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.
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:
One thing you'll notice about the pro version of the ZD Racing EX16 is that it has these beautiful small scale aluminium oil filled shocks, they look amazing. Sadly whoever assembles the ZD racing cars has led them down badly because the suspension is set up poorly from the factory. It can however easily be fixed and I'll show you just how to do that in this guide
This is the third of a 3 part series of tuning guides for the ZD Racing EX16. The others can be found here:
I'll address 3 suspension fixes in this article: Filling the shocks with oil, suspension geometry and droop screws. Read on!
THE ZD RACING EX16 is an awesome looking little RC Car and has nice components especially if you look at the pro variant with discrete electronics. The most glaringly bad aspect of this car however is the driveline which binds terribly. Left as is it will put unnecessary strain on motor, esc, battery and will reduce acceleration, top speed and battery life as well as causing the car to run hot. The root cause took me a while to troubleshoot but I found it and have come up with a fix that means you don't have to pull the car apart.
This is the second of a 3 part series of tuning guides for the ZD Racing EX16. The others can be found here:
What is the cause of the binding?
THROTTLE and Steering SENSITIVITY IMPROVEMENT FOR THE ZD RACING EX16 (AND OTHER CARS)
Like many ready to run RC cars, the ZD Racing EX16 has terrible throttle and steering sensitivity out of the box but. The good news it is very easy to fix as you'll find in my brief guide below.
This is the first of a 3 part series of tuning guides for the ZD Racing EX16. The others can be found here:
Hobby grade RC cars have proportional steering and throttle meaning the amount you squeeze the trigger or turn the steering wheel is reflected by the RC with a proportional amount of motor speed or wheel turning. In theory that is. The ZD Racing EX16 is poorly setup from the factory which, to be fair is the same of most cars but it's really easy to fix with the dials on your transmitter.
LC RACING LC12B1 Build Guide
Our regular contributor Geoffrey Chan is at it again, this time with a very detailed build guide for the LC Racing LC12B1. This is a fantastic 1/12 4WD buggy from LC racing that comes as a kit. These cars are well priced (for a race car) and are highly competitive in carpet racing.
I will start by saying that I’m a big fan of LC Racing RCs. It was just a matter of time before I finally pulled the trigger and picked up what is essentially the King of 1/12 scale 4WD buggies. I’m quite confident that there isn’t a better engineered buggy in this scale on the market today. Make no mistake, this is not a budget RC. Although not as expensive as larger 1/10 scale buggies, it is still more than 2x the cost of a WLToys 124019. Even up to 3x the cost depending on what electronics you decide to put in. What you get for the extra dollars spent on an LC12B1 is better material quality, much tighter fit and finish and overall better tolerances. It should also be mentioned that this buggy’s dominance is not at speed runs, but at quick acceleration, jumping and cornering. If speed runs are more your thing, then modifying a 124019 will get you more bang for the buck. That hasn’t prevented others in the LC Racing community from building theirs into a speed runner, it just wasn’t the intended use or design and where this car truly performs and rules.
144001/124018/124019 - Every one of my Upgrade guides And Review here plus parts I Would buy
I've now built up quite a library of articles for the WL Toys 144001 (and 124019 / 124018) and thought I would use this page to share them. As of 3 August 2021 I've finally done a bit of an overhaul to make sure all articles are included and have added some new categories plus reviews. Enjoy!
Soldering for RC Car Noobs
The ability to solder cleanly and safely is useful tool for RC car enthusiasts if you have more than a passing interest in the hobby. Like most hobbies, mass manufacturing in China has meant prices for tools and consumables have come right back but you'll need to make sure you have the right products. In this guide I'll cover some soldering basics as it relates to RC cars and which gear I recommend for the beginner to intermediate user that is budget friendly yet gives a good outcome.
I am by no means a soldering expert but even then I take my ability to get a good clean, and effective joint a little for granted since my dad taught me when I was very young. When I got into quads about 4 years ago this was crucial as you simply cannot fly FPV without being able to solder. With RC cars you can procrastinate the need to solder a bit longer through use of adaptor plugs and the like but at some point it becomes necessary when you want a reliable, safe and fit for purpose finish with your wiring.
Getting the right gear
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
The WL Toys 144001 is a very fast little 1/14 scale RC car thanks to it's massive 550 brushless motor that powers it with some rather tall gearing. The downside to this is the heat that it generates. Over time this heat can damage electronics and cause a decrease in performance and indeed motor failure. This is a quick and dirty guide to significantly improve motor cooling for less than $2 which should only take 5-10 minutes to do with simple tools.