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Just wondering who uses what oil type, full synthetic, synthetic blend or conventional and why? We use to ask folks this back in the day before I retired. So I’m curious as to the Pontiac crowd since there is a good blend of engine types all the way up to VVT’s.

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For my Envoy Denali with a 5.3L - I use a 5W30 full synethic to maximize torque and mileage and reduce friction. This is my daily driver and I commute an hour each way to work. I also use synethics in the tranny and differentials

For Lucy I run a 10W40. I try to run a SF-SL rated blend, if I can find it, to maximize the ZDDP. I typically don't add a zinc additive.

For my 86 Trans Am I run a 5W30 regular oil since it pre-dates most synthetics for the Tuned Port 305. This car I am not worried about mileage.

For the wife's Traverse it calls for a synethic blend, 5W30.

For the kids Hummer H3 with the L5, full synthetic since it doesn't get great mileage to begin with and I figure it needs all the help it can get.

Edited by Frosty

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Nothing against synthetics,  have always used Castrol 20-50  in the Sunbird and GTO for the summer heat, and alot of idling (Dream Cruise) .  Daily drivers get Castrol 10-40 year round.

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Everything from my Trans Am and newer requires 5W30. So that is the spec I use except for Lucy. I prefer to run synthetics only on vehicles that can run them tolerance wise and that need the friction/mileage help or it is required by the OEM. I would prefer to run a regular 5W30 conventional motor oil due to cost all things being equal. But I think it is the use of synthetic fluids that helps keep the Envoy getting around 20 mpg with my commute to Lansing and back every day.

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I was wondering, as I said, back when I worked we, but really I, would ask to see what and why. Both synthetic and conventional oil have there pros and cons. So to me it’s about using them to your advantage. Basically the only advantage to a synthetic is it’s shear stability to keep viscosity constant. Which is pretty much Frosty’s use by his description. That said the downside for synthetic use, is most folks extend the drains out because it cost more money. Most manufacturers promote it as a longer drain interval oil as well. Yet the reality is that all the things that condemn conventional oil, with the exception of viscosity, still condemns synthetic in the same time interval. TAN/TBN crossover (acid in the oil from combustion), soot, fuel dilution, ingested dirt contamination (air filter breakthrough), water (condensation), well you get the idea. So if you keep the oil change intervals close to that of conventional, and I do, than your ok.
Conventional’s we all know, their plus’s and minus’s and since the industry separated pass car from trucks we know how much less durable regular pass car conventional oil is. To offset this in cars that I use conventional oil in, like the Indian, I use an HDD oil like Shell Rotella, which is basically buying an old pass car oil, but with all the upgrades of today’s industry standards.

Food for thought!

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To help manage the higher cost of synthetic oil changes on the Envoy at least, I try to extend the oil change period from 3,000 miles to 4,500-6,000. I still change the tranny and diff oil per the OEM schedule - which is usually around 50k miles.

The main advantage of the Shell Rotella is the amount of zinc in the oil right? Rotella is considered to be a modern diesel engine oil rather than a gas engine oil, and therefore these current (diesel) engines need the added zinc (ZDDP) to prevent metal-to-metal contact. Whereas today's modern cars have less zinc/ZDDP in both the oil and fuel to prevent emission systems deterioration and clogging.

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6 hours ago, Frosty said:

 

To help manage the higher cost of synthetic oil changes on the Envoy at least, I try to extend the oil change period from 3,000 miles to 4,500-6,000. I still change the tranny and diff oil per the OEM schedule - which is usually around 50k miles.

The main advantage of the Shell Rotella is the amount of zinc in the oil right? Rotella is considered to be a modern diesel engine oil rather than a gas engine oil, and therefore these current (diesel) engines need the added zinc (ZDDP) to prevent metal-to-metal contact. Whereas today's modern cars have less zinc/ZDDP in both the oil and fuel to prevent emission systems deterioration and clogging.

