My first motorbike project. A lot of pics!

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My first motorbike project. A lot of pics!

Postby gl0ckage on Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi guys, names Cameron, from West Yorkshire this is the first project ive ever done on any motor vehicle. I did level 1 Car mechanics but didn't learn much ( that i can remember)

My plan WAS to put a Single sided swinging arm, new subframe and USD forks on. But due to moving out, baby and other things ive settled for the SSSA, rewelded subframe and the normal forks.
Here is my journey so far.

This is what it started life out as, A track bike which had been trashed + dropped twice on the track and then stored for 1 year or more.
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Taking a look under the "hood"
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I attempt to fix the brake sticking problem the last owner told me about.
I find the pistons seized and shoes are close to dust. I replaced all the pistons and got them all sorted. (No pics of the new ones yet.)
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This is the broken stater solenoid, i have since replaced this and it turns out it's not the problem, im guessing the previous owner had a remote start on the bike as theres wires for it because the ignition button does not work.
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Previous owner came off on a corner and bent the exhaust to shit and sheared and seized in the downpipe bolts. Still trying to fix this :( might even buy a new engine if its cheap enough.
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My new SSSA and old exhaust with the lazer can, i will be cutting down into a stubby :P
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Took me a hour trying to get the back wheel off as everything is rusted to oblivion. Penetrating and hammering until i finally prevailed!
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After the back wheel was removed i started to remove the swingarm... BAD IDEA. The whole shock linkage is extremely rusted in, im either going to have to buy a new bigger ratchet, get some heat on it or saw through it.
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Finally got the shock linkage off, i cannot remove the bolt securing the dog bones but the rest came off :) blowtorch ftw!
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The SSSA i have is slightly too big for my frame, by roughly 2MM. so ill take it down to the fabricator when ive got some spare time and see if he can mill the sides down. I also put my refurbed brake caliper back on the front, seems the braided hoses wont reach now though :p going to have to attach the hoses first and then attach it.
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Got some longer braided hoses today :) buying them in red when the bikes being sprayed though :)
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Thought i would check the air filter today, maybe clean with some compressed air i bought... Better be some powerful air to blow rust off...
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Ok the SSSA is around 1 inch too big, going to have to machine that down. comparison:
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Pulled back the rubber today to find the most amazing thing ever! A broken clutch lever and snapped bolt that keeps it tight, so thats a new assembly + cable i need to buy.... Well atleast you can get them in red :)
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Wanted to check my front sprocket? (sure theres a name for it like on a BMX etc? chain drive?) there was like 3 years worth of shit inside it.... I need to invest in a jetwasher, the degreaser isn't working! it's almost rock solid dirt.

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Ive spent 3-4 hours trying to remove my engine... No joke, the bolts are seized in.

Ive started sanding down the tank, which is full of rust :( but i was thinking about buying a nice new 2001+ model tank for a new seat to sit on.
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I took the carbs, air filter box and wiring loom out to reach the engine.
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This is the bolt that has thwarted my attempts to remove the engine... So i brought the saw out.
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A nice pic of the seized rusty rear brake :) good job i dont need that!
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The snapped off tach cable ( deiced to go with a single tiny speedo just to abide by our laws.
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The front end light damage that came with the bike.
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The moment ive spent 4 hours+ working towards! Im smiling really hard atm :) means i can get the seized manifold bolts out and get the frame sorted for the SSSA.
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In the hard process of removing the engine i snapped off a ignition coil... I also broke my brake lever in the struggle! (Worth it!)(Or was it, they are like £20 :( )
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These are all pictures of how the SSA sits using the GS shock (which is too big by 2mm!)
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The guy who was getting my seized manifold bolts out said he would no longer do them because if he drifted with the drill bit he would owe me a engine and didn't want the hassle. So i went and spent £40 on some new longer, stronger and bigger tools!

Still got the problem of having the front engine bolt seized in though :(

After going to work on the engine with said tools here are my results:

Valve cover off! them bolts were way too tight, obviously not to torque.
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Just a picture to remind me where they were when i removed the camshafts.
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After the removal of the camshafts i started to remove the shims and followers, I placed them in seperate bags detailing the letters from where they came. I also kept the chain tight so it didn't bind or get lost in the nether of my engine.
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Havent taken a picture of the header removed yet but it took a slight pry with the back of a hammer, i took care not to damage the fins on the engine. Ive bought all new o-rings for the bolts holding the header in. After taking the cyclinder head to the spark eroders for removal i had to pay them £60 :( but all is good and the bolts are free!

