Original Year
# of pieces
Cars and Trucks:  Race Cars
Steering, V-6 engine,
differential, engine access
Other Views

8445 Indy Storm

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

This F1 (and/or Indy 500) racer, released in 1999, is quite similar in size and function to the prior 8440.  It features front wheel steering and a mid-mounted V-6 engine driven by the rear wheels through a differential.   Although the front and rear axles are supported by control arms capable of being used for suspension, there are no shock absorbers and therefore no suspension.  The primary new feature is the damped opening engine cover and the use of the new panels, flex axles, and ribbed hose to create a more curved and stylized appearance.


The front wheels can be steered using a wheel at the driver's position.  The wheel drives an axle connected to a crankshaft element.  The crank drives a pair of flex system axles (with sleeves) connected via an end-to-end connector.  The ends of the flex cables attach to the ball joints of the steering arms.  The steering arms are suspended and the upper and lower ball joints by control arms.

There is no particular reason for the flex system in this case.  Rigid parts would have worked as  well, but I'm always glad to have more flex system parts.
steering    steering
Click for an animation of the steering in motion.
The rear wheels are used to drive a V-6 engine. 

The engine is made from cylindrical engine elements.  The two cylinder banks have a V angle of greater than 90.  The crankshaft is offset 1/2 stud from center, giving the pistons a stroke of 1 stud.  Each pair of pistons shares a common crank pin.  Because the crank pins are each offset 180 degrees, the forward and back cylinders are synchronized.  This can be seen clearly in the animation.

In this particular model, the exhaust pipes are simulated with black ribbed hoses.  There are only 4 pipes despite the 6 cylinders.  The connection between the engine and differential uses a rare crown gear.
engine    differential
Click for an animation of the engine in motion.
The rear axle is "live" and uses a differential gear which incorporates a built in 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.
engine    differential
Click for an animation of the differential in motion.
Engine Access
The whole back of the body cover can be raised for access to the engine.  This feature uses one of the new spring loaded damper elements.  When in the down position, the damper is slightly over center and therefore holds the cover down.  A slight touch on the gray ball joint pushes the damper over center and it then raises slowly, getting slower as it approaches the end of travel.  The effect is very realistic.  Sadly stop motion does not capture the effect accurately.  The only drawback to this system for this model is that the damper is quite large and conspicuous when the cover is open.

The computer image helps to understand the somewhat complex kinematics.  The side panels are hinged at the red axle pins, and the spoiler is hinged at the red axle.  The different rotation axes means that the relative angle between these two sections changes as the cover opens.  This can be seen clearly in the animation.
differential    top
Click for an animation of the engine cover in motion.
Wheels and Tires
This set has 4 of the 49.6x28 VR tires which are perfect for this type of car.  New this year, the wheels are painted metallic silver.  Looking closely, you can also see some discs and stickers used to represent the brake rotors.

Other Views

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

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