tomacwhite

8043 Excavator - Lego update

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As with most things it's a balance. I personally did not have any problems building any set at any age, but that's only me. I can see how alot of the older instructions would have been difficult and needlessly frustrating for a kid who wants no help to complete his mission. But it's a bit rediculous now. You put on a couple of pieces, turn the page, a couple more pieces, turn the page, turn brain off, continue until suddenly your model is finished. Then you are left wondering how the heck you built it. You don't remember it because it was so easy and required so little thinking that you turn off. At least that's what happens to me. However whilst i'm sure I can make a MOC to match anything TLG can release given the same parts, i'm no expert in making instructions for them so that the intended age group can build them without risking complaints from angry parents cos mommy couldn't build it either!

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... (I am a Meccano purist as well) ...

A bit offtopic, but what Meccano do you have?

(I have to ask it here, because I can not view your profile, nor send a PM?!?!)

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After more rigourous playing with the 8043 I have noticed the dual main boom lifting LA's are quite easy to get out of sync. When they are a even a little bit out (say about 1mm or less, its visible by eye), the torque required goes up by at least double I would say (as the boom moves much slower and the motor really strugggles).

It happens on my 8043 when I extend the main LA's fully and then start bringing the boom back down sometimes the clutch on one of them will come in (clicking sound) making them out of sync. Anyone else experienced this? Or do people make sure not to to extend the main boom LA's fully? :sceptic:. If I am more observant with my 8043 "driving" it does perform quite well - had fun transporting stationary accross my desk :laugh:

I have also noticed the main superstructure rotates a tiny bit clock wise while driving forwards (if i remember) and vice versa backwards - but I expected that a little :classic:, good Old Newton!

@RocketTeK : A fair few 80s sets as I posted in PM :classic:.

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After more rigourous playing with the 8043 I have noticed the dual main boom lifting LA's are quite easy to get out of sync. When they are a even a little bit out (say about 1mm or less, its visible by eye), the torque required goes up by at least double I would say (as the boom moves much slower and the motor really strugggles).

It happens on my 8043 when I extend the main LA's fully and then start bringing the boom back down sometimes the clutch on one of them will come in (clicking sound) making them out of sync. Anyone else experienced this? Or do people make sure not to to extend the main boom LA's fully? :sceptic:. If I am more observant with my 8043 "driving" it does perform quite well - had fun transporting stationary accross my desk :laugh:

I have also noticed the main superstructure rotates a tiny bit clock wise while driving forwards (if i remember) and vice versa backwards - but I expected that a little :classic:, good Old Newton!

@RocketTeK : A fair few 80s sets as I posted in PM :classic:.

I also 'accidently' triggered the clutch few times...but they didn't get out of sync to my knowledge. A difference of 0.1-0.2mm is inevitable somehow no matter how you've calibrated the bevel gears. But will not cause any issues since the boom has some degree of torsional flex, Although a difference of 0.5mm or more will cause some issues.

But yeah it's good to back off the stick a little when the LAs are about to reach their maximum travel. If you need to reach maximum/minimum stroke, use the stick intermitently at the last 5mm of travel, this will ensure the LAs come to a dead stop at 'ease' and prevent the clutch from triggering. This is what I do anyway to prevent the clutch from wearing out too :classic:

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On TechnicBRICKS, Conchas posted Part 2 of the multi-part interview of the 8043 set designers.

Part 3 of 3 is here.

Edited by DLuders

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I received my replacement parts set last Monday. Tore the B-model I built down on Tuesday (which is very nice and functional for a B-model, uses all 4 M-motors and works like a charm, even with the old LA's) and built the 8043 A-model on Wednesday and Thursday, with the new LA's and the modifications on step 33 and 36. Works, drives and functions perfectly. Thank you LEGO!

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Does anyone know when we can expect this set to be discontinued? I'm asking this because it's not imported in my country and I can buy it only at jun this year when I expect to travel to UK and would be greatly disappointed if it perish from shops until then.