Well i took all the front end off today, was the easiest thing for the whole bike!
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I then removed the right side footpeg which was stuck in, Still need to drill out the screws that hold the rear brake line as the screws are rounded off :(
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Really struggling with this swingarm though, it doesn't fit and the linkage is backwards from the GS.
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This is how the Swingarm sits without being in position.
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Where is would sit if it was in position.
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Just need a new subframe welding (need this pristine 08 tank first) Then onto powder coating and rebuilding the beast.

My new tank arrived ages ago but didn't update so here's some pics for you all :)

Yes there's a slight dent in the side ill get that sorted later on.
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While waiting for my little son to arrive i did some work to my workhorse the Lexmoto Street 125:
I replaced the o-ring and made a gasket, then i noticed another small leak coming from the clutch side bolt so i bought a new gasket for that and replaced all that. Just needs a stronger mid stand (got a spare ex-500 one) as mine always droops.
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The exhaust was originally "chrome" and by chrome the chinese must mean something else because that thing rusted in no time.
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Due to making some serious modifications to my frame for a better swingarm i bought a spare frame to do a little testing. I also bought a EX-500/GPZ500 frame, swingarm and shock for £10 delivered so thats sat in my garden for no real reason.
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This is my new single sided swinger :)
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Wheel colour will be changed :p

I got my cyclinder head from the sparky eroders and i rebuilt the engine. Did a bit of clean up first. It actually came back from the eroders a while ago just i didn't have the gaskets to put it back on.
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I still need to sort the valves out because they do not look healthy
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1 of the worst things ive done. Trying to get the cam chain on correctly, woodie from GS500e.co.uk helped me identify some shims that i didn't put back on because they wouldn't fit so i have a feeling i will be opening it back up to put them back.
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Engine is rebuilt :)
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Still looking for a way to clean the whole engine up as it's dirty as hell and has oxide on the cooling fins.

My old swinger with a new showa shock and the dogbones
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I also got the front seized in mounting bolt out :) ordered some new ones from america and will have the sizes of all the engine bolts so if people need replacements they can order some from a bolt shop.
Only found 1 of the bolts in stainless so far and the others in high tensile black crappy rustable coating.
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Im receiving a seat tomorrow and a angle grinder to modify the frame. :)

I had a spare hour before work so I tried to make the ninja seat fit on my bike

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As you can see it doesn't sit properly on the frame and tank
There's some bobble on the edge that seats on the tank
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First thing I did was hacksaw the bobbles off lol but then I thought let's do this properly
I started marking where needed reducing for a good fit.
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After finishing sanding it down it sits either flat or slightly upright depending on how I need it for the mot to view my plates.
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Just going to use the stock seat catch and attach the stock seats locking mechanism to the ninja one.

After another 3-4 days of waiting i had another spare 30 mins so i brought a few tools from my house to my mums where half of this bike is kept to do some work on the seat.
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I wanted the locking plate to sit alot further back but with the actually seat lock catch on it wouldn't sit without being placed over one of the holes.
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Having limited tools i drill holes using a screw bit and use some stainless bolts i had that were supposed to go back in my bike :p
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to get the nuts in i had to jam my fingers into the foam and force the nut into position so the bolt would connect.
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TADAAA it stays in :)
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Finished product :)

Thanks for reading guys, ill update when i do certain things but due to moving out next week and spending all our money on carpets, sofas, washers etc i wont be working on this bike for a few months. Also got my test booked in oct :)

I would like to thank the people at
Customfighters.com
GS500e.co.uk
GStwins.co.uk

for their help with little things that confused me.
If your interested in bikes and want to chat with a few of us dont hesitate to say hi :)
Last edited by Gh0st.IRE on Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My first project. Alot of pics!

Postby ApacheFlame on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:13 pm

I really enjoyed reading that dude. I am really into my bikes, but still on the 125 until I can find the time to take my test! Please do update as it is going to be a really sweet bike when finished. Will it have to go through the VOSA testing because it is not technically standard (at all), similar to DIY cars? (Cant remember the technical name for the test tbh).

It must be a beast to insure? You must dread the 'are there any modifications to the bike' question?
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Re: My first project. Alot of pics!

Postby gl0ckage on Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:56 pm

ApacheFlame wrote:I really enjoyed reading that dude. I am really into my bikes, but still on the 125 until I can find the time to take my test! Please do update as it is going to be a really sweet bike when finished. Will it have to go through the VOSA testing because it is not technically standard (at all), similar to DIY cars? (Cant remember the technical name for the test tbh).

It must be a beast to insure? You must dread the 'are there any modifications to the bike' question?


Haha, im not thinking about them questions yet :p ill probably have to go with a insurance company that deals with custom bikes, you agree on an amount of bike worth and thats all you get if you crash etc.

