Alter the default game you start of with in "ELITE.EXE" itself with a
hex file editor of your choice. The defualt game you start of with
starts at offset 11366 (At least it does in my version.
Scan the file for '100.0 credits' to be sure). Look for the bytes
03 e8 00 (100.0 credits) and replace them by 40 42 0f. Now you have
100000 credits whenever you start a game from scratch.
About half of the future save file can be found in elite.exe and
you can alter some other values to change name, hyperspace system
selected, missiles etc. However I just flew my ship from Lave to
Leesti (Tech level 10) and bought my stuff there, with all the
extra cash I had.
I seem to have found the bytes that correspond to your rating.
They're the four bytes before the name (e.g. JAMESON). Strange
enough, they're there twice. In elite.exe at the beginning
they're set to 00 00 00 00, and setting them to ff 00 ff 00
gives you a deadly rating (I think).
00 04 00 04 makes you 'elite'.