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I think, basic rotation of all major sets is 18 months.

Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it. Btw, out of the curiosity, do you happen to know where can be 8043 cheapest found in Warsaw :) I am asking this since my friend should go to the business trip to Warsaw and doesn't have time to browse thru the city unless I tell him specific place. But as far as I could see bricks are much pricier in Poland than in for instance Germany?

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Hello guys, its my first post, I'd share my experiences about our new 8043:

- I bought this set because this was the cheapest way for me to get 4 motors and 4 ch RC, I look at the excavator as an extra with the motors.

- I see the structure is very (I mean very very very) weak, namely:

a.) standard turntables are inadequate for the task of carrying the upperstructure and a filled bucket

b.) LAs are very good for precisity (much better than pneus: try to climb a truck with your pneu excavator...), but they can not lift even an empty bucket effortlessly: motors are at their margins.

c.) the arm structure is wiggly it has way too much play, even if its quite oversized (bigger but worse than 8455)

d.) undercarriage has some gears outside. These gears like to jam on rough terrain (like a blanket). Covering the gears would have been more useful.

- The switching mechanism is quite good, power goes to tracks much better than I imagined. (the evident changes help: using frictionless axle connectors etc)

- motors and receivers can be removed without much pain: it makes using them in other models easy without braking dwn half the upperstructure.

- Instructions: someone above said very well: these newer (not 30 yrs old haha) ones make me feel very dumb, doesnt make me think, and my 5 yrs old cant see what she's building atm, she just goes for completion. When I was 10 I could easily modify constructions on-the-fly, nowadays I put together what I got, break it up within a few days and make a better version of it in a separate process.

- the size of this model would make a modular approach more sane (like crawlers, base, upperstructure, arm), now it is quite tricky to change some minor thingie without disassembling 3/4 of the stuff.

___________________________

After about an hour of play I started to take it apart. It was clear I can make it better: now I started to build a more useful one with motors within the chains, roller bearings for the turntable and a brand new upperstructure. And maybe 5x parts count :D

Conclusion: it's a great set, maybe one size bigger than its building techique allows. Well, it motivates a proper rethink and rebuild, giving inspiration, so it fullfills its main task. Aaahhh, and it looks good! :) Even if I'm still not convinced about pure studless...

szb

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I totally disagree with the above post,this is a great set and one of the best ever made .

Edited by davidmull

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I totally disagree with the above post,this is a great set and one of the best ever made .

I never questioned if it's super. It is. I love it.

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I dont think the purpose of Technic is for playing in the dirt. The functions are for demonstration so dont have to have the strength of goliath, just to show how things work, that is why most technic motorised models dont have motor drive or steering, it is the other functions which are motorised. They are just working display models.

My opinion.

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I dont think the purpose of Technic is for playing in the dirt. The functions are for demonstration so dont have to have the strength of goliath, just to show how things work, that is why most technic motorised models dont have motor drive or steering, it is the other functions which are motorised. They are just working display models.

My opinion.

(No dirt on our blanket, its the blanket itself :> )

I only have 4-5 studless sets, and true, I have a feeling something like you say. Technic constructions became bigger in the last 20 years, SL made bracketing gears much smaller and added a lot of new possibilities. Some elements however remained the same (maybe the weakest in this case is the turntable), using them without at least some rollers for a half kilogram upperstructure is very brave (and shows very good skills of balancing weight at TLG).

