WLToys 144010/124017 Final Edition Upgrades: The Budget Upgrades I Personally Use
Of all the WLToys cars, the 144010 and 124017 are my favourite and embody all of the incremental improvements over the hugely popular original 144001 they have made over the years. You can see my review for the 144010 here which is essentially the same as the 124017. At this price point they have their downsides but they are fast, efficient, handle well and have a wealth of options for modification. They do run well out of the box but I thought I'd share the budget mods I personally use to help you with your own decisions around upgrades.
As a start point I have chosen to use my WLToys 144010 as reviewed here. It is already very quick but I wanted to make this a better general purpose car that can be adapted to any situation.
WLTOys 184016 vs 144010 and 144001: Which parts are Compatible and why you might want to swap.
The WLToys 184016 is a small scale brushless RC car from WL Toys. It is clear on closer inspection that rather than being an updated version of the poorly-designed A959, it is in fact a compact version of the widely known 1/14 scale 144001 and 144010. I say compact rather than shrunk because it shares all the main parts from the driveline and suspension setup albeit with a smaller track and shorter wheelbase. My full review will follow soon but for now please read on for which parts you can swap between the two cars (and why you might want to do this).
Fix cogging in your WL Toys 124017, 124016 or Eachine EAT14 for $27 (or as little as $12)
It was an anticlimax to say the least when WL Toys finally launched their first factory brushless cars. Due to the cheap ESC but moreso the tall gearing they were plagued with issues of cogging - the stuttering of the motor as it struggles to move from pole to pole at low speeds and the loss of torque as a result. You can see this issue in my review of the Eachine EAT14 which has the same problem. WL Toys solved this problem with a hasty update to V2 with a shorter gearing and a higher kv motor. Here is the new 124017 V2 and 124016 V2 (it's hard to find the V1 any more)
I've already written this article to show fixes based on parts available at the time but now I have a new fixed based on newly available parts from the V2 that should solve your problem for just $27 (or as cheap as $15 if you reuse your motor) . Read on and follow me as I "fix" my 124017
As per this article I have fixes for the cogging in the 124016, 124017 and Eachine EAT14 which have the shorter gearing that I prefer however they are not especially cheap fixes though remain my favourite in terms of performance.
If you want to keep the improvement cheap and quick though there are 2 new options for you:
QuadifyRC 124016 124017 EAT14 cogging issue fix
The WL Toys 124016 and 124017 (and the Eachine EAT14) have a major issue with cogging - the stuttering that occurs when accelerating from standstill or low speed and is a major downside to these recent releases. Cogging in your car is not by bad luck but by design choice; in the search for top speed bragging rights, the tall gearing has really compromised these cars ability to accelerate. Never fear, QuadifyRC to the rescue! I'll give you 3 and a bit options on how to fix this issue by addressing the root cause rather than by going on a wild goose chase and addressing the wrong things.
Cogging - The Root Cause
As soon as I found out WL Toys and Eachine had retained the big 27t pinion from the brushed models I knew they would be fast but were going to be poor on acceleration. This turned out to be correct as you can see on my Eachine EAT14 review which has the same running gear as the 124016 and 124017. You can get away with this big pinion on a brushed motor (like with the 144001, 124018 and 124019) because of the way they work but not on a brushless motor because of the way they differ mechanically. Cogging is when the electromagnetic field invoked by the motor is not strong enough for the motor rotate and catch the next pole thereby getting out of phase and rocking back and forth; it's that jiggle your car make before it takes off. So what causes it? The motor can not generate enough torque for the given load. The 2845 is not a small motor for a car this size so it is safe to assume that it is the load that is unreasonably high due the very tall (fast) gearing.
Since we know the root cause we need to address it directly in order to get the best quality solution but before I do that I'll let you know the things that will NOT fix it:
The WL toys 124019 and 144001 are budget 4wd on/off road RC cars that have great handling due to the fact they were essentially copied from the LC Racing EMB-1 and EMB-TG. With that said like many cars the are susceptible to body roll making handling less than idea on high speed corners particularly where grip is good. In this article I'll show you the LC Racing anti-roll bars that will cure this body roll and how to fit and give you feedback on how it improves handling (spoiler: it's a big improvement). This mod is not suitable for the 124018 nor the 124016
The suspension in these WL Toys cars is very good from the factory but from time to time needs the suspension oil filled to the correct level which I show you how to do here. I found that replacing the very heavy brushed 550 motor with a much lighter system like my drop in brushless upgrade or cheapest brushless upgrade improved handling further thanks to the more even weight distribution and better loading on the springs.
Fixing the Weakest Part of the WL Toys 144001 124016 124017 124018 124018 - New metal hubs
The common platform shared by the WL Toys 144001, 144010, 124016, 124017, 124018 and 124019 is a generally robust one but it does tend to have a common weak point - the front hub carrier AKA front wheel seat. I'm happy to say I've found a cheap, strong and well-made metal alternative and in this article I'll show you why they are only now worth getting and of course how to fit them
When you have been lurking around in Facebook groups, RC Groups, Reddit and other forums dedicated to the WL toys cars as long as I have you tend to pick up on common threads, especially when users share their disappointment over broken parts. Sure, individuals drive in different ways which can put certain components at more or less risk but a very common breakage I see is of the plastic front hub carriers. Standard replacement are not expensive but often have to come from China meaning you can be without a running car for up to several weeks. Previously I've looked a metal replacement parts by WL Toys however early designs were more "agricultural" in style and meant the wheels like my favourite Remo P6973 (reviewed here) couldn't be fitted.
WL TOys 124016 124017 Top 5 Mods*
*To be clear my car is still under preorder but I have 3 cars of a very similar spec so do have a good understanding of what makes these tick and how to improve
The WL toys 124016 and 124017 are faster and more efficient brushless version of the hugely popular 124018 and 124019. If you want to know more about these new brushless cars then check out the preview article I wrote here: WL TOYS 124016 124017 PREVIEW: FIRST FACTORY BRUSHLESS WL TOYS RC CARS
In this article I'll be taking you through my top 5 mods for this car
If the stock car is anything to go by, the brushless model will be at least as fast but with much stronger acceleration and better battery life. With the understanding that you will be going faster for longer, there is an increased change of breakages on what is not an especially weak but not an especially strong car either. In addition, the extra speed and acceleration will show up the handling. For these reasons and but one of the 5 best mods below to improve your 124016 or 124017 will focus on DURABILITY and HANDLING and maybe just a little more POWER
WL Toys have just announced that they are releasing a brushless version of the hugely popular 124018 and 124019 1/12 scale ready to run RC cars. Of course they have gone with predictably boring names - 124016 and 124017 🤦♂️. I've set this blog up to discuss the specs and what we can glean from the images. I do no have the cars (yet) so this is not a hands on review but of course I expect to review these as soon as they are available.
Firstly if you want to see my reviews on the brushed version of these cars, here is the one I did on the 124019 and the differences for the 124018. Based on initial pricing, the new brushless 124016 desert buggy and 124017 race buggy this looks to be only around $20-30 more than the brushed version which represents really good value. I made a guide on the cheapest brushless upgrade worth doing and at best mine had a $50-$60 premium although it did include replacement radio gear, servo, esc and motor. The benefit on coming from the factory is that you won't be left with a spare brushed setup in a cardboard box in your shed somewhere (True story, I have a box full of 5 stock brushed systems!)
UPDATE! Banggood have kindly supplied me an exclusive code to bring the the pres-order price of the 124017 down by 10% to just $133. Use code BG124017R at this link That's pretty solid value - check the detail below to see if it suits your needs. This is a new exclusive code that is active until the end of August 2021