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  #1  
Old 01-03-2012, 05:00 PM
thurgood thurgood is offline
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Coolant leak - oil filter housing?

My wife's 2008 Cooper has a slight coolant leak. There are traces of coolant on the bottom of the transmission and on the exhaust pipe. It appears to be clean and dry around the thermostat housing and is definitely not coming from the accessory drive end of the engine, so it's not the water pump.

The heat shields are in the way around the exhaust manifold, but it really looks to me like there is coolant residue where the oil filter housing attaches to the engine block. Do these cars have coolant passages in the oil filter housing for an oil cooler? It looked like the earlier (R53) cars had external coolant hoses attached to the oil filter housing. From the pictures I can find of the o-ring, it appears that there are enough passages for it to contain coolant.

Planning on putting UV dye in the cooling system to try to confirm the leak location tonight.

The leak is very minor - small enough that I have not had to add any coolant over the past two or three weeks.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2012, 07:48 AM
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I don't think any coolant lines run through the oil filter housing, but don't know that for certain. Given the proximity of the oil filter housing to the coolant reservoir and some of the coolant hoses, are you sure you don't have a leak in one of those?

The reservoirs are known to develop small cracks in the plastic, and coolant hoses in general have been known to rupture as well. And if either of those has occurred, given that the system is under pressure, I can easily believe coolant could get sprayed onto the oil filter housing.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:53 AM
SooperCuperErik SooperCuperErik is offline
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Two places for common leaks on that side, one is the coolant housing, which is on the diver side of the motor, under the HPFP, kinda hard to see without removing the intake tube and fresh air tube. The seal is known to leak, just replaced mine. $8x.xx from parts.com. This will spray coolant onto your exhaust and ontop of the transmission

The other by the oil filter would be under the overflow tank. Underneath the hose connection will leak pretty easily when moved around (for ex when moving it to change the oil filter). The overflow tank center seal (the two halves) can also start leaking, but this is definitely less common. I'd check your coolant housing first. There are many threads on here about it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:10 PM
clutchless clutchless is offline
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The S model auxialary water pump to cool the turbo after you shut down is located near the oil filter. It or its wiring is also the likely source of the engine fires.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:39 AM
rick92f rick92f is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thurgood View Post
Planning on putting UV dye in the cooling system to try to confirm the leak location tonight.

BMW/MINI coolant is already UV reactive. Just shine your UV lamp over the leaking area.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2012, 06:17 PM
thurgood thurgood is offline
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Unfortunately there's no auxiliary coolant pump issue as this is a Cooper, not a Cooper S. I keep looking for the turbo, but still haven't found it.

I didn't have a UV light until I went to buy the dye - boy is it all bright green now. It is definitely not leaking from the coolant reservoir, water pump, or any associated hoses in that area. I'm not going to completely dismiss the thermostat housing at this time, but it doesn't look likely.

There is a small piece of a gasket or o-ring sticking out of the top of the oil filter housing where it attaches to the block. It looks like this is by design; however, this is the highest point on the engine where I see traces of coolant.

You can see where I've got the mirror in these photos and although they're a little fuzzy you can see the coolant showing up in the UV light photos and the flashlight.

http://s990.photobucket.com/albums/a...oolant%20leak/


It looks like the oil filter housing is coming off for this repair. I still haven't found an answer about whether or not coolant is supposed to be present at this location or not - does anybody know?
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:15 PM
thurgood thurgood is offline
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I figured I'd reply to my own post in the event someone else has this issue. My leak was definitely from the oil filter adapter. I'm not sure about the turbo engine, but on the naturally aspirated 1.6L there is no coolant passage in the adapter itself. The upper portion of the adapter is a blank flange that blocks off coolant passages on the engine block.

The o-ring I removed around the coolant passage was brittle, but the o-ring sealing the oil passages was still fairly soft (car is now 3 1/2 years old with 65k miles). I had to remove the exhaust manifold to access the fasteners for the adapter due to the heat shield/exhaust manifold gasket blocking the fasteners. Of course this required placing the car in "service position" and sliding the whole front clip forward.