 

 

Frosty I’m sure you watch your oil close and with a synthetic I don’t think 4500 is unreasonable. I have pushed my own Lacrosse’s that far, though for me 6000 is to far, but I am anal, worked 39 years for a chemical additive company that supply’s a large portion of factory fills, ran tons of testing to look at all the perimeters that condemn oil for engines/trans/axles and hydraulics. Oh and I, shhhhh don’t spread it around, most of, ok all my oil has been free! So I think your good! 
You are correct about the zinc in the Rotella and why I use it, but only in the Indian. Yes it can cause degradation of the cat and oxygen sensors, but I except that as a necessary evil to protect the engine from wear do to the mods to the motor.
A couple side notes. My Lacrosse’s as your Denali are VVT engines they need the 5W30 for the VVT to function correctly. Also if you don’t already use it you might want to consider adding a PEA fuel additive, like Gumout Regain, to your fuel once every three tank fill ups. And if you haven’t been using it and have over 15000 mi. Valve deposits have already started so you might use it every tank fill up for a couple months.

 

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I understand using the Rotella in the Indian - makes perfect sense - no real emissions equipment or sensors to worry about - save the PCV valve. No Big Deal.

I had not heard about Gumout Regain. I will have to look into it. 

However, I did recently try two bottles of 104+ Fuel Injector Pro (its new this summer) from Gold Eagle (makers of Sta-Bil) - available thru Amazon - not in stores that I've seen yet. My Denali has 171,000 miles on it, so I am pretty sure it has its share of carbon build up. The Fuel Injector Pro seemed to bring back some seat of the pants torque. I gained about 1 mph (highway) after using it. So I think it blew away some of the carbon. I used one bottle each in two consecutive fill ups with 87 octane gas - no premium.

Also back when I worked for GM - in the early-to-mid 80s the Corvettes, Camaros, and Firebirds - with the Tuned Port motors were having catalytic converter warranty issues. The problem was the Bosch fuel injectors would clog open too easily from dirty/poor quality gasoline. This would dump unburned fuel onto the cat and melt them. While GM could never recommend which gas producer consumers should buy from, Mobil premium was the best because it had (at the time) two separate detergents in the gas, everyone else had one. BTW, the worst gas at the time was Chevron, somewhere in the southwest. To this day, I prefer to buy Mobil/BP fuel for Lucy and all my other cars if I need/want to buy premium.

Most newer cars today have to run reduced zinc fuels and oils to maintain the emission systems warranties that the federal government mandated must be 100,000 miles now. So it will be tougher and tougher to find higher levels of zinc oil for our older cars and we will have to buy specialty oils from the likes of Royal Purple, Brad Penn, or Amsoil, or commit to adding an ZDDP additive every oil change.

 

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5 hours ago, Frosty said:

I understand using the Rotella in the Indian - makes perfect sense - no real emissions equipment or sensors to worry about - save the PCV valve. No Big Deal.

I had not heard about Gumout Regain. I will have to look into it. 

However, I did recently try two bottles of 104+ Fuel Injector Pro (its new this summer) from Gold Eagle (makers of Sta-Bil) - available thru Amazon - not in stores that I've seen yet. My Denali has 171,000 miles on it, so I am pretty sure it has its share of carbon build up. The Fuel Injector Pro seemed to bring back some seat of the pants torque. I gained about 1 mph (highway) after using it. So I think it blew away some of the carbon. I used one bottle each in two consecutive fill ups with 87 octane gas - no premium.

Also back when I worked for GM - in the early-to-mid 80s the Corvettes, Camaros, and Firebirds - with the Tuned Port motors were having catalytic converter warranty issues. The problem was the Bosch fuel injectors would clog open too easily from dirty/poor quality gasoline. This would dump unburned fuel onto the cat and melt them. While GM could never recommend which gas producer consumers should buy from, Mobil premium was the best because it had (at the time) two separate detergents in the gas, everyone else had one. BTW, the worst gas at the time was Chevron, somewhere in the southwest. To this day, I prefer to buy Mobil/BP fuel for Lucy and all my other cars if I need/want to buy premium.

