* Recycling
* Fluid Disposal

* Build (Bill of Material) Sheets
* Cowl / Body Tags
* Dealer Codes
* Protecto Plate
* Serial and Warranty Plates
* VIN Decoding

* ComfortTron
* Rallye Pac
* A-Body Rallye Pak Conversion
* B, C-Body Rallye Pak Conversion
* G-Body Rallye Pak Conversion
* Tic Toc Tac
* Tachometer Reads Incorrectly

* Converting Console Shifter to Hurst Dual Gate
* Hurst Dual Gate Shifter
* Stiff Toronado Shift Linkage Solution

* 1983 - 1988 G-body T-tops
* Lightened Frames

* Movies With Oldsmobiles
* Songs With Oldsmobiles

Submit corrections and additions to this information to The Olds FAQ Compiler.


For metal parts, most parts yards and crushing operations welcome various peices of scrap metal, large and small; bumpers, fenders, doors, and small peices of metal scrap as well. Other than taking it for free, they might give you some cash for it.

Fluid Disposal

Ethylene Glycol (auto anti-freeze)

Remember, this stuff is poisonous. Animals find it sweet, but it is deadly and death is slow. Avoid doing anything that would allow it to be ingested such as dumping on land where folks use wells for drinking water, or where it can pool and animals could drink it.

It is preferable to dump old antifreeze into the toilet as opposed to the storm drain. If you live in an area in the US where there is a municipal wastewater treatment system, the solution is simple. The toilet leads to a sanitary sewer and eventual waste treatment (we're not talking about septic tanks here), whereas the storm sewer goes into a river or lake. It is untreated, where ever it eventually winds up.

The particular toxin in antifreeze (ethelene glycol) that kills vertebrates is easily digested by the bacteria at your local treatment plant. Call them and ask first!

Old antifreeze has the additional problem that it has picked up lead and other metals from the engine and radiator. You could pour brand new antifreeze in your backyard with no problems, as long as you keep your pets away from it. Used antifreeze is a different story, though. I don't know what the answer is, but unless the treatment plant can also handle the metals, the drain might not be the right answer.

If you do not live in an area that has sewer, I have no good answer except finding someone who accepts it. Check with your County Government. Also check around for any Hazardous Waste Disposal drives.

For those that do not know it, the emergency treatment for antifreeze exposure is to vomit, then get serously drunk and stay drunk for either a few days, or until treated by a doctor. Even mild antifreeze exposure, like a burst hose that gives you a lung full of vapor, should be treated with at least a six pack of your favorite beer or ale.

And no, I am not kidding. The explanation is simple. Ethyl alcohol is closely related to ethelene glycol, as far as the enzymes that break down these two are concerned. We all know that we can digest booze into things that do not kill us. The digestion of antifreeze produces formaldhyde right in the liver, and kills it. When a liver dies, the rest of body follows right along.

The trick is to keep the liver busy digesting what it preferres, booze. Then flush the (water soluable) antifreeze out of the body. Go see a doctor RIGHT AWAY if you get antifreeze poisoning.

Miscellaneous Fluids

Many gas stations or repair shops will take used, uncontaminated oil. This includes motor oil, trans, brake and power steering fluid. Many counties have monthly drop offs. This may include other hazardous, unknown fluids. Used oil is ususally burned in waste oil furnaces.

[ Thanks to Bob Handren, Andrew C. Green and others for this information]

Build (Bill of Material) Sheets

This piece of documentation is 8.5" x 11":
Inspect the easier locations first because this sheet needed to be accessible on the assembly line until the car was completed! Usually found in the rear seat cushion springs, in the front seat cushion springs, under the carpeting, taped to the top of the gas tank, taped to the back side of the headliner, or inside the driver's door panel.

My understanding is that you are fortunate to have any build sheet. The story I have heard is that the workers put the sheets anywhere they wanted - in car, in trash, in pocket, etc. There was no requirement that they went anywhere. It was just a check for them & never intended for you. In fact, a "quality" program at the Lansing plants was to make sure the build sheets were removed!

Once you locate the build sheet, you might consider placing a photocopy of it in the original location, for a future owner.

Before taking your car apart looking for the build sheet, I would suggest that you try locating the build sheet in several other cars of the same model and model year, and built at the same assembly plant, at the wrecking yard first. This should identify possible locations and eliminate others. Furthermore, you can familiarize yourself on how to access the build sheet without causing any damage.

I found the build sheet for my '52 Ninety Eight behind one of the upper rear seat cushions, and found a sheet for the next car on the line behind the other one. Also found half of another sheet under the front seat.

The build sheet is a card 8 ½" x 4" with those little holes in the sides for continuous feeding through a printer. It has four rows of boxes going across, each row has a small title box, with a blank box below it, like this:

                 |  STYLE   |
                 |  34239   |

The boxes are 5/8" high and have titles like "STYLE", "SEQ", "MO", "DAY", etc.

Those five numbers in the "STYLE" box match the first five numbers of my VIN#. The SEQ# is 322, MO is 01, DAY is 29. Is that the date my car was made?

This piece of documentation is 8.5" x 4":
That piece of paper you found is a computer print-out of certain options and dates. I've had 2-3 cars I've found these in. Some had build sheets also and some didn't. You must contact one of the OLDS club advisors for your type of car and he may be able to help you decode this paper.

                | o 4-190-10-5          o |
                | o    2989             o |
                | o       837-71-604-642o |
                | o                     o |
                | o                     o |

And thats about how they look. The 837 is body style code (I think) and the 71 is a trim code. The others I don't know. What do you think?

Line 1-2:
Could be a sequence no., body no., build date. You might be able to identify by correlating with the body tag under the hood.
Line 3:
837: Car code (model) number
98 Holiday Coupe
Fisher Body Style code 60-3837
71: Trim number (short for 371, dropping the "3")
Dk. Gray Leather seat bolster,
Med. Gray pattern cloth insert,
Ivory morocceen accent, etc.
604: ???
642: ???
[ Thanks to Dave Paulison, John T. Blair, Mike Van Auken, Dan Gulino, Mike (70 Starfire GT), Bill Culp, Paul for this information ]

Cowl / Body Tags

You might have a cowl tag under the hood, on the driver's side, under the windshield. I say might, because my 1985 did NOT come with one. I ordered mine new, so I know it was never there, and when I called the Arlington plant, they said if they had them, they had them, if not, of course they couldn't install them. Not every car came with one. The reason, he said, was that your service information is on a sticker under the TRUNK lid. It lists the codes for everything that came on the car from the factory.

