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1/18 Buggy/Truck recommendations for very small backyard rc track

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1/18 Buggy/Truck recommendations for very small backyard rc track

Old 02-26-2020, 10:34 PM
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Default 1/18 Buggy/Truck recommendations for very small backyard rc track

Searched the forums but couldn't find anything newer than 2015 for this topic. Thinking about building a small backyard rc track and looking for vehicle recommendations. The longest straightaway would probably only be about 25 feet long (total area maybe 27' x 16'). I'm in Northern California, so don't get much rain, and grass basically doesn't grow in the back anymore. I have a WLToys 144001 (LC Racing EMB clone) and that seems a little overpowered to run around in a space that small. So thinking about 1/18 scale, and looking to buy at least 2 vehicles, possibly 3. The Mini T 2.0 looks cool, but not sure about running only 2wd off-road at that small a scale. My 9yr old son will definitely be driving, and possibly even my 5yr old, so durability and parts support are important. So far, I've been researching stuff like the ECX 1/18 Ruckus/Torment, LaTrax Teton/PreRunner, HBX Rampage/Hailstorm, etc. Any suggestions or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by gnfam; 02-27-2020 at 10:23 AM. Reason: update
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Old 02-27-2020, 08:27 PM
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From my own experience along with others on this forum I would avoid the 1/18 Ruckus as the diffs are weak and there is no simple fix for them, hence the reason no one has posted in the 1/18 Ecx thread in years.
I would probably go with the Latrax.
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Old 02-29-2020, 06:45 AM
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I don't know if there's a dependable 1/18 scale vehicle for off road running. They tend to be very cheap. The 1/14 scale vehicles start to become really good and that's where I would look.
Making a track is really fun and you can make a smaller track work too because you can cross over and re-use some areas to maximize your space. You want to make the lanes wide enough that you can drive when the vehicle is getting squirrelly. 3 feet wide for a 1/18 would be plenty and might be ok for the 1/14. 4 feet wide lanes should be plenty for the 1/14 stuff. I generally don't put jumps in at first. I like to drive around the track a few times and then decide where the jumps should go. Good luck and keep posting about the track you make.
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:56 AM
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Thanks for the recommendations. I actually picked up a LaTrax Teton on ebay yesterday for $60. If it doesn't work out on the track, it'll become my 5yr old's bashing truck. I'll focus on the track first, see how my 1/14 buggy and the Teton (when I get it) run on it, and then go from there.
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:40 AM
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So, we don't own the house where we plan to put in the track. We own a house in another state but are currently living in Northern California and we don't get much rain. The backyard was basically dead when we moved in. Want to spend as little as possible since it's not our permanent home, so for now just planning on getting some corrugated drain pipe from Home Depot and some wood for jumps. The pic shows what the backyard looks like now. All I did was remove some rocks (the remnants from the previous tenant's poor attempt to make a fire pit). The dirt is pretty dry and slippery. I imagine all I really need is to moisten it and level it out with a shovel and/or pick axe and hand tamper. Am I on the right track? -pun intended. Appreciate any suggestions.

Last edited by gnfam; 03-01-2020 at 03:19 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:17 PM
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The WLToys 1/18 vehicles have proven to be a very popular platform. Their buggy is the A959. It's become so popular that there's a decent aftermarket, and parts are pretty easy to come by. It's a pretty durable vehicle too. I've got the monster truck version of the same vehicle, and it's a fun little truck.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
The WLToys 1/18 vehicles have proven to be a very popular platform. Their buggy is the A959.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have the WLToys 144001 1/14 scale buggy which is a clone of the LC Racing EMB buggy, but with a big 540 brushed motor. It's just a little bigger than the A959. It's great when it works, but I'm having issues with getting replacement parts in a timely fashion. I totally expect any and all RC's I have to break with normal use. That's just part of the hobby. But since most of the WLToys replacement parts ship directly from China they take forever to arrive. And now with the coronavirus issues, shipping is delayed even more. My buggy has been sitting on the shelf for about two weeks waiting on a $3 part. The performance is awesome, and most of the parts are much better than the A959. Handles pretty well too. Problem is I can run it without parts.

I won a LaTrax Teton on Ebay for cheap and should get it in a little over a week. Also looking at the TA Reflex 14b/t, because it would probably hold up okay for practice runs at our local indoor 1/10 scale track as well. Unfortunately, the WLToys seems to break something every time we take it to the indoor track.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:45 PM
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The A959 and associated variations have been around for so long, that the parts supply is more robust than the new line.

