rev. D LCAs with this shield and still having the problem come back. GT500 front lower control arms? - The Mustang Source - Ford Mustang Forums
I checked out the heat shields, my car doesn't have them. I'm guessing it's because of the V6's lower heat levels Ford didn't think it needed it. That's probably why they didn't start making noise until about 50K miles. Can you source those separately? I'll probably order those with a pair of the stock version "D" LCA's at some point soon. It's only a couple hundred bucks so it's not too expensive.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:50 AM   #12
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^ It's probably because your car has an earlier version of the control arms without the provision for the heat shields.

In addition to replacing with OEM stock units, which may or may not redevelop the problem in a while, there are a couple of aftermarket options.

Tubular LCAs with greasable bushings and some increase in NVH from BMR: BMR Mustang Front Lower Control Arms - Hammertone Finish AA021H (10-14 All) - Free Shipping.

Steeda "upgraded" LCAs which appear to be stock units with improved ball joint and poly bushings (that don't appear to be greasable): 2011-14 Mustang Front Lower Control Arms w/ Ball Joints - Made in USA 777-4900 | Free Shipping!

Also, if you have a 2011 MY car, there have been reported issues with the EPAS going crazy if you upgrade to LCAs with higher durometer (stiffer) bushings. This was apparently corrected in Ford's firmware for the EPAS rack sometime in 2012.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:07 PM   #13
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^ It's probably because your car has an earlier version of the control arms without the provision for the heat shields.

In addition to replacing with OEM stock units, which may or may not redevelop the problem in a while, there are a couple of aftermarket options.

Tubular LCAs with greasable bushings and some increase in NVH from BMR: BMR Mustang Front Lower Control Arms - Hammertone Finish AA021H (10-14 All) - Free Shipping.

Steeda "upgraded" LCAs which appear to be stock units with improved ball joint and poly bushings (that don't appear to be greasable): 2011-14 Mustang Front Lower Control Arms w/ Ball Joints - Made in USA 777-4900 | Free Shipping!

Also, if you have a 2011 MY car, there have been reported issues with the EPAS going crazy if you upgrade to LCAs with higher durometer (stiffer) bushings. This was apparently corrected in Ford's firmware for the EPAS rack sometime in 2012.
I'm going to stay with the stock stuff since this is a daily driver and I don't want to spend $600 on control arms for a car that I don't drive that hard.
is there any way to order the heat shields? I check the 2011 service manual and I don't see a provision for that
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:05 PM   #14
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Here's what I could find.

4R3Z-5G221-LH Shield - Left
4R3Z-5G221-RH Shield - Right
W704873-S439 Screw - Shield (3 Req) <== I think this is 3 required PER SIDE

I'm with you on liking to stick with stock stuff, but when the stock stuff is crap...
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:58 AM   #15
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Here's what I could find.

4R3Z-5G221-LH Shield - Left
4R3Z-5G221-RH Shield - Right
W704873-S439 Screw - Shield (3 Req) <== I think this is 3 required PER SIDE

I'm with you on liking to stick with stock stuff, but when the stock stuff is crap...
thanks for finding the numbers, I couldn't find them in the service manual. Only $5 or 6 bucks a piece, so not bad at all. I'm sure they weren't intended for my V6 because it doesn't have a lot of heat output. On the other hand, I've had ceramic coated headers for a couple of years so that might have added to the demise of the hydro bushings.

Most of the time I try to stick with stock stuff but sometimes it's crap. The one piece that drives me nuts is the dual mass flywheel. When my clutch finally wears out I'm getting rid of that POS for certain.

Lastly, are you coming to the summer cruise in CT? If so I'll see you there.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:32 AM   #16
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^ No problem! I have an auto, but have heard legends about the "dual turd" flywheel (as some have called it).

