Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

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Finally Finished them!

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:52 pm

I think in the end I did three or four coats of lacquer seal finish on them, and they look lovely, but dead hard to photograph, they never look the same colour in the pics as they do in real life.
Ah well, you get the idea...


Anyway, more excitement ahoy. Next week I have a fella coming to pick Coco up to repair a small hole in the floor pan, fit the headlining and a few other bits.

I have had some head scratching today - when by coincidence when wondering about the rear door bins lining on the Facebook group for the EHR, I discover that it's not normal for your seat belts to be attached through the ashtray aperture to the rear door bin. There is some conjecture about this at the moment, it may be lethal, or it may be quite normal under certain circumstances, the debate rumbles on!



Yesterday I went to visit a local upholsterer and trimmer who is going to do Coco's seats and carpets. http://www.stitchedupcarupholstery.com/ The proprietor, Joe, is salt of the earth, and spent AGES with me going through endless options and making sure I was happy with what he plans to do. In the end, I have gone for titian red leather throughout (which is a perfect match for tartan red) and he is getting carpets made to match. So, I am getting the seat frames resprayed, the seats rebuilt from scratch, all seats, door cards etc. in leather, door bins resprayed to match, liner cards made, boot lining cards made and carpet covered, the whole shebang for about a third of the the price of sending them to our favourite UK supplier. (I will make sure to post plenty of photos here once it's finished, in case anyone else wants to use them, because if you were going to go for it, even taking into account the carriage costs, it might be worth while.)

So it's all go for Coco at the moment! Exciting times! Smile


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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  Red Riley on Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:04 am

Unless those bins are reinforced somehow, that looks like it would do some damage to the bins if there was real force applied to the belts. Later Minis were done (sort of) like that but the rear bins were reinforced. You could get later bins or weld in the later reinforcements, but it would be a big job involving much cutting and welding. Probably why they're the way they are! When I put my inertia belts in, I just used the same bolt on the floor for the reel and the end of the belt. Looks a bit odd, but works okay, but as for whether they are proper or safe, haven't had to test that yet. Fingers crossed.
You can almost see how mine are in these photos. Almost.

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Interesting

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:33 am

Thanks for the idea. I'm not sure how the physics of one anchor point would work in a crash, but at the end of the day, I suppose anything stopping you going through the windscreen has to be an improvement.

Whether door bins following you out the windscreen will help, as in my car...I am not convinced, lol.

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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  TONYELF on Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:42 am

I have converted my Elf to inertia belts and the offical instructions where to fit as Red Riley. In fact the kit I received had a extention bar to allow me to use the same anchorage bolt on the cill.
My only grouse is that when fully retracted into the reel the belt rubs slightly on the door pocket (Mk2) so I just pull so much belt down from the B pillar before shutting the door.

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Busy day chez Coco.

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:21 am

Another busy day tricking around with Coco.

Got the bosses in the hubcaps!


Took off the front lamps, cleaned them and replaced the gaskets.


Painted the pedal arms, steering column and various other low level bits and bobs with black hammerite just to tidy them up in advance of the the big interior job coming down the line.


Scraped off the old flaking paint from the instrument fascia and painted it with primer ready for a coat of black tomorrow. Actually, that's something of a nightmare, it's so fiddly, I hope it turns out ok.


I also gave the boot and under the parcel shelf a good clean, and replaced the door furniture which on one side was wrong. I added the correct window winder and pull handle, and took all the others off and gave them a good clean and replaced them. It's all looking nice and matchy matchy ready for the new door cards.

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Engine paint

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:27 am

Didn't have much time today as I had to take my daughter to a party, but I managed to slosh a bit of red high temp paint around on the engine to touch it up.

Before:



After:



Also, here is the plate from under my dash. Sadly, most of the text is obscured. It says something about seatbelts. Does anyone have the same one, and if so, please tell me what it says!



(now with number obscured, cheers Jonny!)




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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  Johnnypoopoopants on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:16 am

Looking great Very Happy

Be a little cautious about posting such a good picture of your chassis number as a unscrupulous person could use this to place on a stolen car for export etc.

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Cheers Johnny

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:33 am

Thank you Johnny, hat never even occurred to me, I have obscured the number now. Curses on those unscrupulous people making us all do extra work! Smile

What is this plate called, ID plate, VIN plate?

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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  TONYELF on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:26 pm

Its your VIN plate.
My Elf is pre seat belt era so I cannot help there but I guess it says Seat belt anchorages in accordance with Spec BS (British Standards) Followed by the number of that standard.
I'm sure another E/H addict will confirm the rest?