For example, if your car came with N66 wheels, it will have an N66 somewhere on the sticker. This sticker, though not as durable as a plate, is far more valuable for restoration as far as an option standpoint. It's like a mini-build sheet. In fact, the build sheet mine had didn't have very much information on it at all, except for 15 X 7 chrome wheels, special paint, and W-42 (442) option and the VIN.

For OLDER cars, they put a body tag on the cowl which gave basic info, and options were verified by the build sheet.

However, all of the GM cars built 1986 or later (or thereabouts) had a tag originally inside the decklid, which lists all of the trim, drive train, suspension, and option codes. This should be the same information which would be on the "recycled at the factory" build sheet. The problem of course, would be if your car had had the decklid replaced without moving that original tag over, or if the tag has been painted over.

A body repair done at a GM dealership would probably include transferring this tag, since their service department people will occasionally refer to it when looking for a particular service procedure, or for making sure they order the correct replacement parts.

[ Thanks to Mike Rothe, Tom Stoner for this information ]

Dealer Codes

The first number of the five digit number is the zone office number. Pennsylvania is divided into three zones, 03 (Philadelphia), 04 (Pittsburgh) and 06.

03-033 Bayliss Oldsmobile Inc Reading PA (1984)
03-154 Harry Cramer Inc Middletown PA (1978)
03-203 Delaware Olds Inc Wilmington DE (1969)
03-250 Ebersole Inc Cleona PA (1970, 72, 76)
03-251 Ebersole Pontiac-Olds-GMC Inc Lebanon PA (1982)
06-344 Frye Motor Co Delmont PA (1979)
03-400 Hess-Ulrich Buick-Chev-Olds Mount Joy PA (1977)
03-826 Solt Chevrolet-Olds Inc Nazareth PA (1980)
03-856 George S Steinmetz Inc Myerstown PA (1964, 66, 67, 69, 73)
03-880 Titus Cadillac-Olds Inc Harrisburg PA (1979)
04-135 Glenn L Beam Inc Gettysburg PA (1967)
06-651 Rider Oldsmobile Inc State College PA (1973)
13-659 Bob Moore Oldsmobile Inc Wichita KS (1956)
17-081 Brogan Cadillac-Olds Corp Clifton NJ (1961)
20-022 Dean Bailey Olds Inc Tulsa OK
20-7144 Bruckner Olds Inc Milan MI
26-532 Murphy Olds-Toyota Melbourne, FL

[ Thanks to Paul, Dave Paulison for this information ]

Protecto Plate

This was a plastic warranty plate the customer received upon delivery of their new Oldsmobile. Something to go along with the owner's manual.

The upper left corner is the dealer code of the original selling dealership.

The upper right corner would be the original in-service date. This started the warranty and determined the expiration date.

The lower left corner is the car's VIN.

The lower right corner is the mileage at in-service. This determined the expiration mileage of the warranty.

[ Thanks to Paul (72 Cutlass Supreme Convertible), Jon Wessel for this information ]

Serial & Warranty Plates

Location: 1961-67: On front hindge pillar.
1968-71: Top of instrument panel, left lide, visable through windshield.

EXAMPLE 1961-1963
                    61     2    M    01001
        Year (1961)/      /      \     \First Serial Number (not listed)
                         /        \
             Car Series /          \Assembly Plant (not listed)

                         8    4    4    M    001001
Engine (6-6cyl, 8-8 cyl)/     /     \    \    \First Serial Number (not listed)
                             /       \    \
                  Car Series/         \    \Assembly Plant (not listed)
                                        \Year (1964)

EXAMPLE  1968-1971

                3   56   39   7   M   1001001
Division (Olds)/    /    /     \   \   \First Serial Number (not listed)
                   /    /       \   \
        Car Series/    /         \   \Assembly Plant (not listed)
                      /           \
            Body Type/             \Year (7-1967, 8-1968, etc)

            (Oldsmobile - Delmont 88 "425" 4 Dr. H.T. - 1967)

All Except F-85

1961-1963            1967                        1969-1970
CAR SERIES           CAR SERIES                  CAR SERIES
2   Dynamic 88       52  Delmont 88 "330"        54  Delta 88 (exc.
5   Super 88         54  Delta 88 Custom                       Custom)
6   Starfire         56  Delmont 88 "425"        64  Delta 88 Custom
8   98               58  Delta 88 exc. Custom    66  Delta 88 Royale
                     84  98 exc. Luxury Sdn.     84  98 exc. Luxury
1964                 86  98 Luxury Sdn.          86  98 Luxury
CAR SERIES           94  Toronado Std.           94  Toronado
3   Jetatar 88       96  Toronado Deluxe
4   Dymanic 88                                   BODY TYPE
5   Super 88         BODY TYPE                   37 2Dr. H.T.
6   Starfire         39   4Dr. H.T.              39 4Dr. H.T.
7   Jetstar I        57   2Dr. H.T.              47 2Dr. H.T.
8   98 exc. Custom   67   Convertible            57 2Dr. H.T.
9   98 Custom        69   4Dr. Sdn.              67 Convertible
                     87   2Dr. H.T.              69 4Dr. Sdn.
1965-1966                                        87 2Dr. H.T.
CAR SERIES          1968
52  Jetstar 88      CAR SERIES                   1971
54  ('65) Jetstar I 54  Delmont 88               CAR SERIES
54  ('66) Starfire  64  Delta 88 exc. Custom     54  Delta 88
56  Dymanic 88      66  Delta 88 Custom          64  Delta 88 Custom
58  Delta 88        84  98 exc. Luxury Sdn.      66  Delta 88 Royale
66  ('65) Starfire  86  98 Luxury Sdn.           68  Custom Cruiser (SW)
84  98 exc. Luxury  94  Toronado                 84  98
86  98 Luxury Sdn.                               86  98 Luxury
                    BODY  TYPE                   96  Toronado
BODY TYPE           39    4Dr H.T.
37   2Dr. H.T.      57    dDr H.T.               BODY TYPE
39   4Dr. H.T.      67    Convertible            35   S.W., 2 seat
57   2Dr. H.T.      69    4 Dr. Sdn.             37   2Dr. H.T.
67   Convertible    87    2Dr. H.T.              39   4Dr. H.T.
69   4Dr. Sdn.                                   45   S.W., 3 seat
                                                 47   2Dr. H.T.
                                                 57   2Dr. H.T.
                                                 67   Convertible
                                                 69   4Dr. Sdn.


