tomacwhite

8043 Excavator - Lego update

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I've looked around but didn't see this mentioned so here is my problem. After working for an hour now my mode switch, changes from movement to the bucket arm, sticks and doesn't change without my pushing on it physically. It will change one or two clicks, but not all the way; it has a harder time moving the arm forward (to movement) than rearwards (bucket arm). It has nothing to do with the LAs. Is anyone else having this issue?

Cheers

Many possibilities. Weak defective switching motor, a binding somewhere. I haven't had any problem with mine though. A simple way is to look at step 35 p. 79 in booklet instruction 1. Swap the blue axle pin with friction ridges to a tan colored one (with no friction ridges). This should ease up the load a little.

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Well then, I guess the old surefire way to tell the "old" 8043 from the "new" one is by looking at the Production Codes stamped on the Linear Actuators (LAs). The "new, improved" LAs have either 36X0, 37X0, 38X0, 39X0, or 40X0 stamped on them. Any LA numbered 36X0 and higher means that it's the new design. I thought one could tell the difference by looking at the barcode on the unopened box. If TLG's Customer Service can't supply definitive numbers either, how could they know which version to "pull" from their shelves?

Maybe TLG knew (they should know, otherwise there could be mixed up) but they somehow remained secretive. Do you think the new LAs are specifically made just for the 8043? Or TLG will continue making the new LAs for future sets? Can anybody confirm that the new LAs are also utilized in newer Technic sets other than the 8043?

I personally like how efficient the new LAs perform under load compared to the old one.

Edited by Out of Sight

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Do you think the new LAs are specifically made just for the 8043?

No. All LAs produced after what-ever-date it was (week 36 2010?) are the upgraded kind. No reason why they should make two different versions.

But one could wounder what they did with all those LAs they pulled from the already produced sets that where sent back?

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I've looked around but didn't see this mentioned so here is my problem. After working for an hour now my mode switch, changes from movement to the bucket arm, sticks and doesn't change without my pushing on it physically. It will change one or two clicks, but not all the way; it has a harder time moving the arm forward (to movement) than rearwards (bucket arm). It has nothing to do with the LAs. Is anyone else having this issue?

Cheers

I think there's a mistake on page 79 from book 1, step 35, there's a blue 4206482 axle pin (with friction ridges) pictured but I think that should be a 4186017 without friction ridges, as it's a moving/rotating part. (partnumbers according to book 3, page 44)

I replaced it, since the 4186017 is leftover in the set anyway from the fix they made in the transmission to the tracks, and it works much better now.

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I think you will find this was intentional to provide a degree of "sticktion" to prevent this lay shaft moving once motor not powered.

If teeth in the driving rings are not in line then sometimes it takes a couple of attempts to align them.

I found a couple of short pulses on the motor worked the best NOT prolonged powering of motor.

With this complex model it is essential to ensure all componants are pushed home (ie UJ , sleeves etc.) and aligned correctly otherwise binding will take place. With testing by hand at each stage.

My model is now modified with new LAs BUT the origional design worked fine for me.

The problem with the old LAs was the end of internal screw thread biting into the sleeve due to a sharp edge - causing wear and binding - when under heavy load - new design of LA eliminates this.

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I think there's a mistake on page 79 from book 1, step 35, there's a blue 4206482 axle pin (with friction ridges) pictured but I think that should be a 4186017 without friction ridges, as it's a moving/rotating part. (partnumbers according to book 3, page 44)

I replaced it, since the 4186017 is leftover in the set anyway from the fix they made in the transmission to the tracks, and it works much better now.

I dont't think that is a mistake, I think that friction is there on purpose. And that is not the only one place where there is friction in that function. Look at page 12 on book 2, step 44. It attaches this part to the axle of the motor, which then goes into some rods, causing more friction on the axle. I think these frictions are there to put a break on the axle, and prevent the motor turning the axle too fast or too strong.

I've looked around but didn't see this mentioned so here is my problem. After working for an hour now my mode switch, changes from movement to the bucket arm, sticks and doesn't change without my pushing on it physically. It will change one or two clicks, but not all the way; it has a harder time moving the arm forward (to movement) than rearwards (bucket arm). It has nothing to do with the LAs. Is anyone else having this issue?

Cheers

So are you saying that it worked fine for a hour? If so, I had the same problem. The solution was to recharge my batteries. Now it works perfectly again.

