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Traded One Transit Connect For Another


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Found another color that's very close to the Deep Candy Blue and sent the shop the color code. This is called Cobalt Candy Blue. The one issue we'll run into is that most of these colors have a silver or white base coat which accents the blue color. In our case, we're going to use the current Ford Dark Blue as the base coat and hope for the best when the candy coat is added later. One good thing, is the shop owner loves anything blue so it's not going to be much of a challenge to have the van repainted. Just finding that perfect candy blue color might take a while.

 

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This Morning's Topic: "Painting the Transit Connect Brake Calipers"

With the eventuality of Powerstop going to start offering powder coated brake calipers somewhere in the near future,  I just couldn't wait 6 months or more for them and the Ford Transit Connect calipers are brand new. After watching the wife take the van for a drive, I was checking to see the tire rotation on the van and noticed that with the larger wheels and wide open spoke spacing, I can see the untreated calipers. So I'm going to order Por-15's Blue caliper paint in the Half quart can. I'll be using a small foam paint brush and paint the calipers myself. The attached image is not my calipers, but you get the idea. Once I get the paint in house, I'll detail the entire procedure.

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Welp, here's the latest.. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. The CariD socket style lugs did not have any markings on them and I was going off sites like amazon, DPAccessoeis, and other sites ALL of these sites list M12 x 1.5 lugs for the Transit Connect.. so when I ordered the tuner lugs from amazon I was trusting they (every site I searched) knew what they were talking about. You guessed it. The M12's arrived today and I tried to mount them on the van.. they wouldn't fit. I removed one of the socket style lugs and found out that the CariD supplied socket style lugs as M14 x 1.5 *facepalm*

Searching the sites again, ALL of those sites I used as reference to the lug size are ALL wrong. They list the M12 x 1.5 as the lug size when in fact our 2020 Transit Connect lugs should be M14 x 1.5.. 

https://www.drivenproducts.com/collections/2020-ford-transit-connect-lug-nuts-wheel-locks?utm_campaign=YMM Search&utm_medium=Lug Nuts&utm_source=2020~Ford~Transit-Connect~Submodel

So I sent amazon, DPAccessories a heads up on this and told them they need to check their specs before posting this info as the M12 x 1.5 do not fit the 2020 Ford Transit Connect. Best check your lugs also. Maybe we just happen to get an odd ball size hub/studs or something.. Again, just ordered a set of the M14 x 1.5 tuner lugs via amazon. Lets hope these are right.

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Here's the latest.

According to DPA spokesperson via email & amazon, they say that the Transit Connect has two differant chasses which require two differant lug sizes. The passenger van gets the M12 while the cargo van gets the M14.. it's just their web sites and amazon have warnings posted at the top saying only the M12 fits the 2020 Transit Connect. Now that this has been cleared up, I'm waiting on those M14's as these should arrive between now and 27th of next week. I've requested that DPA expedite these lugs as the van is currently on blocks with out the wheels awaiting on the new M14 x 1.5 closed end tuner lugs.

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Just ordered a pint of the Por-15 Blue caliper paint via amazon and this should be delivered next Thur. Once I get the new M14 x 1.5 tuner lugs from DPA, I'll systematically remove each wheel, paint a light coat of the Por-15 blue paint on the calipers and reinstall the wheels with the new lugs. The nephew seems to think I'll need at least 3 coats of the Por-15 blue on each caliper. Also, Might need to pick up some brake clear spray this weekend. Once I have all of crappy socket style lugs, I'll box these up and send them to my nephew. Seems he wants these tuner lugs for some reason. Once this has been taken care of, we're off to the local tire shop to have them recheck the balance on all the wheels. We've got a slight shimmy on the right front wheels and I'm not sure if it's how the crappy tuner lugs are seated or the wheel is actually out of balance. Either way, DPA spokesperson wants to see images of the lugs on the van once we've completed checking everything out.

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Finally, those replacement DPA tuner lugs arrived this afternoon and I couldn't wait to get them on. These budge acorn lugs replace CariD's supplied Socket style lugs which I hated and started causing problems with the wheels. In fact while changing the socket style lugs out, three of the 5 lugs had again worked themselves loose.

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Although these are far superior to those crappy Socket style lugs, I'm still feeling a shimmy in the front end. I suspect that I'll have to have the tires rechecked for balancing in fear that CariD again failed to do this order right. Thrilled with DPA's sales and service for getting the correct set of lugs to me so quickly. Reason for this is that at some point I thought I needed the M12 lugs, in fact I needed M14's. So check your lugs before you buy new wheels and matching tuner lugs as the passenger van required m12's while the cargo Van require the Mq4's.