1961-1963                              1968-1970
CAR SERIES                             CAR SERIES
0   F-85 Standard                      31  F-85 6 cyl exc Cutlass
1   F-85 Deluxe                        32  F-85 8 cyl exc Cutlass
                                                       & Skyroof
1964                                   35  Cutlass 6 cyl
CAR SERIES                             36  Cutlass 8 cyl exc Supreme
0   F-85 Standard                                          & Skyroof
1   F-85 Deluxe                        42  Cutlass Supreme
2   F-85 Cutlass                       44  442
                                       48  Skyroof SW
CAR SERIES                             BODY STYLE
33  Std F-85 6 cyl                     35   SW exc Skyroof
34  Std F-85 8 cyl &                   39   4Dr HT
     std skyroof SW                    55   Skyroof SW 2 seat
35  Deluxe F-85 6 cyl                  57   2Dr HT
36  Deluxe F-85 8 cyl                  65   Skyroof SW 3 seat
      exc skyroof SW                   67   Convertible
38  Custom Skyroof SW                  69   4Dr Sdn
            & Cutlass                  77   2Dr Sdn
                                       87   2Dr HT
07   2Dr Sdn                           1971
17   2Dr HT                            CAR SERIES
27   2Dr Sdn                           31  F-85 6 cyl
35   SW 2 seat exc Skyroof             32  F-85 8 cyl
37   2Dr HT                            35  Cutlass 6 cyl
39   4Dr HT                            36  Cutlass 8 cyl
55   Skyroof SW 2 seat                 42  Cutlass Supreme
65   Skyroof SW 3 seat                 44  442
67   Convertible                       48  Skyroof SW
69   4Dr Sdn
                                       BODY TYPE
1967                                   36   SW exc Skyroof
CAR SERIES                             39   4Dr HT
33  F-85 6 cyl exc Cutlass             56   Skyroof SW 2 seat
34  F-85 8 cyl & std Skyroof           57   2Dr HT
             SW exc Cutlass            66   Skyroof SW 3 seat
35  Cutlass 6 cyl                      67   Convertible
36  Cutlass 8 cyl exc Supreme          69   4Dr Sdn
38  Cutlass Surpeme & Cutlass          77   2Dr Sdn
                   Skyroof SW          87   2Dr HT

07   2Dr Sdn
17   2Dr HT
35   SW exc Skyroof
39   4Dr HT
55   Skyroof SW 2 seat
65   Skyroof SW 3 seat
67   Convertible
69   4Dr Sdn
[ Thanks to Bill Culp for this information ]

VIN Decoding

Check out Drew Senko's home page at http://members.aol.com/drewinva/vin.

The Country, Manufacturer, Division, Year and Assembly Plant are pretty well covered (for 1964 to 1988). If you have info to add, please e-mail Drew Senko. Please include the year with any VIN info that you send.

For 1967 to 1971 VINs, check out this other site: http://home1.gte.net/betzel/vin67-71.htm.


The principal difference between a regular Oldsmobile HVAC system and the Comfortron, it that the Comfortron took electronic impulses from a transducer located in the cabin to measure the difference between the desired temperature and the actual cabin temperature. Then it directed the heating or a/c parts of the system to do their thing to correct for the difference, if any.

Maybe it worked well, but it looked like it depended on a lot of tender parts that by now would be well worn - vacuum hoses, ports, electronic bits, etc. Also I haven't come across Comfortrons too often in the big Oldses, they have a different control plate than standard, and the transducer is real obvious in its location in the dash.

If you have a Comfortron, I'd suggest you find a Caddy of your year or similar for bits and pieces. They were more common in those cars, particularly well optioned ones.

[ Thanks to Chris Fair for this information ]

Rallye Pac


The Rocket Rallye Pac started in late (May or June) 1966. I have one of these very rare ones in my 66 W-30. Has a completely different harness than a 67. Before that there was only a tach.

The Rally Pac (no "K") was Oldspeak for the gauge and tach set. When the option was first released in the 1967 model year (or late in the 1966 model year, as there is apparently some disagreement), the Rally Pac was a one-piece assembly in the right hand gauge pod (there were only two pods in 1966-67) which had the tach in the center and the fuel/oil/temp gauges around the outside.

From 1968-72, with the three-pod dash, the Rally Pac was a combination of tach/clock (the Tic-Toc-Tach) in the right hand gauge pod and a set of fuel/oil/temp gauges in the left gauge pod. The speedo was the same as on other cars. Over the years these sets have been broken up, with people selling just the tach or just the gauges, but all Rally Pac cars came from the factory with tach and gauges as a set.

For 1971, the Rocket Rallye Pac, option U21, included a tach that was located in the right side "pod" in the dash. The tach needle swept the outside of the pod with a clock located in the center. The left pod featured a gauge for fuel, coolant temperature and oil pressure. With warning lights for brake and charging system. The speedo was the same with or without U21.

Converting a 1971 to the Rallye Pac is one of the easier years to change over. As the pods can be removed and replaced from the front of the dash. You will need to relocate some of the wires on the connector.

Note that while they look similar, the 1968-69 Rally Pac will not interchange with the 1970-72 Rally Pac. The mounting ears are different - the 1968-69 set mounts to the individual plastic bezels and must be removed and installed from under the dash. The 1970-72 units mount directly to the dash plastic and can be removed and installed from the front of the dash after removing the chrome/woodgrain one-piece bezel.

I have always referred to the Rallye Pac as having the "factory optimistic tach", because they always seem to give a higher reading than the actual rpm. (Although, perhaps that was intentional by the factory to keep the over zealous from buzzing it to high). In addition, the tach is obscured by the steering wheel, making it difficult to read.

Another drawback to the Rallye Pac is the gauges do not indicate an actual number reading, just a scale with C-H for temp and L-H for oil. Although, after awhile of observing them, you'll be able to distinguish normal operation from a problem situation.

[ Thanks to Kurt Shubert, Jim Chermack, Joe Padavano, Greg Rollin for this information. ]

Guage Sending Unit, Pressure Switch

To answer questions about the sending unit vs. a pressure switch:

The sending unit for a rally pac or other gauge is a variable resistor, which changes based on pressure. One side of the resistor is connected to ground through the threads on the sender that screw into the block and the wiper contact (that moves on the resistor with pressure) is attached to the terminal on the sender. This won't work with the choke.

