WL TOYS 104002 REVIEW
The WL Toys 104002 is a 1/10 scale ready to run (RTR) 4WD off road buggy powered by a fast and efficient brushless power train. It is a follow up to the cheaper WL Toys 104001 which is the same car but powered by a slower brushed setup. In this article I will complete a full review and recommend some cheap or free mods to improve performance.
Last year the WL Toys 104001 was released with a basic brushed power train which I reviewed thoroughly here. I've since modified it with a high spec brushless setup and guide here and a more budget brushless setup and guide here. Now WL toys have launched the 104002 which is brushless out of the factory. I'll try to keep this review as standalone as possible for those not familiar with the earlier model.
FMS (Also known as ROCHobby) are the makers of beautiful RC Scale models in low speed crawler style. The 1:12 scale Type82e KommandeurWagen which is a variant of the Volkswagen Beetle, is their latest and the attention to detail on this model is simply amazing.
This car is a departure from the increasingly fast RC cars I've been reviewing recently. Instead with the Kommandeurwagen speed and power is replaced with beautiful form and mechanical function in true scale detail. In simple terms this is a fully proportional scale crawler with immaculate detail, a 2 speed gearbox and scale lighting with all controls from the transmitter. There are many more functions which I'll discuss more below but first lets looks at the key features and what's included.
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.
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:
I've been review and modifying RC cars intensely for over 2 years and in that time I've written dozens, of guides, articles and reviews. I've created a summarised list of all the reviews I've done with what I consider to be the key factors that will help you decide which car suits you the best. Here is my master list QUADIFYRCMASTERCARGUIDE
If you are looking for a discount on this car, I will post any coupon codes or flash sales for it over here on my coupons and discounts page. Remember buying from any of these links supports my page without any cost to you and is appreciated especially since I don't ask for money via patreon and the like. If you want to get involved in this discussion, feel free to join the QuadifyRC Facebook Group Here or like my page below
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?
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.
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.
The WL toys 1/14 and 1/12 scale cars are fanstastic value and offer a myriad of options for tinkering and modding. One area where they are woefully inadequate though is gearing. They have chosen a very uncommon mod 0.7 gear pitch meaning there are very few options outside of stock because the standard 27t or even the more recent 19t offer very tall gearing only. In this gearing guide I have laid out all known available options in this guide to help you get the most out of your car.
Let's start this conversation by saying that the stick spur gear for these cars (44 teeth) is fixed - an immovable object with no alternative options*. Thus it is only the pinions we can change to alter gear ratios. Next we can say that motors with a 36mm diameter (ie stock 550 brushed, 3650 brushless, 3652 brushless and 3660 brushless cannot move closer to the top brace and therefore cannot use a smaller pinion, even with this adjustable mount. This with these motors you can use the stock 27t pinion only and the tall gearing (4.074:1)
This means that the only way to alter gear ratio is to use a smaller motor suck as a brushed 380 or 390 or a brushless 2440, 2445, 2838, 2845, 2850. This is a good thing because for the brushless motors in particular they are smaller, lighter, faster, more efficient and run cooler but with less torque they need the smaller pinions which provide shorter gearing. This is the basis of every brushless upgrade I have written which provide a much more well rounded performance for these cars. Anyway lets go directly to the options readily available.
*Custom made Mod1 spurs are available, talk to Michael Koebbe on the QuadifyRC facebook group.
The WL Toys 144010 is a brushless 4WD 1/14 scale RC Car. It comes ready to run (RTR) meaning that everything except 4 x AA batteries for your transmitter is included. My tests have shown this car to be extremely quick and I will share all of that information and more in this review. In addition to this I have also added a section for tuning tips and other RC cars to consider in this category.
WL Toys is a Chinese-based manufacturer of RC cars that has been really popular over the last 2-3 years because of the great balance of price, speed and handling. The 144010 I am reviewing here is based on the same car that was released back then but has had 5-6 rounds of iterations with multiple improvements since that have culminated in a very well rounded car. This latest iteration includes all of those improvements and the latest brushless power system from WL Toys making it extremely quick as well. In fact I'd go so far as to say that you cannot buy faster for cheaper. Below I will break down the main systems of the car and will then give you quantified tests results plus my own opinion and finally my recommendations. Grab yourself a drink or bite to eat and let's get started.