Friday, June 10, 2011

Multimog...

Since yesterday LEGO Technic fans community has been finding new material regarding the upcoming 8110. We are not facing any leaks, as it all seems to be part of a recent strategy from the product line, to release new info in small waves and feed the fans eager from new details about LEGO Technic upcoming products.



This is an image published in what seems to be an internal magazine for Mercedes-Benz employees. Included it is this article explaining how the idea to build a commemorative model celebrating the Unimog's 60th anniversary, came up from an employee.
The image included in this article is a great pearl, as it seems to suggest how the several LEGO Unimog prototypes have been evolving to the final model. Wonder whether the first model in the left was ever an option, even a concept study, or if it was just built for this evolution photo...

Among already other known facts, it is also mentioned there were six new parts developed for the Unimog. As far as we have been able to dig up to now and unless there is some mistake in our observations, I count at least nine new parts and redesigns:
  • Axle 11
  • Pneumatic nozzle (PPTO)
  • C-beam
  • Torque tube or large ball joint (2 parts)
  • Portal axle hub gearbox
  • Steering hub redesign to fit with a Technic axle
  • Extra stiff 9.5L shock absorber
  • New 94,3 x 38R tires
One thing seems to be sure, the development of this beast should not have had big budget restrictions... Among new parts and several parts released in new colors, hence increasing the inventory (including the long waited orange panels but also the nice LBG 5 x 11 panel plates), this release is really a huge fanfare.


Probably the biggest fun for us, is all the speculative imagination we can grasp, while looking at images like this...
Here we can clearly see how badly the heaviest and larger models stand on ground and stress their suspensions, until something happened near the final stage. This is the ultimate evidence for the obvious reason why TLG added a new variant to their range of shock absorbers, replacing the coil springs with stronger ones and able to sustain the extra weight.
This image was also the first to clearly confirm the presence of the new hub gearboxes, for the portal axles and also revealing their first details (two 16t gears fitting in each).

But much more was still to come, shortly...



Here we have a render with a close-up from the front axle's left side, stripped from a few parts for a much more comprehensive visualization.
I must confess I was expecting something different from the new hub gearboxes. Probably with a more broader application range, than being so much specific for portal axles design. Specially given these were already possible to build easily with existing parts, as we can testify from many TrTr vehicles build by the FOLs out there. Nevertheless this can be a quite unfair comment and time probably will reveal many unexpected usages for this part. At least we need to have this new part in our hands, to fully analyze all the details from its design, despite I'm pretty confident to have captured its form and details, or most of it at least.

It can be clearly seen the hub gearbox with a double 16t gear setup. It also turns clear it can be used with a 8t + 24t combination, with the 24t gear in the bottom or near the wheel axle. Very useful to slown down and increase the torque on TrTr vehicles. But again, a very specific design for usage with portal axles.

Interesting is also the wheel pivoting position (aligned with the frictionless tan long pins) and the utilization of the recent "Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular Split" part (92907). A good idea and as far as I've tested on a replica, it works great without limitations the turning radius, as some have raised concerns about. There is an half beam offset at each side, to prevent such limitation.

Also it looks like there are 3L U-joints used to pivot the steering wheels, rather than a CV-joint. The pivot point is in the middle of three studs of an axle between the 12t gear and the 5x7 liftarm frame. A CV-joint would move the pivot point one stud to the right (inboard) attaching directly to the differential. In addition, you can "see through" the part between the red bushing and the hub gearbox part, whereas on the CV-joint, you would not be able to.

Connection from the wheels to the hub gearboxes seems to be done through a new variant from this steering hub as we can see from the snapping attachment to the hub gearbox. Hence the new DBG color for this part, maybe. I believe it is a new version because it requires to fit with a Technic axle, what does not happen with the currently available version. Otherwise all this portal gearing stuff, wouldn't make any sense!...
I'd just like to recall, how difficult it is to remove this part from this other one. Hope it to become a bit different in the case of this hypothetical new variant...


Behind the differential (to the left) it seems we can also see the previously mentioned and hypothetical torque tube, in the form of a big ball joint. Matching this with the previous image where it was found and the respective orientation, I'd say we have got two of them in the Unimog. One for each front and rear axles, allowing them to pivot up/down but also to rotate as needed, for the pendular suspension.
Look at the image below exactly to see how far the Unimog pendular suspension can go.