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I dont't think that is a mistake, I think that friction is there on purpose. And that is not the only one place where there is friction in that function. Look at page 12 on book 2, step 44. It attaches this part to the axle of the motor, which then goes into some rods, causing more friction on the axle. I think these frictions are there to put a break on the axle, and prevent the motor turning the axle too fast or too strong.

So are you saying that it worked fine for a hour? If so, I had the same problem. The solution was to recharge my batteries. Now it works perfectly again.

Or that's also part of the mistake.. :) seriously, maybe you are right. but it feels weird to me, as the part wasn't design for that and the same goes for the part you point out. Anyway I'm going to replace that part as well with a frictionless part, see if it get's even better.. or worse. Could be a nice discussion point. I have asked Lego about it, but got no answer on the subject itself. They did send me the 4 LA's and drive fix.

Thanks for pointing that out!

+1 on fresh batteries.. they make the shifting much better.. and funny you point that out, because that was mainly the reason I replaced the 'friction' part with the 'frictionless' one.. apparently it had to much friction when the voltage drops a bit..

Edited by BrickDemon

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So are you saying that it worked fine for a hour? If so, I had the same problem. The solution was to recharge my batteries. Now it works perfectly again.

What's strange is that I switched channels so the other controller, and therefore the other batteries, controlled that function and it still had that problem.

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What's strange is that I switched channels so the other controller, and therefore the other batteries, controlled that function and it still had that problem.

I didn't mean the batteries in the controller, I meant the batteries in the battery box, in the excavator.

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I agree. The p 79 step 35 IS NOT a mistake. As some had said, it's there to actually 'hold' the shifting mechanism to a degree as it has a lot of play. I haven't had problem with mine either. For a smoother shifting, I applied a dab of silicone oil on part number 407456..I don't know what it's called, it's a tan colored sleeve with three notable ridges that goes inside the driving rings. Everytime you shift the driving ring move about these ridges and locks itself. The silicone oil makes it easier for the driving ring to 'skip' these ridges. It only takes a blip of the controller stick for me to shift the mechanism from lock to lock. And yes good batteries are a must as the mechanism requires a good amount of torque to make a succesful shifts!

Edited by Out of Sight

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...it's a tan colored sleeve with three notable ridges that goes inside the driving rings.

6538b "Technic, Axle Connector (Ridged with x hole x orientation)":

6538b.jpg

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On TechnicBRICKS, Conchas published Part 1 of a very interesting interview with the designer of the 8043 Lego Technic Motorized Excavator:

TBs_20110115_1a.pngTBs_20110115_1b.jpg

To be continued....

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I have built this set, and it's sitting on my desk :classic:.

My opinions / comments are :

* Fun build (only about 5 or 6 hours so not too tedious)

* Some of the design feels a bit sloppy, like axels going into beams by half a stud or the axle in the bracket (book 1, page 47 step 39) not full using both bracing points :sadnew: .

* Instruction book 1, page 79 Step 35 uses a blue axle/peg connector (I did think of this problem while building but assumed it would be ok as the lego instructions say so). This causes a lot of friction and even on fresh batteries my motor is having problems shifting the driving rings. Sometimes it works sometimes it only half engages. I will change this with a tan peg and hoepfully it will clear up.

I just read that this is not a mistake (not sure on this) but I will experiment for the good of lego kind! :laugh:

* Modern technic instructions are a real drag. Lost count of how many single piece steps there was! Come on TLG - I think technic users of all ages can handle more than 1 piece per step! :laugh:

* The how to sort your parts page, and how to not to drop parts on the carpet page in the instructions amused me :laugh:, we have all been there...

* The turntable is really quite stressed with all that weight, even though the designer has done a really good job trying to counterweight the superstructure. I think TLG needs to think about "extra beefy" turntables. :grin:.

* Although I love the sets playability as an engineer I can not help but think Lego has strayed from modelling real life machinery (the Bulldozer 8275 I feel was particulary bad in this respect). No real excavator uses LA's, and I am looking forward to the return of pneumatics with the Unimog! :grin:

Overall I like the set and it is very good, but it's not my favourite set - that crown probably goes to the 8480 and the 8880. Hopefully the unimog will really push the boundaries of lego sets :classic:

N.B. I can confirm that changing from a blue axel/peg connector in book 1, page 79 Step 35 to a tan one (one spare at end of build) has solved all my problems, and there is sufficient strentgth in the structure :classic:

Edited by richthelegodude

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@richthelegodude: Well said, I completely agree with you.

My main concern with the new Technic sets is the instructions...

