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post #1 of 71 Old 01-24-2011, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Watts Link

Take a look at this and let the opinions roll...

http://fays2.net/fays2_watts_link_17_.html


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post #2 of 71 Old 01-24-2011, 08:36 PM
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Been around.... I shipped one to Moscow Russia about a month ago for a customer over there (yes there are Mustangs in Russia).

I have one on my 2001 Z28, had one on my 2007... will have one on my 2011.


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post #3 of 71 Old 01-24-2011, 11:56 PM
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Maybe just the picture but the frame mount looks very thin (again, maybe just the picture).
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post #4 of 71 Old 01-25-2011, 08:15 AM
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I have one on a 93. Actually just installed it. The frame is very sturdy.
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post #5 of 71 Old 01-25-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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How well would this work for a street/occasional auto cross or open track event car?

Barry

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post #6 of 71 Old 01-25-2011, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BarneysBullitt View Post
How well would this work for a street/occasional auto cross or open track event car?

Barry
The frame is no issue... stands up to all the abuse I toss at it on R-comps with high loads and transition rates.... curb hopping too when I'm tracking.

Works great on the street too. I have a lot of S197 and F-body customers with 'em installed.

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post #7 of 71 Old 01-25-2011, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BarneysBullitt View Post
Take a look at this and let the opinions roll...

http://fays2.net/fays2_watts_link_17_.html
Looks reasonable to me. My only question is what are the minimum and maximum roll centers for this setup?

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post #8 of 71 Old 01-25-2011, 03:47 PM
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Looks reasonable to me. My only question is what are the minimum and maximum roll centers for this setup?
In the neighborhood of 7.5" to 11".
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post #9 of 71 Old 01-25-2011, 03:49 PM
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In the neighborhood of 7.5" to 11".
On my car anyway, obviously ride height changes the range.
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post #10 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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So would you prefer the watts link setup or the going the torque arm route?

Barry


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post #11 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 09:18 AM
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They serve different functions. With a watts you still need a TA or a 3-link.
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post #12 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSG View Post
They serve different functions. With a watts you still need a TA or a 3-link.
CSG, which TA or 3-link are you using? Sway bars? Looks like these would not play well with MM stuff since all of the above take up a small amount of space on the axle tubes at some of their mounting points.
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post #13 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 02:19 PM
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I have the EVM 3-link. I believe the MM T-arm would work and a Griggs would work. Because of other custom stuff I have I did have to modify the watts axle mount on the passenger side. I currently have a stock v8 fox rear bar. In the future I plan on looking into using a MM rear bar but I will have to fab new mounts which will mount both the watts and the bar as the mounts occupy the same space.
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post #14 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CSG View Post
They serve different functions. With a watts you still need a TA or a 3-link.
Gotchya..the Watts Link is similar in function to a panhard bar. That explains why I still saw the upper control arms in place. Slowly learning....

I lucked up on a copy of the Mustang handbook Vol 2 so hopefully I can learn some more.


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post #15 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BarneysBullitt View Post
Gotchya..the Watts Link is similar in function to a panhard bar.
Identical in function to a Panhard bar.

The differences between a Panhard bar and a Watts Link are:
  1. The Watts Link is more expensive (more components and usually a fabricated subframe.)
  2. The Watts Link is heavier (the subframe.)
  3. The Watts Link allows zero lateral movement as the suspension cycles. The Panhard bar allows come lateral movement. How much is determined by the length of the bar. The longer the bar the less lateral movement.
  4. The Watts Link can be packaged into a narrow chassis with no negative effect. (See #3).
Personally, at the level of tune 99% of track drive Mustangs are, the slight lateral movement a Panhard bar allows isn't a problem at all and the added weight and cost of a Watts (not to mention packaging considerations -- the Watts often interferes with sway bars and fuel cells,) don't justify the small theoretical benefits.

All this changes with a highly-tuned race car with a decently stiff chassis and unforgiving bias-ply racing tires. In other words, if I'm building a nationally-competitive AI or AIX car, I'll have a Watts, otherwise, I'm going to save a few hundred and install a Panhard Bar.

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post #16 of 71 Old 01-26-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gt40mkII View Post
Identical in function to a Panhard bar.

