Dueler 697s vs BFG A/Ts

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 20:37
ThreadID: 131573 Views:9240 Replies:14 FollowUps:21
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Hi all
I have had about 50k km out of my Duelers and looking to replace later this year. I reckon I will get 60k km out of them. They have been a great tyre, 1 flat (from an open ended spanner on the highway) but been quiet, grippy and don't chip lugs. They have done the GRR, most of the Kimberley and most of Qld, including beaches etc.

We do mainly touring, and harsh dirt roads etc, but not much mud. I would get them again, but, as the grass often is greener, has anyone had recent experience on the Duelers and the BFGs and able to provide a comparison? I wanted BFs about 3 years ago when having this same conversation in my head but they were $130 a corner dearer at the time and finances didn't permit. I will be buying 6. I would also consider the new Toyos too but mainly interested in if anyone has recent experience on these two brands?
We live in Darwin and do the 9-5 gig mainly, but usually do an annual road trip interstate for about 4-5 weeks and sneak in as much 4x4 work as we can. Also do a fair bit of camping and long weekend jaunts. Looking at outback SA, NSw and Vic later this year.
All replies thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Stephen F2 - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:17

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:17
I just bought Kelly Safaris $290 each 265/70 r17 big in America..Had the Coopers hard ride and noisy and expensive. Maybe not get as many kms out if the Kellys but so far quiet on the black stuff and good ride and responsive steering.Thought I would give them a go after researching.tyres..Stupid thing you can import from USA very cheap but a bit of mucking about..They apparently built on BFG cacass.Wondering whats Cobourg Penninsula like now I was there in 2000.Did not like Kakadu too many terrorists..But we camped away from them where possible and packed up before they came to visit the nice spots on the map cheers
AnswerID: 596071

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:35

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:35
I have just replaced my Kelly Safari TSRs with another set after 84,000km of incident free travel. Mine are on a Prado 120 often towing either a TVAN or AOR Quantum.

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:23

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:23
Hi Top End Az

I have been a great fan of Bridgestone tyres for a good number of year. During that time I have never worn a set out, but have not been overly impressed with the wear rate. All tyres have had to be replaced due to sidewall stakes from those nice mulga stakes.

The Bridgestone were fantastice on and off the road, very quite on the bitumen and great in the wet, but again I was hoping to get longer life out of them.

My next choice was going to be the BFG ATO, but after seeing just how bad they chipped on our Ultimate camper last year from what I call good dirt tracks like the Birdsville Track, Strzelecki Track , many tracks across the Gulf etc, I would never pay those big extra dollars for a tyre that chipped the way they did, yet there was not one mark or cut on the Bridgestones.

I have been hearing very good reports on the new Toyo Open Country AT LT, with a greater load rating and deeper tread than the Bridgestones. I have just fitted a new set to my Prado, and so far they are just as quiet on the bitumen as the Bridgestone.

I have a few good tracks planned this year to give them the true outback test, which will be the biggest test for them. So fingers crossed they will perform as good as all the reports say. Another great bonus is they were more than $60 per tyre cheaper that the Bridgestone.



Happy tyre hunting.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Top End Az - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:20

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:20
Thanks Stephen. I can echo all your comments except the sidewall damage. I think my thread is a reasonable question as the 697 s are supposed to be "outback" tested,and how they go against the American brands.
We are doing the same tracks later in the year. That said the Toyos are sounding better by the minute.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 06:53

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 06:53
I recently went through a similar process. I was pretty determined to give the new BFG AT KO 2 a go.
But there are quite a few reports of the tread cracking badly after only a few thousand kms. Reports on both the Land Cruiser and Patrol forums as well as a few in the US. Many of the owners have been BFG fans for years. Dunno if it is a batch or common. BFG have not got back to most people complaining. That was enough for me to look elsewhere.

I tossed up between the Bridgestones and TOYO AT2 which had a lot of good reviews. It is a mildly aggressive tyre with a good deal of tread. I got the AT2 at $273ea F&B, a good price I thought, and as a bonus they had 285 65 17 which was ideal for me. They are too new to comment other than to say they are a little noisier than I thought but still ok. ) Noisier than MT 5 rib ( chipped badly) and Goodyear Kevlar Silent Armour ( which only lasted 50000kms and bloody expensive.)


BFG KO2 3000kms almost totally on the bitumen showing cracks - all 4 tyres the same.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 07:58

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 07:58
Hi Boobook

Cracking might be one thing, but having chipped blocks is another. I could not believe how the blocks chipped on the camper on our BFG's to the point that you would have thought they were Cooper tyres.

From what I have since found out, they are now using a new rubber tyre compound and their tyres are as good as they used to be years ago, yet they still bring a very big premium price.

