Zombie History

---------------------------------------- 2006 LATE VERSION ----------------------------------------

Plasma Boy behind the wheel of White Zombie heating up the tires for a run.

  • Motor:

    'Siamese 8' dual armature with selectable series/parallel wiring.

  • Drive type:

    Direct drive. Electric reverse added with Albright SW200 front motor field control contactor and twin 300 amp GE contactors (previously used for the field weakening) for high current reverse capabilities:

  • Driveshaft:

    Single piece all aluminum driveline from 'Inland Empire Drivelines'. Driveline loop.

  • Rear axle:

    Dutchman heavy duty Street-strip Ford nine inch rear axle setup with 31 spline racing axles, 4:11 gears and Detroit locker. Air shocks & traction bars.

  • Wheels & tires:

    Front - Eagle 5 spoke 13 x 5.5 alloys with 4 bolt Nissan rear drive offset and 175/50/13 Nitto Exit GS radials.

    Rear - Eagle 5 spoke 14 x 6 alloys with 5 bolt Ford front drive offset. New version BF Goodrich 'G Force Drag Radials' (24" dia.)

    Dismounted the old worn-out BF Goodrich 'TA Drag Radials' and mounted-up the new 'G Force' versions with the all new tread pattern, said to improve the already tremendous grip of these street drag radials.

  • Batteries:

    30, 12 volt 26 ahr Hawker 'Aerobatteries' @ 360V nominal and 735 lbs. total pack weight. Near full charge, the dash Emeter keeps track of the voltage rise at night:

  • Controller:

    Zilla Z2k 2000 amp controller with Hairball interface. Programable automatic series-parallel contactor control. Quick-pull emergency disconnect. Removed the noisy RV style water pump pump (left) and installed a small submersible aquarium pump inside the water tank. (right) A small 75 watt inverter provides the 120 vac to run the nearly silent pump:

  • 12 volt system:

    The 40 amp DC-DC converter was rebuilt and re-installed. The 16 ahr Hawker Aerobatteries 12V battery remained as the 12V system back-up.
  • Other Mods:

    (1) Field weakening deleated.

    (2) New cover built & installed for the rear seatback bulkhead.

    (3) All new under-hood signal control wiring to clean up the cluttered look of all the last minute added harnesses here and there. New relay pack added to facilitate electric reverse and other features through the Hairball Interface:

  • Car weight:

    2470 lbs. (est)
  • Races and EVents

    8-25 & 8-26-2006 'Late Night Nationals' two day EVent at PIR...best ET 12.308 @ 104.20 and new class PS/A3 world record! (below left) The new Manzanita Micro 'PFC50X' - specially set up for Plasma Boy at 75 amps capability, and the mains power distribution panel that taps into PIR's 3 phase 240 vac. (below right) White Zombie, with Otmar's quick 914 Porsche in the background, heats up the BF Goodrich drag radials as daylight fades into night:

    (below left) Every year at race time, the front yard at the Wayland EV juice bar is strewn with EVs. (below center) Midday between wrenching on EV race cars, electric car friends relax in the Wayland backyard. (below right) Seattle Electric Vehicle Association's president Steve Lough takes a break with some veggies & dip:

    8-24 thru 8-27 'Car & Driver Magazine' covers the Late Night Nationals EV drag races to be part of an electric drag racing feature article in the magazine. (below left) Friday night trackside at PIR, Otmar Ebenhoech sucks up to Car and Driver's Ted West. (below center) Ted's turn behind the wheel of White Zombie produced low 12 second runs! Seen here, his race against a built 351 V8 Mustang. (below right) Saturday night at PIR, Ted discusses driving techniques with Tim Brehm.

    8-26-2006 'Electric Breakfast"... (below left) Marquis at the Village Inn restaurant welcoming all EV race fans. (below center) Car and Driver's photographer Morgan Segal and writer Ted West hang out with the electric drag racers. (below right) The Village Inn cooked up lots of great food:

    8-26-2006 'The Oregonian' newspaper runs article 'Electric Drag Racer shocks Disbelievers' featuring White Zombie.

    8-31 thru 9-2-2006 White Zombie on display in the Midwest at the 'RPM Tradeshow' in Indianapolis.

    9-13-2006 'Portland Tribune' newspaper runs 'Gentlemen, Unplug your Engines' featuring White Zombie.

