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Having trouble shifting in my Toyota camper (truck is the 1976 20r 4 speed 2wd). The shifter is rattlely and loose and doesn't like to shift into 1st or 2nd most the time (goes into 3rd and 4th reliably and also inconsistent in reverse). If I shift just right pressing some resistance into the middle of the 'H' shifting pattern i can sometimes get it to go.

My mechanic tried replacing the bushings and it seems to be a bit better but the problem persists. He suspects we need to replace the shifter and that may fix it, but it may not... It may be a bigger transmission problem.

Does anyone have any insights and/or know where I can find a replacement shifter?

Thanks!

Mischa

Pontxadventures.wordpress.com

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If you mean a transmission, Marlin Crawler builds a great product and can ship it to your guy for installation. You would ship yours back and get your core charge refunded after the installation. Just be sure you tell them it's for a 2WD, as they specialize in 4WD drive-train components. I am very happy with the 5 spd tranny they built for my 2WD 22RE pickup.

If you mean only a single part, I would still email/call them, if they don't have it, they'll know where to get it..

https://www.marlincrawler.com/

BR,

TG

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I guess it does depend on what your mechanic means by the "shifter". There's really nothing that can go wrong with the shifter itself...It's just a long piece of metal. The linkages where it connects into the transmission could be damaged. It'll be tough to find something for such an old truck.

My personal opinion is to ask your mechanic what specifically he thinks is wrong. "Shifter" doesn't seem right to me. Like I said, it's just a metal stick, going from the cab down to the transmission.

I would personally not go with Marlin Crawler, unless you live in southern California. They do put out very good products, but I kind of doubt they even work on trannys as old as yours, and they are expensive. I bought a transmission from them and it was during a time that for whatever reason they put out a cluster of bad transmissions. I had one, and didn't really like how they dealt with the issue. On top of that, you're ordering a transmission from across the country. So if there's something wrong with it, you find out by installing it (no small job), driving around, realizing something isn't right, pulling the transmission again, shipping it across the country, then they look at, either fix it or tell you you're making things up, and ship it back. Meanwhile you're without a camper for easily over a month, and the whole process of getting it "right", from start to finish, could be a year. In the winter, no big deal, I guess. But still. Granted this is worst case scenario, but it happens. I know.

I would find, IF it turns out you need a rebuilt transmission, a local shop with good reviews to do the work. They can do the installation, and if there's an issue, they're right there in town.

Another route is to find a later model 5-speed transmission, used, and swap it into your truck. You aren't going to have an easy time finding parts for a 76.

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Having trouble shifting in my Toyota camper (truck is the 1976 20r 4 speed 2wd). The shifter is rattlely and loose and doesn't like to shift into 1st or 2nd most the time (goes into 3rd and 4th reliably and also inconsistent in reverse). If I shift just right pressing some resistance into the middle of the 'H' shifting pattern i can sometimes get it to go.

My mechanic tried replacing the bushings and it seems to be a bit better but the problem persists. He suspects we need to replace the shifter and that may fix it, but it may not... It may be a bigger transmission problem.

Does anyone have any insights and/or know where I can find a replacement shifter?

Thanks!

Mischa

Pontxadventures.wordpress.com

If this guy is any kind of mechanic he ought to know what is needed. Most all the small wear parts for those Aisin L-series four-speed transmissions are available from Toyota and cheap. I've fixed quite a few. There is no "shifter" per se. There is a shifting assembly with many small parts. These older trucks and transmissions are still used a lot in other parts of the world - so I guess that is why Toyota still makes them available.

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"shifter" could mean the mechanism that essentially a rod on a bushing that is mostly external to the tranny. Not a big deal - there are several "joints" that have bushings that can go bad.

"Shifter" also could refer to the moving parts internal to the tranny - they actually move the gears around. Bigger deal, but not rocket science.

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Thank you all for this information and the diagrams. They were very very helpful. Unfortunately it seems like the easy fix was not the fix I needed... I started another topic though maybe I should've just kept it on here, but I have a few further questions. Here's what I wrote:

I'm in the Phoenix Area at the moment and I'm wondering if anyone knows a good place to find a transmission to replace in my camper and/or someone who does good work at a reasonable price to put it in (or rebuild it). Here's the scoop and a couple further questions if anyone has any tips.

I have a Toyota Camper (truck is the 1977 20r 4 speed 2wd) The shifter is rattlely and loose and doesn't like to shift into 1st or 2nd most the time (goes into 3rd and 4th reliably). If I shift just right pressing some resistance into the middle of the 'H' shifting pattern i can sometimes get it to go. It doesn't grind when attempting 1st or 2nd, it just remains in neutral.

