Thread Number: 78151  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag A106 Project
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Post# 1021731   1/19/2019 at 19:22 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Hello everybody. Long time visitor, and finally opened an account!

I am in the process of acquiring all the parts to refurbish my Maytag A106, built in 1979. I have looked up several threads regarding this style of washer, and feel confidant I can perform needed repairs. A spanner wrench, and brake tool are in my toolbox. Any other specialty tools I should consider?

I plan on going all the way with this machine, because of not being impressed with the longevity, and quality of what's currently on the market. The tub seal, bearing and all looks straightforward. The transmission looks tedious, but I'm up for the challenge. I have very little oil staining on the inside of the cabinet, but the lower seal is beginning to leak. I would like to address this before NLA parts are damaged.
The machine currently works just fine with a minor knocking during the first few seconds of agitation. No other strange noises. The only part I've not been able to locate is part 210183 groove pin. Does anyone have a source, or know the size specs for this particular groove pin. Also what is a good way to drive it out, and install a new one? I appreciate advice, and tips from the Maytag experts on here!

What I've done so far is pull the agitator, clean, and inspect the parts under it. The agitator actually popped of easily after 5 minutes of having a hair dryer blowing down it. I also pulled the front cover to inspect the inner workings, and didn't see evidence of any water leaks. This a more of an attempt to preserve what I've got, before it's too late, because we all know I can't just run down to the appliance store and pick up a brand new A106!

Below is a link to how this washing machine looks, ans is currently functioning.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO 79maytaga106's LINK

Post# 1021734 , Reply# 1   1/19/2019 at 19:39 by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Very nice!  I look forward to seeing the finished work.  It already looks to be in good shape but doing those basic service items will keep it going for years to come.

Post# 1021741 , Reply# 2   1/19/2019 at 20:29 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Thank you! I have a lot of parts on order, and will get started once I get everything in. Hopefully I can locate the groove pin soon. I added a picture of my parts collection so far.

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Post# 1021742 , Reply# 3   1/19/2019 at 20:35 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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APCO parts has a few of the groove pins in stock. However, unless there is a need to disassemble the agitator shaft from the top half of the transmission, Id recommend leaving it be. Typically if everything looks good I flush out the bearing through the lubrication passage and lubricate the upper case bearing with some zoom spout oil. If you do decide to take it apart Id recommend replacing the spring washer with a new one. 15902 or Y015902.

The knock might be from a lack of oil and play in the spring washer. Otherwise, everything looks CLEAN.



Post# 1021760 , Reply# 4   1/19/2019 at 23:24 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Thanks for the leads on the p/n's, Ben! I'll just go ahead, and order them before they become NLA. It's been knocking like that for years, and hasn't gotten any worse. I really want to crack it open to at least see what the oil looks like after 40 years. I have a bottle of 56080 on the way, and a new gasket. Do you know what the torque specs are for the perimeter bolts?

Post# 1021773 , Reply# 5   1/19/2019 at 23:56 by Ultramatic (New York City)        
A handsome machine...

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But then again I am partial to center dial Maytags! I am a bit confused though. Weren't Maytags using the gold panel by 1979?

Post# 1021775 , Reply# 6   1/20/2019 at 00:16 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Also what is a good way to drive it out, and install

I think I've reused the drive pin.

Although, as mentioned it's not really critical to remove the agitator shaft if in good shape with no play.
Flushing and making sure to get trans oil up there will suffice.

This seems to be more of preventive maintenance job as the machine looks to be good condition over all. The lower trans oil seal o-ring along with the mounting stem and damper pads are items that usually take priority. You may even be able to reuse the tub bearing and just replace the sleeve, the older design was better anyway with a wicking that could be re-lubed.

Post# 1021824 , Reply# 7   1/20/2019 at 10:09 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Good luck with it!

Post# 1021830 , Reply# 8   1/20/2019 at 11:58 by appnut (TX)        
using the gold panel by 1979?

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Louie, I remember the 106 models still used the blue panel in 1979.  Anyone have a near-the-end brochure from Maytag showing this for sure?

Post# 1021835 , Reply# 9   1/20/2019 at 12:18 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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**IF** you remove the groove pin on the agitator shaft, you have to be extremely careful when you do so.