That Por-15 blue caliper paint arrives tomorrow.

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Its been a few weeks now driving on the Voxx wheels w/ Nitto tires. Although I like both products, they are not being displayed properly and I'm not liking the setup. This combination makes the wheels/tires look small out of sort. 6 times I've sent word to CariD about this deal and they refuse to do anything about this. Claiming that wheels and tires can not be refunded or returned. So even though the wheels and tires are on the van, I'm just not happy with the performance. I've even contacted BBB and filed a complaint against CariD and if you goto the BBB site, you'll see I'm not the only one who's filed a complaint yet the BBB site give CariD an "A" rating. I've attempted to contact other tire shops I've submitted request to in the past before I purchased from CariD. One shop Custom offset even told me NOT to buy through CariD and trust a custom package they created for me/the van. I should have listened to Custom offset's spokesperson. He not only informed me NOT to buy from CariD but created a custom wheel package using the Voxx 18'' x 8'' Capo wheels w/ Nitto 225.45/18 tires and I should have listen to him. This morning I again emailed CariD and told them they need to do something about this as their site clearly says "your satisfaction is guaranteed" end quote. Well if that's the case, I'm not satisficed and I'm disappointed. I've even contacted Nitto tires & Voxx themselves to see if anyone can help me with this. Voxx Spokesman just emailed me back and it does seem promising. I told the Voxx spokesperson that I was mislead into buying a set of the 17'' Voxx wheels when I should have purchased a set of the 18'' Voxx wheels. If you're reading this for the first time, DO NOT buy wheel packages online especially from CariD. You're not being given a guarantee your wheels will fit and you'll be out a few thousand dollars. I'm hoping Voxx can rescue me from this bad CariD deal and false promises CariD sales staff said to me.

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This morning to topics to cover.

We're wanting to see if the lifetime wheel balance package we purchase through NTB is transferable. Fortunately, according to NTB spokesperson, it isn't. So we're going to have to pay NTB or whom ever to rebalance the wheels sent to us via CariD. I've always suspected the wheels were not balanced properly as indicated by wheel weights simply placed on the wheels rim edge. NOTE, the left side of this wheel. The weights have bene stuck on the rim edge as this is how CariD's shop does things.. Not happy with this at all.

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Then we're not please with how the Mobil1 oils is doing in the van. According to Mobil1 site, it was suppose to increase fuel economy. Since changing to the Mobil1 all we've seen is our MPG drop from 28.3 down to 22.6. So we'll be changing/switching brands of oil to Castrol Edge. An oil I've used in several of my other small engines vehicle in the past.

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One other thing this weekend, I'll finally have a chance to sit down and paint at least one of the calipers on the van the dark blue color as offered by Por-15. While I wait between coats, I'll work on installing the skate board wheels as shims under the seat frame rails at least on the drivers side.

I've been invited to a shop/salvage yard in Northern PA. Once there I'll be checking out a couple of salvaged seats from a Ford Flex to use as an alterative seat for the Transit Connect.

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We were suppose to go places and do some thing things this weekend but with temps in the 90's we've changed our mind. other wise We've been fighting tooth and Nail with cariD about this botched wheel/tire package we ordered from them. 6 times I've emailed someone at Carid and ended up wit a differant person each time. The best they said they would do is give us $90.00 back for the cost of the rebalancing. But the issue here is we have a lifetime balancing with our tire place so there was no fee or work order.

In order to get more involved in this I contacted Voxx wheels & Nitto tire. Nitto spokesperson flat out said "we're not getting involved" & "we'll not honor the warranty on these tires". Voxx spokesperson went as far as contacting CariD and talked with them about this. Some how Voxx wheel acquired my order information and has sided with CariD. We did not authorize this type of transaction and I'll be paying close attempt to our credit card account.

Although the 17'' x 7.5'' Voxx Capo wheels w/ Nitto 215/50/17 tires does fit on the van, we've ran into so many issue with this set up.

