Introduction: Fan Powered Race Car

Using everyday materials, create fan-powered cars that you can race head to head. The total cost should be approximately $40 (USD). Necessary materials can be found at most craft stores.



  • Two 9V Alkaline Batteries
  • Two 9V Motors
  • Two Battery leads (with alligator clips)
  • Pinecar racing car models
  • Two propeller turbines
  • Three Balsa wood plane models


  • Hammer
  • X-Acto knife
  • Wire cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • 5/64 inch drill bit

Step 1: Isolating Necessary Parts

Separating the Propeller from the Balsa Wood Plane:

  1. Using the wire cutter, remove the propeller from its axle
  2. Widen the propeller's center with a 5/64 inch drill bit

Building the balsa wood Frame:

  1. Cut eight 3/4 inch by 1/4 inch balsa wood slabs for the motor stand
  2. Cut six 1 inch by 1.5 inch balsa wood pieces for the battery mount

Step 2: Step 2: Building the Fan

  1. Apply a small bead of hot glue to the axle of the motor
  2. Slide the propeller onto the axle (be careful not to push the hot glue too far down the axle)
  3. Once the glue has dried, test the fan by pressing the motor's electrodes against the electrodes of a 9V Battery.

Step 3: Mounting the Motor

Prepping the mount:

  1. Glue four balsa wood slabs (3/4 inch by 1/4 inch) together to form a stack
  2. Once dry, attach the stack to the rear of a Pinecar race car

Attaching the Motor:

  1. Glue the motor and propeller to the top of the mount
  2. Repeat steps for other cars

Step 4: Mounting the Battery


    1. Attach a lead wire (with alligator clips) to the electrodes of a 9V battery

    Mounting the Battery:

    1. Frame the battery on three sides with the 1 inch by 1.5 inch balsa wood pieces
    2. Trim edges and extra bits
    3. Glue the balsa wood pieces together
    4. Attach the frame to the car with hot glue
    5. Mount the battery in the frame

    Step 5: Final Preparations

    Final Wiring:

    1. Attach the alligator clips to the electrodes of the motor
    2. Make sure the propeller does not hit the floor when in action

    Additional Ideas:

    1. Decorate race cars with designs of choice
    2. Add spoilers or other aesthetic additions

    Step 6: Time to Race!

    • Using your cars you can race as much as you want! (Be sure to replace your batteries every now and then)
    • We recommend utilizing your race cars to recreate the plot of the classic Pixar movie Cars