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Pictorial Review: 8455 Backhoe/Wheel Loader

My favourite Technic set!

17 replies to this topic

#1 Lost_In_Noise

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

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8455 Backhoe was released in 2003, contains 704 pieces, and features steering via HOG inline 3-cylinder engine driven by rear
differential, and a lot of pneumatics. A total of 10 cylinders powers the outriggers, lifting/tilting of the front bucket, and operation of the rear bucket.

The sets is considered one of the best by AFOLs, and I  agree for the most part. More on pros and cons in the conclusion of this review.

The average Bricklink price is about 150 Euros, making it one of the most expensive Technic sets to buy second-hand. I paid about 130 Euro for mine, and it arrived in pristine condition with near-mint instructions and a nice box. Original retail was 80 Euros.

The box

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The box itself is nothing too special, the front has a "Pneumatic" logo on it.

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The back shows the alternate model, a Wheel Loader, along with the functions of the backhoe.

The parts

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The set rests on a pair of 81,6 x 38R tires and some 56 x 30's.

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Some 9L links helps with the pushrod steering.

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The Big Digger bucket was last seen in last years 8069, and 8043



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A 4 x 4 x 9 Digger Bucket is used for the back scoop, same as the 8069.

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A total of 7 pneumatic switches are present in this set, along with 2 pumps and 10 cylinders.

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13 T-pieces connects the maze of pneumatic tubing, which is 601 studs long.

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Not a lot of gears, but that really doesn't matter much in this set. An Old style differential drives the engine from the rear axle.

Main model: Backhoe

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The build starts with the rear end of the chassis. The pneumatic cylinders for the outriggers are placed on the sides.

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The outriggers "feet" are made of thin triangle liftarms. They are attached with frictionless pins, and capable of lifting the finished
model.

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Next is the pushrod steering mechanism. The front wheels aren't driven, but attached with frictionless pins.

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The rear boom is pivoted by a pneumatic cylinder, hinged on the vertical axle.

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The cylinders for retracting/extending the outriggers are connected to a single inlet. This makes them move simultaneously.

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The first switch controls the boom's pivot.

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The second raises and lowers the first section.

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A set of knobwheels and a 12T DB gear transfers motion from the HOG axle to the steering setup.

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The last switch in the back controls the rear boom's luffing/scooping mechanism. A set of 40cm tubes runs from it.

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Here you can see how the pushrod steering works. The knobwheel is connected to a set of 3L thin liftarms with a "Pin with
towball"
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The rear wheelarch comes into place before the tubing for the pumps is fitted.

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This setup directs airflow from the pumps to the pneumatic switches. The two pumps powers all the functions.

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Here it is in place. The four black long hoses are for the rear boom operation.

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The pneumatic pumps are a part of the cocpits frame, making it convenient to operate the backhoe. Two pumps providing input makes the machine operate very fast.

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The top switch controls the outriggers. All switches has a toggle joint attached which makes them easier to operate.

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The differential sits a bit off-center, another pneumatic switch controls the scoop elevation.

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The inline 3-cylinder engine uses the Trans-Clear cylinders.

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These black hoses will operate the front bucket.

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This final knobwheel is the last link in the steering chain.

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Here you can see the three knobwheels pushing the links in opposite directions for the steering.

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The final pneumatic switch is placed to control the front boom lift.

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The cabin is finished. Note that the beam with lights is not connected to the sides.

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The right section of the front boom is made of liftarms, and lifted by a pneumatic cylinder. The second cylinder tilts the bucket.

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The mechanism for tilting is hinged with a crankshaft, which offsets the motion by a half stud.

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Now the front is finished, all that's missing is the scoop.

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And wheels, before the rear boom.

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The hoses are carefully routed with perpendicular axle connectors.

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Now the pneumatic circuit is complete, all that's left is adding the scoop.

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Finished!

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Features

Lifting boom

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Tipping load

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The pneumatic system causes these features to be synchronized, so you can lower the bucket while keeping it level to the ground.

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Rear arm, and bucket movement. The rear arm swings approx. 165 degrees.

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The outriggers are quite powerful, and certainly capable of lifting the rear off the ground about 2 studs.

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Comparison

8862:

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8069:

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Secondary model: Wheel loader

This model starts with the drivetrain, which is similar to the main model. The engine setup is also the same; a straight-three.

