Jim

[REVIEW] 42056 - Porsche 911 GT3 RS

42056 - Porsche 911 GT3 RS - Rating  

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The more I read, the less I like ... an official apology stating the gear sequence deliberate? Waow, I bet the PR person who wrote that never drove a 4-wheel vehicle

Really really disappointed.

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If it is not possible to do it 100% correct, than maybe LEGO should not go into this design AT ALL.

Only the best is good enough - do You remember??

This. This is a reason why I'm so angry. I threw away a sequential gearbox after working on it for months, just because it was only 80% reliable. And the result was the medicore "simple supercar". I really should revise my design principles if I ever want to be popular, because most people, now even TLG, don't care about building quality and playability, only about looks and fancy functions (even if they don't work).

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I have completed my build of the chassis and thought I would share my thoughts so far in a mini review.

Firstly, the box is pretty cool. Not that I care about the box, but I do care about the box even though I don't care about the box. By that I mean that the box is pretty cool. I'll expound. Generally when I open a new Technic set I just tear into it. I toss the box aside (usually after ripping off an end to get it open) then dump out all the parts and commence building. My building speed is very high. However, in this case it was quite different. I actually looked at the box. I even studied it. I also found that I took each step really slowly like I was savoring it. Perhaps the box does have a subconscious effect on the perception of the set which then influences the building experience. At least for me, this appears so.

The instructions are pretty cool too, and I did take the time to read all the introductory material before beginning. It doesn't tell you a whole lot about the real car, but it does explain the design process of the LEGO model. They spent 3 years on this thing. Several pages into the build instructions I found an odd moist gray powder between two pages as seen below. This powder soaked into the pages and through about 20 pages staining them. I wonder what it is?

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The instructions are the best I've seen for color separation. I had no trouble distinguishing DBG from black which is a first. Part of this is the print quality, and part of it is that they finally took my advice and outlined black with white. This makes it really clear.

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So I got to Step 5 and found a problem. When there are 800+ steps, this is not a great place to find a problem, but there is a silver lining. The below image shows how the instructions show to build a little bevel gearbox assembly. This is part of the fwd/rev shifter. The pin joiner is just there as a spacer and to prevent the axles from pushing in too far, but the diameter is too big. The tan bevel gears rub on it causing a bunch of friction. This is the very first gear assembly and it has lots of friction. I swapped out the pin joiner for two bushings and it now moves very smoothly. It is also supported by a red 2L axle that needs to be positioned just right to avoid even more friction by pulling the gearbox off center.

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So how big a difference does it make? I never built it the other way, but I can say that having now completed the chassis the gearbox works perfectly. There is no chatter, no skipping, no stalling. Every gear works smoothly with no problem. The good news is that this seems to fix the gearbox! The bad news is that this is Step 5 and is totally inaccessible later, so changing it could be a lot of work. This area is used in ANY gear, so it really needs to be smooth. If this is all it took to solve the gearbox issues, that was pretty easy.

By the way, I also made the change to fix the gear sequence by swapping the gears in the back. That also works great. The press release from TLG saying that they intentionally made the gears shift out of order to limit the number of gears used at once makes no sense. Having now looked at the design, the number of gears in use is exactly the same if you make the change as if you don't. To me the moral of the story is that TLG should do some fan testing. They play test every set with kids, right? Well for a set aimed more at adults, why not test it on some adults? I'm one (some say).

Here is that central shifter with my change and also using black 3L pins where they will be visible.

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Here's another spot that can get you into trouble with friction, and there are several of these. The red 2L axle is supported by a pin with pin hole. The trouble is that this part rests on only a single pin and can therefore rotate. If it is not perfectly aligned with the axle, it can cause a lot of friction. Be careful here.

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Here'e the paddle shifter assembly. Say what you will about the design of the gearbox, but nobody has mentioned that this little cube is genius. I love the way the ratcheting mechanism works. I couldn't take the color vomit so I changed out a few of the parts that will be visible. Below shows before and after. I changed the paddles, the red linkages (4L liftarms) and the blue pins. It is possible to use light gray changeover catches, but I don't have any at the moment.

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And here is the completed chassis! Like I said, it works perfectly. It is also wonderfully stiff, for the most part. The front and rear assemblies are very rigid, but there is a weak spot in the middle. Right in front of the forward most gears in the transmission is a 5x11 liftarm frame which is not attached to anything behind it. When you compress the suspension, you can see a gap form here which is not a good spot because it can jam up the gearing. Perhaps the body will stiffen it later.

