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Lego Technic 1981

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by aefferen
The 2nd Generation Sets
1981 NL Technical catalog
A completely new series of 5 models and 1 accessory set were released, including a large new tractor, the 8859 Harvester,
and truck, the 8848 Power Truck. It is interesting to note that after only 4 years Lego had already replaced the original tractor, helicopter and auto chassis with new, 2nd generation models. This very narrow scope of subjects, primarily cars, trucks, motorcycles, and construction/farm machinery, would continue until the late 1990's.
New elements for 1981 include the first of the 'toothed' plates, bushings and toggle joints, as well as the steering arm. These new elements allowed for a new method of construction and further refined the scale of technical functions.
1981 US ad
8848 Power Truck:
One of the first of the 2nd generation models, the 8848 Power Truck featured rack and pinion steering using toothed plates and the new steering arm, a rear axle differential, the front scoop and rear bed that could be raised and lowered via levers in the cockpit. The model made significant use of the new toothed elements, which allowed the technical functions to be scaled down in terms of size and resulted in a very realistic model.
UK patent 2,087,743
The toggle joint:
Connecting elements, such as a cross axle, at angles other than 90 or 180 degrees was always possible but this method of construction was fully realized with the introduction of the toggle joint. The 1981 UK patent application shows a toggle connector similar to the earlier piston rod but with a toothed rim. A pair of toggle joints could be assembled in various positions between 90 and 180 degrees by meshing of the toothed rims and could be locked in place by a connector peg or 1/2 bushing. These and other elements, such as the plate with toothing, allowed for rather compact angular connections and were widely used for years in Technic constructions.
UK patent 2,087,743

1981 sets:

8710 Expert Builder Parts Pack
8844 Helicopter
8845 Dune Buggy
8846 Tow Truck
8848 Power Truck
8859 Harvester
By Isodomus

Lego Technic 1982

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by aefferen
The Technic Universal Sets
1982 NL Technical catalog
The first 3 universal sets, including the large 8090 Universal Set, and a new 4.5 V motor, featuring a new battery box and connecting leads, were introduced. In Europe the theme was given a new name - Technic. The new name was used for both advertising and on the boxes. In fact several of the earlier Technical sets, such as the 8848 and 8860 were repackaged in Technic boxes. In the US the name remained Expert Builder, it would not change to Technic until 1986.
The friction connector: In addition to the new 4.5 V elements, the friction connector was introduced. The friction connector allowed 2 beams to be joined with a very secure connection and was largely responsible for allowing the beams to be used not just as long Lego blocks, but truly as beams, in much the way a Meccano girder was used. In fact the connection was so tight that Lego gave instructions to make a tool to remove them. It has become one of the most important and widely used Technic elements.
1982 US ad: 119K
8050 Universal Set:
Lego has always produced specific model sets, but it wasn't until the advent of distinct themes in the late 1970s that this became the primary focus of Lego marketing. Rather, Lego produced generic sets that offered ideas for a wide variety of models, such as the classic 100 series sets of the early 1970's. The Universal Sets were the first generic Technic Set.
The 8050 set featured instructions for 6 different models and ideas for several more. It included a general variety of Technic elements, such as beams, gears, connectors, as well as the 4.5V motor introduced in 1977.

1982 sets:

8030 Expert Builder Set
8050 Motorized Expert Builder Set
8090 Universal Set
8700 Power Pack
By Isodomus

Lego Technic 1983

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by aefferen
A Dragster
1983 US Expert Builder catalog
3 new models were released; a racer, dragster and motorcycle. The 1924 motorcycle was the first Technic promotional set and was available, at least in some places, as a cereal premium. There were no new Technic elements in 1983.
1983 US sets
8847 Dragster:
The Dragster featured rack and pinion steering connected to the steering wheel via cross axles and 2-cylinder engine attached to the rear axle by a spur gear and differential. A chain drive attached to the spur gear spun a cross axle, simulating a cam shaft. The dragster achieved a somewhat realistic appearance by using pulleys for the narrow front wheels and the large Technic tires for the rear. The tapered body, with an interesting blue and white color scheme, was achieved by using hinged bricks. The original steering linkage proved too fragile and later versions had an insert page showing how to rebuild a stronger linkage. Overall an interesting and rather difficult to find model.