Most newer cars today have to run reduced zinc fuels and oils to maintain the emission systems warranties that the federal government mandated must be 100,000 miles now. So it will be tougher and tougher to find higher levels of zinc oil for our older cars and we will have to buy specialty oils from the likes of Royal Purple, Brad Penn, or Amsoil, or commit to adding an ZDDP additive every oil change.

The 104+ fuel injector pro is a pea chemistry, Phenethylamine, but they also claim some other proprietary chemistry. That may be, but it’s the pea that’s affecting the overall engine health! The last seven years at LZ, my company, I worked on a project for delivering pea as an aftermarket product as well as a dealer delivered option cleanup. Just before I left I designed two systems to do this. Fuel deposits have always been a problem, but they got much worse with fuel injection which goes all the way back to tune port as you pointed out with the fuel injector issue. The problem is simple, there isn’t any fuel that washes over the parts, not even the fuel injectors, in the air induction path. In port injection at least the injectors sat behind the valve giving some cleaning to the valve, but not the throttle body/plate or plenum. In GDI there is none. Yet the real issue is engine shut down. In this condition there are always intake valves open in various degrees. The unburnt fuel vaporizes and rolls back up in and around the valves, plenum, throttle body/plate causing deposits to form. PEA coats these parts when the fuel vaporizes, but pea doesn’t coke like the fuel does. It gets absorbed into the coked deposits and dissolves them.
So the 104+ is just as good as the regain, pea is pea. The regain might be a little cheaper, but so what, if it work who care, heck I think I’ll try some in the Indian! 

 

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Thank you for that. I learned something more about automotive chemistry.

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Learned a lot also.   Thankz for the PRO input!   I don't have any of the new formula 104+  I have some of the old formula and usually like to put in a full tank when heading up to the cabin or long trips when I will be using most of the tank of fuel.  Like Frosty mentioned, there is a noticeable increase in fuel mileage/power.  I'm usually pulling a trailer. 

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There are a few other things that can be done to revive the induction path to the combustion chambers, but I not sure you guy want that much of a headache?!

I would suggest any new GDI or port injection cars you get you use the pea cleaner on a regular basis from the beginning.

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How do you feel about the fuel injector cleaners from Lucas Oil? How about the Motor Treatments that are out from STP, Seafoam, etc.? I always have liked the products from Gumout.

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Additive treatment products, specifically the good ones are great. Most oils and fuel products either fall short to strat with or deteriorate to far before the end user knows it, but finds out when they get the bad news from a mechanic. The down side of additive treatments is buying snake oil.

Both Gumout & Lucas make good products, that said Lucas tends to be more secretive about what chemistry they use and I understand that, but it makes it harder in some cases to knows if one of their products is snake oil or not. 

As an example, PEA (polyetheramine) is the best of the best chemistries for fuel system cleaning. Anything else is a waste of money if it’s a fuel injection system. Any PEA is good, so Lucas’s deep clean fuel system cleaner is good, but only because I looked at the MSDS and can see that it’s a PEA cleaner, but they never mention that on the container, that I could find. Yet their fuel treatment additive is vague so it may or may not be snake oil from a cost standpoint, because there are a lot of cheap chemistries that will boost power.

11 hours ago, vwalburn said:

How do you feel about the fuel injector cleaners from Lucas Oil? How about the Motor Treatments that are out from STP, Seafoam, etc.? I always have liked the products from Gumout.

Oil treatments can be ok, but there is a lot to that question. What kind of motor? What’s its condition? Etc. I usually prefer to first use an oil that can address the issue of a particular motor. Then if that can’t be done I will look at an additive treatment.

hope that helps!

