Friday, April 23, 2010

Modifying LEGO Set 8880

LEGO set 8880, the Technic Supercar, is one of the greatest LEGO sets of all time (you can argue otherwise, but you would be wrong). When I finally bought mine on eBay (you can buy used copies in decent shape there for roughly the original retail price), mine had a few parts that were incorrect. Since an incomplete set can't really hold up as a collectible, I went ahead and started modding mine. The obvious things to change were places where other parts are more appropriate, but didn't exist back in 1994. So I focused on a few changes, based on newer parts (and preserving the look and feel of the set as much as possible):

1. Allow the suspension to use more of the large springs' shafts.
2. Secure the steering to prevent half-bushings from falling off (a minor issue normally, exaggerated by change #1).
3. Expand the wheel wells so that the wheels never get stuck (this worked in the original it but change #1 broke it).
4. Add a Power Functions motor (motorizing this kit is generally considered impossible).

The suspension and steering came out well. The motor only works in second gear, and even then I had to keep the trunk open for it and sturdy up an axle (the chain for the engine is the weak link). Change #3 does make the front of the car visibly less smooth, but functionally is fine. Long story short: I need to design my own supercar from scratch one of these days.

More details on flickr, along with a display idea (put the car "up on blocks" and use a mirror underneath to make more of the internals visible).

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