Not sure what pricing you paid, but I paid $240 per tyre for my Toyo's, compared to $320 for the Bridgestone and $380 for the BFG in the 265 /65 17" LT size.

At those prices alone ! The BFG needs to do some serious research as to why their tyres are not as good as the were in the past.

Let's hope all the reports are true and we get a great run out of the new Toyo's.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:36

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:36
Yes I don't know the significance of the cracks, but they do look as though they could be starting points for big chips. Dunno.....

The only concern I have about the Toyo AT2 is that I read it is 2 ply somewhere, compared to 3 for others so I do wonder about the sidewalls and Mulga spiking, but I do like the fact that the sidewalls are relatively smooth which should help in that regard.

I paid $273 ea for 285 65 17 which I thought was pretty good - $240 huh?. I do think they go on special regularly at tyrepower and Kmart said they would match any price with free balancing for the life of the tyres.

Price wasn't a major consideration, but at that price verses the BFG, if all else is equal ( and it nearly is for what I want) then I would have to get about 50% more wear out of the BFG to be the same value. That is a lot and unlikely.

It will be interesting to see how your tyres compare over time in the places you loiter Stephen, though trailer tyres seem to cop it more.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:42

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:42
Toyo comes in both passenger and LT in most common sizes. The LT is 3 ply per most other brands.
For me, 'wear' is of less importance than things like stopping ability in the wet - something I have found a half worn BFG has very little of over the years.
Once a tyre is half worn I want it to quietly die so I can get some more, rather than go hard and try to kill me.
The 'newer' tread patterns seem to also pick up and throw much less stone than the old vertical treads - something to keep in mind.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 10:29

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 10:29
gbc, I just called Toyo Australia and they confirmed that it is only 2 ply in the LT :-(

They also have a M55F which has tougher sidewalls and puncture resistance. They said it is not great on road in the wet though and usually sold to mines.

I'd be interested in anyone that has had these.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:49

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:49
Stephen et al,

Just a comment on BFG's. Up to about 10 years ago, I ran these, AT's, on an 80 series, for 10-12 years. From memory, only had one or perhaps 2 punctures in over 250K, no blowouts, but had almost alarming chipping and associated wear rates. Doubt if we ever achieved 40K out of a set, and I was "happy" if we achieved 35K.

It may be a lot to do with where one lives. We were living down the Diamantina, where our access road to civilisation was on par with the Birdsville/Strezlecki Tracks, and often worse. A lot of our bitumen travel was in the Jan/Feb months, heading for boarding schools and salt air, so wear rates would have been high. All in all, they were a great tyre, and we always got home.

Fitted 697's to my old ute, and they've been good, with no chipping. Except I'm selling the ute, would get probably over 40K out of the Bridgestones?

Bob

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Follow Up By: gbc - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 09:25

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 09:25
BooBook, yes, my blue. They have changed construction for the new OPAT2 from the original OPAT which I didn't pick up on. The older style (still on the market) will buy you an extra sidewall ply in LT construction - apparently. Toyo aren't good at disclosing this info.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 12:37

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 12:37
gbc, not sure of the actual situation but I asked about the AT, they said that it is no longer available and there is no stock at all in the warehouse, but the IT team is slow updating the website to remove it. There could be a bit of stock in retailers though I guess. If you want an original AT you may be out of luck.

I have the AT2's now so lets see how they go. They still seem to get good reviews for toughness in the US.
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Reply By: gbc - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:06

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:06
I don't know if they are on your radar, but we have switched to the yoko geo AT's at work now. Similar tread pattern to the bridgestone/toyo AT's. Awesome on the road and gravel. Mud not so great - the old bfg (when new) would be better in mud but worse on the road as it is more aggressive.
Anyway I'm on my third set now and highly recommend them for what you propose.
AnswerID: 596083

Reply By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:50

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:50
Az, I also went away from bfg,they were a great tyre before KO series. Mine were very badly chipped and cracking after our last trip on the stones, every lug had rubber missing.I changed to yoko geo ats, very quiet and a good ride,they were selling in Sydney at 4 for the cost of three,$ 900 fitted, 285/75/16 Regards Keith.
AnswerID: 596086

Reply By: pmk03 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:51

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:51
After prob 5 sets of BFG A/T over many years I moved on to the Bridgestone D697 because the last set of BFGs chipped badly on a trip down the Strzelecki Track one year. Don't know what changed but had never been a problem on earlier sets.
Really like the D697 - Quiet & better on road grip - & no chipping off road & a lot cheaper
I'm a bit disappointed with the life of them though. Reckon I'll get 50,000km where I would see at least 70,000km from the BFGs
Will probably stick with the D697s though for my next set
Most of my trips are Sth Aust/Qld/NT outback track style driving & I find them good for that.
Cheers Paul
AnswerID: 596087

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:01

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:01
Hi Paul

As you would have read above, I was very happy the way the Brudgestone performed, both on and off road. If fact I started off with the 694 LT's before the went to the 697, so have used both styles.

