Original Year
# of pieces
Construction Equipment: Cranes
Other: Universal Sets

8054 Motorized Universal Building Set

montage revolve

Set 8054 was released in 1989 as the last set to use the 4.5V motor.  It includes full instructions for 4 models.

The models in this universal set cover a wide variety of subjects and, interestingly, only one of them has steering.  Two of the models are actually driven (locomoted) by the motor.  In the helicopter, the motor drives the rotor and in the crane, the motor lifts the sheave.

This set would be available for only one year because the introduction of the new 9V motor made it obsolete.  Due to this fact, it is one of the more difficult Technic models to acquire.  In my early days of collecting Technic, I inadvertantly acquired this set in a large lot I bought and then sold it because it wasn't on my list.  By the time I decided I wanted it, it took me another year to find one.

I find the Crane the most interesting, and it is the model I chose to keep assembled for my display of this set.

1st Model:  Car
This small car has the rear axle driven by the motor via 3 belts (2 in parallel, 2 in series).  It works fine but is not very interesting, especially since it cannot turn.  It is aft heavy so the front wheels tend to come off the ground if the slightest pressure is put on the power wire.
1    drive
Ldraw file courtesy of Benjamin Wendl.

Click for an animation of the car in motion.
2nd Model:  Crane
Compared with the previous car model, this crane is remarkably complex.  The computer image at the right has been color coded to separate the three functions.

In green, a crank drives a set of 8 and 24 tooth gears.  A bushing on the vertical axle mates with the superstructure and allows it to slew about the mobile base.

In blue, a crank drives a pair of 14 tooth bevel gears.  Next, a worm gear drives a 24 tooth spur, resulting in a 24:1 reduction.  Liftarms attached to pulleys on the end of the axle serve to luff the boom.

In red, the motor drives a pulley which then drives a set of 8 and 24 tooth spur  gears.  This last axle acts as a cable drum to lift and lower the sheave.

2     Render
Click to download the LDraw file of this model.
Model by Eric Albrecht

Click for an animation of the boom luffing.
Click for an animation of the winch in motion.
Click for an animation of the boom slewing
3rdModel:  Truck
This little truck has rack and pinion steering.

The front wheels can be steered using an overhead "hand of god" wheel.  The wheel drives an 8 tooth pinion through a set of 14 tooth bevel gears. The pinion drives the steering rack.  The steering mechanism itself uses steering arms and toothed links.

The rear wheels are driven by the motor through a pulley and worm drive, resulting in significant gear reduction.  This is the only model to use the worm gear on the motorized circuit.

3    steering
Ldraw file courtesy of Benjamin Wendl.

Click for an animation of the steering in motion.
Click for an animation of the truck in motion.
4thModel:  Helicopter
This helicopter features motorized main and tail rotors.

The motor drives a pulley via a belt.  The pulley drives a set of 8 and 24 tooth gears powering the main rotor.  The 24 tooth crown gear also drives another 8 tooth pinion in parallel.  An axle runs along the tail boom through a universal joint into a set of 14 tooth bevel gears, and finally into the tail rotor.  The tail rotor turns 3 times faster than the main.
4      rotors
Ldraw file courtesy of Benjamin Wendl.

Click for an animation of the rotors in motion.

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