The differences between a Panhard bar and a Watts Link are:
  1. The Watts Link is more expensive (more components and usually a fabricated subframe.)
  2. The Watts Link is heavier (the subframe.)
  3. The Watts Link allows zero lateral movement as the suspension cycles. The Panhard bar allows come lateral movement. How much is determined by the length of the bar. The longer the bar the less lateral movement.
  4. The Watts Link can be packaged into a narrow chassis with no negative effect. (See #3).
Personally, at the level of tune 99% of track drive Mustangs are, the slight lateral movement a Panhard bar allows isn't a problem at all and the added weight and cost of a Watts (not to mention packaging considerations -- the Watts often interferes with sway bars and fuel cells,) don't justify the small theoretical benefits.

All this changes with a highly-tuned race car with a decently stiff chassis and unforgiving bias-ply racing tires. In other words, if I'm building a nationally-competitive AI or AIX car, I'll have a Watts, otherwise, I'm going to save a few hundred and install a Panhard Bar.
Had this exact conversation with a guy at work. Seems to me for my use, a panhard bar will do what I need it to do. I am definitely not a full on racer, but I would like to get rid of the unpredictable nature of the rear end.

Barry

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post #17 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 09:15 AM
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I agree with Robert and your friend as well. You can find alot of people who switched from a panhard bar to a watts & claim a big improvement. Personally, I believe this to be the placebo effect. I bought the watts because it required the least amount of fabrication to make work on my 87 coupe that I originally purchased it for. that car has alot of fab work that is in the way of the panhard mounting points. I also like the watts just because it is different, but you will pay more just to be "different".
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post #18 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 01:51 PM
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Have you guys run a Watts link? I have, and it's not placebo effect. Easy to say if you've not tried yourself.

I find it sad, very sad that this is the attitude and assumption. The fact is Watts links aren't new, and are VERY well proven from everything from Crown Vics to Australian V8 Supercars. And last I checked a Crown Vic is in no way, shape, or form, a RACE CAR).

Watts links and PHB do NOT do the IDENTICAL jobs unless you look at "lateral location" as the job. And if you do, that ignores the arc of the PHB and what happens dynamically. A PHB does not do as good a job maintaining the relationship between the body and axle, period.

And you can think it's placebo all you want, but it easier to drive the car faster with one than with a PHB. Yeah, you bought a V-6 to go to the store in... no you don't need Watts link. Have a Mustang to drag race with only? Same deal. Do you want to have a car that handles well, on *or* off a racetrack? Watts links help. I know I have run them... and fwiw I was of similar mind to the naysayers back before I actually, you know, tried. And I tried because I had to know, it's called testing. And I was wrong, there is a big difference.

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post #19 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam Strano View Post
Have you guys run a Watts link? I have, and it's not placebo effect.
How can you say? Have you driven an identical car on the same day, on the same track, only with a PHB instead of a Watts? If so, please tell us specifically what you found.

From my experience driven dozens of cars as an instructor, there's not a lot of difference between a Watts and a PHB. Yes, there is SOME difference, but for the average HPDE or OT car, the benefit doesn't warrant the added expense, in my OPINION.

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I find it sad, very sad that this is the attitude and assumption.
Watch it -- you're making assumptions too.

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post #20 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 02:23 PM
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Yes, I have.... See it's quite easy to remove a Fays2 for a PHB. Have you?

Level of experience here isn't even a matter, experience with both types of setups is. I have it. Others have it. There are quite a few folks on S197forums, and Mustangforums.com that have put Watts links on in lieu of their PHB's and found a marked difference--and many aren't track rats.

You drove a lot of cars. Fine, so have I. Often 12 a day. You might well have driven a Watts car... but in reading your statement, it's pretty clear you did so in different cars, which have different setups and personalities. I've driven Watts links vs. PHB's in not one, not two, not three, but in 4 different cars after they had PHB's (and had driven all of them before, and done tests on my own cars each way, 2 of those being my own cars).

Bottom line. You have folks assuming it's fluff. I used to be one. You have folks who'd done actually used them, and stayed with them. You think if it didn't make the car better I'd want to drag around the extra weight????? Sorry, doesn't work that way. Maybe you think it's because I sell parts and a Watts link is $650 vs. $100-170 for a PHB. Well, I sell PHB's too, so that's not it (and frankly because of cost PHB's are an easier sell). I sell them because I believe in them.