The sending unit for an idiot light is an on-off switch that is normally closed when there is no oil pressure and normally open when there _is_ oil pressure. It also has one side connected to ground through the threads and the other side connected to the terminal on the sender. This won't work with the choke either, since it works the opposite of what you want (you need the switch to be closed under pressure, so the choke only works when the engine is running).

The pressure switch I decribed actually works opposite of the idiot light sender. It is normally open with no oil pressure (so the choke doesn't work with the engine not running) and normally closed when there is pressure. In addition, most of these switches are isolated from the housing; unlike senders the switch is not grounded through the threads in the switch but instead a separate terminal is provided for each end of the switch. I usually splice this into the 12v line that feeds the choke.

The Vega part I described actually combines the idiot light sending unit and pressure switch functions into one common housing, so that there are three separate terminals. ASCII art follows:

Gauge sending unit      Idiot Light Sender          Pressure Switch
(Variable Resistance)   (Closed without pressure)   (Open without

         |                         |                     |      |
         |                         |                     |      |
    _____|__                       |                     |      |
   /     |  \              ________|__                 __|______|__
  |   \  |   |             |       |  |               |  |      |  |
  |   /  |   |             |       |  |               |  |      |  |
  |   \  |   |             | o<----o  |               |  o      o  |
  |   /<-|   |             | |        |               |        /   |
  |   \      |             | |        |               |       /    |
  |   /      |             | |        |               |      /     |
  |   |      |             ------------               |            |
  |   |      |                 <--->                  --------------
  ============                 <--->                       <--->
     <--->                     <--->                       <--->
     <--->                                                 <--->
[ Thanks to Joe Padavano for this information. ]

Diesel Rallye Pacs

An output off of the diesel specific alternator is used for tach input. This tach is NOT compatible with an output from the distributor. There is a special output (bolt) on a diesel alternator. To make it work, you will need to change to an alternator from a diesel (or for a diesel). There is a tan wire that hooks up to the alternator.
[ Thanks to Andrew Green, Rob Turner for this information ]

Intermittent Operation

Finally found a fix for my ailment. I'd had erratic guages since I got the car. Never did much to figure it out till recently, but the oil, temp, gas, and volt guages would read way off, until I'd smack the dash. In winter months, I'd have to smack it more often, which was tough on cold hands.

I finally pulled the cluster apart, and started investigating. The pc board that the rallye guages "snap" into has several clips popped into the board, and studs protruding through to the back of the housing, where nuts hold them against points on the plastic circuit board. These seemed a bit loose. I pulled it all apart and solderred all the clips to the PC board, then solderred the tach plug just cuz I was there. Be very careful not to touch the flimsy plastic traces with solder - they will burn through. I stuck the board back on and tightened the studs down real good and stuck 'er back in. Mind you, it took much longer to do that than to write this. Problem solved. I haven't had a single fluctuation since.

The best (most secure) fix I've found for the tachs is to remove the guage cluster housing, and completely disassemble it. The little orange tab on back of the tach is a spring loaded switch that often looses tension on the contacts. I simply solderred the contacts to the board, and never had a problem again. While apart, after blowing the dust out, remove the guage circuit board from the cluster housing. Make sure all those little nuts are tight. The wriggle loose occasionally. The tach is a permanent fix, so you don't have to worry about fussing with it two years later.

When you have the cluster pulled, clean all terminals with an eraser. Yes, a pencil eraser! It's just abrasive enough to clean the corrosion, but not really remove much metal. Works great for alternator slip rings as well!

[ Thanks to Charley Buehner for this information. ]

Startup Behavior

The guages might peg high when you start the vehicle as a startup test to make sure they are functioning. This is a pre-start test like lighting the idiot lights to indicate the bulbs are good.

With the lights-only option, they needed a way to know the light was actually OK, since the only time it's supposed to work is when the engine's about .0002 seconds from locking up (or else it seems that way), so they have a connection to ground that light temporarily while cranking the car. The oil pressure light doesn't need this, as it will read low pressure when the engine just begins to spin (or you HOPE it just when it starts to spin and not when it's been running 5 minutes or so).

Next time you get in there, look for a jumper from that wire (temp. light) to the ignition switch. Check with an ohmmeter that it's grounded when the ignition switch is in the "start" position only, if it is, just cut it and cap the ends so they don't make contact anywhere under the dash.

[ Thanks to Ken Snyder for this information. ]

Rallye Pac Conversion - A-body

1968 - 1969
The following is for converting a 1968 to 1969 dash from lights to Rally-Pak. Don't know if the 1966-1967, 1970-1972 and later are the same, but this might give you an idea of what to look for.

First, find a wiring diagram. The wires going into the plug(s) to the back of the gauge cluster will be color-coded. Map out which wire does what - match its color to that of the wiring diagram, etc. The colors don't change from year to year; e.g. the backlighting circuit has been gray for, what, decades now.

There are 7 pins on the rear of the unit, reading from left to right here are the assignments and wire color:

A=lights / B=fuel / C=oil / D=brake / E=ignition / F=gen / G=temp
  O           O       O         O        O           O     O
  |           |       |         |        |           |     |
  |           |       |         |        |           |     |
 gray        tan     blue      tan     pink        brown  dk.green
                     dbl.     dbl
                     white     white
                     strip     strip

Cluster Pack: wire colors are the same, pin assignments:
a = lights / b = temp / c = oil / d = fuel / e = ign / f = generator / g = brake

As you can see there are 3 wires that must be moved from the cluster pack. b (dark green) moves to g. g (tan w/dbl wh) moves to d. d (tan) moves to f.

[ Thanks to Andrew Green, Pat Clark for this information ]

1973 - 1977
To tell the difference between 1973 and 1974 Rallye Pacs:

The 1973 gauges have orange tipped needles that read around the outside edges of the guage cluster.

The 1974 guages have 3 all white needles that all read pointing up and are in tight triangle configuration.

I have a '76 Cutlass, 350R, AT, PB, PS. I had the single gas gauge/idiot light cluster, and I converted it to a rallye pac gauge cluster. Here a chart on how to swap the wires.

