Zombie History

---------------------------------------- 2006 MID VERSION ----------------------------------------

June 2006, PIR

"Having assembled a few motors that made in the neighborhood of 500hp and having grown up around drag racing, I am no stranger to high-performance vehicles, but I don't think I have ever driven anything that pulled so hard the first hundred feet...you really have to hang on tight! A (expletive) Rocket!"

(Quote from Roy LeMeur, NEDRA Northwest Regional Director, after driving White Zombie.)

  • Motor:

    'Siamese 8' dual armature with selectable series/parallel wiring & field weakening. (photo by Daniel Marsh):

  • Drive type:

    Direct drive. No reverse.

  • Driveshaft:

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

  • Rear axle:

    Dutchman heavy duty Street-strip, 31 spline racing axles. Installed new rebuilt Ford 9 inch differential with Detroit locker. Gear ratio change from 4:57 to a taller 4:11

  • 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 and BF Goodrich 'TA Drag Radials' (24" dia.)

  • Batteries:

    Enersys (Hawker) and Aerobatteries continue with their EV drag racing support as a fresh shipment of batteries arrive for the 2006 racing season:

    Removed the one year old 2005 season pack and installed a fresh pack of the same model 12 volt 26 ahr Hawker 'Aerobatteries', but added one more for a total of 30 batteries, raising the pack from 348V to an even loftier 360V! Total pack weight now at 735 lbs. The rear seat area tray and the sunken trunk tray were already stuffed full with no extra space for one more battery, so the 30th battery went to the area used during past changes to the car, the aluminum shelf just behind the rear seat back bulkhead. You can see the 30th battery in the photos below:

  • Controller:

    Zilla Z2k 2000 amp controller with Hairball interface. Programable automatic series-parallel contactor control. Quick-pull emergency disconnect.

  • 12 volt system:

    Replaced the 16 ahr Hawker Genesis 12V battery with a new 16 ahr Hawker Aerobatteries type based on the same model. Retained the 12V port in trunk for connection to the removable Orbital Blue Top 12V booster battery (used up through June) for nighttime drives to and from the track. Due to the 30th traction battery location, the Orbital battery was relocated and secured to left side of trunk foor.

    In July a specially made 40 amp DC-DC converter, based on a Vicor DC-DC module, was put together by Chris Brune. (below left) The driver's side controller/contactor/throttle pot mount before the new DC-DC was installed. (below right) The revised mount with the new DC-DC and associated components:

    The heavy portable Orbital was no longer needed. The 16 ahr Hawker Aerobatteries 12V battery remained as the 12V system back-up.

  • Other Mods:

    Field weakening added with twin 300 amp GE contactors and activated via steering wheel thumb button. (below left) In preparation for the field weakening contactors, a new aluminum mount was created and added adjacent to the motor. (below right) The completed field weakening circuit:

  • Car weight:

    2450 lbs. (est)
  • Races and EVents

    5-13-2006 White Zombie travels to Chicago area for the 'High Voltage Nationals'...rained out, no runs. Click the 'Photos' button at the home page, then advance to page 2, then select 'White Zombie Road Trip' for lots of photos from the Chicago trip. (below) Due to the wet pavement the front tires were not able to hold back the force of the traction tires, so we blocked the fronts at a Pep Boys parking lot in order to do a few burnoffs for the crowd.:

    6-3-2006 Saturday night PIR street drags...best ET ~12.4

    6-24-2006 'Gasless on Greenwood' car show in Seattle...White Zombie & drag racing videos displayed at this big car show. (below left photo by Steven Lough, below right photo by Daniel Marsh) :

    6-30-2006 Friday night PIR street drags...best ET 12.350 @ 104.73 mph

    7-12-2006 White Zombie on display in Portland at 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' movie premiere.

    7-29-2006 'Electric Breakfast'...White Zombie on display and David Brill from Australia's SBS Dateline on hand as he writes the story that will include the EV races.

    7-29-2006 'Wayland Invitational II'...best ET ~ 12.3, worse run when coasting across finish the line after battery blew up...12.9 @ 81 mph.