Even my nephew of 8 could build any of the newer sets (even when it says 12+ :tongue:)

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@richthelegodude: Well said, I completely agree with you.

My main concern with the new Technic sets is the instructions...

Even my nephew of 8 could build any of the newer sets (even when it says 12+ :tongue:)

And how is that a bad thing? That just means the model is not genuinely 12+

I think the new instructions are great. My five year old has built 8043 with minimal help

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And how is that a bad thing? That just means the model is not genuinely 12+

I think the new instructions are great. My five year old has built 8043 with minimal help

It just feels so dull and repetitive to build with such simplified instructions. I want to feel as if I have done something when building an off the shelf model :grin: .

For example the 8865 test car is 892 pieces (almost 80% part count wise to the 8043) and uses 24 steps over 23 pages. I had no trouble building it or similar models (8880) when I was young, why can they not just carry on as they was :sceptic: ?, plus surely its best to have a little bit of a challenge in the build process itself for the younger builders and us AFOL's :classic: .

@RockeTeK - just telling it how I found it :classic:

Edited by richthelegodude

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Richthelegodude I agree with everything you said 100% (well almost, replacing the blue pin with a tan peg does not solve the problem of having LAs! :grin: ) and I can't wait for the Unimog, or even the first toyfair pictures which should be coming soon.

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As said above, the 8880 has a more challenging building process.

This does not only make it more fun for AFOLs, but also lets kids learn and visualize how things should be put together.

If all bits are explicitely explained, there is nothing to learn, is there?

Another thing ("slightly" off topic): more complicated instructions --> less paper needed --> saving money/trees, etc... :tongue:

Edited by RockeTeK

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If you think that the 8043's instructions are too easy and consist of small steps..just skip some pages. That ought to give some 'challenge' :laugh: I don't see why instructions with small steps will educate kids any less about how things should be put together. In fact, small steps will thorougly explain how a single piece of part can interlock others and form a solid construction..instead of kids wondering what holds what and where.

And one thing must be considered...NOT all Lego buyers are seasoned builders like you AFOLs...some are totally new to Lego, and should one decided to buy the 8043 as their first Technic or LEGO, these small 'boring' steps as some of you refer to, will also introduce newcomers to each different Lego parts and what they do.

Edited by Out of Sight

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If you think that the 8043's instructions are too easy and consist of small steps..just skip some pages. That ought to give some 'challenge' :laugh: I don't see why instructions with small steps will educate kids any less about how things should be put together. In fact, small steps will thorougly explain how a single piece of part can interlock others and form a solid construction..instead of kids wondering what holds what and where.

And one thing must be considered...NOT all Lego buyers are seasoned builders like you AFOLs...some are totally new to Lego, and should one decided to buy the 8043 as their first Technic or LEGO, these small 'boring' steps as some of you refer to, will also introduce newcomers to each different Lego parts and what they do.

But what was the problem with the old instuctions exactly? :tongue: I can not remember any of my lego friends ever having problems.

Plus as RockeTeK has already stated, it helps kids visualise how to put multiple parts together, plus they still have to learn how a single part can lock the build all together (bracing beams anyone?). Something far more useful in my opinion than knowing how a singular peg works or how a singlular gear works :tongue: ! If anything I think the older style instructions will help promote understanding of the build, over the instructions of the 8043 for example (with such small build steps would a younger builder fully see the bigger picture?), and on this note it has actually been proven in an academic study (I will get the links if you wish) that making the learning just a little more difficult actually helps promote long term understanding.

Put it this way hopefully one day richthelegodudejunior will come along and I will be giving him some of my older sets for him to build first :laugh:

Edited by richthelegodude

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But what was the problem with the old instuctions exactly? :tongue: I can not remember any of my lego friends ever having problems.

Consumers complaining about missing parts, functions not working etc.

All because the instructions are not fully clear.

Do you think a consumer that had problems getting a big TECHNIC set to function, because they made an error very early in the building proces, are likely to go out in half a years time and buy the next TECHNIC set ?

I think you have the answer.

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But what was the problem with the old instuctions exactly? :tongue: I can not remember any of my lego friends ever having problems.

Plus as RockeTeK has already stated, it helps kids visualise how to put multiple parts together, plus they still have to learn how a single part can lock the build all together (bracing beams anyone?). Something far more useful in my opinion than knowing how a singular peg works or how a singlular gear works :tongue: ! If anything I think the older style instructions will help promote understanding of the build, over the instructions of the 8043 for example (with such small build steps would a younger builder fully see the bigger picture?), and on this note it has actually been proven in an academic study (I will get the links if you wish) that making the learning just a little more difficult actually helps promote long term understanding.