Edited by Last Indian

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I should have clarified my question. I've only used the motor treatments in my fuel tank, not in my oil. Are the motor treatments PEA technology? I, too, don't like adding things to my oil if I don't have to.

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Personally .. I use whatever's cheap at the store. Since I change early, before the 5000km mark, I don't loose much sleep over it. Once a year, seafoam. Top and bottom. Half a bottle down the intake, half into the oil.  Then leave her idle for half an hour, and change the oil.

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12 hours ago, vwalburn said:

I should have clarified my question. I've only used the motor treatments in my fuel tank, not in my oil. Are the motor treatments PEA technology? I, too, don't like adding things to my oil if I don't have to.

 

11 hours ago, Professur said:

Personally .. I use whatever's cheap at the store. Since I change early, before the 5000km mark, I don't loose much sleep over it. Once a year, seafoam. Top and bottom. Half a bottle down the intake, half into the oil.  Then leave her idle for half an hour, and change the oil.

Ok, thanks for the clarification. To your question about motor treatments for fuel, like Seafoam or Gumout. First let me say Pro is correct to a degree, but it goes a little beyond that. 

Whether it’s for engine oil/internal components or fuel systems and components the thing that is used by all manufacturers is detergents, mix in some additives, which will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and you have a cleaner! They can spin the snake oil jargon, but that’s the simple fact of what those products do. Some additives to slow combustion can be added to allow the claim of performance, but that’s really pushing the envelope.

In the fuel system, from the tank to the injector inlet there is one set of parameters that cause problems. At the injector orifice and the rest of the induction system is another set of parameters that cause a different set of issues. 
The first gets no benefit from detergent, but the removal of alcohol from gasoline does help with the slowing of gasoline degradation. Yet Seafoam adds in alcohol, so no I don’t use their product. Sta-bil marine on the other hand removes alcohol from gasoline, has proprietary hydrocarbon additives that both slow combustion and lubricates. 

The second part benefits from detergent, but the problem is in fuel injection systems no fuel ever washes over induction system parts, not even the adjacent surface area of the fuel injector. So what actually happens is when the engine shuts off some of the intake valves are open. This allow fuel vapors to leave the combustion chambers and roll back into the plenum area. Because of the extreme temperatures at that point the fuel cokes, anything from varnish to carbon deposits on whatever it touches. This where Polyetheramine (PEA) works, it dissolves hydrocarbon deposits. 

For 17 years, in my 2000 Grand Prix, all I’ve used is a Sta-bil type additive and a PEA fuel additive. When I replaced the entire fuel system last year, tank, pump, filter and lines, there was nothing in any of it. No varnish, no gelled fuel, no gunk of any kind. 

Cleaning an engine internally by adding Seafoam or that type of additive to the oil. Pro says that’s what he does. Since this is adding a increased dose of detergent to the oil it will clean, but it will also drop the oil viscosity quite low. Which usually will be ok for a short duration, but I personally would rather clean the engine over a 100 mile drive. Using a higher TBN oil that has everything the engine needs including lots of detergent, good viscosity, seal swell, emulsifiers and the like that will certainly clean the engine as well, but actually better.

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 I was a chem major in high school, but that was a long time ago and I pretend no expertise in the field. I'm running off their info page. For the top end, I don't add it to the tank, but pour it down the air intake, throttle body or carb. At worst I'll pour it down the brake booster vac line. The first time you do that with an engine is always spectacular. Done right it loosens a lot of soot. Whether it's from the crank case breather, soot on the back of the valves, or even off the top of the pistons ... the next 5 minutes of running I've learned to do after dark.  If the injectors need cleaning, I'd rather pull them and have them cleaned

 

http://seafoamsales.com/how-to-add-sea-foam-motor-treatment-to-gas-and-diesel-crankcase-oil/

 

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So, the best products that work are Sta-bil and Gumout Regane, in your opinion?

