A new flexible push-pull cable system (Bowden cable) was
introduced. It could be used as a standard link, for transmitting
force around corners, or simply as a diagonal brace in a truss.
- The central item is a flexible plastic cable with a small
neck on either end used for clamping. The cable has been
available in a variety of lengths over the years from 3 studs long all
the wy to 33. They are fragile and easily broken, so finding a
replacement can be pretty difficult. Be careful with them.
They were almost always light gray.
- The other item is a hollow cylindrical tube which is also
flexible but not brittle like the cable. This served as a sheath
for the cable, guiding it through the structure and preventing buckling
under compression loading. This tube was later also used as an
extension and connector for pneumatic tubing. They were almost
always dark gray.
- The end connector has an axle hole and a slot for the
cable. The slot has a tab which grabs the necked portion of the
cable. The cable snaps into place when inserted from the side if
done with care. There is a second end connector which has a
slightly different hole to snap onto ball joints. The regular end
is dark gray and the ball end is black. Both were later replaced
with different versions which were easier to install.
The new shock absorber has a much longer stroke than the old one (which
remained in production). Over the years, it was mainly used on
motorcycles, but also found its way onto a couple of the very large
vehicles as well.
The motorcycle head tube has a 2x2 brick on one end and a yoke on the
other end which allows for a fork rake of approximately 25
degrees. This part was only ever used once in a set for a purpose
other than as a motorcycle head tube.
The somewhat misleadingly named triangle is a 1/2 thickness link which
is 5 studs wide at the bottom, 1 stud wide at the top, and 3 studs
high. 5 of the holes are round while the two lower corners are
slotted to lock axles. This part has become pretty standard in
most Technic sets from this point forward.
Wheel and Tire
A new large motorcycle wheel and tire were
introduced. The wheel has 6 spokes and a cruciform hub. It
only ever came in white in 4 Technic sets.
A brand new rotor system was introduced which allowed the
rotor to mimic the motion of a cyclic.
- The heart of the system is a spherical ball gear with 8
teeth and an axle slot running along the central axis. The part
was rarely used except in a couple of helicopters and once as a CV
- The 4 blade rotor has a central recess to allow insertion
of the ball gear. There are 4 small pins evenly spaced around the
inside of the recess which lock onto the gear, forcing the rotor to
rotate with the gear, and therefore with the driving axle. Since
the gear is spherical, the rotor can pivot freely on the other two axes
(torsional constraint only).
- The final part of the rotor system is what I will call the
swashplate. It has 4 equally spaced ball joints and a hollow
center which snaps around the rotor sleeve. The idea is for the
rotor to spin within this, but for the swashplate to remain
stationary. It accomplishes this by grounding itself to the
structure using one or more of the ball joints. One or more of
the remaining ball joints can be coupled to a cyclic control to allow
the rotor to tip both side-to-side and forward-back. This isn't
quite how a real helicopter cyclic works with each blade changing pitch
as it rotates, but it certainly gives the Technic helicopters a
realistic feel. It was only included in 2 sets, both of them