Earlier, I sent in a wiring chart for my '76 Cutlass rallye pack. I have added some asterisks. When they are aligned vertically, the chart will be correctly formatted.
Color Function Original location New location
gray +12v, instrument lamps 1 9
green hot light or temp gauge 2 1
no connection - index notch
blue/white stripe oil 4 6
tan fuel 5 7
black ground, instrument lamps 6 not used, separate spade lug
pink +12v, gauges 7 4
brown gen warning light 8 2
tan/double white stripe brake warning light 9 5

On the original idiot light cluster, the terminals, viewed facing the rear of the cluster, go 1 - 9 from left to right. My notes indicate that on the rallye pack cluster, the terminals go 1 - 9 from right to left, just the opposite of the original. Original p/n is 8985321. Rallye pack p/n is 8985322.

One more thing - why are the wires all swapped around? That bothered me at first too, but I believe there is a rationale. This forces you to stop and check that you are putting in the right gauges for the right senders. You can't just swap parts without also swapping wires. It's like the warning box that comes on when you delete a file that asks, "are you sure?"

If you use a paper clip to insert into the plug-in where each wire is, the wire can be released from the clip. Just make the wiring harness in your car have the same color order as the wiring harness in the gauge car. I kept a piece of the wiring harness & plug-in from the gauge car for a pattern.

OTOH, if you're not terribly anal about originality, the almost same Rallye Pac gauge cluster was used on a number of mid '70s Bu!cks. And, since they were not Oldsmobiles, the parts are cheap as dirt. The only difference is the center trim plate and chrome button- these can be transferred on to the bootleg cluster from the gas gauge you're replacing.

[ Thanks to Blair Thompson, Robert Anderson, Bill Culp for this information .]
The guages work and read accurately. The problem is when the key is off the Temp and Oil guages are acting as Ammeters and reading any current flow from the battery. So when I open the door and the courtesy lights come on, hit the horn, hit the brake, or when the old tick tock clock winds, the guages measure current flow until any of those actions are stopped. The temp goes to the right or in a positive direction and the oil goes to the left or in a negative direction. THis cummulative, and they stop at the point they are and hold until the light comes back on so that they read higher and higher or lower and lower. Turning the key to run resets the guages. The gas guage is apparantly out of this loop and is unaffected. In a brief attempt to trouble-shoot I kept pulling wires off until the guages quit reading current flow. I had to pull off the ALL following before it quit reading current flow: The Gen wire The Lamps Wire The Temp Wire The Oil Wire If any of those are left connected, both gauges (Oil & Temp) will act as ammeters with the key off. All four have to be pulled. The cluster is properly grounded. The chassis manual electical diagram doesn't indicate any special wiring or shunts with guages vs. idiot lights. mike dziadik [email protected]

Rallye Pac Conversion - B, C-body

1977 - 1985
Guages for these years consisted of oil, cooland and volt guages located next to the steering column. No tack though. These cars could also be ordered with a single vacuum/economy gauge, usually on the right side of the column.

Note that the woodgrain pattern changed in '80. So grab the RH panel as well unless you don't mind a mismatch. There might also be variations in the number of cutouts on the panel, although I've seen impressions molded into the back side. So you could make the cutouts yourself. There are also slight variations in guage faces.

Some early diesel equipped cars have a panel with an extra hole cut in it for a "Water in Fuel" light mounted inbetween the climate control switches and the clock (if so equipped). I bought one of these panels (including the light and 18' of wiring that led to the fuel tank) and used it for my RH side. This way, I have my stock panels and I can take the current panels (which I painted the chrome edging gloss grey and the chrome on the inset parts flat black) and cut it up for a stereo head unit (since it has the hole, its resale value is nil). Took out the light of course (not needed).

To convert, check out the Factor Chassis Manual and follow below.

From the donor car:

On your car:

Point #1- Forget all that stuff about jacking around with the 12-cavity connector - my advice is not to remove it (or any of it's contacts) from the printed circut on the back of the panel. You will almost certainly screw both the connector and the printed circuit up. Just splice into the wires anywhere in that harness - you will probably still need to remove the dash pad to gain effective access to the wires that run to the connector - of course, any pink/black wire, grey wire, and black wire in the dash will do as well, but I did it this way.

I would advise against splicing. Carefully remove the clear plastic multi wire connector and use a small screwdriver to push down on the little tang on each wire to remove that wire. Bend the tang up a bit when you are ready to reinsert the wire into the connector.

Point #2 - It is vitally important to get that 45 deg adapter fitting for the oil pressure sender. Even if you're going to buy new sending units (a good idea), you HAVE TO GET THAT PIECE. I spent 4 days running around town to every brass cabinet in Austin trying to build my own - a major pain. This piece is identical to the Ralleye Pak setup on '68 - '72 A-bodies, and as such is sold new by Year One PN# 300N ($21 friggin' dollars - grab the one out of the junk car).

Point #3 - You don't HAVE TO have a donor car, given that you can just splice everything to whatever wires you find in there - it would just be a lot easier to grab that quick release wiring harness than making you own. However, with no donor car, you're paying Year One $21, why not just pay a quick visit to your local junkyard? I guarantee you'll find things for your car that you just didn't even know existed, or that you knew you were missing and just figured on doing without.

[ Thanks to Brian Ammons for this information ]

Rallye Pac Conversion - G-body

I would just take a big pair of cutters with you and snip the plugs off the harness of the dead car, cutting the wires an inch or two behind the plugs, and just shove the plugs in your pocket. It'll make comparison later a lot easier, plus if you somehow manage to damage one of the connectors you're trying to relocate, you can weasel out one of the junkyard connectors from its plug, snap it into yours and solder the relocated wire onto it. (And study the cut-off plugs to see how you release the wire connectors and slide them out the back or front of the housing.)

Do you have a prindle quadrant in the gauge cluster? (The thing labeled "P R N D L" with a pointer.) If so, be sure you've got the string running from the needle out the bottom of the cluster to the clip on the shift bowl; this pulls the prindle pointer off "P" when you shift out of Park.

And while you're in there, grab courtesy lights, map lights, glovebox lights, whatever. They're usually generic enough to swap into any similar GM car that doesn't have them.

And finally, don't rush! If you strip or break a plastic mount in the dash of your good car, fixing it will be a royal pain. Those hex-head nuts that secure the big rectangular vinyl gauge surround are especially easy to strip.