A quick search on Ebay for "A959 parts" with the filter set to "US Only" turned up quite a bit of stuff.
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gnfam View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I have the WLToys 144001 1/14 scale buggy which is a clone of the LC Racing EMB buggy, but with a big 540 brushed motor. It's just a little bigger than the A959. It's great when it works, but I'm having issues with getting replacement parts in a timely fashion. I totally expect any and all RC's I have to break with normal use. That's just part of the hobby. But since most of the WLToys replacement parts ship directly from China they take forever to arrive. And now with the coronavirus issues, shipping is delayed even more. My buggy has been sitting on the shelf for about two weeks waiting on a $3 part. The performance is awesome, and most of the parts are much better than the A959. Handles pretty well too. Problem is I can run it without parts.

I won a LaTrax Teton on Ebay for cheap and should get it in a little over a week. Also looking at the TA Reflex 14b/t, because it would probably hold up okay for practice runs at our local indoor 1/10 scale track as well. Unfortunately, the WLToys seems to break something every time we take it to the indoor track.
I have the WL Toys 14001 buggy that I haven't even ran yet and just from looking at it I can tell things are going to break or bend rather fast. However for parts there is good news as a lot of the LC Racing parts will fit on the WL Toys buggy, parts like the shock towers, bulkheads, motor mount, diffs and the center drivetrain will not, LC Racing hubs will fit you just need 4x8x3 bearings for them.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by slick2500 View Post
parts like the shock towers, bulkheads, motor mount, diffs and the center drivetrain will not
Yeah, I learned the hard way about the shock towers. I ordered the LC Racing carbon fiber shock tower, and since I didn't want to try to cut the carbon fiber, I just mounted it in front of the stock shock tower. Had to use longer screws but I don't have to straighten out my shock tower after every run.



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Old 03-29-2020, 06:45 AM
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Wltoys 144001 is the best to have if you want a low priced buggy.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by carloss9400 View Post
Wltoys 144001 is the best to have if you want a low priced buggy.
Yeah, as long as you can get parts. And I'm not sure how well it will hold up to the abuse of a track, even a small one like mine with relatively mild jumps. One of my a arms had a small crack and the whole thing finally broke last week. Didn't run into anything - just a jump maybe 8" off the ground. Ordered some lc racing replacement arms last week from a US supplier and they're either lost in the mail or just delayed b/c of the coronavirus issues. USPS tracking just says it's moving in the system to its next destination (been saying that for 3 days now).
Ended up getting a used Latrax teton cheap and it's fun but I do prefer the 144001. Might sell it and get an associated reflex 14b/t or even an lc racing/tacon soar. Just kind of hard to just the price since it's only for a tiny backyard track.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:05 AM
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Here's my son driving the 144001. It's just a figure 8 right now, but we'll probably change the layout next week. Not much space to work with.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:37 AM
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I'm in Norcal as well and just started building my first RC track over the weekend. I always wanted a hobby grade RC car as a kid and never got one, so when the shelter in place hit I ordered 3 Latrax Tetons for the kids and I. So far they're a blast, although between the three we've had a broken swingarm, driveshaft and servo in the last 2 weeks. However, most of those parts seem to be known weak spots, so I figure once I've replaced them all over time they should be durable enough. I'm tempted to try a Losi Mini-8ight or Associated Reflex 14T for myself, but I think our track may be too narrow to run them. I may try a Latrax Prerunner-SST.

I'd post pics/video but it doesn't seem I'm allowed to yet.
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by djjohnr View Post
I'm in Norcal as well and just started building my first RC track over the weekend. I always wanted a hobby grade RC car as a kid and never got one, so when the shelter in place hit I ordered 3 Latrax Tetons for the kids and I.
I was in the same boat. Only had toy grade RC's as a kid and always wanted hobby grade. I even used to take my toy grade RadioShack rc car to the track at the hobby shop as a kid. The Teton is fun and yeah, I've broken two A-arms in just three runs. RPM just released A-arms for the Teton/Prerunner, and I bought two sets. Should be much stronger. Personally, I like driving my WLToys buggy much more then the Teton, but they're both fun. I'm also considering a Reflex 14b/t or possibly even another WLToys, now that I know which parts are the weak spots and where to get replacements. Including our 2 slashes, we already have 4 cars, so don't want to spend too much money for something just to run in the backyard. I'm really hoping our local indoor track survives being closed for so long due to the pandemic. Saving our money and hoping to get into local 1/10 scale racing when this is all over.
Here's a video of our Teton on our backyard track.
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Last edited by gnfam; 03-31-2020 at 10:39 AM. Reason: typo
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