Under the Riley Motors LTD is says
Abingdon-onThames,England.
When ordering replacements
Quote Vin No R-A2*******

Hope this helps
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Thanks Tony!

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:11 pm

Thanks Tony. Interesting. So if it had seatbelts fitted somewhere on the body frame originally, I ought to be able to find the anchor points...must have a gander under the carpets tomorrow, if it ever stops raining!

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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  TONYELF on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:51 pm

There are two on the B pillar ie.4.5 inches approx from top door rubber and 2.5 inches approx down from bottom door rubber. Should be easy enough to find Very Happy

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Thanks Tony.

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:26 am

Will go sleuthing next time I get the chance and see what the score is!
Smile

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Update

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:01 am

On Monday I went along to see Joe at Stitched Up Autos http://stitchedupcarupholstery.com/ to finalise the choice of leather upholstery and carpeting. I have a slot with him in 2.5 weeks. I am so excited! Coco's going to be a new woman.

Yesterday evening Ray Cunningham from Galway Mini Centre http://www.galwayminicentre.com came by to pick up Coco to do a small list of bits that I wanted to get done before she has her 'makeover'. He thinks I am mad to change Coco's existing vinyl upholstery, since it's in superficially ok condition. Let me tell you though, I know I have made the right decision. I have the seats and door cards in my bathroom waiting to go to the upholsterer, and now my entire bathroom smells of stinky old vinyl! The smell is just...UGH....overwhelming stench. It's not just old car smell its...Janey Mack it makes you want to faint! VILE!

He is a mine of information! I wish I had found him earlier, what a star. He really knows his onions. I learned a LOT from him in ten minutes while he was removing the door cards and upholstery for me. For a start, Coco has rear seatbelts that we had no idea were there! Hilarious. He checked out the front seatbelt anchoring to the rear seat bins. He is going to have a closer look at that to see whether a slight modification would make it safer.

I had already figured out myself that the ducting from the fresh air vent to the front grille was missing, so that's going to be sorted. This probably would be obvious to all of you guys, but I'm a person who had to learn which bit was the engine in July when I took my driving test, so it's been a steep learning curve for me! Anyway, I am hopeful that the passenger comfort will improve dramatically when the 'fresh air' isn't coming directly from the engine Smile

He's also fitting a 'new' headliner that I acquired, and touching up rust spots and other bits and bobs. I like to think of it as Coco having a few relaxing spa treatments before she goes in for her facelift.

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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  TONYELF on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:39 pm

You are one lucky lady! I know how you feel about the interior panels, mine where grimey to say the least and would not under any circumstances clean up plus the fact they were faded too.
I am looking forward to seeing the results!

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Cheers Tony!

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:18 pm

Yes, the door cards on mine are manky to say the least. No amount of scrubbing was going to help. But the seats really didn't *look* that bad, they came up a treat with a bit of autoglym, although not the right colour etc., but the smell is just indescribable. I think it's the combination of vinyl, grime and perhaps engine smells? I don't know. There's also a patch of what looks and smells like tar on one part.

Anyway, at this stage, I only plan on having one Elf (*wink*) so what I do, I want to do right since I only intend on doing it once!

Not being born and bred in this area I was at a serious disadvantage in finding good suppliers etc. but I think I have really struck lucky with these two fellows, pure good fortune to have found two good ones.

EXCITED! Very Happy

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Coco Chanel - Ongoing Works

Post  David2010 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:13 am


Yes you are absolutely correct about Ray Cunningham - but I had no idea he would collect a car so far from
his base in Loughrea ( thats in Co.Galway in the West of Ireland).

Ray came to the rescue last year when a Cooper S (one of a group of U.K.based cars on tour in Ireland
for the then Mini Cooper Register Magazine - now retitled Cooper World ) broke down. Our English visitors were
very impressed with Ray's speedy and professional repair thus restoring the Mini Cooper to fine fettle.

Ray's prowess behind the wheel of his own (1430cc??) very very quick Cooper S in Historic Rallys here in
Ireland is legendary and on at least one occasion he has won the Killarney Historic Stages event outright
- no small feat in that it involved the seeing off of a number of Porsche 911s.
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Hi David!

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:43 am

Hi David, how are you, and how's your Elf? We must get together for tea and Elf talk again soon, perhaps you fancy a meet up once Coco's got her new upholstery, see what you think! Smile

Yes, it is out of the ordinary for Ray to stray so far from his usual patch. I found him looking for someone to fit my new headlining. Initially I'd intended to hire a trailer to bring Coco to him, but he agreed to collect Coco en route to another job at his convenience which suited me fine as I was in no rush. He is a very busy man indeed and I am just thrilled he agreed to help me with Coco. Lucky isn't the word!!