Bulb holders and bulb number:
Black 161s
Green 194s
Blue 168s

The following lists the function of various idiot cluster wires:
Idiot lights: color of wires from the printed circuit board
Color Location
Pink Fuel Gage
Tan Oil/choke indicator
Tellows Check engine light (2 wires)
Tan/white Brake indicator
Dark Blue Wait light (diesel)
Yellow/black Water in fuel (diesel)
Pink/blk is Power from the fuse block

Instruments: color of wires from printed circuit board
Color Location
Pink Fuel gage
Tan Oil pressure sender
Dark grn/white Coolant temp sender
Dark grn/yellow To ign switch AND changes color to Dark
Green Which goes to AC temp cut-off switch
White Distributor for tach
Black Ground
The voltmeter gets power from the pink/blk wire that comes from the fuse panel
Instrument panel lights get power from the gray wires.

Use some comments from below, but use Mike R's post and '85 manual, 8C1-17. Show idiot light wiring from previous or next page. Andrew C. Green" Okay. But I think you can identify the function of each wire yourself by tracing where it leads on the circuit board. There isn't an awful lot that doesn't go straight to a light bulb or one side of a gauge field winding or whatever. IOW, despite the different wire positions (and possibly color coding), the two clusters will have a fair amount in common. Once you've figured out that part, the leftover wires will be a little easier to figure out. I'll take a quick stab at the common colors, then you look at the circuit board and check my guesswork: What's called connector #2 (right side of pac from back) >--------------------------------- >Gray 1 || 14 White >--------------------------------- Gray is dash (ignition on) backlighting. White is tack. >--------------------------------- >Black 2 || 13 Blue >--------------------------------- Black is probably a ground. Blue right turn signal. >--------------------------------- >Pink 3 || 12 light blue >--------------------------------- Pink is fuel sender, ignition Hot, such as a power lead to field windings for the gauges, which only activate with the ignition on. Light blue is left turn signal. >--------------------------------- >Brown 4 || 11 green >--------------------------------- Brown is oil pressure. Green is high beam indicator. >--------------------------------- >Yello 5 || 10 Pink w/blk stripe >--------------------------------- Yellow is seat belt fasten. Pink/Black is ignition. >--------------------------------- >beige w/whitstripe 6 || 9 med. brown >--------------------------------- Beige w/white stripe is brake warning. Medium brown is alt/charge warning. >--------------------------------- >green w/whitstripe 7 || 8 light blue but not as light as #12 >--------------------------------- Green is water temp. Light blue is oil/choke. >--------------------------------- > Yellow 1 || unused 14 >--------------------------------- Yellow is check engine. >--------------------------------- > Green w/yellow stripe 4 || unused 11 >--------------------------------- Green is temp. >--------------------------------- > Pink w/black stripe 5 || unused 10 >--------------------------------- Pink is ignition (tack?). Check the wire color leading to your two idiot light switches for oil and temp. You may be able to match them to two of the unknown colors above. Also check the parking brake release mechanism; there you will find the little plunger switch for the BRAKE warning light for which you can identify the color coding on that wire. Finally, look at the idiot light lens with all the legends on it (SEAT BELT/LOW FUEL/TEMP etc.); you can trace from each bulb back to its connection with the harness and identify circuits that way as well. Yes, there are multiple legends for a couple of warnings (I think TEMP pops up in two different places, as does SEAT BELT), but only one will have a bulb for it. Tom Lentz > 14. ??? Tach??? - white <--goes to a clip w/screw in it at almost > center of the tach. > > Con. 2 > 1. Check engine - Yellow > 2. empty > 3. empty > 4. \___ went to the temp light on the rally pack > 5. / > As you can see a lot of the same colors do the same functions, except > for white. what the hell is white for. > > I am going to swap out the water switch with a sender. And run the temp > light to the guage. > > I am going to do the same with the oil, and run the oil/choke to the > guage, BTW the oil sender is about twice as big as the switch and i dont > think i am going to get it to fit without a pipe extension... its about > 1.75 inches in dia and 2 inches tall.. the old one was 1 inch dia and 1 > inch tall... > > I am just going to run the charge light to the volt meter Yup, white is the tach. The primitive diagram in my Haynes manual verifies that. The tach wire hooks to the terminal marked TACH on the distributor (actually the negative side of the coil, but the coil is in the distributor on the HEI). The problem is that there should already be a wire there which goes to feed info to the car's computer. The diagram says this is a white wire that goes into terminal 12 on the computer. I'm not sure how it gets from this white wire at the computer up to the dash. I'd be reluctant to mess near the computer, and I'd probably just run a second wire from the distributor for your white wire. You got the right oil pressure sender, that's what they look like. If I remember right they're attached to a short 45 degree (or 135 degree depending upon how you look at it) extention from the factory. Did you figure out which temp. sender is the one for the gauge and which is for the computer input? The computer input on my '84 are two wires, black and yellow. It's a "coaxial" type connector that you squeeze to get off. If you find this on your car, best let it be. Mine was so brittle with age and engine heat it disintigrated when I squoze (squeezed?) it. GM wanted $22 for a new one, ouch! I'm not convinced about that charge light to the voltmeter, but it's probably right. When I think about it the voltmeter only needs +12 and ground so I really doubt you hook anything to it that could hurt it if you tried. Sounds like you're in for a fun time of moving wires around. There does exist somewhere a special tool for taking those out. If you have that many to do it might be worth trying to find it, but I have no idea where to start looking. When you finally do get it working, please document your original and new wiring sequences (and anything else you did) so that we can put it into the FAQ! Tom Lentz [email protected] David A Orth Andrew Green

[ Thanks to for this information ]

Rocket Rallye Pak Tic Toc Tac


They are quite simple to calibrate. I assume '68-'72 tachs calibrate the same, my experience being confined to the '70-'72 version.