I ended up spending about $100 in parts, excluding oil changes, and the better part of a day doing this job.

For what it's worth, the local dealer said they see a few leaks at this location each month, versus weekly appointments for thermostat and water pump replacements.

Last edited by thurgood; 02-14-2012 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Double post
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:14 PM
Mike Travagli Mike Travagli is offline
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Coolant Leak - Oil Filter Housing?

Thurgood,
I have a constant coolant leak as well and noticed that the oil on the dipstick has a milky color, indicating, perhaps, that the coolant is getting into to oil system. Could the coolant leak associated with the oil filter housing compromise the oil system? Did you notice if your oil took on a milky color?
Thanks for your help.
Mike
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:03 PM
clutchless clutchless is offline
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That milky color is a classic sign of coolant leaking into the oil it can damage the bearings. Engine failure could be a possibility. Get it towed to a shop or dealer ASAP!
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:06 PM
Mike Travagli Mike Travagli is offline
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I have had it to my shop, which is not associated with BMW/Mini, a number of times, but they cannot find the source of my coolant leak. Earlier on in the process I had a ruptured coolant reservoir replaced, but, unfortunately, the leak persists. They have since pressure tested the coolant system without an indication of a pressure loss. They have analyzed the milky oil and have found no traces of antifreeze and hence do not think it is from a coolant leak - just normal condensation in the crankcase they say. I'm not so sure. Shortly after the coolant reservoir was replaced, I experienced several instances of a very loud banging sound coming from the engine after starting it. This happened after the car was driven over an hour and let set overnight. The noise would quite down as the engine warmed up and would be gone in 2 – 5 minutes. I thought initially, as did my shop, that it might be due to coolant in one or more cylinders acting as a barrier to piston travel. In fact, the engine registered a fault code indicating that detonation was detected, which would be consistent with a banging piston. More recently the shop suspected the loud noise was coming from the valve-train and they were able to stop it with an oil additive. After all this, I still lose about a 1/2 inch of coolant after a 20 minute ride at highway speed without and there is no trace of coolant on my concrete garage floor.
At this point, I’m thinking I need to have the milky oil analyzed by another shop.
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2012, 05:46 AM
clutchless clutchless is offline
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Send the oil to Dyson Analysis http://www.dysonanalysis.com/Dyson_A...s/Welcome.html or
Blackstone labs. It sounds like you need a shop more familiar with MINIs.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2012, 05:58 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchless View Post
... It sounds like you need a shop more familiar with MINIs.
Or the internal combustion engine...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Travagli View Post
I have had it to my shop, which is not associated with BMW/Mini, a number of times, but they cannot find the source of my coolant leak. Earlier on in the process I had a ruptured coolant reservoir replaced, but, unfortunately, the leak persists. They have since pressure tested the coolant system without an indication of a pressure loss. They have analyzed the milky oil and have found no traces of antifreeze and hence do not think it is from a coolant leak - just normal condensation in the crankcase they say. I'm not so sure. Shortly after the coolant reservoir was replaced, I experienced several instances of a very loud banging sound coming from the engine after starting it. This happened after the car was driven over an hour and let set overnight. The noise would quite down as the engine warmed up and would be gone in 2 – 5 minutes. I thought initially, as did my shop, that it might be due to coolant in one or more cylinders acting as a barrier to piston travel. In fact, the engine registered a fault code indicating that detonation was detected, which would be consistent with a banging piston. More recently the shop suspected the loud noise was coming from the valve-train and they were able to stop it with an oil additive. After all this, I still lose about a 1/2 inch of coolant after a 20 minute ride at highway speed without and there is no trace of coolant on my concrete garage floor.
At this point, I’m thinking I need to have the milky oil analyzed by another shop.
I'd be skeptical about an explanation of 'normal' crankcase condensation as well. Everything you're describing strikes me as a head gasket failure (coolant being consumed, but no external leaks) -- the coolant is leaking into the cylinders and being burned. If that's happening, not only is it not good for the engine (it could potentially cause hydrolock if enough coolant -- which is essentially water with some additives -- gets into the cylinder(s)), the burned coolant vapors aren't any good for the catalytic converter.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2012, 06:30 AM
