Low price, but not low in quality
I am so happy that Wltoys is finally producing an excellent RC buggy. For a price under USD $90, it is an excellent buggy. It is much better than most of the Tamiya entry-level buggies. Also, it is much better than A979B. I have just sold my A979B, and buy this one. I am happy for making this decision while I am sorry for the buyer who got my A979B (full metal upgrade). Out of the box, Wltoys 144001 is already a professional RC buggy.
It has everything you need
Do not forget that Wltoys 144001 is an RTR. For the price of an entry-level Tamiya RC kit (the price for the Tamiya Holiday Buggy on Gearbest is around USD $87 including shipping), you get everything. It means that you have nothing else to buy before you can enjoy the driving fun of this great RC car. In a nice box, you will find this buggy, a transmitter, a USB charger, a piece of small tool for taking the wheels off, a manual for ordering parts and a LIPO battery (1500 MAH gives you 7 minutes of driving fun).
Excellent steering and power
I found out that this car has an excellent steering setup although there is much slack in the system. I love to see this improvement. I don’t think I need to replace the stock steering and electronic system for a brushless system as I am happy about its stock performance. Do not forget it, it comes with a 550 motor, so you probably do not need to upgrade the buggy for a while. Its speed is good enough if you put a 2S LIPO into this buggy. I am currently using a LIPO of 2800 MAH. It can last for more than 15 minutes.
This buggy is speedy and can run in a straight line with all the stock components. This is definitely a good buy. I spent almost USD $300 on upgrading my A979B in order to reach the same performance level of this buggy. What a waste! One lesson I learned from upgrading the A979B is that an RC car with all-aluminum option parts is not as perfect as one might think. It really depends on the quality of the parts.
This is my first-hand experience with the 144001 buggy. When the buggy leaves the ground, the front part of the buggy swings too much. However, when it runs on the ground, it seems acceptable. It runs fast and straight. Moreover, be sure to use screw glue before the first test run. Otherwise, the wheel may fall due to looseness. I had a small accident. Therefore, I also lost the axle pin. I also found that one of the pins attached to the wheels bent due to vibration.
For its small size, I would only drive this buggy on parking lots or any other flatlands. Running on a racing track is a good choice after you upgrade it. I would avoid other harsh off-road paths in order to keep this car in shape. Sand is something that can damage your buggy even it has a gear protection cover. Anyway, it is only my opinion about this car.
For a more stable run, you should use thicker tires such as the ones used by the LC racing desert trucks. The original tires of Wltoys 144001 are 25 mm thick, but the ones for LC racing desert trucks are 44 mm. With wider tires, this buggy can run very steadily.
At this point, I am still searching for a 3S Lipo that can fit into the battery tray. I purchased one but it is too thick to put into the slot. If I cannot find a 3S with the perfect size, I might use the one I purchased anyway.
Some parts for LC racing buggies can be used in the Wltoys 144001. Before you order any part, you should do research on it. I will keep updating this post as I upgrade my buggy with the LC racing parts. I purchased the LC racing upper deck with the hope that I can make enough room for my 3S LIPO. Here is what I found about the Wltoys 144001
I found that the on/off switch is glued to the double-deck so you cannot take it apart, so you have to use the original ESC/receiver and let it stays in the original position. In that way, you cannot use a 3S LIPO of more than 20mm thick.
Here is some information about the size of LIPO you can use:
You can use any 2S LIPO of the following size
long: under 110 mm
width: under 40 mm
high: about 15 mm
3S LIPO should be too thick for the battery holder unless you replace the ESC.
Some people burned their ESC with a 3S LIPO, while others have not. So take your own risk if you want to use 3S LIPO.
With the USB charger, you can use a power bank to charge your battery for this buggy.
Moreover, do not throw away the manual as it is needed for buying parts to replace the damaged ones later. Each component in the car has a number that makes it easy for the player to order part later.
To upgrade to a brushless system, you will need to replace the whole electronic system, not only the motor. You need a brushless ESC, a brushless motor, a three wired servo, an upper deck, and a metal spur gear. The good thing about this buggy is that as it has so many aluminum parts, you do not need to buy extra option parts in the future when you want a superb powerful brushless buggy. Then, you can save a lot of money.
Finally, after I checked the screws of this buggy, I found two on the steering system are not tightened so I needed to put in some screw glue to tighten them.
Most recent upgrades
Recent I purchased a Hobbywing 1060 brushed ESC and JX 1181MG servo to replace the original electronic system. I use the LC Racing control system for my buggy. My plan is to use a 3s LIPO, but there is still not enough space in my buggy, so I need to find another way to do it.
I finally took away one side of the battery guard to make room for a 3S LIPO. Now, the 3s battery can be securely placed in the slot. Here is the image showing the installation.
Do not miss it
If you are an RC hobbyist, you definitely should get one of these. Every man does want a good sports car, but usually, he cannot afford the price of the car and car insurance, so it is a good pick. You can enjoy the challenge without paying much.
You have a choice of two colors, blue and red. I myself pick the blue one. Recently, I have noticed a price dropping trend for this buggy. This is the time to make a wise decision now. Do not miss this one. By the way, as I am in China, I got this buggy for only $60.
On Facebook, I was once told that Wltoys is using the design from LC racing to making this Wltoys 144001 buggy. I am feeling sad about this. In fact, Wltoys is a famous brand in many western countries. They do have the money to support product development. I hope they should reconsider their actions; otherwise, they will fail as many customers will reject them.
You can compare these two buggies here.
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Carlos Santos, your webmaster