Also, there's no test for bikes aslong as the frame is intact or should i say the neck where the VIN is stamped. Im doing some serious frame modifications to mine by chopping the middle braces and letting it spring out to fit the newer swingarm in because thats 15mm too big. and also cutting the backend down alot. Basically aslong as the logbook mods match like the engine / colour etc as all in order theres technically nothing wrong with the bike.

It's also got an illegal exhaust on it, so hoping my slyness will pay off with that :p What 125 you on? my test booked 4 oct, need to book mod 2 before jan 2013 :p
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Re: My first project. Alot of pics!

Postby m0lineux on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:53 am

Not really into bikes, or driving I must say, but I really enjoyed this read. Looks like you have a real passion for it and will be awesome when you finish this. Good luck dude. :cheers:
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Re: My first project. Alot of pics!

Postby gl0ckage on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:32 pm

m0lineux wrote:Not really into bikes, or driving I must say, but I really enjoyed this read. Looks like you have a real passion for it and will be awesome when you finish this. Good luck dude. :cheers:


Thanks, means alot to me. Glad people are enjoying this reading material :)
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Re: My first motorbike project. Alot of pics!

Postby m0lineux on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:49 pm

The reads good and complimented with the pictures. looking forward to seeing some more.
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Re: My first project. Alot of pics!

Postby ApacheFlame on Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:31 pm

gl0ckage wrote:It's also got an illegal exhaust on it, so hoping my slyness will pay off with that :p What 125 you on? my test booked 4 oct, need to book mod 2 before jan 2013 :p


I have a Yammy YBR 125. Lovely little thing and very forgiving, but I would like something with a little more Mmmph. I got given it when my grandad become to ill to ride. In many ways it's sad that he didnt get to enjoy it really, but it did mean that the bike was almost pristine with pretty much no mileage.

I have until may with my CBT and nearly my full time with the theory test as I have just done it again. I have the money to do my DAS stashed away (Thanks grandad!), but not the time sadly. I will get there one day!
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Re: My first motorbike project. Alot of pics!

Postby gl0ckage on Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:52 pm

i once got a YBR 125 for a courtesy bike and in honesty i didnt like it, it's a very light bike which meant my aggressive riding style just flew the back end out wayyy too much. It's a great bike alot better quality than mine, sidestand etc just way too lightly sprung.

im skrimping together to get enough money for my mod 1 :p got offered a nice house way too soon and now im fretting about having the money to get it done on time.

If you need any help with the bike let me know, ive done everything with bikes now other than carbs. Just had to drill some nice new holes in my bike to fit some new sexy indicators on, sprayed the exhaust, replaced 3 gaskets, replaced midstand, mirrors, changed my mates rear drum brake to a disc brake. I just dont document fixing my chinese bike as re-reading it would make me cry at how much ive actually had to replace.

If you confident of your abilities riding a bigger bike, it should only take 3 hours. 1 hour practice, 2 hours riding to the centre and around 20 mins doing the test :)
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Re: My first motorbike project. Alot of pics!

Postby Synaphix on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:23 am

Love it!

Late reply as I don't really read this forum but I had a bike accident and not ridden since, did a bit of major damage. Rebuilt a GSX-R600 replacing a lot of bits on it and had a great time doing so with a lot of frustration along the way.

Is there any updates to this or anything else you own now?
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Re: My first motorbike project. Alot of pics!

Postby Little_Devil on Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:01 am

Very good read, and a job that is familiar.

Little bits of info, just in case of further projects, which may or may not come in useful :)

All based on past experience with many many different bikes for different purposes, off road to racing, over many years.

Stuck bolts can be a real pain and can be extremely difficult depending on which bolts are stuck. Through bolts are probably the easiest to get out and just take a little time and a few tools that are not usually a problem to get hold of and you may have them already.
To start with never use a hammer on the threaded end of a bolt, and if you do need to try to hit a bolt through from the threaded end, always have a nut screwed on, so that the head of the nut is level with the thread end.
Couple of reasons for this :
1/ The end of the thread gets protected by the nut.
2/ If the thread is damaged on the end, undoing the nut will help clear any peened over threads, and help to preserve the bolt integrity.

Heat can be used, but this becomes difficult on large structural pieces or harder metals that are similar to the properties of the bolt.
First of all you need to know the reason as to why something is done in a certain way to grasp the idea behind using a method.

Heat is used to expand something, and in the case of a bolt the metals need to be heated in such a way that the object that the bolt goes through will expand faster than the bolt.
Larger object although different metals can be difficult to do, because the block acts like a heat sink and draws the heat away too fast. Like wise you want as little heat transfer to the bolt as possible so the bolt does not expand. This is a time critical operation and needs to have everything on hand and prepared ready to use. There is no use taking your time since this method will have the least likely chance of working the longer heat has time to transfer.