Mike Travagli Mike Travagli is offline
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Thanks clutchless and timfilz63,
I'll send an oil sample to Blackstone Labs as suggested. Incidentally I use them for analyzing the oil in my air cooled aircraft engine. Will post back the result when I get them.
Mike
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2012, 09:37 AM
clutchless clutchless is offline
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I would also be worried about the valve train noise silenced by the oil additive. They should probably do a cylinder leak down test. It could be a head gasket.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchless View Post
I would also be worried about the valve train noise silenced by the oil additive...
Concur. At best, the additive was unnecessarily added by a mechanic unfamiliar with the cacophonous racket normally produced by the Prince engine; at worst, it may be masking a root problem...
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:37 PM
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kukaepe kukaepe is offline
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thurgood: I had the identical coolant leak in my '07 MCS. It was diagnosed by the local MINI dealer as the seals between the block and the oil filter housing. The oil filter housing does contain a heat exchanger to manage oil temperatures so coolant and oil both pass between the block and the oil filter housing. I was also told by the dealer that this is not a common problem but they see cars with this problem a few times a month. I replaced the seals myself as the cost at the dealer was about $1000. The part # that contained the 2 seals was 11 42 7 557 009 and I think it cost about $20. I spent about 10 hours on the project, it wasn't that difficult but I took my time and was very careful to get things back just as they came from the factory. Problem fixed, no further issues, it looked to me like a material problem with the failed coolant seal, the oil passage seal looked/felt perfectly fine but replaced it anyway as it came in the kit and it is considerable work to risk it. If you are considering doing this project yourself I would suggest you should have a workshop manual, be a reasonably accomplished mechanic and have a decent set of tools.
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  #17  
Old 07-11-2012, 03:34 PM
Performance Angst Performance Angst is offline
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Originally Posted by kukaepe View Post
thurgood: I had the identical coolant leak in my '07 MCS. It was diagnosed by the local MINI dealer as the seals between the block and the oil filter housing. The oil filter housing does contain a heat exchanger to manage oil temperatures so coolant and oil both pass between the block and the oil filter housing. I was also told by the dealer that this is not a common problem but they see cars with this problem a few times a month. I replaced the seals myself as the cost at the dealer was about $1000. The part # that contained the 2 seals was 11 42 7 557 009 and I think it cost about $20. I spent about 10 hours on the project, it wasn't that difficult but I took my time and was very careful to get things back just as they came from the factory. Problem fixed, no further issues, it looked to me like a material problem with the failed coolant seal, the oil passage seal looked/felt perfectly fine but replaced it anyway as it came in the kit and it is considerable work to risk it. If you are considering doing this project yourself I would suggest you should have a workshop manual, be a reasonably accomplished mechanic and have a decent set of tools.
I also just had this problem fixed at the dealer under warranty and was told the same thing regarding frequency of this failure (somewhat common but not as common and the thermostat housing etc.). Oil seal was fine but the heat got to the water seal and it was leaking. SA showed me the failed seal and it literally crumbled in his fingers due to the amount of heat on the seal. Took about a half day for the fix but it did give me an opportunity to test drive a 2011 Corvette Z06 that was sitting on their lot while I waited. Nice trade off. Unfortunately they wanted way too much for the Z.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:08 AM
Sabini Sabini is offline
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Just had the same fix. Did not have to pull the front end off though. Moved the manifold to the side and was able to have access to the 4 bolts securing the housing. Took about 4 hours.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:50 PM
spetznaz spetznaz is offline
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Oil Filter Housing replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabini View Post
Just had the same fix. Did not have to pull the front end off though. Moved the manifold to the side and was able to have access to the 4 bolts securing the housing. Took about 4 hours.
Sabini,

Just had these issues diagnosed on my gf's car at the dealer: cracked thermostat housing and leak at the oil filter housing. The dealer wants 2k for the repair cause the car is out of warranty so i'm thinking i'd rather spend a weekend doing this. I've checked the Chilton manual and a few write ups here and seems the thermostat housing is pretty straight forward but just time consuming.