I am planning to be at the cruise next weekend, provided the body shop has my rear bumper repainted in time (people keep hitting it).
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:50 PM   #17
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Yeah, my Volvo S60 was like that. I practically had a revolving credit account with the body shop, that car got hit so many times.
That'll be cool to meet you, I'll be there for breakfast but not the cruise


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Old 07-10-2016, 09:24 PM   #18
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Yeah, I think this is the third repair. The most recent damage is actually from a year ago; I had to fight with the insurance co. and the state as they initially judged me to be at fault (somebody hit me flying through a fire lane while I was backing out of my condo parking space) but was successfully reversed on appeal. Also dumped my crappy-*** insurance company (MAPFRE Commerce) for Amica.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:43 PM   #19
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Just to update this thread, I haven't replaced my front LCA's yet but am pretty certain that the groan/pop is coming from them. Liberally spraying the hydro bushing area with silicone-based lubricant will quiet them down for a while (a few weeks) and slowly the noise creeps back as the (thin) lubricant runs out.

Steeda did confirm to me that their LCAs are stock units upgraded with their poly bushings and ball joint: 2011-14 Mustang Front Lower Control Arms w/ Ball Joints - Made in USA 777-4900 | Free Shipping!. There is no provision for user-greasing; they are packed with grease during assembly at Steeda. Given that poly bushings can creak if you look at them wrong, I much prefer something that's greasable.

Given how crazy spendy the aftermarket stuff is, I'm starting to think I'll just purchase the latest revision factory units, add the head shields, and be done with it for less than half the price.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:45 AM   #20
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That's exactly what I'm going to do. I've got a $20 credit over at summit racing so I'm gonna see if they have the latest revisions. This noise is driving me nuts. Where did you spray the silicon spray?
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:59 PM   #21
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^ Check out RockAuto too. Their prices are good and there's usually a coupon code or two floating around online.

Re silicone spray, I got on my knees alongside the car and looked for the hydro bushing (you can see it if you look between the wheel and the fender. I then got the spray can in there and went to town trying to drench both faces of the bushing. Be sure you don't mind some stains on your driveway from all the extra dripping off.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:28 AM   #22
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^ Check out RockAuto too. Their prices are good and there's usually a coupon code or two floating around online.

Re silicone spray, I got on my knees alongside the car and looked for the hydro bushing (you can see it if you look between the wheel and the fender. I then got the spray can in there and went to town trying to drench both faces of the bushing. Be sure you don't mind some stains on your driveway from all the extra dripping off.
that's amazing that it actually works. I'll try it over the weekend. I'd love to see an exploded diagram of those bushings to see how they're assembled

I'm pretty sure there's some other stuff going on in there as well, I get a clunk every now and then. finally got the new struts and strut mounts in, at least that seems to be working fine
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:37 PM   #23
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maybe I'll do mine at Staples tomorrow. I don't care if I stain their lot and there is an Auto Zone right next door.

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Old 08-26-2016, 05:34 PM   #24
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Great idea!!!!


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Old 08-26-2016, 10:16 PM   #25
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that's amazing that it actually works. I'll try it over the weekend. I'd love to see an exploded diagram of those bushings to see how they're assembled

I'm pretty sure there's some other stuff going on in there as well, I get a clunk every now and then. finally got the new struts and strut mounts in, at least that seems to be working fine
I saw a photo of a bushing taken apart once; there's some sort of internal fluted chamber that supposedly holds whatever oil/fluid Ford put in there. The bushings can definitely make a pop when dry. If a clunk, could be ball joints (which you'd get with new LCAs) or maybe front end links (I'm thinking of getting the Steeda units)?
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:30 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=tym_v6;2390311]Just to update this thread, I haven't replaced my front LCA's yet but am pretty certain that the groan/pop is coming from them. Liberally spraying the hydro bushing area with silicone-based lubricant will quiet them down for a while (a few weeks) and slowly the noise creeps back as the (thin) lubricant runs out.