  • During shipping, one tire had lost all air and was barely hanging on to the rim edge. We've had to take the wheel to a shop in order for them to remount the tire. This happened while on the road near Goldsboro, NC.
  • CariD was late with the wheel rings and we had to use Uncle Eddie to mill us a set of these rings as all others we've contacted could not get their wheel rings to us in time.
  • The valve stems are not registering, several times we've attempted to reprogram the stims without success. So we're going to have to order a new set from RockAuto (our goto parts store) in a few weeks.
  • Then there's the issue with Balancing.. NONE of these tires were balanced correctly. Wheel weights were placed on the wheel edge/lip and some while in transit from NC to MD the eights have fallen off. We're getting a slight shimmy in our steering.
  • Then there's the issue with the socket style tuner lugs as supplied by CariD. These things are crap and keep coming lose while driving. At one point while checking the wheels 2 of the 5 lugs could be easily turned with your finger even after putting an extreme amount of pressure on the lugs to tighten them. At another point, the lugs had come lose along our travels and one could hear the brake rotors clunking during turns.
  • The wheels/tires on the van seem small and this was not what I was hopping for.. The wheels seem smaller than what they should be.. Odd in fact and we'll be getting rid of them soon.

CariD spokespersons said they are willing to compensate $90.00 for the wheel rebalancing.. But I told them the wheels needed to be rebalanced, the sensors needed to be replaced & the tires needed to be remounted as we seem to be losing air in the constantly. I told them this would cost $245.00 Total as this is the amount they needed to pay. I've yet to hear back from them on this.

Lastly, because Nitto Tire & Voxx wheels have sided with CariD, I've sent a claim over to the Better Business Bureau. But even they aren't willing to post our claim or bad review about CariD on their site. Do yourself a favor, don't buy anything from CariD as they claim several things about their wheel packages, lied to us several times and even made promises they couldn't keep.

Because Nitto Tire & Voxx wheels have sided with CariD I'm very tempted to locate a new set of wheels. which has become very difficult. At one point I contacted a wheel company who can mill a set of wheels using "blanks" to our specs. Sadly, even they have refused to help use create a unique set of wheels for the van. 

There is some hope, But I'm not sure this will pan out. I contacted another wheel company and they are thinking of allowing me access to at least one demo 18 x 8 wheel for a test fitting on the van. I would still have to pay for the shipping. So we'll see how that pans out.

With cooler weather next weekend, we'll pick up where we left off and I'll get around to painting at least one of the brake calipers with the Por-15 paint. Then we'll have the balloon tire removed from the Thunderbird wheels and drive several hours to PA just to hand deliver the wheel to our Powder coaters and we just picked up 5 quarts of the Castrol Oil. Ready for the oil change in a few weeks.

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We're inline to do a test fitting of the Voxx 18 x 8 ET45 on the Transit Connect. I've contacted several retailers who said they are willing to help us with this and we've narrowed down those who are actually going to. We'll be ordering ( 1 ) wheel from a retailer who said that they will buy the wheel back (minus a restocking fee) IF the wheel doesn't fit. Although we've tried to locate something differant, we're gravitating back to the Voxx wheels as this is the closest thing we're able to find with the desired appearance. I was hoping that JNC would create a wheel just for us, but they decline to do so. However they did say, that they can forge a wheel without the stud holes and we would have to locate someone willing to drill the holes for us. But this is very risky as the wheels measure 18 x 8.5 with an ET of 35-45. We're in unchartered territory and we're going to have to make this up as we go along. Sadly companies like MS-RT have not responded to our questions about their 18'' OZ wheels on their customized Transit Connect. So we're going to have to do this ourselves. It is amazing to us how no one wants to touch the Transit Connect. It's like the TC is taboo and off limits to customizing.

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Not so promising, was my buddy down in Goldsboro NC, seems he's not willing to paint the van the color we want it and our ideas of how we want the van to be painted doesn't match his. So I've had to let him go. His idea of "Candy Blue" is more purple than our version. We still have 3 other painters on reserve, so we'll get in touch with them soon. We may end up using the Acura "Apex Blue" color on the van which is extremely close to the candy blue.

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If the weather would ever cooperate, I've got way too many things to do to the van. One being I'm going to stay sanding the top coat off the van. merely using a scotch brite pad and with little pressure to create even swirls on the van. This will make the color of the van flat. Not sure how this will turn out. Maybe it will turn out just fine and we might just leave the van that color. Hell I've seen worse wraps on other cars..

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Ordered a set of wheels locks via DPA. But according to the site, these will not fit our 2020 Ford Transit Connect, bet me.. It's like DPA and Wheel-Size.com don't believe me when I say my 2020 TC needs M14 lugs and locks. Never the less DPA spokes person is sending some "swag" along with our order. So if you're needing new lug nuts or wheel locks, visit the DPA site and avoid entering in your vehicle's data because you'll get the wrong information. Extremely fast free shipping as these locks are on their way.

