The WL Toys 104001 is an all new car from WL Toys for 2021 that is in the larger 1/10 scale size. Unlike their previous 124019 which is essentially a lengthened 144001, this car is a completely new design. For this reason I will firstly be looking at some tuning that I STRONGLY recommend you complete before even your first run. This is not a review, I'll look to complete that later on once I've spent more time with the car and can give you some thorough feedback rather than an off-the-cuff opinion.
Just like the 144001 was copied from the LC Racing EMB-1, the 104001 looks to be inspired by the 2016 onwards X-Ray XB4 which is the same basic design to this day albeit with minor improvements year to year. The XB4 is a high end race car and is a strong platform to base design off. However where the XB4 is a no-nonsense race car the 104001 has gone down the basher route so materials and complexity of parts have been downgraded to meet a price point which is more accessible. Whereas race cars need very specific and precise tuning and consumables, bashers tend to be more forgiving however there are some basics you can improve on to enjoy better durability, performance, efficiency and handling. Here I've identified 4 key areas to look at. None of this tuning requires new parts, only consumables.
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.
The WL Toys 144001 is an excellent low cost hobby grade RC buggy that I ordered from Banggood. I've already taken free and low cost steps to improve performance in part 1 and part 2 of my upgrades guide. This upgrade guide here is dedicated to installing a powerful and efficient 2838 brushless system that is optimised for balance, handling and efficiency. It will also be much faster and reliable that the stock system. This upgrade is fully compatible with the new 124019 and 124018 as well and an excellent option to improve performance and battery life.
As mentioned above the brushless upgrade I am doing here is based on a smaller, lighter more powerful motor than stock so I can get the best handling by reducing weight and improving balance. For this reason I have chosen a brushless 2838 sized motor (28mm diameter, 38mm can length) that runs at 4500kV. This is the same spec powertrain used by the premium LC Racing EMB-1 on which the 144001 is based. The objective is to optimise handling by removing the extremely heavy and power hungry but inefficient brushed 550 motor.
I have not gone with a brushless motor the same size as the brushed 550 (3650, 3652, 3660) as these are really only suited to speed runs - see my speed run build guide if that is the kind of build you are looking for
Benefits from this 2838 brushless setup over stock will include:
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Motor size comparison: The stock 550 weighs 271g and the new, more powerful 2838 weighs 95g. Damn!
This is the second part of my free and budget upgrade walkthrough for the WL Toys 144001. The first part can be found here. These are also completely relevant for the 124019 and 124018 as well
The first series of upgrades I made to the WL toys 144001 was to improve longevity and handling by getting the shock absorber fluid level right, the diffs lubed properly and camber and toe in set correctly. This articles expands on that by further improving the handling through minor tweaks the are either free or cost very little. It is really important you get the handling right to make the car more predictable, especially if you plan on power upgrades further down the line. The upgrades I'll detail in this article are:
1. Decreasing the rear toe in
The WL toys 144001 comes set with a LOT of rear toe in (which is the amount the rear wheels point in towards the car when looking from above). Rear toe in does help with cornering stability by decreasing useful steering when powering on in the corner but comes at the cost of straight line speed, especially in high grip situations. In simple terms rear toe in does help make the car feel more stable through corners however I feel the 144001 has much too much and this is easily remedied for free as below:
Note, this is not a review. You've probably seen a ton of those already. This is about how to set your car up once you've already bought one.
Firstly, "must do" is a bit strong and a bit of a pisstake of the clickbait Youtube videos out there. With that said I do strongly recommend them if you can to get the best performance out of you car and extend it's life. I've arrived at these recommendations by comparing the 144001 directly to the car it was copied off - the excellent LC Racing EMB-1h plus basic fundamentals of rc car operation of which I've been around for years.