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TOPIC: My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here

My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 3 weeks ago #55935

  • Killaj
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Greetings,

Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here. I just purchased a re-re Grasshopper with a different approach in mind:

I've previously owned a grasshopper and went with bearings, Sport Tuned motor and 2s lipo. The chassis was overwhelmed when under power, constant understeer. The obvious issues (some may opine as character) with bouncy friction shocks and bump-steer.

With this kit however I decided to keep things light. I'm using the stock 380 motor, a 3s capable esc and running on a smaller 3s 2200mah lipo.

I would add that I used thick Tamiya anti-wear grease on the suspension shafts during assembly which add quite a bit of dampening effect to the shocks front and rear.

The smaller sized battery meant that I can place it farther forward in the battery box to improve overall f/r weight distribution.

The results so far? I'm very impressed. From a standstill, the over volted (not sure how long it will last.. but doesn't get hot as of yet) 380 motor will break the tires loose on dry pavement. Top speed is seems similar to a stock 540 silver can. Better still, acceleration is very smooth. Turn-in is more crisp because there's less mass to hustle left or right. Still a slight bit of bounce in the suspension, but it's an improvement over the standard friction shocks with kit supplied grease.

The only thing I want to upgrade to from this point is a set of oil shocks from fleabay. Yes.. they cost nearly the price of the kit, but all things considered it's not a bad try.

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Last edit: by Killaj.

My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 3 weeks ago #55937

(moved the above from the end of an old thread to the start of a new one)

welcome on board :y: B)

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My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 3 weeks ago #55938

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I certainly appreciate the welcome.

I suppose a bit more of an introduction is in order as I gave a rather brief bit above..

First hobby grade R/C: 2nd-hand Falcon

I've owned a fleet of vehicles since, from 1/36 scale micros to 1/5 scale brushless. Sold quite a few off, but kept my sentimental favorites and put in storage. Moved to Japan in 2016 and started a little collection here over the past few years. I've picked up quite a few tips and tricks along the way, but am always reaching out to others who can share knowledge as well.

I'm in the process of painting the roll cage and accents on this Grasshopper (going box art-ish) and a light kit. Will toss up some pics once everything is dry. I'll place an order for the oil shocks and bits in the morning as well.

Cheers!
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My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 3 weeks ago #55954

Welcome on board.

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My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 2 weeks ago #56005

Hey welcome aboard!
Well now, I want to admit that I too recently bought my first Grasshopper! :ohmy: I have been doing this r/c thing for .....well lets just say...a very long time....but never had a Grasshopper till now. Yes it's the re-re but after reading someone's very nice tech article on them recently I got all nostalgic feeling and I thought I should add one to the collection..... at long last, thanks Hibernaculum where ever you are :laugh: .
I am really a SRB kind of guy, I raced a Rough Rider back in the day and by the time the Grasshopper came out I was not interested in it I guess, it was an entry level car so I just skipped over it and for years I had a few opportunities to get one but just never did.
Well now that's changed, I will be doing box stock paint with MCI decals for a more vintage look and upgrades on the bearings and rear shocks, some vintage Frog ones will do nicely just like back in the day. :y:
Good luck with your build man!!
From somewhere out in the wilds of central Ontario.
.......you build what you like, I will build what I like........it's all cool......
 
 

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My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 2 weeks ago #56007

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Thank you very much my friend. I was looking at the MCI website for Falcon decals on an as-yet started project(an updated Falcon based on the re-re Holiday Buggy chassis). Great stuff there.

I was lucky enough to go to a Tamiya event over the weekend and meet Dr. Fumito Taki. I happened to bring my Grasshopper (although not quite finished) and share my ideas of reduced overall weight and a higher revving 380. Fascinating to see his passion for RC is a as strong as ever.

I'm awaiting the delivery of oil dampers and painting details here and there. It's amazing how one could just assemble the kit as-is or sand every bit of flashing and perfect decal placement topped off with the ultimate Pearl clear coat. Will you start a build thread as well..?