However, the dealer said he would charge me for the catalytic converter gaskets top and bottom so i'm a little confused. You say in your post that you just moved the manifold out of the way? I'm assuming they want to take it off to make things easier? Do you access from top or bottom? The exhaust manifold is hard pipe so how can you move it out of the way?

Sorry for the silly questions but the car is still at the dealer (going to pick up tomorrow) and i've never looked under the hood on the mini...

thanks,

Spetz
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:01 AM
Sabini Sabini is offline
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My issue was the gasket between the housing and the cylinder head, make sure if you are replacing the housing that you get a new set of gaskets. (2 for this part).

You are going to remove:
  • cylinder head cover
  • the header bolts (1 of which is a real *****, will take some time, dont let it fall down between the pipe and the heat shield)
  • the coolant reservior bolt, and move that over to the right towards the relay box
  • the A/C refilling valve will have a bolt, and needs to be moved all the way to the left, without compromising the tubing
  • the heat shield for the header and downpipe will need several bolts removed. This part is really crucial, because this will determine how much room you will have to move the header and downpipe in the same direction the A/C refill valve connection was/will be
  • before you can move the exhaust assembly you will have to get under the vehicle. (raise it up and support it), at this point there are 2 larger bolts securing the lower end of the downpipe/cat which are again obstructed by the heat shield which follows the length of the downpipe, you will spend a boat load of time here, once the bolts are removed securing the heat shield, you will have to manipulate the shield to gain access for your wrench to fit on the retaining bolts for the catalytic conv. This is a very slow and strenous process, you will regret getting started but if you persevere you can finish it.
  • loosen the clamp which holds the bottom of the down pipe to the resonator. This again will be interesting, since both are flared and the clamp is countoured to fit over the coupling of the two. (recommend a lubricant/thread loosener for the clamp bolt)
  • once you have separated the resonator and the downpipe, the entire header/downpipe/cat assembly will freed up in order for you to find the most optimum position whereby the bolts for oil filter housing will be more accessible. Please notice that you will still not have total unobstructed access to the bolts, but you will be able to feel with your hand and have enough room to remove them.
I do want to make it clear, that this project was quite demoralizing. I have spent a lot of time doing much more involved repairs and this one really tested my patience and dexterity.

If you only do your basic oil changes, brakes, shocks and never done more involved jobs, I recommend that you do not waste your time and your girlfriend's on this. It would not be fair to her car.

Sorry for the length, there might be other minute details that I might have forgotten, but having experience really will be the only thing that will enable you to accomplish this fix.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:30 AM
spetznaz spetznaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabini View Post
My issue was the gasket between the housing and the cylinder head, make sure if you are replacing the housing that you get a new set of gaskets. (2 for this part).