Like you I thought that they would wear better and was the main reason why I have now just gone over to new new Toyo AT2 in the LT construction.

Time will tell, but for $60 per tyre cheaper for me, even if they wear at the same rate as the Brudgestone, I am still way out in front.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: pmk03 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:20

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:20
Thanks Stephen,
Will have a look at them.
Only problem is my spares are both D697s - Like to keep them all the same. But they look like a similar tread pattern anyway
I am buying the D697s @ $250 each in Melb - A $60 per tyre saving would be huge at that price
Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:48

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:48
Hi Pmk03 .I have 2 Coopers as spares.Funny when I bought the Kelly tyres the owner of Tyrepower said waste of money to buy 5 new tyres.As rotating 4 is good enough.AS long as the same size and AT tyre.Getting flat tyres is luck of the draw.I had Duellers on Landcruiser when I went to Qld and got 2 punctures both on bitumen and both bloody nails ..Also worked in Cooper Basin had Michelin sand tyres not a flat tyre in 3 years but the next year heaps.Maybe Michelin changed something or bad batch .Best
I suppose is to travel bush with brand new tyres from beginning and right tyre pressures..cheers
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:52

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:52
Hi all
Until recently I was a tyre dealer , so saw a lot of brands and results.
I go along with the bridgestones and toyos and also sold quite a few yokohamas, all great tyres.
BFG's do perform about the same but way overpriced so if you kill one its just extra down the drain.
I'm running Toyo At2's on two vehicles and will probably replace with the same.
Cheers and happy travelling
AnswerID: 596088

Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:57

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:57
Another thing that put me off Bfg , but they may have fixed it these days , was we saw a lot of Bfg's seperate ( tread area layers coming apart) when they still had some tread life left. The old 604 duellers would wear down absolutely bald and still be going!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:05

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 09:05
Hi Shane

Thanks for that very honest and interesting comment.

When I have spoken to some honest tyre dealers, like you they said that the BFG were a very over rated tyre for the premium price you pay.

I do have a set on my Ultimate camper, and based on who they travelled last year, would never put them on my Prado.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 15:01

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 15:01
Just my 2 bobs worth. I have mostly run Bridgestone in a few patterns and sizes. Always had good wear, very few punctures and never (so far..lol) damaged a sidewall. Grip on wet bitumen ok I guess. I avoid mud like the plague. Mainly rock, corrugated tracks/roads and lots of beach work.
Many years ago a mate bought a 60 series (yeah,many, many years ago) to which he fitted a set of BFGs. Too long ago to remember the exact type/name but along the lines of a AT type tread. The first one started to delaminate after about 20,000 k's. He got it replaced on a pro rata basis. The next one did the same after about another 5000k's. Same deal, replaced pro rata. When the next one started that dreaded thump thump thump he diced the lot and replaced with a set of Bridgestones.

Maybe a crook batch, but it turned him off the brand for good.

Personally I have 2 sets. The ones I use around town and beach work, although they did drag our van around Oz including the GRR last year. These are 10.5x 15 Desert Duelers.
The other set are 235x85 16 10 PR on the dreaded split rims and get put on if we are heading for the stakey desert country. I have the cheapest Hankook and Kumho's fitted to them. Never had a problem with the Hankooks but probably wouldn't go the Kumhos again after a couple of failures on country that the Hankooks on the front crossed without a drama.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:14

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 11:14
its worth keeping in mind that if you damage 1 or even 2 on a big trip , better chance of replacing them if you stick to the more main common brands .
nothing worse than ending a trip with a mismatch of tyres
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 596094

Reply By: Top End Az - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 13:30

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 13:30
I would have to say the 697's have been faultless. At first I thought I was only going to get 30-40k out of them, as the tread seemed to "compress" for want of a better word after about 10,000km and it looked like they were wearing very fast. But since then, they have settled.

It looks like I may skip on the BF's at this stage. Maybe I should retitle this thread 697's vs Toyo's?

I need tyres that won't chip, crack or lose lugs as, previously stated, usually end up on harsh, sharp rocky tracks such as Oodnadatta, GRR, Pilbara region etc.
AnswerID: 596098

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 14:34

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 14:34
Hi Again TE AZ

I should have also stated that because I have never ever worn at set out, it does not mean that they were all damaged. As we travel many great outback destination, the very last thing that anyone needs is for tyres to fail on us.

To this point, and again based on facts from many travellers both here and other sources, I replace my tyres when they get down to around the 50% wear Mark.

I can hear many people thinking that is just crazy and why not wear them out to get their true tyre wear. Well the fact is that if you travel the roads that we do on a tyre they is nearly bald, your chances of tyre damage and punctures will go through the roof.