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12 hours ago, Last Indian said:

 

Ok, thanks for the clarification. To your question about motor treatments for fuel, like Seafoam or Gumout. First let me say Pro is correct to a degree, but it goes a little beyond that. 

Whether it’s for engine oil/internal components or fuel systems and components the thing that is used by all manufacturers is detergents, mix in some additives, which will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and you have a cleaner! They can spin the snake oil jargon, but that’s the simple fact of what those products do. Some additives to slow combustion can be added to allow the claim of performance, but that’s really pushing the envelope.

In the fuel system, from the tank to the injector inlet there is one set of parameters that cause problems. At the injector orifice and the rest of the induction system is another set of parameters that cause a different set of issues. 
The first gets no benefit from detergent, but the removal of alcohol from gasoline does help with the slowing of gasoline degradation. Yet Seafoam adds in alcohol, so no I don’t use their product. Sta-bil marine on the other hand removes alcohol from gasoline, has proprietary hydrocarbon additives that both slow combustion and lubricates. 

The second part benefits from detergent, but the problem is in fuel injection systems no fuel ever washes over induction system parts, not even the adjacent surface area of the fuel injector. So what actually happens is when the engine shuts off some of the intake valves are open. This allow fuel vapors to leave the combustion chambers and roll back into the plenum area. Because of the extreme temperatures at that point the fuel cokes, anything from varnish to carbon deposits on whatever it touches. This where Polyetheramine (PEA) works, it dissolves hydrocarbon deposits. 

For 17 years, in my 2000 Grand Prix, all I’ve used is a Sta-bil type additive and a PEA fuel additive. When I replaced the entire fuel system last year, tank, pump, filter and lines, there was nothing in any of it. No varnish, no gelled fuel, no gunk of any kind. 

Cleaning an engine internally by adding Seafoam or that type of additive to the oil. Pro says that’s what he does. Since this is adding a increased dose of detergent to the oil it will clean, but it will also drop the oil viscosity quite low. Which usually will be ok for a short duration, but I personally would rather clean the engine over a 100 mile drive. Using a higher TBN oil that has everything the engine needs including lots of detergent, good viscosity, seal swell, emulsifiers and the like that will certainly clean the engine as well, but actually better.

Don't mean to steal the tread, but as a product rep for Stabil/Gold Eagle, I've asked the question about their seal swell products with no reply.  I'm wondering if you can use the seal swell products for trans gaskets, oil pan leaks ect from the outside??  Apply directly and in full strength, instead of diluted in the oil, trans fluild ect.  Have had the question, but have never tried it.

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10 hours ago, vwalburn said:

So, the best products that work are Sta-bil and Gumout Regane, in your opinion?

Well let’s see. There are two concerns I personally have with Seafoam in the oil. One they spin two versions of the product. One says it has no detergents the other says it has high detergents! The second is it’s volatile. Putting that kind of explosive blend in a crankcase is Russian Roulette. If you read the msds it has 25% isopropyl in it, which on it’s own is a very effective hydrocarbon dissolver, but there are clearly other higher aromatics in what they call their hydrocarbon blend from their own description. Then as I mentioned there’s the whole viscosity issue. For those who use it and like it that’s good, just not in my motors!

Yes! In my opinion for their performance & price point I like Sta-bil & Regane. Regane is basically a pure PEA product, with a vehicle like pale 40. I worked with the identical material for 3 years on a project to design a deliver system for OEM dealers to use in addressing deposits in induction system and on the back of valves of GDI motors that suffered form the problems and were under warranty that I described earlier, this was before PEA was available for the consumer. 

6 hours ago, JUSTA6 said:

Don't mean to steal the tread, but as a product rep for Stabil/Gold Eagle, I've asked the question about their seal swell products with no reply.  I'm wondering if you can use the seal swell products for trans gaskets, oil pan leaks ect from the outside??  Apply directly and in full strength, instead of diluted in the oil, trans fluild ect.  Have had the question, but have never tried it.

