Lost_In_Noise

[REVIEW] 8865 Test Car/Jeep

36 posts in this topic

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8865 was released in 1988 as the biggest Technic/Expert Builder set until that date. With 900 pieces, it included double wishbone suspension for all four wheels, a rear mounted v 4 engine powered by a differential, a 3 speed gearbox and popup headlights. This was also the first Technic set to bear the name "Car", since the previous sets had only been variants of the same chassis. The shape of the body is made by using pinned technic bricks at various angles, made possible by use of the new "pins with friction". It was the first set to include suspension on a steered axle, made possible with the new parts.

The box

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The box is your average early Technic kind, with flip-top showing parts. There is also some pictures explaining the workings of the main model, and the alternate on the back.

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The parts

This set introduced several new Technic elements which were to help making those sets stand out in a crowd.

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Anyone who has seen or built the successor, 8880, knows that hinges were essential to the shaping of a decent body. While this is merely a test car, the hinges are only used to create some nice seats.

This was the first set to include specialized Technic pieces,other than bricks, bushes and axles:

Wheelhubs

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Steering arms

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Steering links

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Ball joints

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Steering wheel

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Toggle joints

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Also, perhaps the most noteable improved parts of this set: the half-bush,

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and pin with friction ridges lenghtwise without center slots.

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Too much friction in fact. Numerous people complained to Lego about these new pins damaging their pieces. This led to the replacement "pin with friction ridges lenghtwise WITH center slots" being made. This didn't have the strong clutch power of the previous, thus, it was far easier to dismantle. I will be replacing all the old ones for this review.

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The axles were previously only to get in even lenghts. This would change in this set, because it was needed to get the steered, sprung front axle to work right. Only a 3 axle so far though.

The wheels and rims are the same as the previous Car Chassis, only in an unusual color. This is the only set to have these in white.

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No new gears were included in this set, only 8T, 14T, 16T, 24T, a differential and some 1 x 4 gear racks.

The instructions

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The usual "how to assemble" page:

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This is the set with most pieces per part ratio. The first step requires 35 pieces alone. 24 steps for the 900 parts gives an average of 37 parts per step. This is a shot of the notorious engine assembly, requiring 144 pieces alone.

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No parts callout is given for the alternate model, common in early Technic sets.

Well, on with the building, starting with:

A model: Test Car

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The main model is built from the bottom and upwards, common in the early sets. This is the frame of the chassis at step 2. The steering arms with support for the wheels are placed.

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Each layer of the chassis is reinforced by plates.

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The base is nearly complete. The axle which runs to the front will operate the front lights. A differential is placed in the center of

the rear axle.

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Next is creating the driveshaft, with a 14T spur gear at the end which meshes with the differential. Some Universal joints are fixed

at the end of the axles running from the differential. This allows the rear wheelbase to move without bending the driven axle.

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The suspension uses two springs per wheel, sufficient for the weight of the final vehicle. They are fitted to the lower arm of the

wishbone setup.

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A custom steering rack is made by joining two 1 x 6 Technic plates with a towball axle and a link on each side. The seats bases are also placed.

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Here is the complete steering rack setup. The axle that drives it has a 1:2 gear reduction.

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The 12 axle is passed all the way through the rear wheelbase, connecting the springs and swingarms.

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Some custom made wheelhubs using Technic bricks and pins.

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The lever for the gearbox is placed. It has a 16T gear and a 24T on it.

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The Steering arms are used for the front wheelhubs, with an

axle with towball connected to them.

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The front wheelbase is finished, and the gearbox is complete. It uses printed tiles rather than stickers. Yey! Now if it'd only been

synchronized...

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The headlights are mounted on an axle wich has an axle connector at the end. They are placed on the chassis, and the axle with the red cone on it will operate the lights. Here is a front view of the lights with connectors.

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This is how they work:

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Now for the engine. This is the first Technic V-engine. It uses the old square piston heads, and a custom made cylinders. The trans-red bricks gives it a nice finishing touch. You can see more of this building process by reading my 858 Auto Engines review.

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The engine completes the transmission.

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Here is a cycle, showing the gear change.

1st: 1: 1,5

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2nd: 1 : 2

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3rd: 1,5 : 1

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And neutral:

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From the other side, showing the driveshaft:

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In the next few steps the body of the car is made, using primarily pinned liftarms at various angles. The front grille is made of

plates.

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A simple callout for 73 parts forms the front and dash. Now the model is nearly complete, missing seats and windshield.

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The seats are a bit cheaper than 8860's, missing the reclining mechanism with gears. In stead, they use hinge plates.