You are going to remove:
  • cylinder head cover
  • the header bolts (1 of which is a real *****, will take some time, dont let it fall down between the pipe and the heat shield)
  • the coolant reservior bolt, and move that over to the right towards the relay box
  • the A/C refilling valve will have a bolt, and needs to be moved all the way to the left, without compromising the tubing
  • the heat shield for the header and downpipe will need several bolts removed. This part is really crucial, because this will determine how much room you will have to move the header and downpipe in the same direction the A/C refill valve connection was/will be
  • before you can move the exhaust assembly you will have to get under the vehicle. (raise it up and support it), at this point there are 2 larger bolts securing the lower end of the downpipe/cat which are again obstructed by the heat shield which follows the length of the downpipe, you will spend a boat load of time here, once the bolts are removed securing the heat shield, you will have to manipulate the shield to gain access for your wrench to fit on the retaining bolts for the catalytic conv. This is a very slow and strenous process, you will regret getting started but if you persevere you can finish it.
  • loosen the clamp which holds the bottom of the down pipe to the resonator. This again will be interesting, since both are flared and the clamp is countoured to fit over the coupling of the two. (recommend a lubricant/thread loosener for the clamp bolt)
  • once you have separated the resonator and the downpipe, the entire header/downpipe/cat assembly will freed up in order for you to find the most optimum position whereby the bolts for oil filter housing will be more accessible. Please notice that you will still not have total unobstructed access to the bolts, but you will be able to feel with your hand and have enough room to remove them.
I do want to make it clear, that this project was quite demoralizing. I have spent a lot of time doing much more involved repairs and this one really tested my patience and dexterity.

.
Sabini,

thanks for the write up. I will try and attempt this looks challenging but doable. So if i understand correctly the exhaust header gets completely removed so needs a new gasket? And the catalytic converter gets disconnected as well so again need new gaskets for that? or did you reuse?

-I am getting a new gasket from BMW for the filter housing.
-New oil filter obviously at this point
-New thermostat housing from BavAuto that should have everythign included new gaskets and such

Just trying to make sure i have all the parts in hand before i get started, anything else i'm missing?

TIA

Spetz
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:02 AM
spetznaz spetznaz is offline
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Sabini,
Thanks for the quick reply and the write up.
Just to make sure i understand everything correctly regarding the exhaust stuff
1. Exhaust header is unbolted completely
2. Catalytic converter disconnected from downpipe at outlet
3. Heat shield is manipulated to gain access to various fasteners
4. Down pipe disconnected from resonator (need more access)?
5. Some amount of access will not be available to the filter housing.

Question.
The header/catalytic converter gasket is one piece with the heat shield according to realoem. Did you replace this or reuse? Same with the output gasket as well as the downpipe?

Other materials i'm getting
-thermostat housing from BavAuto. I think this should come with gaskets new thermostat etc...
-gasket set for the filter housing from BMW (they are charging an arm and leg for this)
-And obviously oil and coolant gets replaced so oil filter and new oil plug copper washer.

Anything im missing here for this job?

TIA,

Spetz
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:13 PM
Sabini Sabini is offline
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the exhaust header and downpipe/cat is diconnected (stays together, you are not separating the header and cat) from the top (header bolts) and the bottom (2 bolts engine block and a clamp securing to the resonator)
as far as the heat shield, you will have to look to see which bolts will free the heat shield at the top and bottom so you can have enough room (bending it away) to disconnect the exhaust assembly totally.

This is where having made enough room by moving the coolant reservoir and A/C fill valve tubing(bolted to radiator) will make the job possible. I know that it's not the text book way, but it is possible nonetheless.

the exhaust gasket for the manifold is a thin metal, that can be reused, just dont bend it. no need the chanhe the lower gasket since you are not taking the cat off the header down pipe.

Remember that you are carefully bending the heat shield away from the header and the lower end just to give you the room you need, you will have to bring everything back together so the parts have to mate up again nicely.

the gasket kit for the oil housing should not cost more than $20, I got it from KOperformace for $18.xx or so.

you will lose more coolant than oil, so have catch bin ready.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:52 PM
spetznaz spetznaz is offline
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Thanks for the input i'll make sure to drain the oil and the coolant if there is any left after the thermostat housing broke...

I'll update the progress this weekend..
thanks again!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:12 AM
Sabini Sabini is offline
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I tried using my Bentley manual, but it does not address this fix, as much I found.
It might be better to take more time and remove the cross bar and the radiator/condenser/fan assembly. You will have so much more room and visibility.
Hope it works out!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:12 AM
 
 
 
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