The first step was to replace all the small parts at the base of the lever, the cap, boots, springs etc. in the first picture attached since these were clearly falling apart and or missing... but the problem persists.

Here are a few questions that I'm curious if anyone can help with:

1: Any ideas on the diagnosis or anyone have similar problems? It seems clear that the problem is internal in the tranny. Maybe forks that connect up with 1st and 2nd on the shaft (from the picture 2)

2: If that is the case, would it make more sense to do a tranny rebuild or find one at a salvage yard to swap in.

3: Has anyone swapped in a 5 speed to replace the 4 speed? If so is it an easy match up? What are the pros/cons? Which models could I look at taking one out of that will go in properly?

4: Does anyone know a salvage yard in the Phoenix area to look for replacement trannys? Does anyone know a good (and affordable) mechanic that could do the swap?

5) Any idea what I should expect to pay for a transmission and how many hours of labor it takes to swap or rebuild one?

Thanks in advance to any help and/or advice you can give!

Mischa

www.pontxadventures.wordpress.com

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The W50 five-speed trans is a direct, bolt-in replacement for your four-speed with no mods needed. It is light enough to ship UPS so you can buy anywhere in the country and the shipping charge is not bad.

As far as rebuild versus replace? It would be a very rare event when rebuilding is cost-effective. I don't know what exactly your shifting issue is. Need a better description. But - these transmissions are "constant mesh." That means all forward gears turn all the time. So when you shift - a brass clutch makes a lock collar turn the same speed as the gear you select and then lock on to it. When these parts get worn - often it is the gear-collar-teeth that get worn and then - new gears are needed besides new brass clutches and lock-collars. Considering that transmissions complete are pretty easy to find in the ranges of $50 to $200 - trying to rebuild an old one is rarely worth the effort. Now if you have a few specific small parts that are worn - that is a different issue.
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The W50 is fairly common and came OEM in 73-81 Celicas with the 20R engine. Also 73-81 Coronas with the 20R and 76-82 trucks with the 20R. Just watch out when dealing with junkyards. Many pull the shifter handle out when they store these transmissions to fit on their shelves. Seems they throw out the shifters and just assume you have one from your old trans to stick in. You need a complete transmission - shifter and all and those shifters are harder to find by themselves then the transmissions. So do yourself a favor and if you buy a trans - make sure it is complete with the shifter.

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Thanks for that Linda! I got in touch with him and he has a buyer that wants him to ship it to New Jersey, but hopefully that falls through.

Do you know if that would be a direct swap? Looking at the 4 speed transmission (jdemaris' picture above) it looks like the shifter is going to come through the floor in a slightly different location.

-Mischa
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Well it has to be a W50 not 150 cause there isn't a 150 and he does say it was pulled from a truck. I can't find any differences from others I see online that came from trucks. I tried to post another picture of one but the link was bad. Looked exactly the same as the one in Flagstaff.

Linda S

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Thanks again Linda... Unfortunately he sold it to his original buyer.

I'm curious how you go about searching for a part like this or a mechanic who will do the work. I'm new to this area (Phoenix) and I'm sure the internet has got to have a way for me to find the right person/part but I'm not exactly sure where to start.

-Mischa

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There is an R150 and a W50. Both are 5 speeds and both totally different. W50 is what you want and the shifter hole is very close to what the original L40 four-speed has. One drawback the W50 five-speed is a higher 1st gear then the four-speed has. So it will start harder on hills.

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Well sometimes a "direct swap" isn't 100% a direct swap. Any transmission bolted to an "R-series" engine (20R, 22R/E) will bolt right up to any other R-series engine. But sometimes the driveshaft length will need to be modified, and often the shifter hole in the floor of the truck will need to be modified. My 78 Chinook had a 5-speed swapped in before I bought it. I'd post the picture but am not on my computer right now. But when I pulled up the old carpet in the cab, I found the old shifter hole had been covered with an old license plate, and they had cut and peeled back the floor metal to allow the new shifter to come through.

I guess that extra gear added some length to transmission (another reason it's common to have to shorten the driveshaft, also). But if you found the right person to do the work, it'd still be cheaper than a rebuild. Assuming the used transmission is in decent shape...

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Well sometimes a "direct swap" isn't 100% a direct swap. Any transmission bolted to an "R-series" engine (20R, 22R/E) will bolt right up to any other R-series engine. But sometimes the driveshaft length will need to be modified,

The W50 five-speed is the exact same length as the original four-speed. That is the point of using it when no mods are driveshaft changes are wanted.