Anyway, we would love to see you sometime!

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Hi from Coco Chanelf's biggest admireri n Dublin

Post  David2010 on Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:38 am

I trust that Tony, little Lilly and of course yourself Ali are all keeping well.
There is no need to ask about Coco - the progress reports & photos are really amazing and your determination to
locate and zero in on the best restorers and parts sources is an example to all Elf/Hornet owners.
My Elf will probably be returning to its original owner in N.Ireland as he has made me an initial offer which will
definitely require improvement ! (not enough).
My Cooper spent all of February in N.Ireland undergoing a complete engine re-build. The same man once again
worked his magic ( he re-built my Elf's engine & gearbox in 2006) & the Cooper is literally just "run in" - that's
an expression you don't hear these days.
Will definitely drop over to Dunboyne soon - either to introduce Morris Cooper or else allow you to bid farewell
to my riley Elf.

Until then.....
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Hi David

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:33 am

We're not doing too bad, thanks. Actually, I spent the last few months not so good, I got a chest infection that ended up being pneumonia/asthma and it took me AGES to recover from it. I am just now getting back to the whole of my health and enjoy life again! I hope you are well, yourself.

As to the sourcing the best suppliers, of course that's my hope but I am always relying on the kindness of strangers, people like yourself who have been so free with advice and help and sheer good luck in finding genuine people. Plus of course it is in my nature to be a bit obsessive over colour and finish having worked in interior design for some years in a former life! Smile And, of course, I try to be mindful that the car's life doesn't end with me, that hopefully she'll be around for 50 more years and what I do whilst she's in my care can help to make that happen.

Which brings me to your car, I know it must have been hard for you to make the decision to sell, but it certainly sounds as though you've found the right buyer providing they decide on the right price. Of course we'd love to see your Elf once more, but we'd also love to see your Cooper, so either is good. And mainly, of course, we'd be happy to see you again!

So yes, until then! Smile

Ali, Tony and Lilly

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Steering Wheel Centre

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Tue May 01, 2012 1:34 pm

I finally managed to score a MK III Steering Wheel Centre on eBay, but not before buying a MK I / II in error first.

I thought it might be useful to others to post a photo of them side by side, in case anyone else wonders what the difference is.

Anyway, can't wait to pop it in and finish off the lovely new steering wheel. Might be a while til I can do that though!



The smaller of the two, is the MK I / II horn push type. The larger one is the MK III non-push type.

Edit - to add the 'wrong' one is now already promised to an EHR member.


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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  whitebuffalo on Tue May 01, 2012 8:37 pm

Thanks for that side by side comparison. My MkIII '67 Elf had the MKI/MkII style and I was wanting to buy a better conditioned emblem since mine is cracked and crazed. Good to know the differences.
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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  humph on Fri May 25, 2012 11:36 pm

Thanks to Ali I now have templates to make my new glovebox liners. Thanks to Ebay and a local book binders I now have faux leather, spray adhesive and 3mm mill board. That means once I've built up my disc break conversion this weekend is all about glovebox making. Very Happy

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Yay!

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Fri May 25, 2012 11:39 pm

Good luck with that! Take loads of photos so we can see how it turns out! Smile

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Coco's back from Galway

Post  Coco_ChanElf on Sun May 27, 2012 1:00 am

Coco's back from Galway and Ray did an awesome job tuning her up, she is sounding great - like a different car! She's had loads of bits done, and is really looking good. The new ceiling vinyl is in, the dodgy paintwork on the rear interior windows and oddment bins is sorted, my new wheels are on, and the flintstones style floor pan has been welded in. Not to mention a list of other things the poor man discovered as he was going. I bet he wishes he never clapped eyes on my car, lol. He did let slip that whilst Coco was with him, another Elf owner in the local area came in to have a look at her...I wonder if he will find his way here at any stage. If so...hello! Smile

Today in the sunshine I replaced the bonnet and boot sound deadening materials, boot seal, washed the seat belts, changed the spare tyre, and stuck the steering wheel boss in. I took the manky old rear oddment bin liner and cut two new ones.

In case anyone is interested - to clean the seat belts I used old fashioned soap flakes in hot water, whisked up to a froth then diluted (the brand is LUX in the UK but here they're sold as Granny's Soap Flakes) and then briefly dipped them in it, wiped them down with a sponge, repeated the process with clean warm water and left to air dry. They came up like new.


Next week, fingers crossed, I might have some seats to sit on!! Smile









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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

Post  TONYELF on Sun May 27, 2012 11:42 am

It's looking great Ali, thanks for keeping the register updated with photos.
Much appreciated.

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Re: Coco ChanElf - almost 'finished' :)

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