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TurboTimmy

I Finally Bought A New Grasshopper

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After all the trouble I went through with HornHopper, I just decided to simply build a new Grasshopper. I used the stock 540 from my NSU TT kit with the proper pinion gear and a bearing set.

I don't need anything complex to just bash around,so a Grasshopper fits the bill perfectly. My old Hornet was a ton of fun with a regular 540.

Now I have a whole bin of spare parts-perhaps I will build a Baja Bug......

The new wheels and the driving lights are in the paint booth. So I used the wheels/tires from HornHopper. I found an empty baseball field and she ran like a champ on the first shakedown run.

I think the stock 540 is the perfect motor for this type of buggy. I have seen lots of YouTube videos of brushless Grasshoppers, though. 

I still have a Sport Tuned 540........Hmmmmmm......

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Nice one! 

In the right conditions - the simplicity of the Grasshopper is so much fun.

I'd love to get a Hornet to race with my son and his Grasshopper (also running 540).....hmmm....

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Thanks RC OX!!!! Here is the 'hopper with its final paint scheme. I couldn't resist the temptation of the Sport Tuned motor, so I stuck it in there yesterday. I have seen several videos of folks running this motor in a Grasshopper, but most of them were running on pavement or a very smooth dirt (or sand) surface. Where I live, it is EXTREMELY difficult to find an empty baseball field (for example) where you can really stretch the somewhat overpowered buggy's legs.....So anything that is not really smooth results in a Grasshopper that cannot go in a straight line without flipping over. It's illegal to run it on the local BMX tracks, because they are run by the county and police officers claim that anything rc interferes with their radios. But it is fun to try to get this thing to hook up....I guess the standard 540 will have to go back in.

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If you're driving offroad, put some Hornet spiked tires on it. I found it made a significant difference. A second set of wheels is a good way to go, so you can switch back and forth easily depending on what type of surface you are running.

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Thanks Biz73. Actually, I actually have 3 sets-two sand sets and one with Hornet knobbies. You're right-they do make a difference. I like smooth baseball fields because since it's a Grasshopper, it can really scoot across the dirt without bouncing too much. I could always put rear shocks on it, but it wouldn't significantly improve it-and I want to keep this one a simple out-of-the-box build. Most of the "problem" (if that's what you want to call it) is the very powerful Sport Tuned motor. So I put the regular 540 back in for now. 

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I know what you mean @TurboTimmy! My son's Grasshopper is a challenge to keep straight in loose gravel with the 540. You can be a smooth operator on the throttle but a bump at top speed soon has you spinning (diff'ing?) out!  It can be frustrating at times but film it in slo-mo and it can look almost "artistic" ^_^ 

Here's a clip of our Grasshopper and Wild Willy 2 at our local dirt spot: 

I imagine the Sport Tuned is challenging :D It's a shame you can't run cars on the BMX track - they are great fun with these things.

@Biz73 - good tip! I was wondering if the spiked Hornet tyres made a difference.

I started investigating a Monster Grasshopper conversion for the Grasshopper with either Monster Beetle or Lunchbox wheels. A full set adds up $$$ though. In the end, my son bought a pair of hex mount buggy tyres and wheels (They are actually for a 1/12 HBX Vortex buggy) and I pitched in for the Frog hex adapter set (#53913). He's happy but I'm not too impressed with the fit. It seems the frog adapters are very wide to take up the extra axle hanging out and you have to use the shorter nut that comes with the adapter rather than the stock ones. This shorter nut doesn't seem to have the same amount of bite - it has backed off twice while driving.   

The hex adapter allowed me to test the Wild Willy monster wheels on the back of the Grasshopper. However the WW2 wheel mount isn't recessed so they make the car VERY wide. The Lunchbox wheels are a much better fit. For now he is happy with his spiked buggy tyres. I might revisit the Monster Grasshopper at a later stage.  

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I put the Sport Tuned 540 in my Grasshopper and it was as you described... a roof rider.  I added the Hornet rear suspension with Hornet shocks and an Ampro Transmission Retainer.  The retainer requires the Ampro battery door (which is really nice) so I have that too.  And as you describe again, it's fast and handles great on pavement, though I do lay off the throttle a little when turning.  In the sand, it seems the rear tires never stop spinning and you're constantly steering, over steering, and correcting.  :)  Now I need to do something with the front suspension as the front wheels seem to bounce quite a bit.  The car is still a blast to drive! 

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Yeah, it is a lot of simple pure silly fun to use a Sport Tuned in a Grasshopper-the more power, the better. But I wasn't careful with my last buggy-the HornHopper, which was my old '80s Hornet redone with some modern upgrades. It had CVA shocks front and rear-the fronts required new fabricated shock mounts which never really worked as designed. And it had a Grasshopper 2 body-which fit on the chassis with one new hole in the front for the original body post. The front end was raised a bit due to the new shocks-which raised the CG and made it handle like a golf cart. So when you applied a lot of power, it just wound up upside down-all the time. Eventually I jumped it over a speed bump and broke off all 3 body mounts and the rear frame shock mount. SO-I just broke down and bought a new Grasshopper 1 kit, which I always wanted anyway. It has had the Sport Tuned 540 in it exactly once-and I was REALLY careful where I pointed it. I also have a M05 NSU TT which I just got a while ago-and I use the standard 540 from that kit in the new 'Hopper. So far-no major mishaps.......

The NSU now has a Torque Tuned 540, as seen in the photo. The silver can motor was the original motor from my old Hornet. I bought it about 25 years ago at my local hobby store-it said"Black Magic" on the label.I cleaned it up by running it underwater with a C battery until the battery went dead. That removed a lot of dirt and debris that had been in there for over 25 years. Then I let it dry for a week or two-today I installed it in the new Grasshopper to see what it would do. Holy Cow, did it work!!!! I figure it is about equal to a Sport Tuned.......So it will wind up somewhere........

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You're much more advanced than I am when it comes to everything we're talking about.  :)  How often do you need to run a motor underwater and let it dry for a few weeks? 

I'm keeping the Sport Tuned motor in the Hopper but I'm going to try and get more rear grip with new tires... and the front suspension I mentioned above.   

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To be honest, that was the first time I ever "waterdipped" a motor to clean it. I read some entries in this Forum describing the process-and there are quite a few YouTube videos that show the proper way to actually do it. I don't really know how often it is supposed to be done. This motor had been used in my old Hornet for quite a while-and was never cleaned. Then it was stored in a box in a closet for over 20 years and never run. So what I did was probably a very light cleaning-but it seemed to really do the job. That thing really woke up the Grasshopper!!!!!

Good luck with your 'Hopper.

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My grasshopper has hornet's shocks with 3rd shock conversion.  At one point it also had the FX10 independent front suspension with 3racing tamtech gear oil shocks.  The front worked really well and became very stable.  However, the rear was still bouncy, so on a bumpy section, instead of four wheels bouncing together, only the rear bounced and the car made a 180 deg. turn.   When the car needed a new chassis, I decided to stay with the stock front suspension.  It is more fun to drive that way.

 

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I put the 380 from the kit in the car yesterday-I simply wanted to see how it actually performed as an entry level Grasshopper. I have never actually had a buggy with a 380 in it-I had a Hornet before this one. I also got my wife to try it with that setup-and she liked it because she could concentrate on simply getting the feel of the controls, rather than try to keep it from getting away from her. The 380 isn't that slow-it's just that we're used to always just putting a big motor into a buggy right away, streaking down the straights, and doing mega-donuts everywhere. But I still think the 540 is ,overall, the best Grasshopper motor. Once you get accustomed to the controls, you naturally want to go faster.......

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