1983 sets:

1924 Motorcycle
8841 Desert Racer
8847 Dragster
By Isodomus

Lego Technic 1984

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by aefferen
1984 EU Technic catalog
The first 3 pneumatic sets, including the 8851 Excavator and 8040 Pneumatic Universal Set as well as the 2nd Idea Book were released in Europe. In addition to the pneumatic elements, the threaded cross axles were new for 1984.
The pneumatics: The first pneumatic system included a pneumatic pump, cylinder, switch, and a distribution block, which were connected as a circuit with hollow rubber tubing. The original pneumatic pump and cylinder were single acting: pushing down on the pump created pressure in the system and pulling up on the pump created suction on the system.
1984 pneumatics
Because the original system was closed, Lego designed the piston head in the pump and cylinder to act as the pressure release valve. As described in the 1984 patent application, the piston was constructed from a flexible material that would normally contact the walls and seal the cylinder, when the pressure in the working chamber became too high the head would deform, breaking the seal, and allow the pressure to escape.
UK patent 2,139,318 A
8843 Forklift:
The 2nd forklift and first pneumatic model. The model's construction was typical of mid 1980's sets. It relied heavily on Technic beams, connectors and rounded plates rather than standard bricks. The model featured rack and pinion steering controlled by a 2x2 round brick on the top and movable forks controlled by a chain and pneumatic piston.

1984 sets:

8020 Expert Builder Set
8040 Pneumatic Expert Builder Set
8843 Forklift
8851 Excavator
8889 Idea Book
By Isodomus

Lego Technic 1985

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by aefferen
A Go-Cart

The lost year for Technic. After the release of the pneumatic sets in 1984, many of which were not released in some markets until 1985, and anticipating the Arctic Action series of next year, Lego produced only 1 new set for 1985, the promotional 1972 go-Cart. which was designed as a starter or trial set.
The small blue Go-Cart had only 1 function, front-wheel rack and pinion steering. To its credit, however, it used 8 small wheels to simulate wide tires.
Besides this one set one technic part was released: Gear Worm Screw. This part however did not appear in any technic set until 1986 in 8660: Arctic Rescue Unit.

1985 sets:

1972 Go-Cart
Reference: Isodomus

Lego Technic 1980

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by Super User
The Idea Book
The 2nd Auto chassis, an auto engines set and the 1st Idea Book were the only items for 1980. The 8858 Auto engines set, released only in the US, could replace the engine in the 853 Auto Chassis (or presumably in the 8858, which wasn't released in the US until the next year). This was also the year that Lego switched over from 3 to 4 digit set numbers, all new Technical or Expert Builder sets were given 8800 numbers.
Several new elements were introduced in 1980. Most important was the shock absorber and crown gear differential, the first of the specialized auto elements.

8860 Auto Chassis:
The second of the major Auto Chassis and the last of the first generation sets, using a high percentage of regular Lego bricks but also utilizing the new shock absorbers and differential gear, the model featured rack and pinion front wheel steering. A three speed manual transmission, rear wheel independent suspension and a 4-cylinder boxer engine. Probably the last of the first generation models, the 8860 still relied heavily on standard bricks and beams, it even used Homemaker faucets as part of the manifold.
8888 Idea Book: However limited the early selection of specialized elements and however much 8888 ideabook reliance there was on standard Lego elements, quite complex models were possible. Nowhere was this more evident than the models and ideas presented in the original Idea book, which, even 20+ years later, are quite impressive. In many ways this may be the most inventive of all the Idea Books. Among many other things, the book included instructions for a steam shovel, mechanical dogs, a crane 'programmed' with gear racks and a writing machine resembling a 4-lead EKG.

1980 sets:

8858 Auto Engines
8860 Auto Chassis
8888 Expert Builder Idea Book
By Isodomus

Lego Technic 1979

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by Super User

2 new models, a large motorcycle and a bulldozer, as well as 6 small boxed supplementary sets and a 12 V stationary motor were released. The 12V motor, released only in Europe, was powered by the 741 transformer originally designed for the 12V Lego trains.

New elements in 1979 included the now common connector peg with axle, tread links, and the 12 V motor. The tread links were essentially a modified chain link and have appeared in only a handful of sets.

1979 US ad: 125K

Lego 8865

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by Super User

Lego 8880

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by Super User

Lego 853

On 01 Jan 1970   Written by Super User