The WL Toys 144001 and 124018 / 124019 are a series of 1/14 and 1/12 scale off RC cars that are not only cheap and cheerful but have proven very popular to modify due to their value and versatility. In this article we look at the upgrade of the driveshaft to a sectional unit that will make it easier to service the car and more durable in crashes.
The beauty with the community of modders for the WLToys 144001/124019/124018 is that there’s so much sharing of ideas happening. I find it refreshing how this little platform has brought people together to think of new hacks and mods that wouldn’t have been done otherwise. Here we present the center driveshaft modification to go from a rigid center driveshaft to a floating driveshaft. The first instance of this modification was shared by Scott Dump from Taiwan on his WLToys 124019. This approach and was further refined by Ron Wilson but used on his 144001 and shared with the QuadifyRC 144001 124018 124019 104001 Modders Group. Scott was also generous enough to share the parts he used, a simple step-by-step with several pictures of his version of this modification for the 124019. Ron was kind enough to provide his own write-up for the parts and a step-by-step walk-through for his modified 144001.
This modification can be done for either WLToys 1/14 or 1/12 platforms by using either the shorter LC Racing EMB-1 driveshaft or longer EMB-T driveshaft. I want to thank Scott and Ron for contributing their mod with the community and letting us share it on this platform. This mod is considered medium skill level, can be done with or without power tools, but power tools will make it easier and a little quicker.
The WL Toys 104001 is an all new car from WL Toys for 2021 that is in the larger 1/10 scale size. Unlike their previous 124019 which is essentially a lengthened 144001, this car is a completely new design. For this reason I will firstly be looking at some tuning that I STRONGLY recommend you complete before even your first run. This is not a review, I'll look to complete that later on once I've spent more time with the car and can give you some thorough feedback rather than an off-the-cuff opinion.
Just like the 144001 was copied from the LC Racing EMB-1, the 104001 looks to be inspired by the 2016 onwards X-Ray XB4 which is the same basic design to this day albeit with minor improvements year to year. The XB4 is a high end race car and is a strong platform to base design off. However where the XB4 is a no-nonsense race car the 104001 has gone down the basher route so materials and complexity of parts have been downgraded to meet a price point which is more accessible. Whereas race cars need very specific and precise tuning and consumables, bashers tend to be more forgiving however there are some basics you can improve on to enjoy better durability, performance, efficiency and handling. Here I've identified 4 key areas to look at. None of this tuning requires new parts, only consumables.
Part 2 of from our good friend Geoffrey Chan's 124018 build following on from the visual improvements he made to his 124018 in this Stage 0 guide. If you're on Facebook, pop over to the QuadifyRC group to discuss here with Geoffrey and myself
A quick Recap: Geoffrey is building a special build from a WL Toys 124018, taking time to build the car that he wants. This is a very methodical build going deeper into each component and looking at many options. There’s a reason why this project car is called the WLC Racing 124018: several of the upgrade choices are sourced from the LC Racing catalogue and are a direct replacement. This goes to show how heavily “inspired” WLToys was with their 1/12 scale models. The parts mentioned in this article are also compatible with the 144001 and 124019.
I consider this Stage 1 of the build because these upgrades have an impact on the performance and durability of the car. Stage 0 was focused really on making the car more aesthetically appealing. Suspension related parts and accessories aren’t likely to be the first things that people think about when modifying an RC car, but it is for me because that’s just how my brain works when it comes to what should be addressed based on my logic of fixing the easy things first. This isn’t a sexy area of upgrade either, but maybe after you read through this article, you may see it differently.
Whether you realise it or not, your RC car has been designed to run quite a specific battery voltage, in this article I'll explore what happens if you put a 3s battery in a 2s car (and vice versa) and why jumping up in cells should only be done as part of a novelty or pissing contest for top speed. I'll be making particular reference to the WL Toys 144001, 124018 and 124019 series of cars (most notably to my drop in brushless upgrade) but conclusions here can be generalised.
My recent guide on upgrading the 144001, 124018 and 124019 with a drop in 2445 5400kv made for a very fast car but also generated a lot of heat for the motor and ESC. In this guide I have a brief look on the impact of adjusting ESC timing on power output as measured by speed and the resulting change in heat of motor and ESC plus efficiency.
Most cheap ESCs, notably the Surpass/Racerstar are impressive in that there is some basic ability to programme the ESC for throttle punch, dead band, low voltage cut off plus braking and reverse as you can see in this guide. Step up to a more premium ESC like the hobbywing 16BL30 and 10BL120 as recommended in my brushless guide and amongst other items you also have the ability to adjust motor timing.
The WL Toys 144001 is a great car for the money and pretty durable but certainly not the toughest thing out - for my money that goes to the SG 1601 / HBX 16889 (long term review here). I have however found an tested a few direct bolt on parts that you can install in about 20 minutes to make this way more resilient to crashes than stock
By now I've made a number of brushless upgrades to the WL Toys 144001 which I've documented, each with a different objective in mind. All of these offer an improvement over stock which, depending on option offer an improvement of speed, acceleration, weight, balance and efficiency over stock. The objective of this brushless upgrade is simple - the cheapest brushless setup worth having for bashing
Another article from QuadifyRC.com's good friend Geoffrey Chan following on from his comprehensive Vinyl wrapping guide. If you're on Facebook, pop over to the QuadifyRC group to discuss here with Geoffrey and myself
Let me start off by saying that the WLToys 124018 is one of the coolest looking 1/12 scale RC cars on the market. I have been a big fan of desert truck/buggy body styles for some time. Larger scale trucks like the Losi Tenacity and Losi Lasernut have always caught my eye, but the cost and lack of a place to run something that large have kept them off my buy list. The 124018 or the LC Racing EMB-DT/Tacon Cavalry that it is a clone of fit in a sweet spot of a portable size, an affordable price point with heaps of potential for tuning, upgrades and customization.
The 124018 out of the box is far from perfect - check out the QuadifyRC review here. The tried and tested 550 brushed motor and combined ESC/receiver combo have been thoroughly discussed by the 144001 community. In the larger scale platform and full body cage, this car is weighted like a tank. I would have gone with the original LC Racing EMB-DT, but to get one delivered would cost 3x the price of a 124018, which I had a hard time justifying. So, I decided I should just get the 124018 and use the savings to customize and modify it to my personal preference. At the same time, I wanted to see if I could come close to or exceed the performance of the LC Racing EMB-DT but on a smaller budget. So here I start my project to build my WLCRacing 124018 and will compare how my incremental improvements affect things like weight, speed, and overall handling of the car.
Target Weight: Equivalent to LC Racing EMB-DT RTR Weight – 1200g with battery (according to LC Racing site)
By guest author Geoffrey Chan - one of the super helpful WL Toys RC Car modders in the QuadifyRC 144001 124018 124019 modders group. Thanks for your contribution to the group and the article below 🙏🙏
In this guide Geoffrey has provided a simple, convenient and reversible option to painting your RC car body shell and most importantly has gone in depth on the how to guide with lots of detail around how to get a finish you'll be proud of.
The WL Toys 124018 is a 1/12 scale off road 4WD ready to run radio controlled car with a desert-truck look. It shares over 90% of its parts with the hugely successful 124019 (and 144001) buggies but there are several key differences. In this article I'll dig in to the differences and why they add up to more that just the look of the car.
Before you go any further please look at my 124019 review here. Rather than rehashing the same detail here I'll just focus on the differences in order to keep focused so I'll wait here patiently while you read that first...