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The steering is the same as the main model.

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A gear rack leads to the HOG.

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The back end, which usually has a counterweight, is made as a separate element, before it is placed on the chassis.

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The wheelhubs are made the same way as the main model, only situated in the back. Front loaders are unable to use the front wheels for turning, since they suffer from too much load for the servos.

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Some panels finishes the rear.

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A view from the front. Note the yellow bent liftarms in the back. Those acts as handlers for the pneumatic pumps.

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The boom support also has the front axle with a differential in it. The engine is quite fast, the final drive ratio with this
configuration totals to 1:5,4. (Thanks Sariel)

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The front wheelhubs are made mostly the same way as the main model. They are the last mechanical part to be added before the pneumatic galore starts again.

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Ah, this reminds me of 8868, sheer pneumatic madness:-)

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The cocpit is made as two separate sides.

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The boom is made a a separate unit.

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Boom and bucket placed. routing the hoses takes about 5 minutes:S

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Placing the final switches finishes the model.

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Features

1) raising/lowering boom is notably slower than the main model, since only one cylinder is used per function. Also, the the pumps seems to strain more.

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2) bucket tilt

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The buckets tilt to an extreme this way, dispersing of any contents.

3) boom extension

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4) boom extension 2

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Of course, all functions can be run at the same time, since they use different cylinders. You can raise, extend and tilt in one continous motion.

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It takes roughly five pushes on the pumps to go from the two extremes.

Comparison

8265:

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8828:

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8235:

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Verdict

Forget the 8880, forget the 8460, forget the Unimog! This is as good as it gets. The way it looks and works is unprecedented in any other set I've got my hands on. Eight different functions with just 700 pieces is a great achievement by the Technic team. Don't let the hefty price scary you off. If you can afford it, quickly get one and stop reading right now.

As always, big pictures will be made public @BrickShelf. Any questions or comments are very welcome. Thanks for reading!

Edited by Lost_In_Noise, 17 November 2012 - 10:03 PM.

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#2 VFracingteam

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

Great review :thumbup: and cool set

#3 allanp

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:33 PM

I love this model, one of my all time faves. This review was deffinately worth the wait. I gotta say some of your pics makes it look better than the official pics makes it look, nice one! It still amazes me how many functions there are, how authentic the functions are and how powerful they are despite there being only about 700 pieces! This is what technic is all about! This is a set that squeezes as much potencial from it's parts as possible, a rare thing indeed!
Even the best can be made better, but most important is to be excellent to each other and party on dudes!!!!!!

#4 legolijntje

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

Great review :thumbup:
Good pictures and I like the comparisons :classic:

I got mine MISB (!) for €150 last LegoWorld from a Bricklink seller. It was a bargain and a very, very good buy :wub:

I like this set so much; with all the pneumatics etc. And gives so much more satisfaction when the build is finshed, because I had to cut all the tubes myself (I had it MISB). And it works so well (although an airtank would be nice). :wub:

Does anyone know which one is rarer? The yellow box version or the black box version? I have a black box.

#5 Alasdair Ryan

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

I got mine in 2003 for Christmas?...... :look:
Its a great set with lots of pneumatic rams and parts. :sweet:

View Postlegolijntje, on 17 November 2012 - 06:48 PM, said:

Does anyone know which one is rarer? The yellow box version or the black box version? I have a black box.

The black one is rarer,I never know there was a version that came in a black box. :grin:

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Edited by Alasdair Ryan, 17 November 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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Updated 10/03/15
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#6 Lost_In_Noise

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:21 PM

View Postallanp, on 17 November 2012 - 06:33 PM, said:

I love this model, one of my all time faves. This review was deffinately worth the wait. I gotta say some of your pics makes it look better than the official pics makes it look, nice one! It still amazes me how many functions there are, how authentic the functions are and how powerful they are despite there being only about 700 pieces! This is what technic is all about! This is a set that squeezes as much potencial from it's parts as possible, a rare thing indeed!

Thanks Allan. I was very disappointed when I finally had decided to make this, then had to postpone it. I nearly slammed my head into the wall at the hospital, but the doctor ordered me not to:D I think I'll be rebuilding the main model, since the parts may get lost in the jungle...
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#7 kieran

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:17 PM

Nice one, got mine last year used but in good nick, love the set, why oh why do Lego not do things like this anymore

#8 Hopey

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

Nice. The price tag's taken me aback a bit, but I think I might look into getting the missing pieces on bricklink.