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The headlights are covered with plates, conceiling them when not in use. Some long Technic bricks finishes the windshield, and the wheels are placed, finishing the model.

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Features

Steering with steering wheel. No HOG on this model:

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Changing gears:

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Pop-up lights:

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Reclining seats:

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Engine drive by rear differential:

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The double wishbone suspension is a major upgrade from its predecessor. The wheels will maintain the same angle no matter which state of compression the suspension is in.

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Comparison

8860,

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8880,

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8448,

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8070

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B model: Jeep

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This build starts with the front axle, which is steered and suspended the same way as the main model. The steering rack is a bit smaller.

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This model also uses double wishbone suspension for the front axle.

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Now the chassis is mostly finished. The red/blue levers doesn't have any function, besides aesthetics.

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The axle for the steering wheel uses two Universal Joints.

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Three 16T gears makes the wheels turn the same way at the steering wheel.

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A vertical 16L brick locks the parts together, before the dash is made.

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The car is nearly complete, all that's missing is hood, mudguards and the rear axle.

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The rear axle uses the same setup as the main model. These four elements are created separately, then joined to form the rear axle.

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It's mounted in a pendular matter, rather than the double wishbone. It only uses two of the remaining shock absorbers.

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From the rear you can see how the differential meshes with a 16T gear. This is used in the motorization of the car. The light grey vertical long bricks are mounts for the motor.

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The seats in this alternate is made the same way as the main model, only they don't retract or anything. The jeep is finished!

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Features:

Suspension:

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Differential:

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Steering:

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Comparison:

8820:

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8816:

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8066:

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The verdict

This set is what Technic evolution is all about. It clearly shows the advantages of the new availible parts, along with the cons of the soon-to-be phased out parts. Namely, the huge unsynchronized gearbox and engine. The next model would have new parts which would save some space for those functions. Although the body is almost non-existent, it was a dramatic change in the "car chassis" models. This sparked the interest of creating a truly sculpted car for the successor. The build process is a challenging one, at least for the targeted 11 year olds, as this set came with a very short instruction, and even worse for the alternate model.

Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are always welcome!

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This is still my favourite Lego car. It's the mostest badassest beautifulest of all. I'm in love with it.

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This is the set with most pieces per part ratio. The first step requires 35 pieces alone. 24 steps for the 900 parts gives an average of 37 parts per step. This is a shot of the notorious engine assembly, requiring 144 pieces alone.

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Features

Steering with steering wheel. No HOG on this model

Boy, there were the days. Two pieces for step and the lack of true steering in almost all models is meatheads' business.

I never built the jeep, and #8865 is, to this day, my only supercar. And I love her :wub: .

Edited by Plastic Nurak

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Thanks for the review!

While I think 8880 is still the best supercar ever released, this 8865 Test Car was important for the evolution of the TECHNIC supercars in general, with possibly the most important feature being front suspension. I don't like the alternate model though. It should at least feature a working cylinder engine.

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Very great review.

I like the the testcar a lot :wub: and it's a same that i don't have it my self :cry_sad:

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Wow, I always shunned the older technic sets for some reason, but this review has sparked an interest :sweet: , thanks. :wink:

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Boy, there were the days. Two pieces for step and the lack of true steering in almost all models is meatheads' business.

It's important when discussing pieces per step, that the early Technic models were designed to be an extra challenge for those tired of building Lego houses. You might think that the sets of today are easier to assemble for your average kid. While some early models included seats with functions, working steering wheel, and pop-up headlights, those IMHO very simple functions are cut from the current produced sets. They are cut simply because they aren't anything special, and doesn't add anything significant to the sets. If the Technic designers would still focus on creating the most comfy-looking reclining seats with custom-made parts, we wouldn't have the later huge models like the Unimog, Excavator and the Crawler.

Take the 8110 for instance. It has a working engine driven by 3 differentials, power functions, and even a compressor. AND it's buildable by a 10- year old.

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This was my third technic set. I bought it myself when I was 16. I remember being embarrassed walking home with this set under my arm, in case anyone that I knew seeing me with it. The test car got some serious driving around on the kitchen tiles. I loved the suspension. I remember wondering if the track width was a bit long, as the wheels stuck out from the frame. Looking at the comparisions now, I think that would be the case. But I suppose you cannot have independant suspesion in those days, unless you are using todays more specialised parts. Thanks for the review.

Ohhh the smell of brand new 24x43 tyres... now that's nostalgia........

