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In set 6847 (Space Dozer, http://www.peeron.com/inv/sets/6847-1) there is a black Technic Axle 6 that has no structural or cosmetic function in the set. I don't have the original instructions or box, so it might have been included to build one of the alternate sets. Or some other reason?

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2 Answers 2

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It's structural, but not really mandatory:

enter image description here

The full (4 pages) instruction can be found by googling or e.g. there: http://lego.brickinstructions.com/lego_instructions/set/6847/Space_Dozer

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Well, it's not really of structural importance, as the 4 x 6 plate in step 2 holds them together. I had the scanned instructions already, but was wondering if on the box, any of the alternative builds sometimes pictured used it. –  Reven Dec 29 '13 at 20:12
    
Well, it will, to some degree, keep the 1x6 technic beams from coming off the plate above when too much pressure is applied from above. Without that axle, I see the 1x6's coming off all too easily. –  gev Dec 29 '13 at 23:15
    
if they'd put a plate under those beams to keep them in place the vehicle would have no ground clearance (or possibly negative clearance). You could always build it and find out... –  Mσᶎ Dec 31 '13 at 22:49

When weight is applied on the structure, the wheels are are creating a twisting motion that will eventually dissasemble the 1x6 beams.

enter image description here

With the extra structural part when a load is applied there is a lot of flexing but the 1x6 beams are staying in place.

enter image description here

Effectively, the axle is preventing the beams from rotating out of place.

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2  
Yay for Science! Nothing like the experimental approach. :) –  Reven Jan 2 at 7:42

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