    (below) At the Wayland EV Juice Bar, three Northwest Handling Systems mechanics check out Cafe Electric's hot twin motor Porsche 914...evidently, you have to have a gotee in order to work on forklifts! From left to right...Steve Starks who drove the electric Porsche at the track that night, Tim Brehm, and the vacationing Dave Burkhart:

    (below left) In the pits with NEDRA dag racers and their machines. (below center) David Brill among the fast machines. (below right) The array of powerful Manzanita Micro chargers that kept all the electric drag machines juiced-up::

  • Carnage:

    (1) High speed vibration at 6-3-06 races

    (2) Gassing batteries at 6-30-06 races

    (3) The Vicor module in the new DC-DC converter blew up after a fun night with Chris Paine at the Portland movie premere.

    (4) Blown (open circuited) battery on 7-29 on the last run. The photo below isn't pretty in any sense. At tech-in they noted we didn't have a separating piece between the trunk area and the rear seat area, so in a last minute 'mod' we installed a tacky-looking piece of red corrigated plastic sheeting held in with contrasting green duct tape...nice! Hey, it worked. You can see the effects of the blown battery and the bypassing cable we added around it. Also note, that the center hold-down bracket for the pack is missing...it was after the races and just a bandaid fix so we could drive the car home:

  • Plasmaboy Quotes:

    (1) March 25, 2006..."I'm happy to report that today, a pallet of 30 brand new Hawker AeroBatteries arrived. I want to publicly thank Hawker, and especially Dick Brown of AeroBatteries for their unwavering support! Dick's enthusiasm over our racing efforts has been awesome, and Hawker has been very generous in their sponsorship. With a brand new pack and the other mods we've got planned, 2006 should be a fast year for Plasma Boy Racing!"

    (2) "The new pack of Aerobatteries are being installed today, but this time there'll be 30 of them, not the regular 29. Though the Zilla tops out at 348V nominal, it's the 'nominal' part we're dancing around. Assuming a pack at 360V can rise to 450V under charge with each battery peaking at 15V, to keep in the safe operating area of 'under 450V', the max nominal pack recommended is 29 batteries at 348V. We're pushing things though and are going with 30 batteries and will do 'charging things' in a certain way to stay out of trouble. I do not recommend that others try this with their street Zilla powered EVs, but hey, this is racing and if we can push something a bit to go quicker and faster, than so be it. Other changes to the car include the high rpm field weakening circuit that's nearly completed, and the still-to-be-done gear ratio change to a taller 4:11 over the present 4:57 ratio. Hopefully, our killer hole shot won't go away with all that low end torque we have on tap, and the taller gear set will keep the car in series mode longer for an even quicker 1/8 mile time than the present best 1/8th mile of 7.59 seconds."

    (3) "White Zombie runs with a 4:57 ratio and smallish (but big for a Datsun 1200) 24" diameter rear tires. It still hits 106 mph in the 1/4 mile due to its expertly crafted 8 inch Siamese motor spinning at around 6800 rpm with so far, no apparent damage from high rpm (fingers still crossed) I am planning on a rear ratio change to in fact, a 4:11 to allow the car to hit 115-120 mph and stay within a safe rpm range. I believe there's enough off-line torque, so that the taller gear set will not detract from the 1.59 60 ft. time it presently does with the 4:57 ratio."

    (4)(4) "Tired of wimpy high 12 stuff, we cranked up the battery current to 1000 amps and raised the series mode current limit to 1800 amps. Ahhhh...much better! In fact, had we not 'experimented' with field weakening (slowed the acceleration down and caused an interesting light show), the run would have been even quicker. White Zombie ran a quick 12.4-something @ 101-something mph. PIR's printer was nearly out of ink, so much so that the time slips have faded to white days later..."