Here's how I have calibrated numerous '70-'72 Rally Pack tachs:

  1. Say "Rocket Rally Pack Tick Toc Tach" three times fast. If you can do this, you can go to step two. If not, you must sell your Olds and buy a GTO with a hood tach.
  2. Attach an inductive tach (Sears sells "engine analyzers" that work just fine) to a plug wire, and put it where you can read it from the driver's seat.
  3. All of you saps who own '68 & '69 models must now crawl under the dash. Those of you with the vastly superior '70-72 models can remain seated in your extra comfy Strato Bucket seat. Remove the tach from the dash, leaving the wiring connected for a quicker job. Install a jumper for the brown (hot) wire if you need to disconnect the wiring for more reach.
  4. Attach a jumper from an ear on the tach case (the ear is what you put the screw through to hold it in the dash) to the ground strap on the dash. This is an important step. If you don't think so, hold onto the tach with sweaty hands and start the car without grounding the tach case first. Been there, done that. It hurts, and you will drop your precious Tic Tock Tach.
  5. Peel back the round foil sticker on the back of the tach case. It covers up the calibration screw. Don't worry about voiding your GM warranty. You don't have one.
  6. Start the car and turn the calibration screw with the appropriate tool until the readout on your Rally tach matches the readout on the inductive tach. Rev the car to 1000 RPM increments based on the inductive tach readout, holding the revs there, and adjusting the Rally tach each time. The calibration screw is sensitive, but you should be able to get a fairly close match across the operating rev range of the engine.
  7. You will probably not get a perfect match at every RPM. Make sure you err on the side of caution and set the tach a little conservatively. It is better to have the tach read a little high than a little low. You can bet your bacon that GM calibrated them to read 6000 rpm when the mill was probably at 5500 or so. Since The General will not be reloading your 442 with a fresh engine under warranty, play it safe.
  8. I have to recalibrate my tach once a year or so. I'm sure that vibration turns the calibration screw, and it starts to drift. Apply a little blob of paint or nail polish where the screw meets the case to keep the adjustment screw in place.

Have fun and don't forget that ground jumper!


Both the 68-69 design and the 70-70 design have three separate casings (otherwise, how would you swap the idiot lights for gauges?). The mounting tabs on the later cars are in different locations, so you would need to adapt this somehow, as the plastic dash doesn't have the proper screw locations in all cases. In addition, the tach housing is much longer than the speedo housing, so you would need to check clearances.

Note that the vastly superior 68-69 cars have the retention screws threading into tabs on the sides of the housings. If I remember correctly, these should be in the same places on all housings. I haven't tried it, but it sounds doable. At the worst, these tabs are bent sheet metal spot welded to the housing - easy to relocate.

Other considerations, of course, are speedo cable (you'll need a longer one), and wire harness length (may need to lengthen these also). Presumably, this is a floor-shift car, as the shift indicator for a column shift will obviously not work if the speedo isn't directly over the steering column (hmmm, probably why the tach is on the right!).

[ Thanks to Scott Mullen, Andrew Green, Joe Padavano for this information ]

Tachometer Reads Incorrectly

Erratic or high readings could be generated by the wires, coil, etc. But this only occurs if the wire going to the distributor tach terminal comes in or near contact with a part of the ignition.

So here is a solution which has worked on 4 separate tachs: two 79's, one 1984, and an 1986. On the back of the tach, there is a small pin/clip that is used to set the tach for either 6 cylinders or 8. The clip makes a connection between a common center point and either a top or bottom point (depending on 6 or 8) It seems that after so many years this connection becomes loose and gives the tach a false reading on not being set for either 6 or 8 cylinders.

So to fix this, remove the pin and use a small piece of sandpaper to clean any corrosion on the 'points'. Once you remove the pin, you will see a small metal clip that has a slight bend in it to keep pressure on the two points (and electrically connect them). Bend this slightly more to increase the pressure and this will solve your problem.

You could try soldering these two points, but be very careful or with too much heat, you will fry the IC chip in the tach (it is VERY close to the point connections!).

A common problem when soldering. A couple of things to help:

  1. Use a "heat-sink". Clip a good conductor of heat between the solder point and that which you seek to protect. Hemostats or even a pair of vise-grips. The idea is the larger surface will disipate the heat and not allow much of it to get to the components.

  2. Don't use a LARGE soldering gun. While it can be done,the greater heat makes it easier to fry stuff. Use a 35-50 watt soldering pencil.

  3. Make sure the soldering pencil has had plenty of time to warm up. Trying to wait for it to heat up as you solder allows more time for heat to transfer to the components. Touch the solder to the pencil. When it melts easily, it ready. Also a thin coating of melted solder on the tip "tins" it and will give you better heat transfer to the connection.

  4. Make sure the wires, terminals, etc, are CLEAN. Corrosion and other goo will prevent a good solder joint. Use a wire brush or emery paper to clean them if necessary.

If all other possibilities have been eliminated, that leaves only the guts of the tach as being defective.

[ Thanks to Michael R. Frederick, Tom Millard for this information ]

Converting Console Shifter to Hurst Dual Gate

You will need the shifter (doh!), cable, chrome top plate, and the two woodgrain pieces for the console (they are different for the dual-gate). Bottom line is that if you get the shifter with the console (more likely than finding the shifter by itself), it is a very easy conversion. Any factory service manual for 70-72 will detail this.

It turns out that the factory console has molded-in ridges on the underside to indicate the proper cutout for a dual-gate or factory 4-spd. Your existing console has some perforations were the shifter should go and needs to be cut in those areas. The Chassis Service Manual shows were this is but you can probably see it from underneath. You can use your existing top plastic woodgrain piece but it needs to be cut were the front of the dual gate chrome top plate meets. In effect you will cut this plastic piece in half and only keep the front half.

You also need a dual gate shifter cable which is about an inch longer. If you have a TH-350 then you also need to get or fabricate a different bracket on the tranny where the shift cable links up. The TH-400 can use the existing linkage. You need different support brackets (front and rear) for the dual gate shifter and these are important becausethe front one holds the shifter cable in place. Also, both these bracketsare needed to ensure that the shifter is bolted in the right place.

The light (under the P-R-N-D-2-1) that you have in the console now will have to be relocated into a separate metal (painted white) holder that is located under the dual gate shifter. This piece is very difficult to find (I was lucky that I had an original in mine). This is not a crucial piece but makes a nice finish.

There are two ways to locate the neutral safety switch:

  1. The neutral safety switch which is probably located behind your existing shifter must be changed to the dual gate neutral safety switch or it will not function. The dual gate one has an extra long linkage. A neutral safety switch from a dual gate is also very difficult to find and expensive.

  2. You can use a column shift neutral safety switch with clips which is easy to find and will never be noticed because it sits up under the dash on top of the steering column. You will find that there are some conectors already near that area for a column shift car. I forget the wire colors but I think 2 green and 2 purple?? Anyways, one pair is for the reverse lights and the other is for the Park and Neutral starting on the switch. The other leads going to your console for the console lights can remain.
[ Thanks to Joe Padavano, Nick DiGiovanni for this information ]

Hurst Dual Gate Shifter

The Hurst Dual Gate is a special console automatic shifter that is found in only a few Oldsmobiles in the late '60s and early '70s. It is easily identified by the second slot, or gate, that is to the right of the normal PRNDSL gate.