Could I substitute the pneumatic cylinder with the square bottom for any of them? I've got a few of these, and they're a little cheaper on bricklink.

#9 stefan_betula_pendula

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

Very nice and detailed review! It would love to get this set for a reasonable price...

@ Hopey: It should be possible to replace some of the new pneumatic cylinders with the old ones, at least at the front bucket. At the rear bucket I think the space is too narrow to replace all pneumatic cylinders of the new type. I'm sure someone else can give you a more detailed answer.

Edited by stefan_betula_pendula, 19 November 2012 - 01:12 PM.


#10 Lost_In_Noise

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:47 PM

View Poststefan_betula_pendula, on 19 November 2012 - 01:03 PM, said:

Very nice and detailed review! It would love to get this set for a reasonable price...

@ Hopey: It should be possible to replace some of the new pneumatic cylinders with the old ones, at least at the front bucket. At the rear bucket I think the space is too narrow to replace all pneumatic cylinders of the new type. I'm sure someone else can give you a more detailed answer.

You can replace the Black Pneumatic Pump New Style with Black Top with another color, but the Pneumatic Cylinder with 2 Inlets and Rounded End Medium (48mm) has to be that exact type, or it will squeeze the pneumatic tubing like Stefan_Betula_Pendula said. All the cylinders, and the pumps bought separate would cost you about 115$. At least that was the cheapest ones I've found on BrickLink.

Edited by Lost_In_Noise, 19 November 2012 - 03:51 PM.

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#11 davidmull

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

Yellow box is rarer and way nicer with the 99 years on it, I passed on a few black box versions till I got the misb in yellow box.

#12 Technic Gearhead

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:57 AM

Very nice review.  I love this set!  I own one MISB of the black box version, and another I put together with more modern Technic parts.  I made it more yellow like the color scheme of the 8069.

#13 skaah

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:19 PM

I just wanted to add a little note to this topic... Got the 8544 for € 55 from Marktplaats, the Dutch Craiglist. I really is as marvelous as every review is saying. I loved constructing it, the little details like the way the tubing is guided through the vehicle, the way the scoop stays level as you lower / raise the front bucket, the little ways the frame is reinforced, the way the differential is off-center, and of course the three cylinder fake engine under the bonnet. :wub:

The only thing that sucks is the steering, because there is almost no weight on the front axle, it barely works when driving in reverse.

#14 paul_delahaye

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:20 PM

I just happen to have taken a couple of pictures of this set as well when I bought it all those years ago, but never had the right topic to share them until now.

At first I was so impressed with the box, it's a digger/backhoe, and a massive box, it's ticked all my boxes

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However there is no doubt there was a slight bit of disappointment at first when I opened the box, it felt like the set was a little over packaged……….

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Luckily it turned out to be a great set and I managed to acquire a second one in the Argos sale when it was discontinued :-) Still MISB awaiting a rainy day

#15 Junpei

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 01:18 AM

Looks like that box is missing something huge... :wacko:

Just a little overpackaged :laugh:

#16 legolijntje

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:44 AM

I have a black box version, anyone knows if there's any difference (except for the packaging :tongue: )?
It seems the yellow box version is more common, almost all reviews I've seen had a yellow box...

#17 zux

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 01:32 PM

View Postlegolijntje, on 23 December 2013 - 09:44 AM, said:

I have a black box version, anyone knows if there's any difference (except for the packaging :tongue: )?
It seems the yellow box version is more common, almost all reviews I've seen had a yellow box...
As far as I have seen the other difference is age range. You cannot play with 8455 once you reach 99 years, if you have a yellow box. Black box does not forbid to do that :grin:
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#18 dragofoscar

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 05:37 PM

Wow - a sealed one... This is very rare.
Here in Germany used sets are got to get for a reasonable price (same as in the Netherlands ;o).
Bought mine used and it was very good in shape.
One of my highly underestimated models - it is a very nice one. The Pneumatics are so unique and well implemented.
10 out of 10 from me!
Made me buy the 8439 as well ... will get hime the next days ;O)



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