There was one time heading up to Birdsville that we came across 2 vehicles on the side of the track, with on guy looking quite destredded. As you do, we pulled up to see if we could help out. The problem was the guy from Melbourne had set out with tyres that in my books were buggered, with less than a couple of mm of tread left. He had picked up 2 punctures and his mates vehicles was different stud pattern and tyre size.

Within 15 minutes I had his tyres plugged and pumped up again and we were on our way again and wondered if the guy would make it into Birdsville seeing that we had not puncture repair kit or pump. If on the other hand his tyres had more than 50% tread left, I do not think he may have suffered the punctures.

As before, time will be the best judge on how the new Toyo AT2 go, and if I am not happy with them, it will be back to the 697's.


Cheers



Stephen

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Reply By: Bruce M - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 17:21

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 17:21
My first set of BFG A/Ts gave me 115,000 km. That included the Kimberley, Pilbara, Red Centre, the Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks, and the Cape. They did not chip until about four or five years old. After considering alternatives I replaced them with another set of BFGs which cost me $312 each, fitted and balanced, in 2014. I would buy them again, based on performance and value.

Bruce M
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 18:14

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 18:14
I have bfg ko2 265/65/17s and they have been ok. Towed many klm's and been on quite a few sharp rock tracks but I am going to change due to the limited tread depth and wear. Although they have worn even and have had no problems I find they will not go past 60000 to 65000K at the very extreme.

I priced Toyo's AT, LT tyres today and will be buying them at $229 F&B. I looked at the 697's but because people report low K's I have walked away from them as I tow a lot and that causes wear on the drive tyres.



AnswerID: 596102

Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 22:31

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 22:31
G'day, what size Toyo's and where abouts as that is a bloody good price?
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 06:49

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 06:49
Toyo LT265/ 65R17s R120 load rating at Tyrepower Mackay and they have 22 in stock and I have the quote beside me that's valid for 30 days which is very handy. Maybe they are a good price because they may be supplying them to users in the coal fields, I know I am pretty happy with the price.

The other prices were $285 and $295 at other local dealers.
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Reply By: D-MaxerWA - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 22:10

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 22:10
I have a set of Hankook Dynapro ATM's fitted. They are L/T's and can't fault them. Very quiet on the black stuff and have been over some pretty rugged terrain. 30,000k's and heaps of tread left, I would say more than 60% Can't remember the price, I don't worry too much about that, but were recommended by my local tyre shop. He knows I am fussy when it comes to tyres and could have sold me anything. Very impressed.

Col
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 15:53

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 15:53
I've always been a fan of Bridgestone A/T's. i bought a set of 697's 3 years ago. Ive done about 80k on them with 3 trips to the Kimberley and have plenty of tread left. Will easily get over 100k with them. This is on a Patrol. I use to always get around the 130k mark with the old original Deuller a/t's d693 i think, on my old hilux. I always rotate them at 10k.
AnswerID: 596122

Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 16:31

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 16:31
My 2 bobs worth :

Done well with several sets of bfgs over the years with at least 70/80000 is of wear out of them. Not too good after around half worn in the wet but it's either wear or grip. Other downside is price but no chipping in my experience

Also have had Bridgestone 693s which I liked but only had for 30-ish thousand kms before selling car

Nobody has mentioned Maxxis? Never had them on the car but have on the van with 10 ply Bravos. Took a vicious looking stake in the sidewall, which never penetrated and am still using it with a nasty looking gouge. I reckon a lesser construction would've finished it off. Not brilliant tread wear, though.
AnswerID: 596204

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 19:08

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 19:08
Steve keep in mind that the ply rating, despite the name has nothing to do with the nothing of plys or the puncture resistance of the tyres. It is old terminology for the load rating and the weight carry ing capacity. It is kind of a marketing trick.

For example a 10 ply tyre could be tougher than a 12 ply ( or not), but not be able to carry as much weight.

It is bloody confusing.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 22:09

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 22:09
Boobook, spot on.
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Reply By: Member - MARIC - Sunday, Feb 14, 2016 at 19:51

Sunday, Feb 14, 2016 at 19:51
Hi T E Az, don't be put off by BFG's. Since 2005 3 sets of AT AND 290000 later going well. One puncture tech screw on road foud it 3 days later ?? when tyre started loosing air. Used on the Gib up in the Kimberly also along the great central, and yes they are more expensive, BUT some dealerships have specials listed from head office (Tyrepower) so I get them to ring me when it's on. Mine have minute cracks in the lugs 0.5 to 1.5mm through but it beats sharp rocks in them. Your choice but once I had Coopers and not long after putting thm on the bloody things laminated and the wire was showing out on the side
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