Zombie History

------------------------------------2010 VERSION-----------------------------------

July 30th 2010, PIR

Photo courtesy of Carol Brown (photogal@iglide.net)

White Zombie heats the tires just before making its record 10.400 @ 117.21 mph pass, and becomes the first street legal electric car to run a 10 second 1/4 mile!

September 10th 2010, PIR

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Johnsen

"The Zombie boiled the tires until it hit about 80 mph and then came up into one of the best wheelstands I've seen in years! It was long and drawn out and came down like the nose of a jetliner on landing, nice and easy, and shot straight forward."

(Quote from NEDRA VP Roderick Wilde)

NEDRA Nationals, September 10, 2010... (below) The 126 mph time slip that verifies the Zombie is the 1st street legal electric car to break into the Roger Hedlund/NEDRA 125 mph club.

NEDRA Nationals, September 11, 2010... (below) Two very special time slips! On the left, the 10.258 @ 123.79 mph time slip from when the Zombie reset the PS/A3 class record. On the right, the backup time slip. Special note: The 109.28 mph 1/8 mile speed of the left time slip is the fastest speed that any street legal EV has ever gone in the 1/8 mile, and the 6.443 1/8 mile ET of the right time slip is the quickest 1/8 mile ET that any street legal EV has ever achieved in the 1/8 mile.

The two photos below are not the clearest, but like the photo above, they certainly capture the crazy power levels we experienced at the NEDRA Nationals. The lower left is a still clipped from a lo rez Youtube video, while the lower right is a Carol Brown photo taken without the use of a flash - note the glow beneath the car from the Siamese 9's agitated brushes:

July 2010...As we were working on the car preparing it for the attempt to be the 1st into the 10s, we couldn't help noticing the message on the custom license plate. (lower left) The combination of the red month designation tag (1) and the red year of expiration tag (10) was predicting 1st in the 10s! Though I had the car fully licensed, insured (it always is), and had the DMV envelope with current 2012 yellow tags inside the car (just in case I got pulled over on the street), we all agreed to leave them off the plates until we achieved the goal...you can see the 1-10 stickers in the burnout photo above. (lower right) The yellow 2012 stickers are now on the plates.

July 30th 2010...Photographer friend Carol Brown captured the exciting race between a 485 hp Skyline GTR and White Zombie. (below left) The twin turbo GTR and the electric Zombie meet in the staging lanes. (below center) At the tree for the grudge match. (below right) The reader boards show the results!

Nick Chambers from 'PluginCars's writes: "Here we are, coming to the end of 2010 and the release of the world's first mass-market and affordably-priced electric car, the Nissan LEAF - possibly heralding in a new age of personal transportation - and it somehow seems incredibly fitting that the LEAF's street legal brethren from almost 40 years ago has just broken the 11 second barrier in a 1/4 mile drag race. Not only that, in the record breaking run the White Zombie was up against (and beat) another brother, the Nissan Skyline GTR - a modern day monster of a combustion-engined car."

  • Motor:

    'Siamese 9' dual armature. Based on the shortened 'Impulse 9 motor, the siamesed version offers the increased torque a 9 inch motor has over an 8 inch, while the shorter length of this stubby motor pair is about the same as the outgoing Siamese 8. A Siamesed pair of full length 9s would not have fit the Zombie's limited under hood space and would have also added another 100 lbs. to the car...the siamesed pair of Impulse style 9s is just 25 lbs. heavier than the previous Siamese 8 motor! (below left) Bigger green Siamese 9 and the smaller purple Siamese 8 being retired. (below center) Jim 'Motor Dog' Husted doing surgery on the Siamese 9 so that the Zombie's reworked Siamese 8 motor brackets will bolt to the motor case. (below right) The Siamese 9 mounted in the car.

  • Drive type:

    Direct drive. Electric reverse.