    9-14-2006 First airing of 'SBS Dateline' featuring White Zombie drag racing footage. Plasma Boy's EVs are featured at the end of this nicely produced video, but the entire clip is worth watching. The final drag track footage shows White Zombie wasting a V8 Mustang:

  • Carnage:

    (1) Blown fuses on reverse circuit due to shorted contactor coil snubber

    (2) Blown (open circuited) battery on 8-26 on the last run of the night

  • Plasmaboy Quotes:

    (1) Oregonian sports writer Doug Binder's ride in White Zombie..."I'd been trying to explain to him the way the car launches from rest and how even against really powerful gas cars known to run 0-60 in 4 seconds or so, my EV is 4-5 car lengths ahead of them at 60 mph. I told him the Zombie's 0-60 time is estimated to be somewhere in the mid 3's. He evidently, had no idea what the car would really be like. It was a hot day, so the recently repaved asphalt was warm and sticky. We rounded a corner and just when I had straightened out the Zombie and was rolling at about 5 mph, I planted my right foot down hard! Instead of the usual 100 feet of constant wheel spin and copious tire smoke, the damn thing simply stuck and did a wheel stand, instantly slamming the poor guy into his seat as both his eyes were big as saucers as he was now looking through the windshield at the sky instead of the road. When the front end came back down, it unloaded the rear tires a bit and they were breaking loose and squealing as we rushed up to speed. It was about the best power demo I could have hoped for! He was at the same time, in a state of shock, scared absolutely sh....tless, and yet, had the biggest EV grin I think I've ever seen. He told me he had never, ever been in a car that accelerated like that...ever, and said it was more like an amusement park ride :-)"

    (2) "A couple of weeks ago I gave an interview with 'The Oregonian', Oregon's largest newspaper, and Tim and I took time for a second day's photo session, too. The deal was, that we'd give our time, if the paper would run the article in the Thursday edition of the sports page prior to the Late Night Drags races, for the obvious reason to help promote the races and draw in folks who might otherwise not know about them. We were told the article was scheduled for Thursday's paper. Well, Thursday came and went, so did Friday...nothing in the paper, and a huge disappointment for us. Of course, when it was too late to help us, the article appeared in the Saturday paper, the day of the last night of racing :-( It's unfortunate, too, as it is a pretty positive article that had a nice largish photo of White Zombie looking pretty bad-ass with a backdrop of tire smoke."

    (3) Car and Driver magazine's Ted West..."Tim warmed-up the Zombie with two 12 second runs, then it was Car and Driver's Ted West's turn. The nervous journalist received last minute instructions from Tim and I on the best launching techniques and what to expect before he was strapped into the electric Datsun from Hell and sent out to the track. First run...12.6 even after letting off the throttle too early with the finish line still ahead of him. With his head hanging in shame, he vowed not to repeat the error and delivered a smack-down 12.3 @ 103 mph second run. Third run 12.3 @ 102 mph. This last run Ted lifted both front tires about 4 inches off the ground immediately, so the front wheels were stationary and not rotating for about 40 feet...a very cool looking power-launch! Earlier this year, Car and Driver road tested a new 500+ hp V10 Dodge Viper that turned a 12.5 ET, so it's now fairly official from the magazine's perspective, that an electric street sedan runs a quicker 1/4 mile! One additional stat...White Zombie ran 12's on all runs defeating every gasser challenge of the night."

    (4) On adding reverse..."I reverse the front motor section only while the rear motor section is off line and is just along for the ride. Here's how it gets done...I replaced the beefy 4/0 external field-to-armature cable connection (~ 1ft. long) on the front motor section, with two short 4/0 cables and an SW200 Albright contactor with a single set of contact tips normally open (NO), the same model as the three I use for the series/parallel switchers. This 4th SW200 is inserted between the field and armature of the front motor section's field-to-armature series connection. With it energized and pulled in, I can still operate the Siamese 8 motor as I had been doing. By opening this 'field contactor' however, the front motor section can now be reconfigured for reverse via a set of 300 amp GE single pole NO contactors. These are the same heavy duty contactors I had installed and experimented with for field weakening. The other 'control logic' circuit uses the Hairball's great set of convenience and safety features including the 'roll detect' circuit that prevents catastrophic reversing of the motors during an apposing direction under detectable rpm. I wanted a true 'Neutral' direction position with the dash mounted three position toggle switch, so that nothing can run when the switch is in neutral. I also wanted all the fault code options intact....etc. etc. The control logic job was intense and installed across the reversing contactor coils couldn't handle the inductive kick-back and failed in a shorted condition! Once we figured that out though, reverse was available at the mere flip of a switch...beautiful!"

    (5) More on the new reverse system..."I'm very pleased with the setup I decided to go with. I have all the flexibility and functions of the Hairball including full protection against accidentally selecting an opposing direction under any kind of travel speed, the reverse is silky smooth, and as a bonus I've got up to 2000 amps of power just in case I need to do a reverse burnout :-)"

    (6) On '07 racing plans..."Though we had a lot of fun racing this year, team Plasma Boy failed to hit our goal of cracking the 11's. The Siamese 8 motor, the Zilla control system, and the Dutchman drive train deliver power effortlessly and reliably, but we feel the car is battery limited in terms of the amount of total hp available. Consistently running low 12's isn't too bad, and we did get a good deal of media attention that can only help the image of EVs...still, we're not satisfied and are determined to do better in '07!"