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It's important when discussing pieces per step, that the early Technic models were designed to be an extra challenge for those tired of building Lego houses. You might think that the sets of today are easier to assemble for your average kid. While some early models included seats with functions, working steering wheel, and pop-up headlights, those IMHO very simple functions are cut from the current produced sets. They are cut simply because they aren't anything special, and doesn't add anything significant to the sets. If the Technic designers would still focus on creating the most comfy-looking reclining seats with custom-made parts, we wouldn't have the later huge models like the Unimog, Excavator and the Crawler.

Not agreeing about the working steering wheel part in car sets. It may not be anything special, but leaving its function out is just lame. Just because something is solved, that doesn't mean it's meaningless to include in later sets. By that, we could leave out the whole independent suspension, because it's solved already and not any special and doesn't add anything significant to a car set...

We're talking about cars, other vehicles pretty much never had working steering wheels as far as I remember (apart from some exceptions). But cars, well, they are pretty much just cars, it's hard to come up with features.

Edited by Lipko

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I remember this being one of the last sets that I saved up and bought with my own money before going into my dark-ages, so this set always has special meaning to me. I must have built this set a dozen times or more, as well as the B-model and numerous other MOCs just using the pieces from this set. Good memories. :sweet:

This set also has Ackerman steering geometry which made it really nice to steer, despite it's large size. :thumbup:

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Christmas 1988 comes back to my mind.. that was the time when I received the set.

8865 looks great, the only issue is the width of the axles. The proportions of the bodywork are fine, but the wheels stick out too wide.

But the design of the suspension is better than in set 8880.

Finally, at least two versions of this set exist. The Peeron instruction scans show how to motorize the set using 8720, which was released in 1990.

My printed instruction shows how to motorize the set using 8700, which was the only motor available during '88 and '89.

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I got this set the year it came out for christmas. As being only 8 years of age back than, it took me about a week to complete it. Great set, only topped by the 8880.

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Although I never owned this set, I borrowed instructions from a family member and built it with those. It's a great set, wonderful gearbox of the days before the driving ring was invented, and I love the pop-up headlights. Also the suspension is very smooth (unlike 8880's), and I like how it has only 900 parts against almost 1400 for its successor. I have always liked the squarish body shape, it reminds of real supercars of the older ages (some Ferraris for example).

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It's important when discussing pieces per step, that the early Technic models were designed to be an extra challenge for those tired of building Lego houses. You might think that the sets of today are easier to assemble for your average kid. While some early models included seats with functions, working steering wheel, and pop-up headlights, those IMHO very simple functions are cut from the current produced sets. They are cut simply because they aren't anything special, and doesn't add anything significant to the sets. If the Technic designers would still focus on creating the most comfy-looking reclining seats with custom-made parts, we wouldn't have the later huge models like the Unimog, Excavator and the Crawler.

Take the 8110 for instance. It has a working engine driven by 3 differentials, power functions, and even a compressor. AND it's buildable by a 10- year old.

Not agreeing about the working steering wheel part in car sets. It may not be anything special, but leaving its function out is just lame. Just because something is solved, that doesn't mean it's meaningless to include in later sets. By that, we could leave out the whole independent suspension, because it's solved already and not any special and doesn't add anything significant to a car set...

We're talking about cars, other vehicles pretty much never had working steering wheels as far as I remember (apart from some exceptions). But cars, well, they are pretty much just cars, it's hard to come up with features.

I agree more with Lipko. In 1988, the Technic sets were in the market from 11 years in Europe and 10 in North America, so they were not a new product, indeed Technic had already become a classic line. The Technic motto at the time: "models that work as in the real life". Today a similar motto is used, but last Supercar (super? Ha ha ha!) appeared like a big toy, and not as a detellaid model like the previous ones (excluding #853, too pionieristic) and #8466 big jeep.

Edited by Plastic Nurak

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I used to dream about this car when I was younger, looking back it's simplistic design makes me wonder, why do I prefer it's look to the modern technics cars? It isn't as good, but I prefer it..

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AnonymousLegoFiend posted this well-produced

of 1988's classic Lego Technic set, the 8865 Test Car. The video is a "A FULL REVIEW of this amazing classic!

V4 Engine, Adjustable Seats, 3 Speed Gearbox, Pop up headlights and independent suspension

-Detailed explanation of gear transmissions"

8865-1.jpg

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Oh dear, looks like another set of instructions I need to buy or print!

Note to self: stop reading reviews!

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@DLuders

Thanks, I also found them elsewhere in pdf, but the scans from peeron looked better quality. So I've saved both. Have to see how each prints - when I get back home.

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I just "won" one of these on eBay - looking forward to putting it together, hopefully this weekend. Once I get my 8880 I'll have almost all of the bigger technic cars!

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I buy one yesterday and is in good condition and the box is almost brand new and olso the books are in great condition and only paid € 60.00 for it :sweet:

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