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).
144001, 124019, 124018 1822 Wheel Upgrade - The new Offroad champ; some compromises
The 1/14 and 1/12 scale WL toys cars (144001, 124018, 124019) are rightly very popular cars due to their competitive price for a platform that is extremely versatile and lends itself well to upgrade - I have over 30 articles here that prove it. Although on road wheel options are easily accessible, this is less the case with off road options other than the Remo P6973 (reviewed here) which have been the gold standard. I've now found a wheel and tyre set I find to be even better offroad so long as specific conditions are met: 4PCS Upgraded Larger Tires Wheels 12mm Hex for Wltoys 144001 124018 124019 RC Car Vehicles Model Parts - 1822G-A. Read on to find more about their good, and bad points to see if they are right for you.
Wheel Style. These new wheels/tyres which I will refer to from here as the 1822 have options for either solid disc or spoked wheels in black, white and neon green. They come in a set of 4 with a set of foam inners and of course the tyres. Tyres come in one of two pattern styles, one I would call a paddle style and the other a knobbly style.
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 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
The WL Toys 124019 is a small and fast car out of the box - it'll do 55km/h on the old technology brushed motor that comes stock out of the box. For bashing and off-road I prefer to upgrade with physically smaller and more efficient brushless motors but if straight-line on road speed is your objective as is the case here, then using a 3650 sized motor can get you massive speed... there are many examples where this car can go well over 100mph. The objective of my build here is to see what kind of speed I can get without pushing the budget or modifications too far - bolt in parts, stock body and a car than is as reliable as stock and can easily be converted back.
For this build I've chosen the WL Toys 124019 which is a long-wheelbase version of the popular 144001. The reasons this car makes for a good speed run build is:
Let's get on to the build which I have broken down into sections. We'll start with the powertrain which most of you are here for but I'll also cover important lessons in wheel/tyre choice, suspension set up, aero, speed measurement and driving technique. Read on for more
WhicH LC Racing parts fit the 144001 124018 124019? The full COMPATIBILITY List
As we all know by now the WL Toys 144001 (and 124018 / 124019 by extension) is a budget copy of LC Racing EMB-1 that utilises cheaper materials and electrical components to make it a lower cost offering. LC Racing spares for the EMB series are surprisingly cheap - often cheaper than the WL toys parts. In the list below I've made it clear which parts are a direct fit and which parts will fit with a little modification.
Link below are to the AliExpress store that I trust - they have been running successfully for over 7 years and will ship worldwide. You may of course have other options locally like Troy Remy in Canada (find him in the QuadifyRC Group), Warren RC in USA, RCMart out of Hong Kong and direct from LC Racing themselves.
DROP IN Brushless Upgrade Guide for WL TOys 144001, 124018 and 124019 [QuadifyRC]
WL toys have had a series of hits with the 1/14 scale 144001 and now more recently with the 1/12 scale 124019 and 124018 - same car just a little longer. In order to hit their price point though they have had to compromise on the power train - opting for brushed motor technology that although surprisingly fast offers poor long term durability and even worse efficiency leading short running times. Upgrading to brushless is a solid option but has required hacks and workarounds in the past to get anything other than basic speed run builds. This new guide aims to be drop in solution with no mechanical modification required.
Just to recap I've already made 3 brushless builds. If you have the ability I still highly rate the ultimate brushless upgrade as I believe the motor and gear combination is perfect for fast, reliable and efficient 2s running.
The WL Toys 124019 is a 1/12 scale RC Car released late 2020 by WL toys and is largely identical to the hugely popular WL Toys 144001. Although the 124019 did however have some notable improvements as covered in my review, a bit of simple setup and tuning can improve this much more. In this guide I will cover how to best setup and tune your 124019 to get the best out of it without spending anything on upgrades other than consumable items like grease.
I've already written over a dozen guides on improving the 144001 here which are applicable to this car as well but I wanted to use this guide to be very specific on the exact improvements I made since the manufacturer has fixed some of the issues mentioned in my 144001 guides here and here.