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.
A little bit of theory
Stock motor overheating has long been in an issue in the 144001. Recently I found in my review of the new 124019 (same car, longer wheelbase) that they had come up with a simple and clever way to improve motor cooling that was super effective - A thermally conductive paste that connects the motor to the aluminium chassis which makes it act as a massive heatsink. In use it is really effective - heat energy transfers to the hot motor to the cool chassis as a heatsink first and then with the airflow past the chassis, the heat is effectively removed by transferring it to the environment. Since the performance of a heatsink is directly proportional to its mass, the heavy chassis is a perfect candidate, compared to the motor heatsinks we've seen like the ones below... just compare the weight. Furthermore a fan is not needed since there is good airflow against the chassis. Simple, effective passive cooling.
First you'll need some thermal grease. This is a highly conductive semi solid paste that will thermally connect the motor to the chassis. This is commonly used by computer builders between chipsets and heatsinks. If you cannot buy locally then Banggood have heaps of options here or these are some specific options below around the $3 mark. Don't worry about the having the best stuff like the computer guys use, it won't make much difference for what we are using it for. Just having something is important. BTW 5g is plenty but get a bigger tube if you don't feel confident.
Check your car first because if you have taken deliver in the last couple of months you may already have some there - I've heard the some of the more recently ordered cars may already have grease present. Grease present looks like the image below. Stop here if that is the case, you are already sorted. If not, carry on!
Next, remove the top deck and unscrew the motor mount from the chassis.
Squirt the paste out of the tube in a line along the bottom of the motor where it comes closest to the chassis. When you reinstall the motor the paste will squeeze and smoosh out between the motor and chassis. This is good - increases the (thermal) contact area.
Reinstall the top plate and make sure your screws are all snugged. That's it, go out and enjoy. You can tell the thermal great is working properly because the heat transfers effectively to the chassis - in short that means your chassis will get warm/hot quickly (same as motor temp) but in doing so it shares the unwanted heat energy which then gets removed when air rushes by. The faster the better so drive fast!
Thanks for checking out my article and please let me know on my facebook page or in the 144001 group if it worked out for you. I've created a reference page below for all of the 144001 articles I've published here:
144001 UPGRADES - EVERY ONE OF MY GUIDES HERE.
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
11/1/2021 07:07:59 am
I have some thermal paste laying around, when my 144001's arrive, I'll give them some thermal treatment .
11/1/2021 09:10:00 am
Do it! works much better than the little motor heatsinks and fans.
11/11/2021 05:39:31 am
What about esc any cheap method?
6/2/2021 03:33:16 pm
Good tip from you.
15/3/2021 01:36:35 pm
Sorry for the late response. Yep, they'd be a good option too
11/2/2021 03:57:04 am
Thank you for this very informative tip and site. I just ordered a 144001. Can't wait for it to arrive. I'm already thinking of all the upgrades I can do. This site will surely come in handy!!!
18/2/2021 06:43:22 pm
Was going to do this, but instead have ordered a thermal pad instead... Went with 1mm thick which may be a bit too much, but it'll squish down (and will contact a wider area of the motor), and didn't wanna go 0.5mm and have it wind up not touching the motor...
15/3/2021 11:51:31 am
Jason - good idea! I run my 144001 in sand a lot. Also please let me know if you are happy with the thickness.
30/3/2021 10:42:43 am
Is there any risk of this heating up the battery as it sits on the chassis?
30/3/2021 11:14:18 pm
It's fine - the chassis is a decent sized mass with a large surface area that it dissipates heat fairly quickly
14/4/2021 07:42:45 am
Great post, very interesting! Who would have thought that WL toys would be the first ones to think of this! I wonder if big name brands will do this too.
15/4/2021 11:59:55 am
Hey again Isaac
11/1/2022 10:51:11 pm
I added thermal paste as suggested, and although it noticeably increased the heat dissipation to the chassis, it wasn't enough. The motor overheated and failed when bashing on grass.
11/1/2022 11:20:22 pm
This post refers to a WLToys 144001. It has the ESC mounted on the top deck.
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