  • Driveshaft:

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

  • Rear axle:

    Dutchman heavy duty Street/Strip Ford nine inch rear axle setup with 31 spline racing axles, & CalTracs traction bars. Strange aluminum differential housing with Detroit locker. 3:70 gear set. (below left) To make up for an extra 1/4" width due to the thick aluminum disc brake hats and to make room for the new 8" wide rims in back, the rear housing & axles were shortened 1" at each end - note the close tolerance between the new weld and the spring perch that gives just enough room for the U bolts. (below right) The new chopped and narrowed rear end setup installed:

    The CalTrac traction system is new for 2010 and eliminates leaf spring wind-up and controls pinion angle at launch, actually lifting the rear of the car (instead of squatting) while planting the tires hard into the pavement. It's always good to drop weight while increasing performance - in this case, the cam/link CalTrac system is 2.5 lbs. per side lighter than the outgoing square tube clamp-on style traction bar system it replaces.

  • Wheels & tires:

    Front - American Racing 'Torq Thrust D' 15 x 4 two piece alloys with 5 bolt Nissan/Ford bolt pattern and 145/65/15 Continental EcoContact LRR radials. These tough looking rims fitted with easy-rolling tires replace the previous smaller diameter but wider 13 x 5.5 Eagle rims shod with 185/55/13 rubber. Though much larger in diameter, the 15" wheel/tire combo is narrower and gives a drop in weight of 5.5 lbs. per side while decreasing rolling resistance.

    Rear - American Racing 'Torq Thrust D' 15 x 8 two piece alloys with 5 bolt Nissan/Ford bolt pattern and 225/50/15 BF Goodrich 'G Force' Drag Radials' (23.9" dia.). Note the difference in rubber width below compared to the previous 215/60/14 tires mounted on 14 x 6 wheels:

    (lower left) 2009 version had 13 x 5 Eagles with 185/55/13 up front and 14 x 6 Eagles with 215/60/14 G Force drag radials in back. (lower middle & right) The new 2010 wheel/tire setup - in front are new skinny 15 x 4 American Racing Torq Thrust D wheels with 145/65/15 tires that give the lowest rolling resistance for better top end, more efficient highway cruising, and light steering effort, and in the rear the new rims are a full 2 inches wider, now 15 x 8 American Racing Torq Thrust D wheels with 225/5015 G Force drag radials - traction! Considering that stock 1200 wheels were just 12 x 4, the 8 inch wide rims are HUGE!.

  • Batteries:

    192 Dow Kokam lithium manganese cobalt polymer cells. Each cell is 3.7V @ 30 ah C5, or 32 ah C2 and has a continuous discharge rate of 20C, and a 40C <10 second rating - that's 1200 amps from each cell! The cells are arranged in paralleled pairs to give 2400 amps. It took many months of planning, machining, and assembly to complete the battery pack. Four pages of pictures are posted at the 'Photos' section.

    (below) The cells look like square Pop Tarts:

    There are 12 custom made clear Lexan modules, each containing 16 cells to make a 29.6V battery. Wired in series, the 12 batteries make 355.2V total pack potential and 22.7 kWh @ C2 of energy storage. Every module case was assembled by hand:

    The layout of the pack:

    Only 11 of the 12 modules fit down inside the sunken trunk well, so the 12th module needed to be mounted on the component bracket that spans the shock towers/gas tank mount - 1200s had midship gas tanks. (below left) Special lower module case brackets were made from aluminum - weight savings, then bolted to the 1/2" Lexan side pieces of the 12th module (below center). (below right) The 12th module bolted to the component bracket.

    (below) A raw module minus its reg deck board, 8 ch. BMS board, cooling fan, and Lexan top cover:

    Each module is a 2Px8S design rated at 64 ah @ C2, weighs 39 lb. 14 oz., and can output 2,400 amps! All modules were tested extensively - the one shown here is not yet fully assembled:

    Here's a completed PBR2.4 (Plasma Boy Racing 2.4 kiloamp) Dow Kokam module:

    The entire Zombie battery pack - all 12 modules, on the bench and connected to the computer for BMS addressing and testing:

    11 modules fit into the sunken well like a puzzle, and have to be installed in a certain order so that they can be slipped under the custom hold-down blades and clamps:

    All twelve modules mounted in the trunk. (below left) With protective Lexan top cover removed. (below center) With protective Lexan cover. (below right) At night with the reg boards doing their thing at full charge:

    The graph below is from the 10.400 record run and shows how incredibly stiff the Dow Kokam cells are, even when being discharged at 1800 amps! The graph includes burnout time, staging time, and run time - the figures are not in complete agreement with BMS data we also obtained from the run, that indicated the pack never dipped below 300 Volts. The graph also shows how we hit the motor rev limit 'before' crossing the finish line! Follow from just past the three second mark where after the burnout the run started, over 10 seconds to near the 14 second mark, and you'll see the motor was in rev limit the final 2 seconds of the run...and we still did a 10.4! Time for a gear ratio change:

  • Controller:

    Zilla Z2k 2000 amp controller with Hairball interface. Quick-pull emergency disconnect. A small inverter provides 120 vac to run a nearly silent AC aquarium pump inside a windshield washer tank for liquid cooling of the controller.

  • 12 volt system:

    Unassisted 40 ahr Thunder Sky 13.4V battery as the 12V system supply.
  • Other Mods:

    Datsun 280ZX front struts with larger spindles and brakes replace the stock 1200 struts. (below left) We found a recently acquired 280ZX being parted out to get the rare struts (all the other model Z Cars' struts do not bolt to the 1200 control arms - just the 280ZX). (below center) In the this photo you can see the stock 8" 1200 rotors on the right, the larger 10" 280ZX rotors in the middle, and the even larger 10.75" Brembo rotors on the left - these were later cross drilled. (below right) The 280ZX struts were modified by 'FabTek' to accept 'Eibach' coil-over adjustable racing springs.

    Installed new KYB gas shocks

    Machined custom aluminum front hubs to change from the stock 4 on 4.5 bolt pattern to the Nissan/Ford 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern. The hubs were designed with an increased backset of .5" to accomodate the positive offset of the 15 x 4 'Torque Thrust D' rims, and to give proper spacing for the custom made caliper brackets.

    Each 'Brembo' ventilated rotor was cross-drilled to shave off 1.7 lbs., for almost 4 lbs. of the car's curb weight. Wilwood 4 piston calipers and hi pro brake pads do the clamping.

    Rear Ford drums brakes replaced with 11.5 inch (huge for a 1200) Wilwood solid drag discs, 4 piston calipers, and hi pro brake pads. These rotors are nearly the same diameter as the car's original 12 inch wheels, and really help haul the car down from 120+ mph trap speeds. In addition to the increased stopping power, they also help the go power by reducing the car's curb weight by 25 lbs.

    Stock 1200 master brake cylinder replaced with larger bore Datsun 240Z master brake cylinder.

  • Car weight:

    2348 lbs.
  • Races and EVents

    7-23 & 7-24...Wayland Invitational V

    7-30...Late Night Drags. White Zombie returns to the drag track after having motor and controller problems the weekend prior and only running a best 11.7 ET. This time, with repairs and improvements, the Zombie made EV history, becoming the 1st street legal electric car to ever run a 10 second 1/4 mile! Check out the end-of-track reader boards below to see the ET and trap speed from our first trip into the 10s... we followed this run with what we thought would be the back-up run (required to be within 1% to be a record) but the 2nd run turned out to be the official record with an improved ET of 10.400 at a lower trap speed of 117.21 mph:

    8-8...Northwest Datsun Owners Association 'Datsun/Nissan Show & Shine' 26th Annual Picnic... White Zombie (and Blue Meanie) displayed at this fun EVent. This year there were more 1200s than usual, so it was fun to be part of the big turnout:

  • Carnage:

    Prior to the Wayland Inv. races, the EVision battery pack monitoring system w/dash display blew up after a high voltage surge occured when re-connecting the 355V lithium pack.

    At the Wayland Inv. races Friday night, July 23rd, the 40 amp power external supply used to recharge the on-board 40 ahr Thunder Sky of the car's 12V system, blew up when it was inadverently connected to 208 vac instead of 120 vac

    At the Wayland Inv. races Friday night, July 23rd, the Siamese 8 motor blew up in spectacular fashion

    At the Late Night Drags at PIR on Friday, July 30th, a 12V systems under dash short occured on the 3rd run of the night, but was repaired in the pits.