On later years of these transmissions, that gear is a sintered metal part, so it is not as durable as a solid machined gear would be. One wrong strike with the punch, or not supporting the gear properly, and you could easily crack or break the gear.

In the case of our A308, removal of this pin was necessary as the agitator shaft was binding in the case. We made a sacrificial wooden support to hold the gear (and transmission half) while removing the pin, so that the fixture would yield before the gear. It worked, but it took considerable force and our groove pin came out in pieces.

With the binding shaft, we didn't have the option to leave ours together. Having taken it apart, I would agree with the others to leave yours together if it feels OK- It's just not worth the risk!

Post# 1021844 , Reply# 10   1/20/2019 at 13:21 by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Thanks Bob...

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How strange they used 2 distinct color panels.

Post# 1021852 , Reply# 11   1/20/2019 at 14:22 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Ok thanks everybody for the suggestions! Very much appreciated! I'll go ahead and plan on leaving the agitator shaft alone, and just lube it as described above. I won't know the condition for sure until it's opened up for inspection. I located and ordered a NOS agitator shaft, pinion gear, and other related parts to have on hand, just in case. As I was looking at various parts sites, I noticed many parts were discontinued last year, so I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I have a damper pad kit, and adhesive on the way as well. Yes this is totally a preventive maintenance procedure. After 40 years of excellent service, I think it's time, and really do not want to replace this washer, even though it is BOL. It's been family owned since new. I just love the simplicity of it, not many bells and whistles, less to break. Just gets the job done, very well, day in, day out, and that's all I want.

I will continue to study previous threads on the subject, while waiting for all parts to arrive. This site is a goldmine of information! I've also downloaded the service manual to study up on, and understand the service procedures. One thing I'm confused about is in the service literature it states to lube the carbon seal on the boot with a thin layer of transmission fluid. On the new seal I got, it states to make sure the seals are clean and dry. How do I proceed with that?

Does anyone know what color that blue is on the control panel? I'd like to repaint that section the same color, or at least get close.

Plugging the data into Appliance411 dates manufacture during September of 1979!
I recall seeing some paperwork many years ago stating it was delivered to my Aunt, and Uncle in May of 1980.

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Post# 1021854 , Reply# 12   1/20/2019 at 14:52 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Where in the world did you find an agitator shaft for sale?

Post# 1021856 , Reply# 13   1/20/2019 at 14:55 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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This thread has a reference for a somewhat close blue paint option:

Post# 1021870 , Reply# 14   1/20/2019 at 17:11 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Ebay had two, yesterday. I bought one, and then shortly after someone else bought the other. Thanks for the paint color thread, I'll get a can!

Post# 1021872 , Reply# 15   1/20/2019 at 17:16 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
a thin layer of transmission fluid

Service manual states "transmission oil", i.e. Maytag trans oil.

Since the new seal is a revised design you may want to follow the included instructions, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

Last one I did with the new lip seal design was installed clean and dry, so far no leaks.

On the other hand, is it safe to reuse the old design mounting stem with a new agitator seal and boot, since the newer triple lip seals are known to fail more often??

Service manual says yes if no signs of water seepage.

Post# 1021873 , Reply# 16   1/20/2019 at 17:22 by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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The paint recommended by LowEfficiency (Dave) is a perfect choice!  I used it on my A407 rebuild and it worked out perfectly.  I also painted the upper portion of the console with Whirlpool Appliance Paint.  The worst part is masking everything off! 

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Post# 1022083 , Reply# 17   1/22/2019 at 17:42 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Thanks for the clarification good-shepherd!

Dang, eurekastar that control panel really pops! Can't wait to get mine to that condition.

If all goes well I plan to start the project in the next week or two.

Post# 1022089 , Reply# 18   1/22/2019 at 18:23 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I still say they should have matched the control panel's lower color to the actual color of the machine....

the blue compliments a white body, as it sort of has a bluish/gray hint to it...

I think if I had any other color than white, I would change that to match, just for a different look....especially on a matched set....

Post# 1022174 , Reply# 19   1/23/2019 at 14:47 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> Ebay had two, yesterday. I bought one, and then shortly after someone else bought the other. Thanks for the paint color thread, I'll get a can!

That was my parents on the second one!! NOS agitator shafts are extremely hard to come by, so you (and us) got very lucky that those showed up! I'd been keeping an eye out, but somehow missed that one, so thanks for posting that you found one. It made me do another search, and that's when I found the auction.

