Monday, September 20, 2010


Here's hoping this thing works.

Recall the previous post about the d!c&ed up caliper? Yeah. The replacement we ordered had the SAME PROBLEM (bad threads in the fluid inlet). So, we ordered a THIRD caliper...and it worked. Whew. Got everything bled & things seem alright. I may do one final bleed before we race because it seems to still be a bit soft on the pedal, but it's not too bad.

The car is loaded on the rig, essentially ready to go when I get back from New Jersey Motorsports Park on Friday.

In the meantime, the rest of the team is getting prepped for the race. Todd & Ginny are headed here from MI. Zack raced his Spec Miata at CMP last weekend (and only wrecked a little!). Jim is in dire need of cash so we hear he's considering donating plasma...or any other bodily fluids someone will pay for.

So... Barring any big changes, we'll see you Friday at Carolina Motorsports Park for our third attempt at the 24 Hours of Lemons!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holy Crap, The Car's Not Ready!

With less than 2 weeks before the race, I'm still scrambling to get the car together. If it's not one thing, it's another...

Last note talked about the snapped manifold stud. Well, last night I went to bleed the brakes...I mean, that's easy, right? Er, no. Got the rears done, went to the right front and...SNAP! Broke off the bleeder valve which had apparently welded itself to the inside of the caliper. We fought & fought with it, drilling carefully & trying to use an EZ Out... But ultimately, the thing is pretty d!ck3d up. So, I've got a rebuilt caliper on order. Should be in by this afternoon so I can install it tonight. Here's hoping everything comes correctly because I'm down to one final night of work before the race: my work travel schedule is crazy. I fly to PA Wednesday, return Sunday afternoon. Home Sunday evening to load up the car & trailer. Monday morning back on a plane to New Jersey, then fly home Friday morning...just to haul @$$ home, get the rig & get down to Kershaw for the race. Whoof!

I did get the wheels & tires mounted & balanced last night, so let's hope I'm just about wrapped up for this mess.

Oh, one last bummer: Stephanie had to cancel on us last minute for a job up in Michigan. That gave Jim Ballard (a Hammer's Hero from the last 2 races) a chance to slot in. That's great; he'll bring Lemons experience & knowledge of the car with him. A bonus since Todd & Zack have yet to even see the car in person!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Closer...

Spent the weekend getting the car prepped for the race: changed the oil, filter & trans/diff lube. Wrapped up the front brakes & decided it's worth the $13.49 to put new shoes on the rear so I got them ordered (they'll be in today).

I attempted to replace a blown out exhaust flange gasket (between the downpipe & manifold)...and promptly snapped it off. $#!t. I can't reach the backside to drill it out so in the spirit of Lemons, I'm likely to grab a tube of Permatex & try to seal it up best I can.

Oh, and I mounted the TraqMate data system...which is worth more than the car itself.

Up next, get the tires mounted & balanced & load it up!

Monday, August 9, 2010

6 Weeks & Counting...

...until we race again!

"I'm feeling good" says Hammer's Heroes team principal John "Hammer" fresh off a weekend in his Spec Miata at Road Atlanta.

The rest of the team is gearing up too; Zack Skolnick & Todd Chapman are both going to be at New Jersey Motorsports Park this coming weekend...and as much as they need the practice, neither will be behind the wheel of anything more virile than a golf cart. Zack is spending the Summer with Ferrari North America & Todd is a part time crew member for ARCA's Eddie Sharp Racing.

Stephanie Reaves is fresh from a run at VIR and a corporate event in Atlanta where she got to rub elbows with singer Usher.

Hammer is going hunting for used tires off Legends cars this week; that's what the team uses on the BMW's stock 13" wheels. Why? They're cheap & last a long time! Brakes just came in too; a brake job is due up in the next couple weeks.