Tightening a nut first : This is commonly used and is a good way of clearing threads.
Whenever a bolt has been on something for a long time, it stretches since it is made to do so. All metal have an elastic range although this elastic range does vary. In metallurgy a test is done to determine properties like this (youngs modulus) for different metals and is commonly referred to as a tensometer test.
As long as the nut/bolt has not been over-tightened upon assembly, Tightening a nut or bolt will have the effect of stretching the threads slightly and force the nut/bolt against one side of the threads. When you come to undo it the nut is thrown onto the opposite side of the threads.

Don't automatically assume a bolt is stuck because it won't come out, always check with the workshop manual first. I have seen bolts with double threads, one at the end of the bolt as normal and one just behind the head of the bolt, so that it acts as a locking device, to prevent a bolt inadvertently coming out, even if the nut were to come off with vibration.

2 methods which can be used and could be used initially to help loosen a through bolt. You have to remember that bolts are put in to hold something for a long time and depending on the metal they go through will depend on what approach you should take to remove that bolt, however there is one thing in common with all these and that the bolt has spent many years under tension in the worst conditions the roads can throw at them. :)
Mainly 2 types of corrosion you need to deal with here, straight rust, which is iron oxide and aluminium oxide, the first being a hard metal, the second a soft powder which when compressed can act like glue or polyfilla :)
Iron oxide is probably the easiest of the 2 since easing oils will break up the particles of rust, and help dilute the oxide, and just requires time and patience. Aluminium oxide such as where a bolt goes through an engine block is somewhat different due to the fineness of the powder, however being softer it can work in your favour.

Now onto tools, I have found that using compression or puller tools to be of immense help, provided you do not try to force something immediately. In the case of a stuck bolt applying steady pressure to the bolt end and applying a good solvent (WD 40 or even machine coolant to aluminium) to the bolt can aide in its removal. Always try to use a compressor or puller with a rotating head, so that you can apply a spanner to the bolt head and turn it. In the case of aluminium oxide this has proven to be quite useful.

Don't try and rush getting a stuck bolt out, leave the tool and/or solvent to do its work. I have left a particularly bad engine bolt over a number of nights, re-tightening as needed and the first quarter turn on a spanner the following day saw the bolt come out, if not easily at least with some gentle coaxing with a wooden mallet.

Exhaust bolts can be a real pain since the rust has been case hardened by the heat. It all depends if these are a nut on a stud, a blind headed nut or a bolt fixing (pretty rare).
As with all these, a good soak with a rust remover and bind the visible portion of the head in a cotton or similar rag, and soak well with a rust remover, followed up a few days later with a lubricating oil. Always tighten first to help break the rusts hold on the thread. Do not bother trying to apply heat, since these type of bolt are meant to be heated so will expand at the same rate as the nut or faster. No point in having an exhaust nut that comes undone easily. :)
Many times, as long as you can break the rust bond between the nut head and the exhaust clamp, it will be easier to just let the whole stud come out of the head, so you can use the same easing methods on the head. Just use a small metal chisel against the side of the nut and against the plate and tap gently to break this bond.
People often mistake blind nuts as a bolt going into the head, which is not the case, and it is this type of nut that forms a bond with the exhaust clamp.
Never ever try to undo an exhaust nut first without trying to ease its hold, unless you know for a certainty that the bolt is not rusted and never try to undo one when it is hot. :)
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Re: My first motorbike project. A lot of pics!

Postby gl0ckage on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:30 pm

There is so much ive done since i started this thread, sorry for the slow update, been a horrible year. Bike was stolen, had to buy another as excess worth more than the bike, in debt. Trying to find a new family friendly job with no avail. etc etc.

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New swingarm, newly milled to fit frame, due to the way it was milled it requires a off-set front sprocket. Done some fiber glass work for a rear mudguard, also going to do my own seat unit. Engine runs sweet now, exhaust has been cut down so it can sit under the body. Renthal handlebars, custom grips, dash being made as we speak, needs back end welding higher, got a welder being delivered to the house to "try" :p

Thanks for the info LD :) <3
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Re: My first motorbike project. A lot of pics!

Postby Little_Devil on Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:46 pm

I have sort of started on mine (GPZ 500SS), just need it doing up a bit to sell, then will start on other one (T20 Tiger) lol.

Petrol tank went rusty inside (GPZ), so I ended up pushing it a hell of a lot, since it would clog the carb filters. :(

Going to use the age old tactic of Vinegar and pea shingle for getting rid of rust, then I can either line the tank, or leave it since I will be selling the bike.
Many other things to do first before that though, new fork seals and new gearbox for the reconditioned engine. Reconditioned and power boosted the old motor, had it in just one day and the increased power wrecked the gearbox :P
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