WL Toy Match 104001 Diff Repair And RC Review

Blown Diff On New WL Match 104001

Looking for a review on the WL Toy Match ? Well read on as we have already had a first hand experience of this fine little bash around.


We initially purchased the new WL Match for the purposes of having some fun with our back yard dogs but after the fourth run, we ran into some problems.

The WL Match on initial inspection is quite a robust RC car.


I wanted to purchase something cheap enough for the purposes of having some fun with the dogs but something that was a little robust as well and could take a pounding from crashes and maybe the occasional bite.

WL Toy Review

I found the WL Match online and going for 270 odd dollars, next to Tamiya that is still full of plastic parts and 2-3 times more expensive, this model car is pretty much solid metal.

Metal chassis frame, metal shocks, metal shock towers and solid metal drive axles all pretty much equate to tuff fun and abuse that can be handled well.

No RC Expert knows everything about every RC car that is out there. Anything new has to be tested and all RC Car repairs are  a learning curve. No RC Shop expert is going to tell you…” YES, THIS CAR IS PERFECT FOR YOUR NEEDS ” How can they when they don’t know anything about the car without having tested it first hand.


The RC shop that sold me this RC Car, did they know there was no grease on the diffs ? No, not all.It is inevitable that RC Repairs somewhere along the lines will be inevitable at some time of any RC Car. Its just the stronger it is, the less repairs will be needed.


The WL 104001 Can take punishment. The best thing about it is that it is still quite quick even with the standard motor. The axles can take the punch of the engine and pretty much the entire driveline can handle the power.


More than likely, even with an upgraded motor, you will still have great lasting fun with this car. even the diff gears are metal. Having said the ” diff gears ” this is where we ran into problems. The planetary gears from the factory are aslo metal but they are also lubed with grease.


The front diff pinion actually stripped all the teeth and failed, thus leaving the car only with the rear diff for propulsion. I decided to pull the diff out cause what gave it away is the uncontrolled fishtailing while the car was trying to take off thus indicating no front end power drive.


Upon inspection of the diff, I discovered that while the planetary gears themselves contained grease, the crown and pinion did not. This is basically what led to the final drive failure.


I could not understand how the manufacturer could fill the planetary gears ( which spin less ) with lubrication but fail to provide any lubrication to the crown and pinion gears. Really odd to find metal gears with no lubrication

Front WL Diff Assembly

Front WL Diff Assembly

Crown And Planetary Gear Set

WL Diff Crown Wheel

Stripped Pinion Gear

WL Stripped Pinion Gear

Next Step Ahead

As you can see, the crown wheel is completely dry of any lubricant. No gease at all which explains why this front end assembly failed.


 Noticing the obvious, there is also the rear diff which has not as yet broken down. Once the front end diff assembly has been refitted, the next plan is to rip apart the rear diff assembly and grease it up before another breakdown and more money on parts.


I guess it will only be a matter of time before the rear diff strips gears if there is no grease in there as there wasn’t any in the front diff assembly.

Re-Installing Front Diff Assembly

Installing New Bearings In Diff Housing

WL Toy Differential Bearings

New Differential Unit Out Of The Box

WL Toy New Diff

New WL Diff Greased Up And Installed

New WL Diff Greased Up And Installed

Re-Installing Front End Back On Chassis

Re-Installing Front End Back On Chassis

Read Diff Inspection For Grease

Well, no surpises here seeing the front doff had  no grease in it. Only to be expected.As it turns out. WL diffs seem to be unlubricated.

We put some grease into the rear diff to protect it from any further ware from hard loads. These cars run pretty close tolerances so lubrication definitely helps where heat build up may be a problem .


The car itself is a pretty tuff unit for a run of the mill RC Car and RC repairs would be minimal on this brand of car as opposed to even more expensive RC models with less durable parts.


This is an RC car with many steel components that is designed to last.


The differential is the only weakness and I say weakness only because it is released with no grease on the differentials.

If you are planning on doing crazy jumps at skate parks and such and expecting the car to land unscathed, I would dare say you are pushing the envelope but for racing around a track or the back yard, the odd hit or roll over, this is an RC car that can take all that pretty well.


I would say this car would even give the more expensive models a run for their money as this RC Car has all the adjustments for racing needs and serious speed if you need it. It is an absolute rocket off the line even with the standard brushed motor.

My Thoughts On This

Having run RC Cars plenty of times, even plastic gear and diff assemblies usually have grease on them and these are plastic drivelines.

On a metal gear set to find that the planetary gear set which turns no where near as much as the crown and pinion had grease in it but not the crown and pinion gear was rather strange and unorthodox.


Now, was this a one off or is this how WL is built. No chance.


This his is how they are and for anyone buying one should be aware that they probably do not have grease on their driving diffs.


The video to the right shows how to simply check for a blown diff if you suspect it.


The firs real give away is there is basically no traction and then you just check to see if it working under all other checks

How To Know If You Have A Blown Diff

A typical sign of a front blown diff is the lack of ability to accelerate in straight line as the car once use to or if the front driveshaft is spinning but your wheels are not. If you are finding the car to be practically undrivable or not staying in a straight line, bet your marbles you have a front blown diff.


The car could also be generating more noise from crunched gears. If you also see the front drive shaft spinning but your wheels are doing nothing, you have a blown diff

Overall Review Of The WL Toys RC Car

Metal Housing Suspension

Metal Housing Suspension

As you can see, nothing beats anodised metal housing suspension systems. Also adjustable for any surface terrain or track you desire. Would compete against some of the bigger brands no problem. All comes down to the driver.

Powerful Brush Electric Motor

Powerful Electric Brushed Motor

Surprisingly, for a run of the mil hack RC Car, the WL has somewhat a rather powerful motor and this thing launches pretty hard for a standard electric motor, and to help the motor last a little longer, they fitted a heat sink for better cooling

Fan Cooled ESC

Fan Cooled ESC

Most Elctric RC Cars these days come with ESC congtrollers. Back in the 90’s, buying an RC car came with a mechanical speed controller which was absolutely use for linear control of throttle so they developed the ESC which has eradicated all those issues associated with mechanical controllers

Steel Plate Chassis Support

Metal Base Plate Chassis Support

Most cars these days are plastic but the WL also has a metal chassis support which gives it a stronger base support therefore eradicating broken serious crash plastic chassis. The metal support adds considerable strength

Steering Knuckle

Sturdy Steering Support

The WL has a pretty sturdy steering knuckle system which can take regular punishment and steering loads. Turn the wheel and this car steers quickly. You will be surprised at what even a budget electric RC car offers these days as it what it did nearly 30 years ago now

We only ran the WL four times up until as of this writing but outside a diff that had no grease on it, this car is built somewhat rather tuff and designed to take some punishment. With metal components to take the power of this electric motor and a strong metal support chassis, I believe in my own opinion that bang for buck, this is good value for some basic reliable fun.


My only suggestion is that if you decide to purchase WL 104001 that maybe you pull the diffs out and check them for grease.

If you find no grease, you should apply some on the crown and pinion and re-assemble. Outside of this, the WL bang for buck is a lot of fun. It even has enough goods to set it up for track fun as well.