No "extra length" because of the extra 5th gear. The OEM L series four-speed that came in Toyota cab & chassis trucks (that Chinook used) is 20.8" long. The W50 five-speed that came OEM in some 76-82 Hilux pickup trucks is also 20.8" long. In the mid 80s - Toyota went to longer transmissions - and both the four speeds and five speeds became 25.5" long. So if you take a newer transmission and want to stick it in a Chinook - the rear mount and the driveshaft have to be modified. E.g. a G40 (four speed), G52, G54, W56, RN55, etc. are all longer and require mods. Also around 1989, Toyota changed the spline count on the output on the trans from 21 spline to 26 spline.

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Some photos of the four-speed and engine yanked from a 70s truck, and the five-speed and engine yanked from a 70s truck. Both exactly the same length. That's why Toyota used them back then. Note that the rear rubber mount differs between the two but a new one cost less then $10 IF the trans does not come with one.

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The 4 spd had a side mounted shifter mounted with rubber bushings that wore out or the bolts to hold the assembly just plan got loose it was pretty common. The early 5 spds had issues with 5 gear the old 4 spds were bullet proof.

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. The early 5 spds had issues with 5 gear the old 4 spds were bullet proof.

The early 5 speeds had issues with the counter-roller bearing assembly where the input shaft turns against the output-shaft. The bearing does not turn in 4th gear, but does in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th. That is the only slight "weak point" in early W50 transmissions I am aware of. It was changed by the late 70s to a better setup. GM muscle cars with Muncie M21 four-speeds had the exact same problem. I have a 1978 W50 sitting here on my bench and it has the newer improved roller-bearing.

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Well maybe we're just getting into useless trivia here but I guess depending on what transmission you find, it might matter...

The "L-series" 5 speed transmissions (L52) had a weak 5th gear. If they had a "common" issue, it was with 5th gear. Something with how it was geared and the size of the input shaft bearing or something...it's stuff that's beginning to fade from memory now that it doesn't matter anymore. But basically if you were to shift into 5th at 55mph and drive there for hours, you were essentially lugging the engine, putting stress on the input shaft bearing. However it was geared, it shouldn't be shifted to 5th until a higher speed. Which is why Marlin Crawler came out with the L52HD, or heavy duty.

I would think this would get magnified in a motorhome with all that extra weight and bulk. So...maybe avoid the L series 5 speeds.

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I think this "weak 5 speed" fear is much ado about nothing. Marlin caters to people often running high horsepower and/or off-roading often with 4WDs. We WERE talking about a Chinook - with a little 2.2 liter engine - correct? The stock four-speed or the stock five-speed in the 70s has some pretty massive parts to be used with a little 2.2 liter engine. Input and counter bearings are the same size as was used in Dodge and GM V8 powered, 4WD trucks. Getting a little silly here. Somebody on a Marlin Crawler forum beats the heck out of a trans off-roading, has it fail, and then calls it weak? Seems context is important here. Note that when Marlin rebuilds a L52 into a so-called HDL52 - many parts from a later G54 are retrofitted. Even so - I believe the so-called "weak spot" in the old 5 speeds is still there. That is the counter-roller-bearing between the input-shaft and output shaft. Probably a non-issue for most Marlin customers since it is at its weakest in 5th and how many people are off-roading in 5th gear?

Again - the so-called "weakest" spot in the four-speed or five-speed is the counter-bearing. But with a four-speed - it is not use in 4th gear because it is direct-drive. With a five-speed, it turns very slowly, all the time when in 5th. With either the four-speed or five-speed the same bearing is used in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and also 5th in a five-speed. That is why a four-speed can take more abuse in 4th then a five-speed can in 5th. Put the five-speed in 4th when it starts lugging and it is every bit as strong as the four-speed. I suspect premature failures oft this center-counter bearing are from bad drivers lugging their vehicles - or running low on lube. If a trans gets run low on lube - that center-bearing is the first part in the trans to starve - especially when going up a steep hill.

I feel quite confident that if a used W50 is installed in a Chinook and it is in good shape -and the owner knows how to downshift when needed - it will outlast the Chinook. I've had three of these transmissions apart. All W50s from trucks. Only reason why I took them apart is I never install a used transmission I have not been able to test - until I tear it apart and check all parts. Out of those three - I have found nothing wrong and all were supposed to have well over 100K miles on them. I have one on my bench right now. Supposed to have over 200K and that center-counter-bearing looks like new.

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If your going to all the "trouble" of a 5 sp, change the rear axle ratio too.