    (5) June 30th PIR races..."White Zombie was lined up next to a very loud V8 muscle car, a green Chevy El Camino with a built 350 cid V8. This bad ass machine had fat drag slicks in back and its heavily cammed V8 lumped and thumped at idle in true muscle car fashion. At the burnout pits the Chevy did a ferocious burnout that had the crowd's attention immediately...all the while I drove around the water pit and waited for him to end his testosterone fueled display of power. The El Camino driver was serving notice that the little 'ol Datsun next to him was going to get blown away, and he was jabbing the throttle making the car jump...the car acted much like a bull does as he snorts and claws the dirt. The El Camino 'did' sound and look as if it could kick my Datsun's butt. I would later hear that some of the younger dudes who knew my car had put their money on the Zombie. We staged as the announcer told everyone that the little white Datsun was an electric car. Then the tree's lights sequenced down...yellow, yellow, yellow (floor the accelerator)...Green!...Wheels lift, nose in the air, my neck snapped back, and the race was on! The El Camino's V8 roared and shook my guts, but the sound faded as he couldn't stay with the Zombie. The run felt strong and the Zombie pulled hard, then the parallel up-shift happened accompanied by a brief rear end swing as the drag radials broke loose then grabbed. I could still hear the El Camino at full boil, but I could also see him in my rear view mirror :-) The best part for me, is that this poor muscle head dude had to read the 'SUCK AMPS' plastered across the Zombie's rear window all the way down the track as he was getting whupped by a little 'ol Datsun with a bunch of batteries! The finish line reader boards said it all....El Camino 13.091 @ 100.75 mph - White Zombie 12.524 @ 101.76 mph!"

    (6) June 30th PIR races..."Man, those 11's are hard to get! White Zombie did the usual job of stunning those unfamiliar with today's level of electric car performance, and yes, I toasted a built El Camino muscle car, beat another muscle car, beat a 12 second 4 wheel drive turboed Sube ricer, and held my own (but lost) with two pro stock cars, but nope, no 11-anything...just low 12's. I guess having an electric street legal sedan that 'only' runs 12.3 @ 100+ mph consistently (all 5 runs were 100+ mph, with the average at 103 mph) aint all that bad :-)"

    (7) Post-June 30th PIR races..."I'm rethinking the current stack of 30, 26 ahr, 24 lb. Hawker Aerobatteries. I remember back to 2000 when I ran a 378 lb. 336V pack of the half-sized Hawker 16 EP models, 16 ahr 13.5 lb. little bricks of power that could deliver 750 amps during low 13 second runs, over, and over. At 750 amps each battery would sag to ~6.9V (going off analog gauges in the car). A double string of 30 of these for 60 total batteries would make a 360V pack that weighs about 90 lbs. more. This pack would sag less than the current packs does at 1000 amps, while cranking out a whopping 1500 battery amps! Assuming a conservative 6.5V per battery of initial sag, the pack would kneel to 195V at 1500 amps for 295 kw (395 hp) of power giving 65 more hp than the current pack of 26 ahr batteries do."

    (8) On 'Who Killed the Electric Car' movie premiere and meeting director Chris Paine..."We chatted for perhaps 10 minutes before he said to me, "Oh, by the way, I'm Chris" (as he gives me a firm hand shake). I was pretty embarrassed that I had not recognized him. We migrated over to White Zombie, where his face erupted into a very big EV grin as he took in its 'racing attitude'. I told him Rod Wilde had asked me to present him with a pair of rubber shorts to prepare him for his Zombie ride, but Chris' wit was readily apparent when he instantly quipped back, "Oh that's OK, I've already got them on...wear them all the time."

    (9) Wayland Invitational II..."On the Zombie's last run at last Night's 'Wayland Invitational II', after a nearly out-of-control crowd-roaring monstrous sideways burnout, Tim Brehm powered White Zombie off the line with both front wheels up, the car twisting and getting crazy mid-air-then returning to the ground tearing up the track in what looked like what could have been a high 11 second run, but then he blew up a battery right after passing through the 1/8th mile marker. Get this....coasting with no power for nearly an 1/8th mile to cross the 1/4 mile finish line, White Zombie still managed a 12.9 @ 81 mph!"