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.
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 25 May 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!
With the boom in popularity of the WL Toys 144001 1/14 scale RC buggy, there are a lot of aftermarket parts available now, all of which are currently available at here. For this article I'll be looking at why I chose the metal upgrade parts I did, how to install and my thoughts on the parts I did install. These upgrades are also applicable to the extended wheelbase 124019 which is identical other than the length
Don't forget to check out the other guides and reviews I've already written for the 144001:
The first thing you probably think of with metal parts is that they will be stronger than the plastic parts they replace. Although this is true, strictly speaking, the stock plastic pieces do have advantages in some situations, specifically -
I've specifically avoided these parts below because I think they will reduce net durability for reasons explained underneath the images. If you are just going for looks however they do still look great!
Parts I recommend against:
Plus other parts available with my comments