Glad the paint thread was useful. I saved the link a long time ago, back when I thought I would need it. Now, however, I somehow ended up with two "sunglow" gold panel machines. So if a blue machine came my way, I'd have a dilemma on which one to repaint to match!

Post# 1022175 , Reply# 20   1/23/2019 at 14:52 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> The paint recommended by LowEfficiency (Dave) is a perfect choice! I used it on my A407 rebuild and it worked out perfectly.

That's great!

Since you've done it, perhaps you can answer a question I've had... Would you consider the Avignon Blue Metallic to be a good match for the original Maytag color? Or is it just "close" and a pleasant color? That's something I've had a hard time discerning from other posts. It wouldn't be a problem if you repainted two machines, but I haven't seen a side-by-side of original vs repainted...

Post# 1022177 , Reply# 21   1/23/2019 at 15:05 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture
>> I still say they should have matched the control panel's lower color to the actual color of the machine....
>> the blue compliments a white body, as it sort of has a bluish/gray hint to it...
>> I think if I had any other color than white, I would change that to match, just for a different look....especially on a matched set....

That's an interesting thought.
Some of the color combinations Maytag produced worked really well, but (in my opinion) not all of them.

For example, the Almond machines look really sharp with the sunglow gold panels. The late-production unshaded Harvest Wheat and Fresh Avocado machines also look good with the gold panels, in a much more subtle and refined way than the earlier shaded machines with the blue panels...

I'd gladly trade any of those for a turquoise/blue combo though. And there are of course combinations never before seen, such as a blue panel on an almond machine, or a gold panel on a turquoise machine.

Post# 1022193 , Reply# 22   1/23/2019 at 17:30 by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
@ LowEfficeincy

eurekastar's profile picture

The color is a little deeper, but very nice.  It definitely works.  I wonder if paint like that will fade over time and that's why the new paint looks richer. 

Post# 1022593 , Reply# 23   1/26/2019 at 19:54 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Just a quick update! Parts are arriving almost daily. I found the spray paint at O'Reilly, too. I am also going with the older style seal that uses the spring clip, and washer to hold in the agitator seal. Does it look like I have everything covered? Any other lube/grease I should purchase? I sure appreciate all the advice!

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Post# 1022624 , Reply# 24   1/26/2019 at 23:36 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Does it look like I have everything covered?

Transmission gasket, Zoom spout Tubine oil.

Too bad you can't find a more upscale Maytag to refurb, seems like such a waste to put all those nice parts in a lowly BOL unit.

Post# 1022660 , Reply# 25   1/27/2019 at 11:18 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
A106 Ready For A Rebuild

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It looks like you have most of what you need, to use the older style agitator shaft seal you have to use the older style mounting stem and seal kit, the newer style triple lip seal is a superior seal especially with a new agitator shaft, but either will work quite well.

Rebuilding a basic A106 makes perfect sense, the smaller tub MT washers have superior turn over and rinsing, it all the washer you would ever really need.

Keep us posted

John L.

Post# 1022667 , Reply# 26   1/27/2019 at 12:08 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

lowefficiency's profile picture
>> Too bad you can't find a more upscale Maytag to refurb, seems like such a waste to put all those nice parts in a lowly BOL unit.

I've been through similar thought processes, but in the end, other than your time, there's really not a lot of downsides since so many parts can be transferred over, or your restored machine could be used as the basis for an upgrade down the line (control panel swap, 2-speed conversion, etc).

At worst, you've fixed up a nice machine that could either be sold to finance the purchase of a higher-spec model, or retained as a standby backup machine.

Post# 1022672 , Reply# 27   1/27/2019 at 13:49 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

good-shepherd, got them both, just forgot to include in the picture! Actually the zoom spout is in the tool bag sitting in the chair to the right of the tables. The gasket is between two large books, to keep it flat.

As far as why would I refurbish a BOL Maytag A106? I may not have mentioned this before, but it's because my Aunt bought this machine brand new, and was so proud of it. They didn't have a lot of money, but they got a Maytag! It has served our family almost flawlessly for 40 years now, with minimal maintenance, no breakdowns major enough to be put out of service! It's purely for sentimental reasons, and is cool to have the actual machine I grew up around.

