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1995 NAS Defender 90 Station Wagon #302/500
Upgrades and Service
This 1995 NAS Defender 90 Station Wagon (hardtop) is a cool vehicle. It is one of the only 500 5 speed Defender 90 wagons imported to the USA in 1995, and it has less than 10,000 original miles from new. Yes, thats right, it has about 9100 miles and is in top flight condition. It sure is cool... but its time for us to make it even cooler!
The interior of the D90 looks as good as the exterior. Here you can see the rear passenger/cargo area.
The front looks just as nice, but there is a problem. The car was previously owned by a smoker so the entire interior stinks of what smells like a cross between wet cats and cigars. So we will be tearing out the entire interior in order to ditch the stink and make the 90 better in the process while installing the new owners desired upgrades.
In this shot you can see the stock 1995 NAS D90 Wagon dash. This works fine for some folks, but the new owner wants the dash upgraded to the later spec. dash system, new leather seats and some really nice audio/video gear installed to make the interior a much nicer place to be.
The first step is to remove the seats and get them to our trim shop for re-covering in a nice grey leather. The problem is that this 90 has been sitting somewhere for a long time, and likely in a hot environment because the wood that supports the rear jump seats has warped. This image shows a jump seat base sitting "flat" on one of our tool boxes... not very flat and there is no way we are going to have that warped base re-covered in top quality leather.
So our in house wood working department has made up some new seat frame bases that are square and level. These are also made from better quality materials so that the problem can't happen again. Next we will attach the foam bases and send the lot out for a new dose of leather.
Now that the seats are at the trim shop we can continue with the conversion and tear down of the interior. Here you can see the 1995 spec dash system is gone. Now we will do some upgrades like making the heater opening larger for better in cabin heat and we will install a layer of dyna-mat behind the dash as well to help keep the noise down inside the Rover.
A little further along all the rear stinky carpets have been removed and the interior is starting to be cleaned out and brought down to a blank canvas for us to work with.
The headliners were sagging a little so they are out of here as well and we will be replacing them with new factory units for a clean look.
This image shows the later model dash parts starting to go into place. The new dash system will move the radio to the dash and update the vent flap controls and the switch gear. Its a great way to update the interior of a 90 and it was done in this 90 for that reason and also due to the fact that we will be installing a flip out touch screen audio/video system and that requires a different radio location than the stock 1995 cubby box mount. Even without the need for the head unit changes the updated dash is ultra cool and something that few NAS Defenders have.
In the back of the 90 everything has been cleaned up and a layer of dyna-mat has been installed. The sheets of dyna-mat combined with the new carpets will make the 90 much more car-like as far as interior noise goes and it all will help make this 90 a great all weather cruiser.
The exterior of the 90 is getting some changes as well. We'll be ditching the girly running boards and sills and installing a set of ROX sliders with functional Euro-style side steps. The cheesy front A bar is history as well and will be replaced with a ROX front bumper and skid plate combination. We'll top that with 3 Hella 4000 lights a Warn winch and also protect the underbelly with a ROX tie rod guard, diff guard and HD drag link. The factory alloys have just been removed and sent to our paint dept. to get powder coated in satin black for a nice aggressive final look to this Defender 90.
Back inside the 90, the in car systems are being installed and that means lots and lots and lots of wires. In this image you can see the wires are being roughed in for the upcoming sound system and navigation system. All the wires we pull are run in correct locations that will not interfere with future repairs. We see stereo shops that do not know Defenders run wires across the floors, under the carpets and all over the place. Those guys don't know that some day down the road you may need to remove the floor to repair your gearbox and if they do the "typical stereo shop" install they will be screwing the ability for correct future repairs. All our wires are run where they should be and no new holes are drilled, we use all factory wire runs so that although you are may be adding equipment, you aren't hurting the value of your Defender. As much as we can we always try to make everything we "add on", "undoable" down the road if the customer or next owner sees fit to back to stock.
Another aspect of our work that sets ECR apart is our use of the correct color wires with the correct wiring connectors in all our work. The image above shows the new wiring for the updated hazard switch and rear wiper systems in the updated dash. We've seen other shops do this work and they just solder the wires directly to the switch! What happens a few years from now if the switch needs to be replaced? If you use all red and black wire like some shops do how do you trace electrical issues that might come up years from now? Oh yeah, thats right, those shops could care less... they just want to install your sound system as fast as possible so that they can get to the next rapper's "Benz". All our work uses factory parts with factory style wiring... no after-market wiring nightmares here and future repairs and service are a breeze.