I just ordered the new control arms (rev D) from Tasca ford along with the heat shields and screws. thanks so much for helping me with that! I'm guessing I'll get them during the week and install them over the weekend. I'm not sure how far you are from the diner where we started the cruise but I'm about 20 minutes from there and you're welcome to come over and check it out. I'm hoping that'll finally quiet down the clunks and pops I'm hearing from the front end
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Old 09-02-2016, 03:04 PM   #27
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Take a picture if you can please. My 14 was built 9-10 days before end of S197 production so hopefully has Rev D LCAs. I'd like to install heat shields though.
Mine is two yrs old yesterday (13k miles), no sqeaks/clunks yet.
Thank you.


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Old 09-02-2016, 07:09 PM   #28
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I'm not sure what the differences are but I'll take some pics for you. If you look at previous posts in this thread you can pull up the part number and can look it up on Tasca. They have pics of the heat shields on their site


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Old 09-02-2016, 10:13 PM   #29
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Looked at mine. They are not same part # Tasca shows ending in "D"
Just a few days from end of series & still not latest parts 😡😡
Must have been using up old parts. I still have 12 months & 12500 miles left on my B2B warranty. If the start to squeak TSB should change to Rev D.
I just wanted to see how heat shield attached in the photo.
Thank you


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Old 09-03-2016, 01:48 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadetree43 View Post
Looked at mine. They are not same part # Tasca shows ending in "D"
Just a few days from end of series & still not latest parts 😡😡
Must have been using up old parts. I still have 12 months & 12500 miles left on my B2B warranty. If the start to squeak TSB should change to Rev D.
I just wanted to see how heat shield attached in the photo.
Thank you

Check out the attachment, I found a pic of the arm with heat shiels attached. I also looked at the arm itself, Rev D appears to have screw holes molded into the metal for the shields. I'd suggest ordering the shields from Tasca ford for about $5 bucks each and see if you can retrofit them to your control arms. That might prevent the hydrobushing from failing if you can get the heat away from the bushing. Plus it's only $10 bucks plus shipping to experiement so you don't have a lot of money to lose either. Just a saturday afternoon tinkering. Doesn't sound like a half bad day to me...

On a happy note I finally found the cause of the knocking - bad ball joint on the passenger side is bad. so I'll get rid of that noise at the same time too. Can't wait, it's been driving me nuts

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Old 09-03-2016, 06:37 PM   #31
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Tom, let us know how much of a bear it is to do the replacement...deciding if I want to tackle it myself (and then get it aligned) or not. Sadly I'm a bit a far away in Boston to swing by.

What were Tasca's prices? I think Rockauto listed the Rev D arms at around $80 apiece.
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Old 09-03-2016, 06:55 PM   #32
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Hey Tym,
I think Tasca was $99, but I was able to talk with them and confirm they had the correct parts. Plus I was able to get the screws and heat shields from them at the same time. The convenience was worth it. Thanks too for getting me the parts numbers so I could get the right stuff the first time.

In regards to installing them, I'll let you know. It looks like it's about an hour a side or so, but I gotta read the service manual first to see what I'm in for. I'll let you know how it goes next weekend


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Old 09-03-2016, 07:56 PM   #33
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Thanks! Glad to be of help!

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Old 09-03-2016, 08:39 PM   #34
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Did we ever solve the front control arm groan/pop problem?

Katie and I replaced both sides on her 2010 GT. The worst part was having to loosen and move the steering rack out of the way. I'm not sure that you will have the same issue with the newer models. We had the lift so getting to everything was not too bad. She did need an alignment after the replacement.


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Old 09-03-2016, 10:39 PM   #35
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Is the replacement doable without a lift? I'd be relegated to jackstands and hand tools in a driveway if I tackled it myself.

As for RockAuto, I see that they only carry the Rev. D LCAs and not the heat shields or screws. The LCAs are about $83 apiece. I contacted Tasca Parts to see what their prices are (they can sometimes get you an extra discount if you contact their parts guy Steve directly and ask nicely; he's on S197 Forum but I don't think he's on MeVo).

I also have a pair of the Steeda front end links on order; might put those in too when the front end is apart.
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