The car is flat out easier to drive fast, especially on imperfect road surfaces or heavy transition. Well, race tracks tend to be more smooth, and not a lot of transition. Street driving and autox will cause you to see more imperfect pavement and of course transition from autox is much more common than road-racing, we see more transition in 30 seconds than you'd see in 15 minutes on a road course.

And to close I'll build on this. The place you'd see the LEAST difference is on a track, on a stiff car that has little suspension movement. Super stiff cars have limited travel which means less PHB arc motion. And race tracks again will tend to be in better shape overall than public roads. So for the folks who haven't tried a Watts link to say that you only need it on the track, but then it really doesn't matter anyway, I find it a bit disingenuous. Fact is they work more magic on the street than on a track, but work in both scenario's.

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post #21 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 02:29 PM
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Yes, I have.... See it's quite easy to remove a Fays2 for a PHB. Have you?
No.

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Bottom line. You have folks assuming it's fluff.
I never said its fluff, and I never said a Watts wasn't better.

What I'm saying is that in my OPINION, the difference between the two isn't enough to warrant the cost difference for your average HPDE or OT driver.

I respect the fact that your opinion differs, and I can live with that. Can't you do the same?

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post #22 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 02:59 PM
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No.

I never said its fluff, and I never said a Watts wasn't better.

What I'm saying is that in my OPINION, the difference between the two isn't enough to warrant the cost difference for your average HPDE or OT driver.

I respect the fact that your opinion differs, and I can live with that. Can't you do the same?
Geez Robert-

You can have an opinion, that's fine. I'm sorry if I'm not ok with your having an opinion based only on theory. That's the difference here. You are saying you don't think it's ENOUGH different to warrant the price--fine. Based on what solid evidence?

What you folks have here are two opinions, you can make your own decision, I'd hope you'd form opinions based on more than conjecture.

If you want to talk to me (you too Robert) about why/how specifically I feel the Watts link is superior, I'm but a phone call away.

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post #23 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 03:40 PM
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Geez Robert-

You can have an opinion, that's fine. I'm sorry if I'm not ok with your having an opinion based only on theory.
OK, either you have a reading comprehension problem, or you're insulting me.

My opinion is NOT based on theory. It's based on driving dozens of cars with both PHBs and Watts Links.

Quote:
That's the difference here. You are saying you don't think it's ENOUGH different to warrant the price--fine. Based on what solid evidence?
No solid evidence, just my own observations.

It all boils down to this -- A is faster than B. A is more expensive than B. At what point does A's advantage over B justify A's increased expense.

We could be having this talk about dampers, or tires, or engines.
Quote:
What you folks have here are two opinions, you can make your own decision, I'd hope you'd form opinions based on more than conjecture.
Agreed. You have your opinion, based on your experiance. I have mine, based on my experience.


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If you want to talk to me (you too Robert) about why/how specifically I feel the Watts link is superior, I'm but a phone call away.
Nothing personal, but I'd rather hear about it in a public forum so others can benefit from the discussion. You started to do this in an earlier post. Can you go into this a little more?

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post #24 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 06:44 PM
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But the experiences are *quite* different.... and that's my point, pure and simple.

And yes, we could say that about tires, dampers, etc... which is EXACTLY WHY I try, and sell, different products. I can't try them all, but I'm quite confident I've driven more different parts than anyone else floating around here.

How much more different do you need it to be? The car is more stable, more trustworthy in the back. Easier to drive fast. Can I run the same time on a PHB? I can, but it's not as consistent or as easy to do it. Further with a Fays2 unit you have easy control over the RC height to play with balance as desired.

You keep saying you've driven all these cars on Watts links. Fine, no reason to doubt that, but being a suspension is a package, what was the rest of the setup on those cars? That matters, in my cars I know the setups because I did them and that's not a variable. Further, and again--a street car that's driven harder than average, and an autox car are going to see the most gains.

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post #25 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 08:22 PM
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Regarding the cars that you used to compare, what panhard bar did you use that had a roll center as high as the Fays2?
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post #26 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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ok guys settle down. I didn't want to start anything. Both of you are obviously knowledgable on this stuff. That is why I visit this part of the forum. I am a rookie on suspension and am trying to learn. So for a beginner and the difference in cost I am guessing the PHB is good but if I become a serous racer I need to move to a Watts Link. Thanks for the info!!

Barry

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post #27 of 71 Old 01-27-2011, 10:57 PM
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Maybe just the picture but the frame mount looks very thin (again, maybe just the picture).
If anything the Fays2 is overbuilt. My home made WL is lighter built than that and has been working fine for 50K miles.

