Elf Rebuild - Part 3


Before anything was put onto the car, every bush, bearing, joint, gasket, oil seal, or whatever, was stripped down and rebuilt. The brakes and drive-shafts were totally rebuilt. Either the same part overhauled, or replaced with new.

For instance, the gearbox was stripped, and a new first  motion shaft and 1st gear fitted. A central  oil pickup was made by me, and fitted to prevent loss of oil suction due to surge, which is common on Minis. The engine was rebuilt using new bearings, thrust washers, shims, oil seals, oil pump, etc.


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My friend, is a genius at making gears, so we made a higher 3rd gear ratio, and an overdrive 4th gear, which with a 1.13:1 ratio gave a higher top speed. This made for an effortless cruising speed with a slight loss in acceleration. Although the power after the rebuild, was higher than before, just by careful assembly, and a bit of 'working'. The brakes and suspension modifications made for a more solid, tight, feel to the drive, which meant, in fact, that there was no loss of performance.

I was lucky that the wiring loom came out of the wreck in perfect condition, and as it was the last thing out, it was the first thing back in. I tagged each wire to ensure it was refitted correctly.

The rear sub-frame was very good, so it was sand-blasted and given two spray coats of Black Finnegans Hammerite, then two more coats brushed on.  The track rod ends were replaced. The 2 top and 2 bottom ball joints were overhauled. All radius arm bushes were replaced. The tie rods rebushed.   I made and fitted new brake pipes, and passed these and the fuel lines through a sealed common conduit welded to the inside floor of the car for protection. The whole car was set up for camber, castor and tracking.

Much wider steel wheels and new Goodyear Grand Prix Tyres were fitted, and balanced. The suspension was slightly lowered, by shortening the trumpets, and adjustable Koni shock absorbers  fitted all round. I was very satisfied with the result.

The aim was for a car with character, but extremely good reliability. In fact it was better than new. Even the radiator grille, and chrome light panels, were taken right down to their component parts, cleaned and reassembled. Every single bar on those items are screwed together. Its a bit like assembling a stained glass window.

The interior trim from the Elf consists of excellent quality carpets, dark red plush leather seats, (which I cleaned with saddle soap, and polished), a walnut dash with the instruments in front of the driver. These are Speedo, rev counter, oil pressure, oil temperature, water temperature, ammeter, fuel gauge and vacuum gauge.



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