There are two very important (:DDdd) things the original 8043 couldn't do well at our place:

- my 5 yrs old doesn't rly feels yet when to stop motors to not burn them, so she cant use it alone

- climbing obstacles is very fun with an excavator (maybe even more fun than loading beans), but it barely can lift its own weight and the turtable does turn only when leveled (poor 8t gear :())

____________

Still don't misunderstand me pls. It is the biggest, most functional and most valuable technic set we ever had. In about 30 years. And let's see: do we have a writing on the box it is for 5 yr old kids? Or did we see the excavator doing acrobatics in any of the commercials?

szb

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- my 5 yrs old doesn't rly feels yet when to stop motors to not burn them, so she cant use it alone

- climbing obstacles is very fun with an excavator (maybe even more fun than loading beans), but it barely can lift its own weight and the turtable does turn only when leveled (poor 8t gear :())

Build the B model. It has excellent play value, it can lift a scoop full of lego bricks, and it's much faster too, it's great fun to let it run over obstacles (it's pretty good at that if it's on a surface where it has traction).

Of course, the main model has more exciting technics, but the B model is a great toy, you'll miss out on something if you don't build it.

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Finally got an 8043 and I started with building the B. I agree, it's great fun. Kids love watching it too. Now I'll have to take it apart though to make the excavator.

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Build the B model. It has excellent play value, it can lift a scoop full of lego bricks, and it's much faster too, it's great fun to let it run over obstacles (it's pretty good at that if it's on a surface where it has traction).

Of course, the main model has more exciting technics, but the B model is a great toy, you'll miss out on something if you don't build it.

Yea, building the B model is still ahead of me (nearly forgot about). I like that too. But I like the excavator even more (the five year old in me has a dream becoming true orwhat), and already started to build its important parts into the new one. As I have quite a few things to do besides lego, I only could make a proper left track (motor and gearing is fully covered inside a 5 wide box) in about a week and some rollers for the turntable.

Solution: since I think 8 ch RC is useful, I'll buy another one, and build the B model too. Thats it, well done TLG, you earned again. :X

____

Btw about the problems: my 8043 (with fresh batteries) doesn't have any trouble lifting a bucket of bricks, it can take a nice chunk out of a box of 2x1 plates. Its absolutely playable until the base is level and doesn't try to lift a heavy weight (like itself).

____

I forgot about the bucket: I don't use the one-piece bucket: imo it's for front loaders. Its not that hard to build your own bucket, mine is only 10 wide and doesn't look sooooo big.

szb

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Hi guys.

First time poster and sorry to bring up an old thread but I need your advice on the 8043.

Firstly. Have the problems been rectified with this set?

If so, how can i be sure I am buying the new set rather than old stock?

Many Thanks

Corby

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Hi guys.

First time poster and sorry to bring up an old thread but I need your advice on the 8043.

Firstly. Have the problems been rectified with this set?

If so, how can i be sure I am buying the new set rather than old stock?

Many Thanks

Corby

Well sorted so any new set u buy is Deffinatly ok,that set is old news now lol

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@ bb15080: From the outside of the box, one cannot tell whether the Lego 8043 Motorized Excavator has the "old" or "new" Linear Actuators. However, if you buy one and find that you have Linear Actuators with embossed numerals THAT ARE NOT greater than or equal to "36X0", you can contact Lego Customer Service and they will swap them out at no charge. In other words, if the numerals say "40X0", "41X0", etc. they are the "new" ones. The numbers are at the end with the orange axle hole (see photo below).

Some sellers could have stockpiled on the original issue of the set, and are selling them at a small profit for Christmas. It's a great set, so don't fear buying one. :classic:

LA+02.JPG

Edited by DLuders

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@ bb15080: From the outside of the box, one cannot tell whether the Lego 8043 Motorized Excavator has the "old" or "new" Linear Actuators. However, if you buy one and find that you have Linear Actuators with embossed numerals greater than or equal to "36X0", you can contact Lego Customer Service and they will swap them out at no charge. In other words, if the numerals say "40X0", "41X0", etc. they are the "new" ones. The numbers are at the end with the orange axle hole (see photo below).

Some sellers could have stockpiled on the original issue of the set, and are selling them at a small profit for Christmas. It's a great set, so don't fear buying one. :classic:

LA+02.JPG

Thanks for the help!

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