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Last edit: by Jonny Retro.

My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 2 weeks ago #56008

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My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 2 weeks ago #56080

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Thank you for the warm welcome my friend. Some progress and pics..

Quite the double-edged sword to be able to hop over to a Tokyo hobby store or Tamiya's Play Factory location here..

On one hand, it's very convenient and I avoid shipping charges. To the contrary however, Tamiya's Play Factory has a considerable mark-up in price for everything. It's akin to buying a beverage from Disneyland.

Since I had my grasshopper body signed by Taki San, I had no intentions of using it on a runner. The price of a new body and decals from the Play Factory was nearly the same price as a new kit from the other hobby store. So.. a second kit was purchased lol.

I removed the new body and decalsfrom kit#2, and replaced it with the signed body in the box to be kept as a memoir.

I also managed to fit a 380 Sport Tuned motor and aluminium heatsink/motor adaptor (OP-1354). The motor comes with a little brass sleeve to fit a larger bore pinion gear. I used a long 10T pinion and the original plastic motor mount to line everything up. Lastly, some longer mounting screws we're needed to extend through both motor mounts.

I did some digging on the 380 Sport Tuned motor and found that it gets pretty toasty on 3s. Oddly, a spare Sport Tuned motor is nearly half the cost of a stock 380 with pressed-on 10T pinion gear. I purchased a spare, and did a slow break-in overnight @ 3v before installing.

I might have a go at popping in some bearings in the spare motor later on. It's a rainy day project at least..

Haven't run with the new motor yet, as I've been on-the-go this week. As well, the oil shock kit should arrive in a week and I may as well test both out at the same time.

Anywho.. some pics







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Last edit: by Jonny Retro. Reason: inserting pics

My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 1 week ago #56104

Hi there Killaj.

If there's not Grasshopper / Hornet thread yet, we should start one. Your approach to improve the character of the Grasshopper is interesting in the way that you simply go with the original design, the smaller motor and lighter battery moved forward, hoping for better performance.

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My First Grasshopper: Another middle-aged RC enthusiast here 4 months 1 week ago #56116

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What's going on UncleTom? I think we have the same interest in improving on the overall performance (especially handling) of the Grasshopper I and II. Seeing as you are looking at the Grasshopper II, I don't mind to elaborate on my results here with the original Grasshopper so that we can compare and contrast.

I was able to get a 7-min run in over the weekend on a very hot afternoon with my current set-up (Sport-Tuned 380/3s Lipo).

First.. the bad: The motor was very toasty after running. I have a Tamiya 540 heatsink that will fit with a bit of "encouragement" that still allows full suspension travel.. but I think overall this approach is going to require a re-think. I stopped running before things got too hot and magnets were permanently damaged due to excess heat. In the long-term, I'll try to replace the metal bushings on either end of the motor with proper bearings. Short-term.. I'm going to toss the stock 380 back in.

The "good" was the performance (well.. until things got a little heated). Top speed seems to be close to the limits of what the chassis can handle. At full-tilt, I can turn sharply left or right and usually manage a nice power slide before heading in the opposite direction.

Going from reverse to forward on dry pavement resulted in two wheel burnouts. It's hilarious to see a 380 motor scoot this thing along with so much kick.

Alas, the heat issues will have to be resolved before I declare the 380 Sport Tuned as an official "hop-up".

Next is the suspension. I'm only going for oil shocks as my sole upgrade. I realize there are many options available from using different (longer) front suspension arms, hacking the rear gearbox and making independent suspension, to eliminating the stock bump-steer. But.. to me, it kind of takes some of the Grasshopper soul away. As blasphemous as it sounds, I just want a little less.. um.. hop. I don't plan on sailing over huge jumps or attacking any sort or rough terrain as I think this little entry-level car simply isn't designed to do so very elegantly.

Will post more updates when parts arrive and are thoroughly tested.

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