1994 - Supercar !!!!
|8032 Universal Building Set
||8062 Universal Building Set
|8812 Aero Hawk II
|8816 Off-Road Rambler
||8829 Dune Blaster
|8858 Rebel Wrecker
||8880 Super Car
|Wheels and Tires
A whole new series of rubber "balloon tires" was released in multiple sizes. These are air filled (but unpressurized) tires which are compressible and so feel and behave like real tires. They also have excellent traction on both hard and rough surfaces.
A pair of parts were released to allow construction of a ball joint based suspension. There is an A-arm (pictured in blue) with a ball joint at the end and a special control arm which snaps onto two A-arm ball joints and contains another ball joint for a steering linkage connection. These parts were obviously designed to be used with a sprung, steerable axle.
To also function with the above parts, there's a new smaller steering rack (1x2) with ball joints at the end. This rare part was only ever used 3 times, and the next would be 7 years later.
A lovely cam was released with 4 separate axle holes to allow a variety of connections. The outer profile allows rotation about any axis to be eccentric. Oddly, this part have never been used as an actual cam like we would expect to see in an engine, for instance.
Ball Joint Pin
A new ball joint was introduced to supplement the existing axle pin with a ball joint at one end. In this case, the ball joint is attached to a friction pin.
A new differential gear was released which would be used for decades. It is smaller than the old model and has 24 teeth on the ring gear instead of 28 like the older one. The older one also used a crown tooth profile for the ring gear, but this one uses a spur gear. There are different ring gears at either end with 24 and 16 teeth allowing versatility in gear ratios. This part only ever came in dark gray.
Here's a magic little part. It slides over the ridged axle joiner which we first saw in 1993. Small tabs on the driving ring allow it to lock along these ridges, but still slide with some extra force. The driving ring grips the longitudinal grooves on the axle joiner causing them to rotate together. A circumferential groove in the middle of the ring allows it to be pushed along the axle joiner in either direction. A set of 4 driving dogs on either end then mate with a 16 tooth idler gear allowing the idler's rotation to be either synched with the axle or allowed to spin freely. This remains, to this day, one of the most mechanically clever parts in all of Technic and made the selectable transmission possible. This was used in the future both for changing gear ratios and for selecting among multiple functions.
In the image at the right, the driving ring is shown in red. The lower axles are joined with the gray axle joiner. The driving ring rotates with the axles. At first, the driving ring is disengaged so both the dark gray and green gears are not driven and slip on the axle. The driving ring then engages the green gear and thus drives the blue gear. Because the driving ring does not use gear teeth but rather uses four tapered driving dogs, there is considerable backlash between the driving ring and the gear. The allows the driving ring to be engaged even while it and the mating idler gear are turning at different speeds.
8880 Unique Components
There are also a number of parts which are unique to set 8880. These include a shifting gate, a shift lever, a steering hub, and a wheel bearing. These unique parts and their function are described on the page for 8880.