Original Year
# of pieces
Cars & Trucks: Buggies
Steering, 2 cylinder engine
Other Views

8408 Desert Ranger

iso revolve
Click the image to download the LDraw file of this model.
Model by Benjamin Wendl

The 8408 Desert Ranger is the smallest Tech Build set of 1996.  While it is similar in scale or even smaller than 8286, it is considerably more complex.  Like all Tech Build models it does not come with any Technic figures, but it is the right scale and has the seats although no room for their legs.

This dune buggy model features a large angle V-2 engine, a differential, and steering but no suspension.  Like many other 1996 models it uses flex tubing as an aesthetic accent, in this case as a convincing roll bar.  The model does not really introduce anything new, but it is built with a lot of non-perpendicular angles using pins and axles and therefore has a striking appearance.  The front end is especially well rounded. The model is incredibly dense and sturdy and can therefore take a lot of abuse.


The front wheels can be steered using a "hand of god"wheel at the top of the vehicle.  The wheel drives through a set of bevel gears.  A pair of 8 tooth pinions then drive the gear rack.

The steering mechanism itself uses control arms a rack gear to form a 4-bar linkage as shown.

The driver's steering wheel is not functional.
steering    steering
Click for an animation of the steering in motion.
The model has a rear mounted V-2 engine.  The V angle made by the cylinders is much larger than usual so the cylinders do not point directly at the crankshaft.  Consequently, this engine sometimes does not turn smoothly.

The engine is driven by the rear wheels through the differential using a 3:1 gear increase making it turn very quickly indeed (when it isn't jammed).
engine    engine
Click for an animation of the engine in motion.
The rear axle is "live" and uses a differential gear which incorporates a built in 16 and 24 tooth ring gear.  The differential is made to house 3 of the 12 tooth bevel gears.  One is on each axle, and one planet gear in the middle allows the axles to turn at different rates.

This model uses the smaller 16 tooth ring gear of the diff, one of the only models to make use of it.
diff    engine
Click for an animation of the differential in motion.
Wheels and Tires
This set uses 4 of the small balloon tires and wheels.

Other Views

Side View
side view
Top View
top view
Front View
front view
Back View
back view
Computer Render

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