The weakest part is the bolt through the middle of the pivot. If you hit a street type curb hard you can break that bolt. The Fays probably has a larger bolt than the 1/2" one I used. My concern about using a larger bolt for the pivot is if you apply an abrupt force to the side of the axle and the bolt doesn't break you could possibly bend your axle tubes. This is purely speculation on my part. I broke the bolt on mine one time then made sure I never hit any more curbs.

I am not talking about running over track curbs. The watts link is plenty sturdy enough to run over those forever.

GT40 I don't get why you quote the word similar and change it to identical then go on to explain the differences. Not trying to join in a pissing match. Just pointing out the contradiction.

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post #28 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 12:15 AM
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Not trying to join in a pissing match. Just pointing out the contradiction.
Hey, no stirring the pot....



Sam: I'm cutting out my 5-link this weekend and sending it back to you. When you get it, please exchange it for a Fays2.....

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post #29 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 12:59 AM
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Sam,

When you A/B compared the watts to the PHB on the same car was the roll center the same for both? Not trying to poke holes here but I am curious what affect different roll center heights would have.

thanks...
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post #30 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 10:29 AM
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Sam,

When you A/B compared the watts to the PHB on the same car was the roll center the same for both? Not trying to poke holes here but I am curious what affect different roll center heights would have.

thanks...
Ditto on the question. Any RC height change would make a pretty big difference in a car that was "close" to a good setup. This is an interesting question to discuss, especially since Sam is on a different driver skill level than a lot of us.

If it matters, I do think a watts is better, especially on a Mustang/Camaro where wheel travel is large. Also becuase of the adjustability.

DaveW

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post #31 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 10:52 AM
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But the experiences are *quite* different.... and that's my point, pure and simple.
But in my experiance they wern't that different.

Maybe I'm just insensitive. Maybe it's because I haven't done an A/B test. Maybe its from years of having to drive around other car's flaws. I dunno.

All I can go on is my own experience. Someday, when the opportunity arises, I will do an A/B test -- honestly.

Quote:
You keep saying you've driven all these cars on Watts links. Fine, no reason to doubt that, but being a suspension is a package, what was the rest of the setup on those cars?
God knows. These were student's cars. For the most part they were a mix of spring rates and dampers. Most, but not all had R-compound tires (mostly NT01's I think.) I wasn't taking notes at the time.

Quite a bit of it was a student coming up to me and asking me to check out their car to see what I though needed to be improved. I'd ride a few laps with the driver and then swap places to push the car myself. Most if the time my recommendation was for a driver upgrade.

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post #32 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 10:56 AM
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GT40 I don't get why you quote the word similar and change it to identical then go on to explain the differences.
They server the same identical purpose, but the go about it in slightly different ways and that means there are differences in their behavior.

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post #33 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 11:30 AM
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I remember a wise man on here once stating that "adding unsprung weight was a huge no-no." Like the difference between a 3/4 solid swaybar and a 7/8th's hollow swaybar would require re-cornerbalacing the entire vehicle......or some variation of that extremity.

Surely that same guy isn't suggesting to add MORE WEIGHT to the already XXXlb live axle?
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post #34 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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Never mind to my question above...I wanted to discuss Sam's feelings on this and hopefully add to my overall knowledge (not hard to do).

We seem to be on the rim of the toilet, ready to go down the Corral.net drain of another Tony/Sam argument.

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post #35 of 71 Old 01-28-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Strano View Post
And to close I'll build on this. The place you'd see the LEAST difference is on a track, on a stiff car that has little suspension movement. Super stiff cars have limited travel which means less PHB arc motion. And race tracks again will tend to be in better shape overall than public roads. So for the folks who haven't tried a Watts link to say that you only need it on the track, but then it really doesn't matter anyway, I find it a bit disingenuous. Fact is they work more magic on the street than on a track, but work in both scenario's.
I think this sums up why I respect both opinions here, but for different reasons.

For Robert's purpose (track cars, AI, etc.), a WL may not show a noticeable improvement to justify the additional cost of the Fays2.

In Sam's case, trying to extract the last tenth in an auto-x arena, yes I can see where a WL could make a larger impact than a PHB.

I think we're all on the same page that the WL>PHB.

I believe the different experiences produces different results and opinions.

Rob
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