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Marlin L52HD was specifically designed to address a problem caused by using 5th gear.

A problem which would be amplified by the heavy weight of an RV.

Most people buying them have 22R engines.

Last I knew, lugging wasn't something that went away with a weaker engine. If anything, the weaker the engine, with an improperly geared transmission, the more lugging you'll get.

I'm sure that after digging through all this worthless trivia, he'll find the info he needs...

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If it is "worthless" trivia as you put it - why do you bother posting or reading? One person's "worthless trivia" is another person's useful facts. The poster originally asked about what specific trans would be a bolt-in swap. I told him. I don't find facts useless. Hearsay - yeah, sometimes. This IS a forum where people sometimes request facts specific to their needs.

And no, not all 'lugging" is the same. Lugging with a 6 litre engine can do more harm then lugging with a 2 liter engine assuming they both have the same "weak links.". Simpler put - 300 pound feet of torque puts more stress on something then 120 pound feet of torque.

If Marlin "specifically addressed "weaknesses in 5th gear by selling the HDL52 - then what exactly was done besides using several gears from a G54? The only so-called "weak spot" in a 5 speed - at least in these Aisin transmissions - is the center counter-bearing. So either that area was substantially improved - or it was not. If it was - tell us how. Regardless - I don't see it as a real improvement when a used W50 that costs less then $200 will work fine and Marlin is selling transmissions for over $1600.

That counter-bearing that is seeing some rotation when the trans is in 5th gear - spins at a whopping 400 RPM at highway speeds. Not exactly something that is going to burn out in a day. Every five-speed trans on planet earth that has 5th as an over-drive and not as a direct-drive is a little weaker in 5th then in 4th. In most cases - it does not matter. 5th is still plenty strong. 1 ton Dodge diesel trucks had more trouble with "weak 5th gear" then any 70s Toyotas I know of. That with the New Venture NV4500 trans.

Also - as I stated previously - one slight drawback to the OEM 1970s W50 five-speed is the high first gear. In contrast, the L52 has a lower first gear. But since I have never installed an L52 into a 70s Chinook - I can't comment if it is a bolt-in swap or not.

1975-79 20R Toyota Chinook L43 four-speed has a 1st gear with a 3.67 to 1 ratio. 2000 RPM in 1st = 10 MPH

1975-79 20R Toyota Chinook W50 five-speed has a 1st gear with a 3.28 to 1 ratio..2000 RPM in 1st = 11.1 MPH

1983 22R Toyota L52 five-speed has a 1st gear with a 3.92 to 1 ratio. 2000 RPM in 1st gear = 9.3 MPH

Not exactly huge differences. And hey - to anyone who thinks facts like these are "worthless trivia" - why not just skip over and NOT read?

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If your going to all the "trouble" of a 5 sp, change the rear axle ratio too.

If someone drives their RV in areas where they have to get started from a dead stop while pointing up a steep hill - swapping to a 4.56 and a W50 five-speed is a great swap. Gives the best of both worlds.

A stock Chinook with the 4.11 to 1 rear and L43 four-speed revs 3600 RPM in 4th @ 65 MPH. In 1st gear at 1000 RPM it goes 5 MPH.

Put a 4.56 to 1 rear in that Chinook along with a W50 five-speed trans and it revs 3150 RPM in 5th @ 65 MPH. In 1st gear at 1000 RPM it goes 5 MPH. Best at both ends of the spectrum.

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The early 5 spds burnt up the 5th gear it was common the counter shaft support bearing was a minor issue compared to 5th gear. Frankly the 5 range in the Toy Home would seldom be used any way and the old 4 spd was a trouble free trans.might as well leave it in place.

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I think you've got the W50 five-speed trans mixed up with some other five-speed. 5th gear itself is very rugged. I've had many apart and have not seen any evidence of wear in that area . Besides - how the heck does someone actually burn up "5th" gear? Near impossible. It is a constant mesh transmission. I.e. no actual gears sliding back and forth with a chance to get broken. Brass cone-clutches and synchro teeth - yes. I can show you many photos of 5th gear (and other parts) from high mile W50s that look like new. I'd like to see even ONE photo - from anywhere - of the actual gears in 5th actually failing. I'm open minded and will believe it when I see it. I can't recall the actual 5th gear actually failing in any five-speed manual. It is usually an intermediate part that is the weak link. Like the little cup-counter bearing. Or in some - an extra counter-shaft and gear like used in the big New Ventures and Getrags. GM and Dodge had trouble with harmonics in 5th shaking a lock loose that allowed the 5th gear intermediate shaft to fall out. In the W50 - the only complaint I've seen or come across is two-fold. #1 that little pocket bearing in only the early style trans, and #2 the so-called small size of the main input and output bearings. I find the latter silly. GM used the same size in many V8 4WD trucks. Post some specifics. I'd like to see this weak 5th gear.