Put it this way hopefully one day richthelegodudejunior will come along and I will be giving him some of my older sets for him to build first :laugh:

I'm pretty sure that lego does a lot of research on how kids can build the stuff, and if they decided to create more detailed instructions, then I'm sure they had a good reason, probably some kids (maybe only 10%) had problems with building.

I don't think that providing harder instructions would help too much with learning. If a kid is interested in mechanics, they will stop width the building between some steps, and study how the model works . If they are not interested, and just want a toy they can play with, then it doesn't matter if you give them harder instructions, they will just rush trough it. I don't think you can force them with hard instructions to like mechanics.

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Consumers complaining about missing parts, functions not working etc.

All because the instructions are not fully clear.

Do you think a consumer that had problems getting a big TECHNIC set to function, because they made an error very early in the building proces, are likely to go out in half a years time and buy the next TECHNIC set ?

I think you have the answer.

Sorry my academic mode is kicking in :wink: . Is this opinion or fact? None of my friends had problems building the old sets - and we would be about 10 when building our 8880's. Plus as previously mentioned, if a members 5 year old can build the latest flagship model with little supervision surely something is a amiss :wink:. Also if kids can not build it themselves surely its a great teamwork exercise to get Mom or Dad to help out :grin:

I'm pretty sure that lego does a lot of research on how kids can build the stuff, and if they decided to create more detailed instructions, then I'm sure they had a good reason, probably some kids (maybe only 10%) had problems with building.

I don't think that providing harder instructions would help too much with learning. If a kid is interested in mechanics, they will stop width the building between some steps, and study how the model works . If they are not interested, and just want a toy they can play with, then it doesn't matter if you give them harder instructions, they will just rush trough it. I don't think you can force them with hard instructions to like mechanics.

Sorry but this 10% is a guesstimation (as I like to call it in Academia :look:). Perhaps I am too much of a technic purist (I am a Meccano purist as well), but I want technic to push my kids (when I have some hopefully!) a little bit rather than being too easy.

This process I have discussed is called disfluency, and I honestly believe all the technic and meccano sets (dare I say meccano on a technic board? :laugh:) I had as a kid have helped me to become a real life engineer (I am about 12 months from getting a Doctorate in engineering). In my opinion making it all too easy (and removing the problems, and hence problem based learning) is reducing Technic's educational advantage.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/the-benefit-of-ugly-fonts/

Don't get me wrong though, I do like the 8043 and I still love Technic :wink:

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Legodude,you should make a new post concerning Lego Technic's current instructions, it would be interesting to see what others have to say too. I personally never have any problems with either the new or old instructions. Since kids and AFOLs who build Technics come from differing background and intelligence who might not have the engineering talent as yours, simpler instructions are more attractive for them, hence bigger market opportunity for Lego. Not all kids who play with Lego grow up to be an engineer...some boys who played with Technics back in the 80's during their childhood, might currently be in the "adult" film industries. Much like Lego bricks, they're also called 'studs' if you know what I mean..hahahaha :laugh::laugh:

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Legodude,you should make a new post concerning Lego Technic's current instructions, it would be interesting to see what others have to say too. I personally never have any problems with either the new or old instructions. Since kids and AFOLs who build Technics come from differing background and intelligence who might not have the engineering talent as yours, simpler instructions are more attractive for them, hence bigger market opportunity for Lego. Not all kids who play with Lego grow up to be an engineer...some boys who played with Technics back in the 80's during their childhood, might currently be in the "adult" film industries. Much like Lego bricks, they're also called 'studs' if you know what I mean..hahahaha :laugh::laugh:

Haha :laugh:, i have thought of making the "stud" joke many times before but always resisted. I will make a thread later - and you would doubt my engineering "talent" if you seen some of my old MOC's! I wish had a digital camera back then! The stupidest one was a studless car (in the very early days of liftarms - 1997/1998 ish as I used the parts from the 8437 and some other sets ) with a 'Steering Stick'. I did not have enough studless parts (as liftarms was only used as body panels back then) so I just run an axle to the drivers seat and brought an axle up through the floor.

Hence a steering stick! It always makes me giggle thinking about it :laugh:, at the time I was so pleased with my first studless creation.

Anyway enough unintentional thread hijacking :classic:

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