When the shifter is moved over to the right gate and pulled all the way back, the car is in first gear. When you are ready to shift into second, slap the shifter forward, and the car goes into second gear.

The advantage of the Dual Gate is that the car cannot be overshifted, because there is a detent that prevents the shifter from going past second. When the shifter is released, it springs over to the left slightly and is now ready for the slap up into third gear. Because the right gate only has first, second and third gears, it cannot be accidentally shifted into neutral, reverse or park.

[ Thanks to Jon Wessel for this information ]

Stiff Toronado Shift Linkage Solution

If your Toronado has a real stiff gear selector, so stiff, in fact, you really have to get on the selector arm to go from park to drive, read on. This problem seems to occur after a long winter storge!

I decided to try WD-40ing everything in sight. That had minimal effect. Then I disassembled the linkage from the column to the bellcrank, and from the bellcrank to the transmission. It turned out the bellcrank was almost completely seized. I removed it, hammered out the moving part, greased it thoroughly, and re-assembled; it works happyily now.

Also have had problems with the universals in the steering linkage freezing up after a long winter's storage. Found that giving them a good slathering of grease prior to storage performs wonders.

[ Thanks to Dave Voorhis, Bob for this information ]

1983 - 1988 G-body T-tops

I recieved these prices from the dealer, so if you can find someone who works for GM, or know somebody at a body shop or something, you can get them for less.

GM parts numbers for G-body t-tops seals
Weatherstripping (on the car) Left 20211821 $95.50
Right 20211820 $95.50
Sealant strips (on the top) Left 20139617 $16.95
Right same

[ Thanks to Shawn M. Twomey for this information ]

Lightened Frames

These started appearing on Cutlass' in 1984.

Movies With Oldsmobiles

Movie            Year What Olds      Comments
Airheads           '67 442 Conv       Main character's girlfriend's car.
All The            '68 Toronado limo  Drives by at the airport.
  Presidents Men
Army Of Darkness   '73 Delta 88       Steam powered death coaster.
Banacek ?          '70 Rallye 350
Bev. Hills Cop     '68 Cutlass Conv
Bulletproof        '77 Delta 88       Mobsters drive a yellow 4-door on
  Heart                               a hit.
Colors             '78 Cutlass Suprm  Drug dealer's car.
Crime Wave         ?? Delta 88        Car chase, totaled.
The Dark Half
Darkman            ?? Delta 88        Almost runs over Darkman.
Dead by Dawn       '73 Delta 88       Run into tree, fallsfrom sky,
Demolition Man     '70 442            A pinnacle of rebels independence.
                                      Suffers front end hurt.
Dirty Dancing      '63 Dynamic 88     Traveling to the Poconos.
Eraser             '70-72 Vista Cruiser Nice front end shot, vista glass
The Evil Dead      '73 Delta 88       Vacation transportation.
The Getaway,remake '8X Custom Cruiser
Great Balls of     '57 Starfire Conv
Heat               '77 Delta 88       Al Pacino parks next to an
                                      abandoned 2-door at the chop shop.
Hot Rod            '69 442            Drag racing theme.
Jumanji            '70-72 Cutlass     Brief glimpse of a so-so car in a
                                      bad section of town.
Karate Kid II      '71/72 442 Red
Kids in the Hall   '66 Cutlass Supreme
King Pin           '72 Cutlass
Kiss of Death      '77 Delta 88       The feds grab David Caruso in a
                                      blue 4-door.
Lethal Weapon 2    Custom Cruiser     Family wagon. Takes a beating.
Lethal Weapon 3    Custom Cruiser     Family wagon. Takes a beating.
Little China       '70 Cutlass
Malcolm X          '6X Delta 88       Used in the final scene.
Manix              '68/69 Toro Custom
Milk Money         '71 Cutlass Conv   Wrecked.
Navy Seals         '71 Cutlass Conv
New Jack City      '85 Cutlass sedan  Used in drive-by shooting.
Next Karate Kid    '71 W-30 442       Blown up in last scene.
On Golden Pond     '73 Delta 88       Main transportation.
A Perfect World    '64 Vista Cruiser  Much screen time, not beaten up.
Pie in the Sky     '72 Cutlass Conv   The family car.
Poltergeis         '80 Custom Cruiser Main source of family tranportation.
Radio Flyer        ?? Vista Cruiser   Mom-mobile w/rash and dents.
Rebel of the Road  '69 442
Richie Rich        '67 Vista Cruiser  Poor kid's mother's car.
The Silence of     '65-6 F-85         Childhood flashback of father's
  the Lambs                           Police car.
Slap Shot          '74 Olds Delta Conv
                   '64/65 Cutlass Hdtp
Smokie and the     '70 Cutlass Supreme
  Bandit              (maybe SX)
Stella Dallas      '68 Toronado       Movie remake w/Bette Midler.
Things to do in    '70 88 or 98 Conv
  Denver When
  You're Dead
Vacation           '72? Vista Cruiser Crushed.
White Men Can't    '67 Cutlass Conv
WW and The Dixie?? '55 Olds
  Dance Kings
[ Thanks to many people, Derek Esplin for this information. ]

Songs With Oldsmobiles

Title Artist/Band Lyric
455 Rocket Kathy Mattea
47 Olds Marc Nutter and Jim Schley-may
56 Oldsmobile Duke Merrick
88 Boogie Jackie Brenston
A Couple of Good Years LeftRicky Van Shelton 1974 Delta 88 convertible
Detriot 442 Blondie
In My Merry Oldsmobile
In My Real Gone Rocket Jackie Brenston
Jerry was a Racecar Driver Primus On his 442 he'd light'em up just for fun
Middle Aged Crazy Jerry Lee Lewis Today I traded my 98 Oldsmobile for a new Porsche car
My mind is rambling Howling Wolf
Rocket 88 Jessie Stone or Jackie Brenston
She took my Oldsmbile the Romancers my 88, my 88, yeah!
Watch Me Lorrie Morgan 1967 Cutlass Supreme ragtop

[ Thanks to Robert Lawrence, Ed Gonfindini, Susan Aprill, Bill Goodnight, Mark Prince, [email protected], Frank for this information ]

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