Another interesting aspect on this photo, is also the use of three driving ring extensions (32187) lined-up in a row on top of the PF M-motor. Likely the switch box allowing to do the selection between electric and pneumatic functions. Just wonder whether the three extensions effect is just for the aesthetics or does it have some other purpose.


Some additional images were also found, but guess there is not much new things to talk about.



On the left image we can clearly see, besides the functions panel (already much discussed), a pair of Technic knob wheels (32072) being used, to perform the HOG function. Very convenient when it comes to accommodate the suspension axle swing.
Also we can there see a CV-joint and the new CV-joint axle. These seem attached immediately in front of the torque tube so that the drive shaft can extend/retract a little, as per design of the CV-joint sleeve, when the axle moves up and down.

As for the functional attachments, both the rear crane and the front snow-plow present a very clean and detailed design.
I particularly like the usage of rubber grips on the claw, and the pneumatic controls to steer the plow.


After all these theories, if you still have some doubts regarding the Unimog operation, I'd suggest to read the explanations on the image below, found online a few weeks ago.
I'm sure some of you can...



Next drop might be the Unimog itself. Anytime soon I guess...

11 comments:

Gerhard said...

The article said also this:
- 4-cylinder dummy motor
- 6 new parts were developed for the Unimog (also for achieving the great capability for twisting)
So, indeed, it will be great modell.
I can't wait! :o)

Regards,
Gerhard

thirdwig said...

It looks like TLG will use the 3L U-Joint rather than the CV joint from this picture. The pivot point is in the middle of three studs of axle between the gear and the liftarm frame. A CV joint would move the pivot point one stud to the right (inboard) due to the CV joint axle attaching directly to the differential. In addition, you can "see through" the part between the red bushing and the new part, whereas on the CV joint, you would not be able to. I expect there is a 3L axle with stud, connecting outboard to the new piece e.g.(http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=4975736) To bad, it would be nice to see more CV joints in TLG sets.

Conchas said...

@thirdwig

I agree with your comment. So that I've adapted it to my words and added it into the post, while I'm still completing it. :)

thirdwig said...

Mmm, Torque tube part would be awesome.

thirdwig said...

Now that I think about it, how would the axle be prevented from teeter-tottering on the axis of the wheels if the suspension is on the front of the axle (for the front axle) and connected by a ball joint to a torque tube on the rear of the axle? On the real Unimog the torque tube design allows for pendular movement of the axle, but not fore/aft rotation of the axle. The Torque tube will still need some fixed attachment to limit rotational stability of the axles while still giving pendular suspension ability. The ball joint could attach the driveshaft to the frame but I would be skeptical if the ball joint would attach the driveshaft to the axle.

Ryan said...

I do see the new cv joint in one of the other pictures on the Swedish website.

And I wonder: why do all of the 4 prototypes look silly? Parts are not attached right, not straight or out of line! Could these 4 be fake? Also the wheels are no straight

Allanp said...

This thing just keeps getting better, however I agree that it would have been nice to see the new CV joints being used to drive the steered wheels so that:
a)it would be even more realisit than it already is
b)the wheels would turn at a constant velocity when steered and
c)the steering pivot could be moved one stud closer to the wheel as it seems really far away at the moment.

But for how great the unimog already is with all it's new parts and pneumatics, and also that being Lego we can find a way of doing it ourselves, this minor issue can be forgiven 8^).

Allanp said...

@ Ryan, that CV joints looks to be driving the steering as the axle will need to twist and change length as the suspention moves.

I wonder if those other prototypes were built to look shoddy to make the finished one look better (not that it needed it!)

minks502 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wiseman_2 said...

The prototypes always look incomplete in places. In an interview with the designer of last year's 8043, they showed some prototypes of the model which were built only as proof-of-concepts, like one which had just the gearbox with a very basic frame, and one that looked a bit more complete but without a gearbox.

And maybe those driving ring extensions are for a coaxial drive system?

java.lang said...

Why is the 12t double bevel gear above the snow plow? To adjust some angle?

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