This article has kindly been written by Geoffrey Chan one of the original members of the QuadifyRC facebook group. This first article is of the review and the top 10 tuning tips for this car will follow shortly.
Rlaarlo is a new kid on the block in the market of affordable ready-to-run (RTR) Chinese RC’s. Having only been on the market for about a year, they have launched several models in the 1/18, 1/16, 1/14 and now their latest 1/12 scale AM-X12 buggy. Their cars are attractive and are heavily inspired by some of the very well known Arrma vehicles like the Typhon and Kraton, which is not a bad thing. The new AM-X12 has generated a lot of buzz and I purchased mine as a part of their pre-sale promotion for USD$149 delivered during November 2022. It is also available as a roller without electronics, but you don’t get all the spare parts and the nice carrying case. It is a nice option, but for the slight cost difference the RTR with all the extras is a better deal, even if you remove the electronics and use it in another project later.
The WL Toys 144002 is a fantastic handling 1/14 scale monster truck that I reviewed here in full. It is really let down by the powertrain though - although it has a large brushed motor, the gearing is way to tall with the big wheels and suffers with terrible acceleration, poor torque and poor battery life, none of which is a good match for a monster truck and offroad conditions. In this article I will present an easy to install brushless upgrade which is inexpensive and performs great with double the battery life
Let's get straight into it: Brushless motors are much more powerful than their brushed counterparts and so simply choosing one with the same dimensions as the stock motor is a poor choice. It will remain heavy and you still have not solved the issue of tall gearing since you are stuck with these same pinion gear on these large motors. Even with a low KV option this will still make for poor acceleration but will now add cogging into the equation similar to what we saw on the Eachine EAT14 (reviewed here)
Below are the components I've chosen for this setup, the whys and alternative options.
WL Toys and Eachine recently released the 124016, 124017 and EAT14 Brushless RC Cars that are an upgraded version of the brushed 124018, 124019 and 144001 respectively. I've spent a lot of time optimising and documenting these brushless upgraded models and so wanted to compare them to the factory brushless version. I this article I'll compare the cost and performance of the new brushless models to a brushless upgraded version so you can figure out which option is best for you. All costs will be at today's advertised price before discount coupons or loyalty points. Prices change regularly including flash sales so you may get items for more or less when you are shopping
Factory Brushless Option
First of all if you need to refresh yourself with the brushless cars, you can see my review of the EAT14 here. This of course has the same running gear as the 124016 and 124017 so performance is identical. As you'll see in my review there are a few nice improvements that these brushless cars have over the brushed counterparts over and above the brushless power systems.
Brushless Upgrade Options
Option 1: Lowest cost 2s for bashing, easy fit
The Eachine EAT14 is 1/14 scale brushless 4wd RC buggy. This car is made by WL Toys for Bangood under their Eachine Brand and is based on their hugely popular 144001 car but with a upgrade to brushless power and discrete electronics as well as a raft of other improvements. I will cover the spec, build quality and of course performance of this car as a stand alone review here rather than focusing to heavily on the obvious comparisons. This car is also practically identical to the WL toys 124016 and 124017 except for a slightly smaller wheel base so the findings here apply to those cars as well.
Just to be very clear, Eachine is not a manufacturer. They are a brand only which is exclusive to Banggood which they use for RC products. The brand managers at Banggood relabels products from their key suppliers, in this case, WL toys. Thus, so for all intents and purposes, the Eachine EAT14 is an RC Car designed and made by WL Toys.
A closer look at specs and build
Now that we have that out the way, let's take a closer look at the car, including the specifications and how it has been put together. This car is based on the WL toys 144001 which as mentioned before is a hugely successful car and a product I consider myself to be an expert on - I have written over 30 reviews and upgrade guides on this car which you can find here. The key difference of the Eachine EAT14 to that base model is the brushless power system but there are a raft of other obvious and not so obvious improvements which I'll cover in detail here.
The WL Toys 104001 is a well designed 1/10 scale 4wd off road RC buggy that I reviewed here It is somewhat lacking in power and is only able to achieve a fairly modest 39km/h which feels slow for a car this size. This is due to the stock brushed motor - this is old but cheap technology which in general are slow and inefficient; they just don't do justice to the otherwise good handling car. Brushless motors and ESCs offer improvements across the board - more speed, better battery life through more efficiency and cooler running. In this upgrade guide I'll show you how to get A LOT more power and battery life on the cheap with a budget ESC and motor combo and give you exact feedback on exactly how it performs including speed runs
Recently I looked at a more expensive brushless upgrade for the WL toys 104001 in my Big Brushless Upgrade and Installation Guide. This offered a big increase in performance (76km/h top speed) and battery life but was a pretty expensive option owing to the high end Hobbywing Max 10 SCT speed controller I used with a 4s battery. This time around I've put together a cheaper and easily accessible build that is perhaps better suited to this car and is still about 90% as good as the much more expensive option, depending of course on your metrics.
The WL Toys 104001 is an all new 1/10 scale 4WD offroad RC Buggy that was released in 2021 and you can find my full review of the 104001 here. I found this to be a great handling car but felt a little on the slow side. I was able to get some more speed out of it for very little money by increasing the size of the pinion gear here but performance is still a little on the lack-lustre side. Clearly this car is crying out for a brushless upgrade so it's my pleasure to present the one I have put together and have been testing over the last few months and I'll call the 104001 big brushless upgrade.
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
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.