I guess the only upgrade I'd like to do with this one, is get a control panel face with bright trim. I think it would make it look way nicer.

Sure, more features would be cool, but this one gets the job done, day in, day out!

I spent this morning replacing the rollers and springs kit on the motor, and made sure to use the two pouches of included polylube. The pump belt needed to be readjusted as the gap, when squeezed together was more than 1/4 inch, it's spot on now. I immediately noticed it runs quieter after this service. The slight knocking upon agitation start is almost completely gone!

While it was tilted back, I could see the damper pads are still in place, but are on the list to be replaced. Just out of curiosity, I spun the pulley to see how tight the agitator shaft is, and I was able to spin it easily with one finger.

I figure since the original seal is still good after 40 years, it must be pretty darn good!

Thanks everybody for all the comments, and feedback!

Post# 1022681 , Reply# 28   1/27/2019 at 15:12 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
served our family almost flawlessly for 40 years now,

Wow, you got your monies worth out of that machine for sure.

What residential washer built today will be running 40 years from now AND rebuildable with easily available factory parts?

Post# 1022682 , Reply# 29   1/27/2019 at 15:17 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
newer style triple lip seal is a superior seal

I was under the impression the triple lip seal had a higher failure rate than the old design?

Post# 1022684 , Reply# 30   1/27/2019 at 15:36 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
Good luck on your upcoming project. My Maytag 511, I bought new in 1984 with the matching 410 dryer, has worked flawlessly with just a $28 repair and none on the dryer. Thankfully, I have a repair guy that knows these machines inside out.

Post# 1022709 , Reply# 31   1/27/2019 at 20:50 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

good-shepherd Heck yeah we got our moneys worth! No way those electronic controls on the modern stuff will still be around in 40 years. That's the impression I got about the newer seal, after reading all the threads possible about these machines.

Thank you wayupnorth! I hope yours continue working well for many years.

Here is what I worked on this evening, the control panel!
I completely disassembled, and gave it a bath. After it dried, it careully got masked off. Then used some plastic prep, followed by adhesion promoter, base coat, and finally clear coat. Not perfect, but looks much better. I'd like to find a button set for the temperature control, a new "MAYTAG" emblem decal, and a new dial face.

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Post# 1022714 , Reply# 32   1/27/2019 at 22:26 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Reply # 29 Triple lip Agitator shaft seals

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Hi Douglas, I have never seen the newer TLS fail except in cases where one was installed on a machine with a rusted pitted agitator shaft.


There are LOTS of MT DC washers with leaks in the main seal area from the 80s on to the end of these great machines in 2006, but they are leaking in the main seal area. We still buy the mounting stem and seal kits by the dozen and repair several leaking MT DC washers every month.


A triple lip seal is a superior type of water seal to the crude seal that MT used on their older machines, almost every type of washer, automobile,  airplane and on and on uses a lip type seal, you almost never see any type of seal like these older type seals used by MT used on anything any longer.


MT changed to these TLSs because they believed they were better and I have seen no problems with them.


John L.

Post# 1022767 , Reply# 33   1/28/2019 at 08:56 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
LOTS of MT DC washers with leaks in the main seal area

Interesting, what is the flaw with the main seal causing the leaks in that era?

Also, would less than perfect agitator shafts be better off repaired with the older style seal if possible?

Post# 1022778 , Reply# 34   1/28/2019 at 10:25 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Maytag DC Main Seal Problems

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The two common reasons that the main bellow part of the seal leaks are the outer top edge of the spin bearing housing gets rusty or has excessive rubber flashing on it and the bellow part of the seal cannot move freely up and down and therefore can not maintain pressure against the bottom of the mounting stems sealing surface.

The other big problem with the mounting stem hub is MT cheapened it by replacing the SS insert with a plastic one and the plastic sealing surface wears out and can no longer seal properly.

It is possible that the older seal may work a little better with a less than perfect agitator shaft, but I sure can't tell why if you look at how its designed.

John L.

Post# 1024049 , Reply# 35   2/8/2019 at 23:32 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Ok today I spent the evening dissembling the Maytag washer. Everything went smoothly, and there were no surprises. I am cleaning, and painting at this point. There are some minor rust areas on the inside of the outer tub, and they will be coated with POR 15. Is it recommended to coat the concrete looking area of the wash basket with POR 15 as well? I swear I read about someone doing that on one of these threads, but can't find it at the moment.

