[MOD] 8868 Airtech Claw Rig

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So I did this forever ago, but I haven't been around much for months now, and I finally both remembered and decided to take pics and post this. Ever since I got 8868 at the ripe old age of SEVEN (23 years ago!) I've felt that the air pump in it is noisy, weak, and slow. Also, it never really had the capacity to keep up if you wanted to try and run more than one cylinder at a time.

Well, I finally splurged back in 2014 and bought some parts to help bring it up to snuff. I took the "fuel tanks" off of each side of the truck, and replaced them with white pneumatic air tanks I ordered from LEGO Education. A couple extra tees and hoses, a few axles for mounting, and BOOM! Air storage to spare, and you can barely tell it's been changed!

Two tanks is a LOT of air storage - and when pumped up to full capacity, it actually can whip the cab slew around fast enough to shake the whole truck!

It's a simple mod, and I didn't pretty up how the manual pump is attached, but I'm pretty proud of how imperceptible the change in tanks is - I think these actually look better than the built ones.

Driver Side:


Passenger Side:


View from underneath, looking towards the back of the truck. You can see the gray hose going between the rear ports on each tank to connect them together:


View with one tank partially removed. The stud holes on the bottom of the tank are formed to grip an axle.


View of the manual pump:


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Nice, I did exactly the same, but didn't add a manual pump. Instead I added a pressure switch, using the old 9V pole reverser, a small pneumatic cylinder, and a couple of rubber bands. This was installed in the passanger seat, as I was too lazy to fit it in nicely - I primarily wanted to add playability. The drawback was that it took a while to fill up the tanks.

I actually like your better idea better, with a manual pump. Probably better playability, as the tanks can be filled in two ways, or faster with both used. Cleaner also, than a pressure switch in the passenger seat...

I totally agree that the white air tanks look better than the original fake ones, I was also surprised how well it fitted - and how easy it was to install them.

Edited by kolbjha

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You should add the gripper from 8443, it works much better.

Hmm, there's an idea. I might get into that...after I finish Nico71's braiding machine...

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This is awesome. I'm currently taking my 8868 apart to make out a list of stuff I want to replace which is either discoloured (all the white parts) or broke (some of the studs) and replace all the rams which are covered in dust. During the rebuilt, I was hoping to do something like this.....if I can buy two white air tanks somewhere, maybe add an extra pump and a manual one.

It's been a few years since the last strip down and rebuild so I'm a bit fuzzy on how the pneumatic system is all linked together. Could you give a description of how the tanks and manual pump were added? Is it basically, more or less....the pipe from the pump to the controls is just re-routed via the new manual pump, through two two tanks and then back to control levers?

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