Home > Trucks > Peterbilt 359

Peterbilt 359

January 16th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Small model of the iconic Peterbilt 359 truck, inspired by the HTC races organized by the DoubleBrick community. Features pendular rear suspension, openable bonnet, engine’s model and lights.


Completion date: 14/01/2010
Power: electric (Power Functions)
Dimensions:  length 49 studs / width 13 studs / height 23 studs
Weight: 0.96 kg
Suspension: front: none / rear: pendular stabilized with rubber axle joiners
Motors: 1×71427, 2x PF Medium

This is a rare example of a construction inspired entirely by a competition specific for a given community. Namely, it was inspired by the Hard Truck Contest invented and successfully introduced by the DoubleBrick community. The exact description of the contest can be found via respective link, it suffices to say that the contest brings together small models of trucks (usually 14 studs wide), built with an accuracy and attention to details that make them a wonder to behold. I’ve spent some time watching the videos from the HTC races not to follow the course of the competition, but to simply enjoy the view of the beautiful models. I was hoping to get the builders from my country interested in similar races, and the best way to get their attention seemed to build a prototypical vehicle.

Having previously built model of the Kenworth W900, I have chosen another one of the most iconic American trucks, the legendary Peterbilt 359. When scaled accordingly to the size of the wheels used in HTC races, it turned out to be just 12 studs wide. The original HTC vehicles are 14 studs wide – I don’t know the reasons for which such a standard was accepted, perhaps it was simply more convenient or based on trucks with different wheels size, but I decided to take the challenge of building a 12 studs wide model. And it was quite a challenge – it was my goal to use identical wheels on all axles, which meant that I only had 6 studs of width available to make the front axle steered (original HTC trucks often use narrower front wheels).

As the idea of making the front axle suspended seemed mad, I focused on the rear axles’ suspension. Since the axles are based on the 5×7 open liftarm frames with differentials inside, it was natural to make them pendular. Concerned about the truck’s stability at high speeds, I have used rubber axle joiners as the suspension stabilizers – they were simply attached to the truck’s frame above the rear axles, and acted as shock absorbers whenever the suspension changed its angle. It should be noted that it’s an obvious solution to use some sort of a simple supporting structure between the frames of axle #2 and #3, but I wanted to model the original wheel span, and the model was simply too small to add an extra space for such a structure. It has slightly degraded its performance – the driveshaft connecting axles #2 and #3 is being pressed by the truck’s weight, and hence the truck is somewhat slowed down.

I have started to built this model with its both ends, separately with front and rear axles. It resulted in an uncommon frame design – the front half of the frame is purely brick-built, while the rear one is 100% liftarmic. Both halves are connected under the sleeper module, but the rear half lacks the stiffness typical for bricks.

The chassis design is pretty typical – both drive motors are located in front of the rear axles, and the steering motor is located behind the front one. Due to limited length of the chassis, I have used  a 71427 motor for steering. It’s located below, and partially inside the cabin, while the drive motors have been hidden under the mock-ups of the side fuel tanks. The final drivetrain’s gear ratio is 1:1.43.

Extra attention was given to the bonnet – I wanted it to be openable and to have a model of the engine underneath it, just like I’ve seen in the original HTC models, but I also wanted to take one more step and use PF lights in the headlights. It was eventually achieved by resizing the bonnet’s width from 7 to 6 studs. This is wrong in terms of the scale, but it makes the bonnet much more structurally solid.

I have deeply enjoyed building this model – perhaps partially because it took just roughly 4 days to complete. It was a valuable experience, showing that e.g. brick-built exterior may look pretty but is quite heavy – this is a really small model, but it weights almost 1 kg (just to give you a point of reference, 1 kg is a minimum required vehicle’s weight according to the rules of Polish Truck Trial). Still, it was reasonably fast and fun to play with, despite its pretty limited functionality.


1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg dsc03410.jpg dsc03413.jpg dsc03417.jpg dsc03422.jpg dsc03424.jpg dsc03434.jpg dsc03445.jpg dsc03448.jpg dsc03453.jpg dsc03460.jpg dsc03462.jpg dsc03473.jpg dsc03475.jpg dsc03477.jpg dsc03482.jpg dsc03487.jpg dsc03489.jpg dsc03491.jpg dsc03494.jpg dsc03498.jpg dsc03499.gif


Categories: Trucks Tags: , ,
  1. Sariel
    June 8th, 2013 at 18:04 | #1

    Because it’s not impressive, probably less than 10 kph. It only seems very fast because it’s so small.