I re oiled the old tub bearing, because it is still in great condition. I peeled back the rubber, and filled it with turbine oil until the wicking material could absorb no more oil. It took quite a bit! I cleaned up the rubber with 303, and it's still flexible.

The last item of the day was going to be damper pads, but unfortunately the adhesive has gone bad. Is there an equivalent off the shelf adhesive available? I also have a partial tube of FSP 279368 adhesive, left over from when I replaced the rear drum seal on my Kenmore dryer, and it is still liquid. Would this be an appropriate adhesive to use? Thanks.

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Post# 1024060 , Reply# 36   2/9/2019 at 00:21 by 70series ( Connecticut.)        

Welcome to the group. I have seen your videos several times, and still enjoy them. I agree with John (Combo52), the smaller tub Maytags had great rollover, and were all you really needed. We had an A206 growing up, and what John said echos my parents reasoning behind buying the smaller basic model as opposed to the bells and whistles of a glitzier larger one. As my mother put it: "They all have the same motor".

Good luck on the refurb, and I look forward to more videos.

Post# 1024107 , Reply# 37   2/9/2019 at 13:42 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Would this be an appropriate adhesive

Maytag recommends #055978 adhesive.

Although there are other rubber adhesives that will work as well.

Post# 1024109 , Reply# 38   2/9/2019 at 13:48 by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        

That tub bearing sleeve in photo 3 comes off.

Sometimes they get seized on the trans case to the point where it needs to be spit off with a chisel.

Post# 1024134 , Reply# 39   2/9/2019 at 20:44 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Thank you,70series! I'm glad you enjoy my videos, I appreciate the views!
I've gotten a lot knocked out on this restore, but still a good bit to do.

good-shepherd, amazingly that sleeve came right off. No corrosion whatsoever! I couldn't believe it. That is the adhesive I had purchased, 055978 but it had already set up to the point it was unusable. I went ahead and used the high-temp adhesive I used for the dryer felt seal, and seems to have made a great bond for the damper pads. I let them dry for several hours, and then coated with the included poly-lube tubes.

I have had an unfortunate casualty, the oil cap for the main drive pulley. P/N 211038
It was very cracked up upon removal, and I didn't have high hopes of ever getting it back on. I was thinking it used to be more flexible, years ago, but it certainly isn't any longer. If someone has a lead, or an extra to sell, I'd sure appreciate it!

Here are a few pictures of my progress. I did make sure the lug was set correctly, too, in the 1/4-3/8 range! I started getting tired, so I called it a day.

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Post# 1024220 , Reply# 40   2/10/2019 at 15:10 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Success! I did a dry run, and let it complete a spin cycle to set in the boot seal. Then I poured some water in for a wet test, no leaks! The tub is leaning to the left a little, so I'll work on adjusting the springs next. After all the bearings got settled in, it's amazingly quiet.

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Post# 1025151 , Reply# 41   2/19/2019 at 22:07 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Hi everyone,

Here is a full wash video of my Maytag A106 after reassembly, and being put back into service. It keeps running smoother, and quieter as all the new moving parts get broken in. I also finally located P/N 211038 rubber cap, and it should be here in a few days. Thanks again for all the advice. It certainly made the job go much easier!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO 79maytaga106's LINK

Post# 1025157 , Reply# 42   2/19/2019 at 22:33 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
Great job. My 1984 511 works and sounds exactly like yours. Thankfully mine has had nothing other than a new motor coupling and belts in 35 years and hope it lasts the rest of my life.

Post# 1025160 , Reply# 43   2/20/2019 at 00:35 by 70series ( Connecticut.)        

Great job on the refurb, and an amazing video. Looked so much like the rough seas during wash and rinse that I could almost hear the Gilligan's Island theme. Well done.

Have a good one,

Post# 1025234 , Reply# 44   2/20/2019 at 21:09 by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Thank you, Tim! I hope your '84 511 keeps on going for many years.

Thank you, James! Yep, the agitation is awesome. It was starting to have sluggish agitation before the refurb. You have a good one as well!

Post# 1025273 , Reply# 45   2/21/2019 at 10:03 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

swestoyz's profile picture
Sounds like it just left the factory floor in Newton! Congrats and great job!


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