Grasshopper II

The Grasshopper II chassis is an evolution of the Grasshopper chassis, named after the first model released for sale using this chassis:

– The Grasshopper II, Grasshopper II chassis, model number 58074 put on sale in 1988 and available on the market until 1995
– Super Hornet, Grasshopper II chassis, model number 58124 released for sale in 1993 and available on the market until 2004
– Rising Fighter, Grasshopper II chassis, model number 58416 put up for sale in 2008 and available on the market until 2010

This updated chassis represents Tamiya’s calling card for enthusiasts approaching the world of radio-controlled cars and is still in production today (2024) for re-releases.
The main features of this chassis are:

– Inverted A-arm independent front suspension,
– central chassis shell resembling the grasshopper insect; hence the name of the chassis,
– rear-wheel drive,
– differential,
– rigid axle rear suspension (Grasshopper chassis on the left and Grasshopper II chassis on the right).

The main differences between the Grasshopper and Grasshopper II chassis are as follows, starting at the front and moving towards the rear:

– Inverted A-arm independent front suspension; while maintaining the initial conceptthe shape of the lower arms is different between the Grasshopper chassis (highlighted in yellow) and Grasshopper II (highlighted in pink). The A-part has been evolved (original version on the left and the evolved version on the right), also changing the shape of the front axle lock (original version highlighted in red and the evolved version highlighted in blue). 

The different shape of the arms results in a different front shock absorber installation, on the left the front suspension of the Grasshopper chassis and on the right the front suspension of the Grasshopper II chassis

– the bodies of the two models with Grasshopper chassis and the two models with Grasshopper II chassis are different and have a different attachment system to the chassis. Image on the left refers to The Grasshopper with original chassis and image on the right refers to The Grasshopper II with revised chassis. In the first case, the chassis is attached to the body with four screws, which become four towers with clips in the new version.

– the Grasshopper II chassis has a front tower with clips that serve as a union point between the body and the chassis itself; the tower of The Grasshopper II (highlighted in purple in the image below, initials “C17”) is different from that of the Super Hornet (highlighted in blue in the image, initials “D2”)
– the Grasshopper II chassis has two lower towers (highlighted in red) with clips that serve to block the access door to the battery compartment.
– the Grasshopper II chassis has the antenna attachment (highlighted in yellow in the image below) located in a different position to that of the Grasshopper chassis
– the Grasshopper II chassis incorporates the two rear towers marked “C10” with clips for installing the bodywork (highlighted in purple in the image)

– the door for access to the battery compartment has a different shape in the original chassis (highlighted in red) is locked with a lever that becomes two clips in the advanced model (highlighted in blue)

– The arrangement of the electronics is different between the Grasshopper and Grasshopper II chassis. In the new chassis, the servo control for speed regulation is screwed onto two moulded plastic plates (highlighted in blue and light blue in the picture). The mechanical speed control is then screwed onto the larger plate. The servo (in pink in the picture below) for speed control in the new chassis is installed exactly opposite to the direction of travel compared to how it is installed in the original chassis (see picture with pink frame).
The receiver is installed longitudinally in the new chassis and transversely in the original chassis (the position in the new chassis is highlighted in yellow and the position in the original chassis is highlighted in the yellow frame).
The On-Off switch is located on the left side for the new chassis (highlighted in red), while it is located on the right side in the original chassis (highlighted in the red framed box)

– the overhauled chassis does not have the side bumper that protects the model from side impacts (highlighted in green in the original chassis)

-the rear system that joins the rear axle to the chassis is different between models. In the Hornet, the point where the rear axle hinges to the chassis (highlighted in blue for the Grasshopper and part in red for the Hornet in the picture) has been modified compared to The Grasshopper, and an extension (one on each side) has been added at the point where the shock absorbers attach to the chassis (highlighted in blue). This attachment has been further modified in the Grasshopper II chassis (highlighted in pink). The Hornet chassis mount and the modified Grasshopper II chassis mount add a degree of freedom to the movement of the engine – gearbox – rear axle system; a 95mm-long 4mm-diameter pin (highlighted in orange in the image for the Hornet, the pin is also present in the Grasshopper II chassis) has been added that works inside the two plastic joints (highlighted in red in the image for the Hornet and in pink for the Grasshopper II chassis) modified to house the axle and the counterbalance springs (highlighted in green in the image for the Hornet and in purple for the Grasshopper II chassis). In the GrassHopper the rear system can only rotate, in the Hornet and Grasshopper II chassis it can rotate and move vertically cushioned by two metal springs. In the image below, the free movements that the rear system can make are highlighted by the dashed arrows; the rear system of the Grasshopper can only rotate, the rear system of the Hornet and Grasshopper II chassis can rotate and move down and up, absorbing bumps better

– The Grasshopper and The Grasshopper II are equipped with the RS380 electric motor with plastic adapter (left in the picture), Hornet and Super Hornet are equipped with the RS540 electric motor (right in the pictures).

– the rims and wheels are different in the two chassis; this results in a different spacer system for the rear wheels between the Grasshopper chassis (highlighted in blue) and Grasshopper II (highlighted in red)

– the B-parts are slightly different; the Grasshopper II chassis has an updated rear axle geometry while retaining the original concept. Keeping the same colours, the image below highlights the parts that have changed from the original version on the left to the updated version on the right.

– suspension is spring-mounted in The Grasshopper and The Grasshopper II (left in the pictures) and is spring and oil-mounted for Hornet and Super Hornet (right in the pictures). The first line refers to models with Grasshopper chassis and the second line refers to models with Grasshopper II chassis.

– The rear suspension is different for the four models; in order from top left in the picture we find The Grasshopper, Hornet, The Grasshopper II and Super Hornet.
The rear shock absorber system is completely different between the four models; The Grasshopper’s shock absorbers are directly connected to the gear case via two copper tubes (highlighted in red in the picture) that attach directly to the gear case (attachment points highlighted by the double arrow). The Hornet’s shock absorbers are connected to the rear system arms (attachment points highlighted by the double arrow) via a plastic plate (highlighted in orange in the image) and a metal plate (highlighted in purple in the image) that houses the ball joint (highlighted in blue in the image). The upper attachment to the chassis is also different between the two models (highlighted in blue in the picture). The Grasshopper II develops The Grasshopper concept by using two plates (highlighted in green in the picture) that are installed directly on the rear axle and allow the shock absorber travel to be lengthened. In the Super Hornet this design is taken to the extreme by also incorporating a rear protection (modified arms and rear protection highlighted in pink)

Evolution

To this day (2024), the Grasshopper II chassis is used in several limited special editions and re-releases:

– The Grasshopper II, model number 92018 put on sale in 1989 and available on the market until 1990
– The Grasshopper II, model number 49501 put on sale in 1990 and available on the market until 1991
– Rising fighter, model number 58416 put up for sale in 2008 and available on the market until 2010
– Rising fighter, model number 57781 complete with electronics offered for sale in 2008 and available on the market until 2010
– The Grasshopper II, model number 58643 put on sale in 2017 and available on the market until 2018
– The Grasshopper II black edition, model number 47471 put on sale in 2021 and available on the market until 2022

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