  2. Kevin
    June 8th, 2013 at 17:22 | #2

    @Sariel WHY???

  3. Sariel
    June 1st, 2012 at 09:49 | #3

    @Need for Speed
    I haven’t measured it.

  4. Need for Speed
    June 1st, 2012 at 01:57 | #4

    What’s the top speed of this truck, it’s incredibly fast!

  5. Sariel
    April 12th, 2012 at 09:45 | #5

    No, I would not.

  6. April 12th, 2012 at 09:43 | #6

    would you make instruction for this its a awesome truck

  7. Ben
    April 6th, 2012 at 20:43 | #7

    thanks sariel! 🙂

  8. Sariel
  9. Ben
    April 6th, 2012 at 20:27 | #9

    may i ask what the differentials are? i cant find them anywhere 🙁

  10. Sariel
  11. Sawyer
    February 19th, 2012 at 19:41 | #11

    Hey, I cannot, for the life of me, find the piece you used to hold the differential module in. The gray piece that is rectangular. If you could link me to the bricklink page for it I would be very thankful.

  12. Emil
    September 2nd, 2011 at 22:27 | #12

    Yes thank you for your help, I couldn’t find it.

  13. Sariel
    September 2nd, 2011 at 22:09 | #13
  14. Emil
    September 2nd, 2011 at 21:31 | #14

    Can you give me a link to the round/ slope part you have used in the front of the truck? You have used two blue, two gray and two red. I can not find them in Bricklink.

  15. Sariel
    February 11th, 2011 at 21:30 | #15

    I guess it could if I removed the tires from the rear wheels, but I haven’t tested that.

  16. Rastwo
    February 11th, 2011 at 21:22 | #16

    Can it drift? And the view from trailer is veery good.(I will try to make it too) 🙂

  17. Sariel
    February 2nd, 2011 at 18:06 | #17

    1. I can, but it’s extremely simple, just a couple of pieces put together.
    2. With pins.

  18. Black_Omega63
    January 30th, 2011 at 09:02 | #18

    Hi Sariel,
    This is a great truck and very well built. 😀
    I do have a few questions though.

    1. Could you create a replica or an MLCad file of the steering system and post it here? I am making a similar truck but the steering is never strong enough.

    2. How did you join the back and the front together with the 1 stud difference?

    See ya, Black_Omega63

  19. Sariel
    January 28th, 2011 at 08:28 | #19


  20. David
    January 28th, 2011 at 05:20 | #20

    where do u buy the lego peices?..if its possible can u tell me where?..

  21. Sariel
    April 3rd, 2010 at 14:21 | #21

    Well, mainly because there are no HTC races in my country. Russia and Poland are not so really close, in case if you missed it.

  22. matthew
    April 3rd, 2010 at 13:08 | #22

    why didn’t you?

  23. Sariel
    April 1st, 2010 at 18:17 | #23

    No, I did not.

  24. matthew
    April 1st, 2010 at 17:53 | #24

    Did you actually enter it in the HTC races,if so where did you come?

  25. matthew
    March 31st, 2010 at 20:44 | #25

    sorry,its just i had a go at making a car with a differential last night,and I was suggested to use a diff lock,im just interested.thats all

  26. Sariel
    March 31st, 2010 at 19:38 | #26

    It’s way too small, and even if it was bigger what would it need a diff lock for? It’s not an off-road truck.

  27. matthew
    March 31st, 2010 at 19:13 | #27

    Does it have a diff lock,or was the truck to small?

  28. Miroslav
    March 15th, 2010 at 18:59 | #28

    Romantic mod. 😀

  29. Sariel
    January 27th, 2010 at 19:54 | #29

    I just have a good feeling of it, that’s all. I can steer it so accurately with a regular PF handset and no special mechanical tricks whatsoever.

  30. Legofan
    January 27th, 2010 at 19:39 | #30

    How do you steer so easily while the truck is moving and how does the steering goes back in the middle?
    I tried the elastic to make it return to the middle, it takes a lot of time.

  31. Sariel
    January 24th, 2010 at 15:03 | #31

    It’s 2 studs shorter, as I pointed out in the description.

  32. RjbsNXT
    January 24th, 2010 at 13:21 | #32

    They’re smaller for a start.

  33. Lee
    January 24th, 2010 at 10:26 | #33

    Is a 71427 motor better, or why do you use so much of them?

