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
As far as bashing is concerned, the monster truck style of RC tends to have the most advantages for bashing:
Power Train. Firstly I wanted something light and tough so I chose my Brushless upgraded 144001 from my cheapest brushless worth having build here. As well as being fast and efficient this is also very light meaning durability is up before we even start with the monster truck mods. Gearing is short with the 15t pinion mean this should also have the acceleration power I want.
Wheels. There are 2 good options here; The tried and tested Remo P6973 wheels I wrote about here and the LC racing EMB-MT wheels (Geoffrey has written about these here). I've chosen the P6973 wheels as I don't want to stress the motor with the large diameter EMB-MT wheels. Also, the EMB-MT wheels make the car more flippy, especially with the small wheelbase of the 144001. Lastly I think the Remo P6973 wheels have a better size proportion look for this setup
Body. I chose the LC Raching EMB-MT body because I know it fits well given the 144001 drew HEAVY inspiration from the LC racing EMB series. It is a high quality body made from decently thick polycarbonate meaning it holds up well too.
The LC Racing EMB-MT/SC mounts are well made, fit perfectly and cheap. The pre-cut holes on the body are in exactly the correct location. These are adjustable so you can used with practically and truck non-buggy shell.
Bumpers. This was a no brainer. I went with EMB-MT bumper front and rear. They are high mounted meaning the car will want to go over rather than into models. Being an LC racing part the plastic is high quality and durable. They are also reinforced with 'nerf' bar shock absorptions so will be protected even in a direct hit. And of course they fit perfectly with the shell, offering excellent protection. The only potential downside is that that the front bumper does not extend to cover the front wheels like the t-bone racing bumper.
I like it. I feel the P6973 wheels are a good improvement over the MT wheels on this shorter wheelbase because they have similar level of grip but the smaller diameter means that the car is not as easy to roll as as the EMB-MT wheels. Also, as I mentioned the proportion looks nicer on the car and it keeps the effective gear ratio nice and low which means the power train can retain it's efficiency and ability to accelerate quickly.
Going in to this mod I know that our our collaborator Geoffrey had sung the praises of the EMB-MT bumper set but now I see why. It is much more complete and stronger than the tiny stock bumper and will engineered with the 'nerf' shock absorbing sections front and rear. The big rise of the bumper also means you are more likely to bounce over obstacles rather than just donk into them. It also fits beautifull with the stock shell.
Speaking of the shell the finish and quality is really good as you'd expect from LC but it does sit a little higher on the car than I'm used to. I tend to like to keep things low profile but it's probably just a change in mindset needed from me. Make no mistake though, this body will not do any sort of job of keeping dirt and dust out, especially when compared to a snug fitting buggy body. It will offer excellent airflow for cooling however.
Now I'm sure you didn't come here just for build pics but instead want some proof of this rig getting down and dirty. This session was just after the rain, 3 packs through back to back in dirt and medium length grass. After 3 packs motor and ESC was hot but could hold my finger to it for a little while before it became uncomfortable. Lots of rolls, cartwheels and bad landings but nothing broken or lost.
Although the 144001 can be made into a passable track racing car with suitable mods I don't think that is why most are buying it. It seems like people are mostly using as a fast and somewhat durable platform for bashing in backyards plus local on and off-road areas. If off-road is more your thing then I consider these mods a fun and practical upgrade for not a lot of money. They make for a car with more grip, more ability to get over obstacles and more ability to take a hit on inevitable crashes. The brushless upgrade part isn't critical but certainly adds to the experience with the extra power and weight reduction it brings.
Full list of parts used here to achieve the same outcome:
Thanks for reading, if you found this article useful please feel free to like or share, the facebook links below directly link/like this article. I don't believe in asking for money by patreon nor by paypal but if you do wish to help me, the affiliated links in these articles help me buy the bits and services I need to produce this type of content. If you are looking for RC cars, quads or parts check out my coupons and discounts page which I keep updated with only the RC cars, parts and quads I like at a proper discount