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Hi Blakbird,

Can you elaborate a bit more on the paddleshifters? How do they work? Is there a mechanism inside to keep the knobwheels at 90 degrees all the time (asking against my better judgement I must confess)?

So far only techlug explained their working, but only in French, which I am not so good at, nor is Google translate :laugh: .

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Can you elaborate a bit more on the paddleshifters? How do they work? Is there a mechanism inside to keep the knobwheels at 90 degrees all the time (asking against my better judgement I must confess)?

So far only techlug explained their working, but only in French, which I am not so good at, nor is Google translate :laugh: .

i will have to circle back to that question. Yes, I can explain how it works but it is going to require a bunch of pictures which I'll have to make it LDraw because you can't see the innards in photos. Yes, it outputs exactly 90 degree increments and stays at these increments inside the mechanism. However, the shift gates themselves are downstream of here. There is a gear mounted on an axle pin with friction as shown below which is there to prevent the gates from moving backward when the rubber bands return the ratchet. It mostly works, but the force required to return the ratchet is a little too high and this can sometimes pull the orange cranks backward a bit after shifting. In my case though, it has not caused my any troubles. I have had zero lockups.

640x478.jpg

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Eric, in that fix in the beginnng, does it make a difference which way the bushings are facing.. Like I have it in my hand now and it seems that the smooth ends of the bushings would be better facing each other... I don't know how much torque ends up being placed here, so I don't know how much twist will be put on the small tan bevel gears..

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i will have to circle back to that question. Yes, I can explain how it works but it is going to require a bunch of pictures which I'll have to make it LDraw because you can't see the innards in photos. Yes, it outputs exactly 90 degree increments and stays at these increments inside the mechanism. However, the shift gates themselves are downstream of here. There is a gear mounted on an axle pin with friction as shown below which is there to prevent the gates from moving backward when the rubber bands return the ratchet. It mostly works, but the force required to return the ratchet is a little too high and this can sometimes pull the orange cranks backward a bit after shifting. In my case though, it has not caused my any troubles. I have had zero lockups.

Thanks! I'd appreciate that.

I guess you have answered my second question already though. From what I understand there is not an internal mechanism in the cube that will ensure that the output of the cube is always locked in 90 degree increments, right?

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Well, this was going to be a day 1 purchase, but a big sale came up for me and I bought some other sets for a currently in-progress MOC with the thought to buy the GT3 RS later (most likely with double VIP points).

It appears as though this may have been a good decision as Lego have obviously been inspired by Porsche themselves by building something that will eventually not work (see IMS issues for 996 and 997 cars).

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Eric, in that fix in the beginnng, does it make a difference which way the bushings are facing.. Like I have it in my hand now and it seems that the smooth ends of the bushings would be better facing each other... I don't know how much torque ends up being placed here, so I don't know how much twist will be put on the small tan bevel gears..

Everything goes through those bevel gears. It is the connection from the wheels to the transmission. I didn't find that it made any relevant difference which way I placed the bushings, but you should use whatever works.

Bevel gears are often trouble and really shouldn't be used to take a lot of torque. This isn't the only set. There is a set of 20 tooth bevels in the transmission as well. In 1st gear, I counted 37 gears actively rotating.

Thanks! I'd appreciate that.

I guess you have answered my second question already though. From what I understand there is not an internal mechanism in the cube that will ensure that the output of the cube is always locked in 90 degree increments, right?

The output of the cube is locked at 90 degrees while the paddle is depressed, but as soon as you let go you lose the lock so you just hope everything stays in place. That's why the friction pin is there.

Eric, maybe that gray powder in the book was a sign... :wink:

Right! It is the magic transmission powder that makes it work!

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@Jim: great review, fully documented and really plaisant to read. Great objectivity thougt. THANKS a LOT for your time passed writing it.

@ blakbird.

Tanks for spoting what's wrong with that transmision.

You said at the end of your post that the chassis has a flexion point just in front of the gearbox.

Can you confirm, when built, that this particuar point is ok? if not it could be another important source of friction.

Thanks.

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You said at the end of your post that the chassis has a flexion point just in front of the gearbox.

Can you confirm, when built, that this particuar point is ok? if not it could be another important source of friction.

