Zombie History

---------------------------------------- 1996 EARLY VERSION ----------------------------------------

1996 ... Optima Batteries Provide Power to Burn!

  • Motor:

    9 inch ADC (143 lbs.)

  • Drive type:

    Datsun 5 speed (from '81 Datsun 210 fastback). Shaved & lightened flywheel with racing clutch setup. Original heavy duty pressure plate replaced with an updated, more aggressive version of the 'Nissan Competition' pressure plate that has doubled springs. Worn out 'Nissan Competition' clutch disc removed and replaced with a 'K.C. Tool' solid metal clutch disk that's triangular-shaped with three robust copper pads and no springs.

  • Driveshaft:

    Previous modified stock Datsun drive line removed and replaced with a custom made heavy duty type drive line with stronger universal joints.

  • Rear axle:

    Heavy duty Nissan from '67 Datsun SSS 411 sedan, narrowed so that 7" wide American Racing 4 spoke alloys could tuck under fender lips. Aluminum 3rd member. Stock 3:90 ratio gear set was pulled and replaced with a 4:88 gear set from a '66 Datsun pickup.

  • Wheels & tires:

    Front - 13 x 5.5 classic American Racing 4 spoke with 175/50/13 Pirelli P7.

    Rear - 13 x 7 classic American Racing 4 spoke with 195/50/13 Pirelli P7.

  • Batteries:

    175V Nicad pack removed. Battery pack change to 15, 12 volt Optima Red Tops (SLI type) @ 180V nominal. Pack weight increased from 420 lbs. to 585 lbs. total weight. All 15 batteries fit behind the front seats in an alluminum tray where the rear seat used to be. The left photo shows the pack before it was completely wired and a view into the trunk with its empty spare tire well. Right photo is the completed pack with its protective clear Lexan cover and all the gold plated car audio battery terminals and thick double runs of copper bus bars installed. Can you say, high current capability?

  • Controller:

    Replaced diesel contactor with 180V rated Sevcon SCR controller. Note the Todd PC30HV DC-DC converter that replaced the twin 7 ahr 12V system batteries at lower left of photo.

    When the controller failed to function at the '96 APS races in Phoenix, the Bubba line contactor (shown to the left of controller) was rewired and used as a binary controller (ON-OFF at full battery power!). The photo below captures the moment as we were trying to get the controller to power up.

  • 12 volt system:

    Removed the two small 7 ahr 12V batteries and installed a Todd PC30HV, 30 amp DC-DC converter in original SLI battery location (lower left corner in motor bay photo above) ...no backup 12V battery. Approximately 10 lbs. of weight savings, improved 12V system power, and no external 12V system charging required.

  • Other Mods:

    (1) Welded differential's spider gears for a full posi effect.

    (2) Extra leaf from '74 Datsun B210 added to each rear spring set to stiffen rear suspension and reduce rear tire scrape.

    (3) Rear sway bar that also acts as a traction bar added to help reduce wind up of the rear axle.

    (4) Hydraulic line lock added to hold front brakes on for proper burnouts.

    (5) Replaced 1/0 field-to-armature external jumper on the motor with a thick copper bus bar insulated with red heat shrink.

    (6) All high current, high voltage 1/0 power cables and gold plated connecters 'StreetWires' brand...1st electric drag car to use car audio type power cables and connectors. Shown here, is the trunk mounted combination fuse panel/battery current shunts for the doubled run of 1/0 cables handling the high voltage B+.

    Small grey signal cable (above) takes shunt voltage and sends it to the large Simpson 'Battery Current' meter mounted on the car's steering column (below). Note the 1500 amp scale!

  • Car weight:

    2120 lbs. (est.)

  • Races and EVents

    3-3-1996 APS Races in Phoenix with the Friday Night Drags. On the left is a photo of the APS banner. The two right photos are still frames from a video shot that night from the highest row in the bleachers, and are fun historic images of the world's first line-locked electric car burnout. The center frame captures the initial tire ignition sequence, while the second frame is from a zoom-out that got the entire smoke colud. The car's best ET that night of 17.1 is slow by today's standards, but it was considered fairly quick for an electric car in '96 and was comparable to the high 16-low 17 ET of the GM EV1. You can see this video at the 'Videos' page.

    6-1-1996 'REV96' Canadian EV show...White Zombie performs burnouts and is on display.

  • Carnage:

    (1) Specilal high voltage, high current Sevcon SCR controller failed to operate. Went to plan B, using a Bubba contactor as a binary speed controller (on-off) that applied the full pack voltage to the motor each time the throttle was floored, laying rubber in all 5 gears with each upshift! Footage of a run is at 'Videos' page.

    (2) Severe traction problems off line...ET may have been 1/2 second quicker if fatter, stickier rubber was in back.

  • Plasmaboy Quotes:

    (1) Phoenix APS races..."At the Phoenix APS races, the Zombie had 180 volts of Optima Red Tops, and two Kilovac 'Bubba' contactors. The switch was flipped with the car in first gear, and the full battery voltage was dropped across a stalled 9 inch ADC motor! The tires squealed and smoked, as the motor sucked 2000 amps or so, and the instantaneous jump off the line was impressive. As the motor revved up however, the amperage going into it fell off rapidly (due to the motor's back EMF) and the acceleration of the car fell off as well...the rpms from about 3500-6000 were just wasted effort. Shifting to 2nd gear slowed the motor's rpm back down and the big amps were sucked again, the tires squealed again, and the car lunged and resumed its acceleration...shifting to 3rd repeated the process. Through all five gears, with each upshift the Zombie laid rubber, but the acceleration was only in those five brief spurts, not a continuous flow of power."

    (2) Phoenix APS races..."I used contactor 'binary control' at the '96 EV drags in Phoenix. When I performed the world's first electric car line-locked power burnout, I baked the tires so long that one of my sponsors (Kilovac) panicked because they thought I had welded the contactors closed...heck, I was just having a little fun and was trying to get the crowd excited!"