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.
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.
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!
*To be clear my car is still under preorder but I have 3 cars of a very similar spec so do have a good understanding of what makes these tick and how to improve
The WL toys 124016 and 124017 are faster and more efficient brushless version of the hugely popular 124018 and 124019. If you want to know more about these new brushless cars then check out the preview article I wrote here: WL TOYS 124016 124017 PREVIEW: FIRST FACTORY BRUSHLESS WL TOYS RC CARS
In this article I'll be taking you through my top 5 mods for this car
If the stock car is anything to go by, the brushless model will be at least as fast but with much stronger acceleration and better battery life. With the understanding that you will be going faster for longer, there is an increased change of breakages on what is not an especially weak but not an especially strong car either. In addition, the extra speed and acceleration will show up the handling. For these reasons and but one of the 5 best mods below to improve your 124016 or 124017 will focus on DURABILITY and HANDLING and maybe just a little more POWER
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.
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
Now that I've finished my review of the new WL Toys 104001 4wd 1/10 scale RC buggy it's clear that this is nowhere near as fast as the earlier 124018/124019 and 144001 models which uses essentially the same electronics. In this article I look at how easier it is to close this speed gap and the theory around it.
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.
The WL Toys 144001 is a great car for the money and pretty durable but certainly not the toughest thing out - for my money that goes to the SG 1601 / HBX 16889 (long term review here). I have however found an tested a few direct bolt on parts that you can install in about 20 minutes to make this way more resilient to crashes than stock
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