Well, I'm not done building yet, but I can let you know some time tomorrow. If the body attachment points are all along the bottom, then it won't help. There needs to be some support further up to give some bending stiffness.

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Someone said "Lego technic it's about the function not the look", well since this is a licensed sport car and somehow an unusual technic product I'm sure everybody would have complained if it did work perfectly but looked very ugly........

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Someone said "Lego technic it's about the function not the look", well since this is a licensed sport car and somehow an unusual technic product I'm sure everybody would have complained if it did work perfectly but looked very ugly........

Agreed, but given the amount of space in a model this size, a properly working gearbox cant be too much to ask, can it? (or rear wheel steering?)

They nailed the looks, but considering the price, the technical bits are decidedly sub-par.

(and the sad bit, if this were a Ferrari set, i wouldve still thrown my wallet at lego, never mind how bad the technical features are)

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This is awesome :) Actually this set is amazing talking about part amount, model design, maybe some functions :) And also review is in top class, so detailed and leading with vids, great job Jim :)

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Blakbird, thank you for this fine analyses and for pointing out a solution. It would be nice if this knowledge gets its place in a kind of appendix of the original post, but that will probably be taken care of anyway.

Eric, in that fix in the beginnng, does it make a difference which way the bushings are facing.. Like I have it in my hand now and it seems that the smooth ends of the bushings would be better facing each other... I don't know how much torque ends up being placed here, so I don't know how much twist will be put on the small tan bevel gears..

When this solution will be part of some kind of errata sheet, it will probably be wise to use 4 half bushes to avoid mistakes

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Jim, what a great review. I think it is spectacular that you changed the usual format to answer people's questions.

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Review is nice to see and read. Do you work in publishing company? :wink:

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Jim is a real technic expert, as I said before: Very nice AFOL review. :laugh:

This is my "sunny family" review, I like this build. And it is good looking - and big! Everybody is really impressed.

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Official statement from TLG (Kim Thomsen) regarding gear sequence issue:

Thank you to all our dedicated fans for the comments regarding the GT3 RS by LEGO Technic.

It is correct that the gears in this model are not sequential as in the real Porsche PDK. This is however, a deliberate decision taken to ensure that we make the best possible LEGO version of this amazing car that both meets our design requirements and gives everyone a great building and product experience.

It was a considered decision taken during development that the gears running in the correct order meant that it did not result in a great experience when driving the car. Too many gears are engaged at the same time and smooth running with all those tolerances is just not possible.

If you switch the build in steps 267 and 269 the gears will run sequentially, and everyone who feels that this is the better solution should feel encouraged to do so.

LEGO Technic really is the ultimate open source design product and now that it is finally available, we look forward to seeing all the 'improved' models our fans create. After all, that is what LEGO building is all about.

We hope everyone will have a great building experience and feel a strong sense of pride from creating both our version and their very own LEGO Technic representation of a Porsche GT3 RS. We are very fortunate to have such skilled and dedicated fans that can spot this small deviation from reality and would like to thank everyone for sharing their ideas and expert knowledge.

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[...] He doesn't know if, but he is getting the AROCS real soon, that should settle him down a bit.

As many already said before me, the Arocs is THE flagship and a real ultimate Technic set.

Plenty of (smoothly working) functions, extremely playable and a real pleasure to see/show (even my wife, that normally dislikes Technic models, greatly appreciated the look).

So let me get this straight.. Lego purposely and knowingly designed the gearbox to shift out of order to enhance the experience..?

Yes, they intended to design a new kind of gearbox: it is not a "sequential" gearbox... It's a "randomized" gearbox, much cooler!

Also, I wanted to write a lot of words about this (sorry, Jim didn't have the time) but this should have been a :

CREATOR SET

[...]

I think nobody would have been disappointed should TLG have published it as the Ultimate Racers set...

After all, as Sariel already showed, it's (slightly) better than the two Ferrari Racers sets: nice look, (sometimes) moving fake engine, steering wheels... It even add a "not so realistic (but who cares: it' intended to do so) gearbox" and suspensions...!

BTW, someone please tell TLG that doing a 4 speed, paddle operated, actually working sequential gearbox is possible (just look at PvdB Koenigsegg... He even managed to build it without any need for new custom parts!).

Edit: typo

Edited by Rikus

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Too many gears are engaged at the same time and smooth running with all those tolerances is just not possible.

That happens regardless of what gear mode is engaged or what the sequence is. TLG's statement is just pure bollocks.

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