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)
- 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
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...