A classic technic set, but I always thought that the pneumatics were underpowered, and the machine should be able to drive itself.
About this creation
I have stuck with the original design as much as possible, however a few improvements include redressing the whole model in black instead of grey, as i felt grey was boring and ugly. A few other minor touches have been made at the front.
The crane has been kept pretty much like the original design; a few minor things have been changed. The biggest change is an extra small piston added to the grab jaws to give them more power as they had trouble operating. This gives the pipes a cool effect.
A view of the V6 engine; redressed in transparent engine blocks, yellow pistons and black engine mounts, instead of blocky looking plates and bricks. Other changes include making the engine bay look wider and more open by using slope bricks.
With the roof of the cabin and wiring removed we can see the pumps and pressure limit switch. 2 pumps instead of 1 deliver more pressure and the limit switch measures this pressure, shutting the compressor off when it does not need to operate.
Underneath the truck showing how everything works. At the front is a motor that runs the engine and drives the truck. In the middle is a 9V battery box that saves weight and space. The steering system had to modified to accomodate it, and air pipes had to be moved.
Beneath the 2 cylinders that move the crane are 8 & 24 tooth gears that provide torque to drive differentials that run the rear wheels.
Update September 2010
Shown below are some improvements I have made, the most major of which is moving the battery box from it's original location to the rear of the crane, where it now serves as the counterweight. When it was inside the chassis it was inaccessable and difficult to turn on and off or change the battery. Now it is easy to get to and makes an excellent counterweight too.
The pipes underneath have been tidied up and a few new gears have been installed to give the vehicle more torque.
Nice modifications to the Air Claw Rig.
I like the gear driven twin cylinder pump but from the picture you do not seem to have set the pumps fully out of phase, which would smooth the air delivery and ease the load on the motor.
I agree that the original claw design is rather weak but some of that is due to the fact the cylinder "pulls" the claw shut where as the "push" stoke is nearly 20% stronger (with the same air pressure). On my 8868 On Steroids I arranged the two cylinders to "push" the claw shut.
It is nice to see somebody setting about improving a set - its what Technic Lego is all about. Keep up the good work