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This is the trans I am talking about. Back 30 years ago, I knew of several of these transmissions used in 350 GM V8 swaps. Often it was the input shaft splines or clutch that broke - not 5th gear. When people bad-mouth these transmissions - it makes me wonder how many have actually seen the inside of one. The W50 is very overbuilt for use with a four-cylinder engine. It has parts the size that USA trucks used with V8s.

I also note that a friend of mine got a brand new Toyota Corona as a gift from his parents in 1975. We all made fun of him since we all drove V8 Chevys and Fords and Mopars. He wanted friends and let us all drive that four-door Corona with the 5 speed and 2.2 engine. We all tried to kill it. Having a 5 speed back then was a big deal. And that little four-cylinder engine ran better then some of our V8s. In my life, I have never seen a car get such a beating, over and over for years and never have a major breakdown. That - full of idiot kids, front and back, lots of beer, and lots of power-shifting and popping the clutch. Note that car too had the W50. This is the sort of thing that made Toyota and Datsun famous in the 70s. They looked small and light but were extremely rugged. I had a 64 SS Chevelle at the time and was constantly putting transmissions in it.

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We have done dozens of early aluminum 5 speeds I guess because we were the largest transmission shop in Maryland we got to see a lot of them, all with 5th gear issues yes even cooked gears and the later ones did not have problems it's safe to say they fixed it. I have done iron case 4X4 Toyota 5 speeds more than once for the original owners with sever bearing issues. I doubt you could fine one in the bone yard it was any good and even if it was it would need bearings in 30,000 miles Toyota decided to use the aluminum 5 spd to correct the problem. Every one screws up including Toyota. The new 6 speed was used in a Caddy they did not break but were not the best shifting. To me if you have a 4 spd in a Toy Home it is a good choice for the application and will work nicely with 410 gears.

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This is the trans I am talking about. Back 30 years ago, I knew of several of these transmissions used in 350 GM V8 swaps. Often it was the input shaft splines or clutch that broke - not 5th gear. When people bad-mouth these transmissions - it makes me wonder how many have actually seen the inside of one. The W50 is very overbuilt for use with a four-cylinder engine. It has parts the size that USA trucks used with V8s.

I also note that a friend of mine got a brand new Toyota Corona as a gift from his parents in 1975. We all made fun of him since we all drove V8 Chevys and Fords and Mopars. He wanted friends and let us all drive that four-door Corona with the 5 speed and 2.2 engine. We all tried to kill it. Having a 5 speed back then was a big deal. And that little four-cylinder engine ran better then some of our V8s. In my life, I have never seen a car get such a beating, over and over for years and never have a major breakdown. That - full of idiot kids, front and back, lots of beer, and lots of power-shifting and popping the clutch. Note that car too had the W50. This is the sort of thing that made Toyota and Datsun famous in the 70s. They looked small and light but were extremely rugged. I had a 64 SS Chevelle at the time and was constantly putting transmissions in it.

I believe what you have there is a L52 that was one of them that had bearing issues not as bad as the 4X4 but plenty of TSB's they only use it a couple of years.

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No - it is a W50. An L52 does not look anything like a W50. Not even remotely close. W50 is what Toyota used in trucks and some cars OEM 70s to early 80s. It is basically an L-series four-speed with an altered rear-housing and added 5th gear. I've posted W50, over and over. Not sure why there is confusion here. It is the only 5 speed Toyota installed in trucks in the 70s to very early 80s. Here is the last one I had apart. Came out of a flatbed Toyota with supposedly 200K miles. I have no way of verifying that. I pulled the trans all apart and was kind of disappointed since I could not find any wear anywhere. Not even on the soft bronze synchro cone-clutches. 5th gear itself and the roller-bearing supported shaft it rides on is like new. NO wear at all.

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I post because I feel I have relevant information which would help the person who started the thread. I'm sure we all remember him.

Dealing with you is not fun, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to post if I feel I can be of some help to the person with the actual question.

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I post because I feel I have relevant information which would help the person who started the thread. I'm sure we all remember him.

Dealing with you is not fun, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to post if I feel I can be of some help to the person with the actual question.

I'm not the one who complained and called info on this thread "useless trivia." That was you. So you post hearsay and guesses about transmissions and that is fine with you. I posted hard facts and you regard it as trivial?

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