  34. Andrea
    January 24th, 2010 at 01:28 | #34

    thank you!!!

  35. icanhaslego
    January 22nd, 2010 at 22:57 | #35

    well, its called an extension wire but it functions as a converter between the two systems. you can also use them to power buggy motors

  36. Sariel
    January 20th, 2010 at 18:41 | #36

    Yes, and what you need is an extension wire. Got it?

  37. January 20th, 2010 at 18:30 | #37

    May be I’ve not explain well my question…power functions have oval contacts, instead old motor and battery pack have squared contacts…

  38. Sariel
    January 20th, 2010 at 11:13 | #38

    Ever heard of extension wires? They are available even at LEGO’s online shop since at least a year: http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=8871&cn=587&d=70

  39. January 20th, 2010 at 10:24 | #39

    Hi, first of all I want to say thank you for sharing your works…this is my question, you use pf motors and classic electric motors, (i’m talking about the 71427 motor for steering) how do you connect them? they have different connectors…

  40. sqiddster
    January 17th, 2010 at 21:32 | #40

    Nice! It is a challenge integrating a fully working system into such a small area – particularly witth your concern for aesthetics.
    Well done.

  41. Mihály Stépán
    January 17th, 2010 at 21:00 | #41

    I’ve watched a video on this HTC. It’s incredible! I think the real challenge lies in making a working model so small… wow.

  42. Sariel
    January 17th, 2010 at 19:51 | #42

    I have 13×24 but they are among the ugliest LEGO wheels I’ve ever seen.

  43. January 17th, 2010 at 19:17 | #43

    The Truck looks cool and drives great. But i have one Question: You had used the same tires at every Axle. Did you make it for better Grip on the Front Axle or have you no 13×24?

  44. Sariel
    January 17th, 2010 at 14:47 | #44

    No, it’s too slow for that.

  45. Mike
    January 17th, 2010 at 14:40 | #45

    Very nice truck! Have you tried some drifting on a wet floor? 😀

  46. Sariel
    January 17th, 2010 at 14:28 | #46


  47. Mikołaj
    January 17th, 2010 at 13:23 | #47

    Mam tylko jedno pytanie- jaka przekładnia napędza układ sterowniczy? W moich modelach zawsze mam ten problem.

  48. Sariel
    January 17th, 2010 at 10:47 | #48

    Nope. You mean the adder mechanism – it’s a good idea to use it to couple two motors together, but I simply had no space for it here.

  49. diego
    January 17th, 2010 at 02:10 | #49

    I have a question: The whole truck is driven by 2 PF medium motors, isn’t it? Don’t you use a differential between them?

  50. bobsurankle
    January 16th, 2010 at 20:47 | #50

    4 days? such a good model for such a short time. But, again, another brilliant model. And what is that epic music?

  51. January 16th, 2010 at 17:36 | #51

    One PF M motor is not enough for this Weight of model i think.

  52. Sariel
    January 16th, 2010 at 17:12 | #52

    To sum up their torques and thus get higher speed.

  53. przemektechnic
    January 16th, 2010 at 15:58 | #53

    Maly, zgrabny, lekki modelek. Bardzo fajne ujecie w nocy i wlaczanie bboxa. Podyiwiam pana za to ye pan zmiescil w tak malej cieyarowce tyle rzeczy. przepraszam za blendy, ale klawiatura mi nawala w laptopie (m.in. gdz naciskam z robi sie y)

  54. RjbsNXT
    January 16th, 2010 at 13:29 | #54

    Why use two motors for driving?

  55. icanhaslego
    January 16th, 2010 at 02:55 | #55

    your note about how this model was built to interest the polish tt community struck a chord with me. at the moment i’m considering doing something similar in the us with an entirely new type of technic racing. the concept is this- unpowered, steered vehicles designed for descending hills and rough downhill terrain. the winner would be the person with the lowest time over a section. there would be few regulations, excluding vehicle dimensions. the goal is to get the speed of indoor and rally racing without the wear on parts. im designing a prototype at the moment, and if the tests look promising then i’ll take it to a baylug meeting.

  56. David Luders
    January 16th, 2010 at 01:34 | #56

    As always, another fantastic MOC! If TLG ever sold a set like this, it would be wildly successful. Let us know if your countrymen take up your challenge to have “Hard Truck Trials” in Poland!

  1. No trackbacks yet.