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In reference to the 18 x 8 wheels, Tirerack has a long list of 18'' wheels on their sites with the same offset (ET) of the Voxx wheels we're looking to get. This is very promising to see that Tirerack already has several 18'' & 19'' wheel setup's within their system for the Transit Connect. I'm almost 98% sure the 18 x 8 ET45 Voxx Capo wheels will fit the van.  But just to make sure, NTB spokesperson contacted me yesterday saying that if we run in any trouble with our local NTB to have the store manager give NTB Cooperate a call during the installation.

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So in a few days I'll be ordered ( 1 ) TMPS sensor from RockAuto, the wheels from amazon which the vendor is now offering me a 20% restocking fee (instead of 25%) in order to help us out. Then head over to our local NTB for a fitting. We'll be doing a dry run without a tire. Then if we're given the all clear we'll have NTB mount a set of the Yokohama AVID ASCEND GT - 225/45R18 Grand Touring All-Season tires. Seeing how NItto Tire is not willing to cover/support their own tire warranty on any tire purchase we make, we can't afford to order from Nitto tires anymore. 

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My buddy claims his TC LWB XLT is a 2020 with the M12 lugs. But after running the VIN, turns out its a 2019. So the lug size are not based on the model of van merely the year of the van. As of 2020, Ford changed the lug size to M14 x 1.5 anything before 2020, the lugs on your van should be M12's. I just notified DPA and Wheel-Size.com about my findings.

20XX - 2019: M12 x 1.5

2020 - 2021: M14 x 1.5 

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This afternoon, I was running through my list of possible wheels for the van. We all know that the front runner is the 18 x 8 Voxx wheel. But I've checking on a few alternatives. Most of these secondary wheels do not have the 5 x 108 bolt pattern or slightly over the width reequipments. here's some of our favorite wheels we would like to see on the van and we've contacted these companies in an effort to make this happen.

1st Runner Up: JNC's Custom Multi-Spoke 18'' Wheel.

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2nd Runner Up: 2Crave Mach Eruo Concave ME.18

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3rd Runner Up: Kraze 191 Stunna 18'' Wheel

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I guess you can see a pattern here.. although OZ wheels has nearly the same type of design, We're looking to support a differant company that's not as well known as OZ or Sparco. The only trouble with all three of these wheels.. they don't offer the 5 x108 both pattern. But doesn't hurt to ask If they can mill us a set. This is the only way we can get a custom set of wheel for the van. Otherwise and I'm not disliking the Voxx wheels.. just wanted differant companies to help us out or at least I thought they might actually like to see a set of their wheels on our van.

 

Lastly, I need to make a correction on the above post, in reference to the dates when the lug size changed during specific model years.:

20XX-2018: M12 x 1.5

2019-Current: M14 x 1.5 

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This morning, Turns out that my DPA wheel locks have been held up in Tennessee. Plus Spoke with my buddy up the street, told him I'll give him our 17'' Voxx wheels w/ Nitto tires if he wants them. All he needs is a set of the wheel rings and M12 x 1.5 2'' budge tuner lugs. So yes, once we confirm that the 18'' x 8'' Voxx (or alterative) fits the van we're giving away the current 17'' voxx wheels w/ the 215/5017 nitto tires. Cause we're not be able to sell them and would rather just give them to another TC owner.

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For the past week its been extremely hot here, and the humidity has been just as bad and its not even summer yet. This coming weekend, looks promising for some minor upgrades to the van. I've contacted our friend on the eastern shore, We've set up a cook out while I work on the van. Perfect weather and I'll finally get chance to paint one caliper, adjust the drivers seat and maybe even finish painting the rear turn signal housing amber. But as we all know, weather can change in an instant.

 

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Today's Topic:

With the eventuality and likelihood of ordering that single Voxx wheel, I'll need to consider new valve stems as the ones included with the CariD wheels is not working nor are these something I wanted on the wheels in the first place. One issue is that either the valve stims are all dead or they are not the correct stems for our van. No matter how many times we've tried to reprogram these we're still getting the TMS error light on the dash. Thus I'll be getting rid of these and buying a set of stims I've used on other vehicles for more than 10 years. Furthermore, the stims are metal which add weight to the wheels and make it difficult to balance which could be the reason we're getting a shimmy in the front end. I'll be switching to rubber stims as these weight half as much as the metal stem versions. Although this image shows a plastic valve cap, the caps that came with our TPMS sensors were all metal. This could also be the reason the sensors aren't working as the metal caps could interfere with the signal.