JustA6, seal swell can be very precarious! So I would say this, yes, but only with the understanding that it might make the seal fail completely. Seal swell basically goes after the plasticizer in a product. To much and basically the molecular coupling will unravel, but that’s true even when added to the oil. Also remember most seals today are double lipped, which means the inner lip most likely will not be exposed to any seal swell because of positive pressure. If I were going to try what you are asking I would dilute the seal swell 10 to 1 with the type of oil in the device then add the appropriate amount into the oil inside after about 300 to 500 miles I would drain the oil and add fresh. A side bar note, if you’re not aware of it most high mileage oils and transmission oils have seal swell in them.

 

Sea-Foam-Motor-Treatment-SDS-v20161205-ENG.pdf

Seafoam motor treatment copy.docx

Edited by Last Indian

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Actually it says less than 25% Iso .. It could be as low as 6%

Hydrocarbon blend* Blend < 95%
Isopropanol 67-63-0 < 25%
*Note: The exact composition of the above listed chemicals are being withheld as a trade secret.

 

 

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Pro, you are right! My oversight, it should have been 24, and yes could be as low as 6. Isopropyl isn’t the problem to me, it will dissolve oil deposits as I said. The problem to me is the higher volatiles they refer to in the second document being in the crank case. One hiccup past a ring and it’s by by. I’ve seen it with heavy fuel dilution, not pretty!

I have no doubt you are a careful man when you do your work and you know you motors well! That’s not necessarily true for many others. For me, I have access to other sources that will actually do a better job than those mentioned. That’s why I said a sta-bil type & PEA fuel additive.

Edited by Last Indian

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Very interesting reading !!  Now, I use royal purple oil in my vehicles. And I'm running 0-40, 5-20, and 10-30. Now, as far as the fuel system goes my systems stay pretty darn clean. With that being said tho I do run a bit of racing fuel in my system. And I built a flow bench to run my injectors so, that I can clean them but also check the flow and pressure thru them.  But, as far as the oil goes I like amsoil or royal purple synthetic. 

Last Indian - Very interesting ready I like what ya said.

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2 hours ago, Guitarsextreme said:

Very interesting reading !!  Now, I use royal purple oil in my vehicles. And I'm running 0-40, 5-20, and 10-30. Now, as far as the fuel system goes my systems stay pretty darn clean. With that being said tho I do run a bit of racing fuel in my system. And I built a flow bench to run my injectors so, that I can clean them but also check the flow and pressure thru them.  But, as far as the oil goes I like amsoil or royal purple synthetic. 

Last Indian - Very interesting ready I like what ya said.

Guitarsextreme, et all. First let me say that a fair portion of us on this site are here because we love cars and all that goes with that. As a result we take an active interest in taking care of our equipment. That in itself aids in the longevity of it even tho we may all do things different and vary how often we do them! I doubt that many if any put cheap gas, speedway or the like in our cars other than maybe the beater. No matter what the news has said or you’ve read all fuels are not created equal. Likewise all base stock oils are not created equal either. 

Engine technologies have changes so much since the late 1950s, but the changes in the last two decades is staggering. Between emissions, metallurgies, fuel changes, oil chemistries, unreal. 

Just as a point of interest here are some pictures from a project I ran in late 2010 through 2012 on a 3600 Buick. Not sure how many of you have seen this motor sliced and diced.

AC135F97-1D7A-4912-8E96-5A1FF8BB012F.jpeg

C93B4234-50AA-4CB8-80EB-D156301ADFEC.jpeg

4B672299-0C98-4E6F-A8C6-624731B78653.jpeg

BB926F60-DBEB-4EE4-9320-7355651F26D7.jpeg

7ACA6C14-48ED-4298-999B-98E71E58E4DC.jpeg

8F9D9100-7EEF-46DE-A2AF-3E966840C453.jpeg

ABBB9B46-6F4F-4ED3-9A30-E999D9765E56.jpeg

Edited by Last Indian

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