1979 - Chain Links and Tracks
|Chain Links and
The chain link is the one of the smallest, but most useful, Technic parts. This new link, which comes only in black, was designed with an opening the width of a spur gear, with a cross member which is the diameter of a gear tooth root, and with a pitch which is equal to the gear tooth pitch. In case it isn't obvious, they were designed to fit over the gears. Each link is a separate part and clips together. Because of this assembly method, there is no master link and one end of each link is an open section, unlike a real chain. This means that all the load is carried in bending instead of tension. You would think that this would make these parts prone to breaking, but they are actually quite durable. They have been used in various sets up to the present day.
The track is a variation of the chain link. It has the same features underneath, but is 3 times wider to provide a large footprint. There have only ever been 3 tracked vehicles which used these parts, the bulldozer of 1979, and excavator, and a mobile crane. Various forklifts used a single track to attach to the lift mechanism. This part was replaced by a much larger track in 2007.
A new 16 tooth gear was introduced. It shares the same tooth profile with the other spur gears, but the new number of teeth made a wider range of gear ratios available. This and the 8 tooth gear have probably been the most common gears throughout the history of Technic.
This isn't technically a Technic part, but had not been seen before in Technic sets, and was only seen one more time in a Technic set. It was unusual at this time for LEGO® to produce such a specialized part, since most parts still had a wide range of possible functions.