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Also, I was suppose to have gotten the locking lugs yesterday, but the package was held up in TN, Just got a message saying the lugs will be delivered today.. lord willing the weather will be perfect this weekend. what could be better nice weather, friends cooking out, and working on the van. I have a lot to do Sat.

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The wheel locks just arrived, but as I was promised by a DPA spokesperson, I was suppose to have gotten some Swag from them. Opening the mailer, there's no swag in the mailer only the wheel locks. :/

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Then I was emailed by Voxx wheels saying even though Nitto Tire would not honor any warranty on the current or future tire purchase, Voxx spokesperson said they will gladly honor their warranty on the next wheel purchase and thanks me for giving Voxx wheels a second chance at making this right. I was hoping they would say that because if they too wouldn't honor is defects on the next purchase of wheels, I would be left out in the cold and out 2,000 dollars USD. With everything all lined up and great weather this weekend, looks like the van will see a few minor improvements.

So we're all set to order the 18'' x 8'' Voxx Capo wheels ET 45 w/ 225/45/18 Yokohama AVID Ascend GT w/ Standard brand TPMS sensors.

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Crap.. this slow moving storm has again postpone work being done on the van. We can't get a clear day do to all these things we need to the van. In the mean time, check this out.. wife is saying she wants a dash cover for the van.. Navy Blue no less.. For only $45.00 USD this would help protect the plastic dash from the harsh sunlight. might even add a specialty logo on the pad.

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Seeing how we're very close to ordering another set of wheels for the van, I was waiting to hear back from some of those other wheel manufactures just to see if they would customize a set of their wheels for us. One one company responded back and clearly said they aren't taking any customs ordered but they would think about my offer of creating a custom 18 x 8 wheels with an offset of 45 and the 5 x 108 bolt pattern. JNC was that company and they have a wheel thats extremely close to what we're looking for. But as a side note, I had an idea and sent word to my powder coaters. I asked how difficult is it to powder coat the Voxx Capo wheel that's already been painted with a machined face. In other words we're looking for this type of appearance. Kraze offered this mulit spoke wheel in black with the machined face and we're liking how this looks with the raised spokes and the black back ground. let's see what our powder coater says.

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So imagine the Voxx wheel with a dark black background with a raise machined face.

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This mornings topic, 

I had this weird idea about making the van look like a beater.. "Beater" is a term used for old cars rusted & tuned that still run, but not worth stealing etc. Then I recall this image from 5 years ago of where this fellow in UK had his VW van rust wrapped. Nice idea but after about 4 years the wrap would fade and you'd have to rewrap the van again. These wraps can cost a few thousand dollars and just not last. Then figure in how much it would cost us to repaint the van and although we wanted to have the van painted.. spending 10K USD on having this done my not be plausible at the moment. One thing I've mentioned above is that I was going to get the van prepped for painting by lightly sanding off the clear coat. Doing this will make the van's top coat look faded or chalky. The idea is to make the van look like crap without too much effort, but with shinny 18'' wheels and with a carbon fiber/leather interior. I can't say I'd make the van look like the attached image, but I am handy with a paint brush.. If something looks like this, chances are no one would think twice about stealing it. "Out of sight, Out of mind" 

 

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This afternoon while the wife went shopping, I swapped out ( 1 ) DPA tuner lug (per wheel) for the DPA locking Tuner lugs. Fits perfectly and you'd never know the difference as they all look the same. Then I've just test fit the 2005 Ford Thunderbird balloon spare on the front and rear of the van, Again fits like an OJ Simpson glove. That's $100.00 well spent at a salvage yard in South Carolina. Glad RoadKillCustoms.com was there with a long and detailed list of possible bolt patterns for our 2020 TC.

So I personally can confirm that the 2005 Ford Thunderbird balloon spare tire will fit on your 2020 Ford Transit Connect as they both have the same bolt pattern & center bore, there's even enough room for the spare to miss brake lines and suspension components. Also, you can use the factory open end lugs or budge acorn lugs to mount the spare to the front or rear of the van. 

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Now the fun begins. Going to take the spare to the tire shop and have them remove the crappy Maxxis tire. Then we're off to Northern PA to our powder coaters and have them clean and prep the spare rim for that custom Candy Blue color we've wanted. I assume it's one of the blue color bottles on the lower shelf.

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