Think this whole mess sounds wild? It is! Wanna be part of it? Of course you do! Drop a line to Crew AT & come to the track in September... and you too can be one of Hammer's Heroes!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Got a good news / bad news note today.
  • The bad news: Wayne Shaver had to back out of the team...the economy is tight & it is what it is.
  • The good news: Stephanie Reaves is going to replace him. Love you Wayne, but she's better on so many levels...she 1) has money, 2) is a chick...sure to bring us notoriety! and 3) has money.
We had our first team conference call tonight & discussed the couple of things we need to do to prep the car: brake rotors & pads are ordered. We're going to wire up an old Miata radiator fan as a spare since we had cooling issues in the last race. We're also trying to figure out the fuel system mess...we'll hope a replacement seal on the fuel cap fixes our vacuum issue there. Hey, we've seen dumber things fix stuff!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gearing Up To Grind Gears!

They're in... After a year out of competition, Hammer's Heroes are back in the mix at the 24 Hours of Lemons, the endurance race for $500 cars.

A new cast of characters are making the team this time around:

  • The Heroes are still led by team principal John "Hammer" Palazzolo. "I've said it before, Lemons is the most fun I've ever had in a racecar. To have these guys join me at the track is going to be huge fun!"
  • The rest of the team includes Wayne Shaver who worked with Hammer at both Xtreme Measures (a teen driving school) and Chrysler's SRT Track Experience.
  • Zack Skolnik is an up & coming shoe who's spending his summer in New Jersey under the wing of Ferrari North America.
  • The novice member of the team is an old friend & crew member for Eddie Sharp Racing's ARCA stock car team; Todd Chapman. Todd has never raced anything in his life...this is his first opportunity to pull on fireproof skivvies & live his dreams.
And that's what Hammer's Heroes are all about; living the dream. Want to be part of the Heroes? Drop a line to Race weekend is September 24-26 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. See you there!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Let's Try This Again!

Hammer's Heroes have been jonesing for a motorsport, instead of our normal routine of flopping our tail ends on the couch with a remote in one hand, a Yeungling Light in the other... We've decided to blow the mothballs off the team's "racecar" and enter the Fall version of the 24 Hours of Lemons...the endurance race for $500 cars!

The plan is to field a team of 4 drivers, headed up by team principal John "Hammer." "I'm totally jazzed to run Lemons again" said Hammer, smiling a wicked smile. "We've got a car that really should do well...once we figure out the fuel system!

Want to be part of this adventure? Contact Hammer now: John at HammersHeroes dot com.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hammer's Heroes Need A Hero...

...actually, we need warm bodies with legal drivers' licenses and a few bucks to spend on a great weekend of racing.

Unfortunately, hard times have eaten into everyone's racing budget...even racing this cheap. Short story: Hammer's Heroes have had to withdraw from the 24 Hours of Lemons this coming May.

There's another event in the fall we'll work towards. In the meantime, the car is available to rent and the team is focusing on shakedown runs of a brand new Spec Miata.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Official: We're Masochists.

...and we're IN for Lemons South Spring at Carolina Motorsports Park!

The Hammer's Heroes BMW needs help, though. And that means turning wrenches. Before we can run another weekend long endurance race, we need to do a brake job with pads, rotors & fluid. We need tires. We have to throw another spitball at the fuel system mess.

But, we're going for it.

The team members are still being determined...if you have interest in running with us, drop a line to

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How do you say "Jackass" in German?

You'd think we'd learned, but... Nooooo, we've not! Thank goodness, huh?! Hammer's Heroes is back for another exciting season of missed opportunity & unintentional disaster on the racetrack. We've done exactly NOTHING to our 1983 BMW 320i racecar...although it needs some attention (brakes, MORE fuel system work and a fresh stash of used tires from someone's (yours?) Legends Car).

The date for the event is May 21-23, 2010 at Carolina Motorsports Park. We've applied & hope to make our not-so-glorious return to competition then.

Stay tuned for updates!

The official link to the event is here: Lemons South Spring 2010