The 90 also needed some upgrades for the rear so we have installed our LED tail light set up that will allow this 90 to stand up to New England winters without the dilemma of tail lights that don't work that is so common in 1995-1997 NAS Defender 90s. More LED info here.
Here you can see the new headliners have been installed for a nice clean look to the interior. We also made a slight modification to tie the 2 interior lamps together, that way both lamps will come on when you open any door. The stock 1995 set up is that the front light comes on when you use the front door and the rear lamp when you use the back, but never the 2 together unless you turn one on manually.
This image shows the seat box trims and new carpets going in place. The smell is already gone from the 90 and the new trims are making this 90 look better than it used to and with a layer of dyna-mat hidden under the carpets it will be a quieter ride as well.
In the rear the carpets and side trims have been installed and the interior roll cage has been re-installed. Next up we will install the jump seats with their new leather covers and the subwoofer boxes.
Here you can see the custom subwoofer boxes painted in the correct alpine white. These units blend in behind the jump seats and house a subwoofer on each side of the truck for great sound reproduction without the need for some large goofy sub box inside the truck. Once installed these units will blend right in with the rear cargo area and they utilize wasted space for something useful.
Outside the 90 the upgrade work continues. To combat the rust bleeds that happen on the stock hinges we have installed a set of upgraded units and attached them to the 90 with stainless steel bolts so that the area will stay clean looking and that is especially important on a white truck.
Up front the new ROX front bumper, with our new built in recovery points, has been installed and we are running the wiring for the upcoming Warn 9000 winch. Once the winch is installed we'll set up the bumper with some Hella 4000 lamps for extra light and a lower skid plate to help protect the steering gear from harm when off roading.
Here you can see the subwoofer box installed on the RH side. The sister box with another 8" subwoofer is on the LH side of the truck. As you can see the boxes use wasted space and turn it into great bass for the trucks sound system.
This image shows the rear jump seats installed. The new leather looks great and the new tough wood frames will make sure that the frames will not twist or break like the originals did. We have also topped off the jump seats with alloy bases instead of the cardboard ones that were original. The alloy bases are powder coated black for a stock look, but they are much tougher and they resemble the plastic units as used on the late mode Defenders overseas.
The completed set up looks nearly invisible and doesn't interfere with carrying 4 people in the back of the 90, or carrying any cargo you need to carry. Most subwoofer systems mean a compromise of having a huge box in the back of your 90, or even removing one or more of the jump seats. This set up lets you keep all the flexibility that a D90 offers.
Back up front we have installed the Hella 4000s with their protective covers and mounted and wired the Warn 9000 winch. Under the truck we have added a ROX tie rod guard, heavy duty drag link and a front differential guard for total steering protection when off roading. Last thing to do up front is to spool on the new winch rope. Under the hood the services needed to bring this D90 out of its long hibernation have been done so that when it goes back into service it won't have any issues.
To make the 90 look even better the owner has sent up some Good Year MTRs and we have mounted them up on the newly powder coated rims. As soon as the new ROX sliders go into place the new tires and recoated rims will go back on and give the 90 a great overall look.
Inside we have now buttoned up the interior and it has many updates. One of those is the addition of a battery cut off switch. This works great for long periods of down time so that you won't come back to a dead battery and also has safety aspects as well. In case of any electrical issues you can just reach down and flip the switch thereby cutting power to the entire electrical system.
The new leather seats have now gone into place and are looking great and you can see the new cubby box has been installed.
The original cubby box had a radio mount in it, and no drink holders. The new cubby box, shown above, has drink holders built in and has no radio mount for a clean look now that we have moved the radio to the dash. Under the cubby box we fabricated a spacer to lift it a little. This serves two purposes. First it raises the box a little so that it can be used as an arm rest (the factory units are too low for that) and second, we used that extra space underneath it to house the Alpine digital amplifier. There isn't much space in a D90 for audio equipment, so this works well to house the equipment needed for this Defenders audio/video system.
We have also added factory correct power windows to the 90 along with power door locks. Here you can see the original door panels have been fitted with the Japanese spec. power window assemblies and the trims that cover up the old window crank openings.
The power window switches are located in the factory dash system and are all wired correctly with the right connectors and switches so that future repairs will be a snap. Also notice that the factory 1995 vent flap controls have been replaced with the correct 2004- spec. units for a complete and correctly operating dash conversion.
Here you can see the completed dash conversion with everything back in place. The controls for the driving lights, power windows, rear wiper, rear washer, rear defrost and hazards are all done with the correct switch gear in the factory locations for a clean and modern look.
In the middle of that new factory dash is the new Alpine head unit that controls all the audio/video additions in the Rover.
The new dash location for the head unit allows for a flip out touch screen system and once it is turned on it controls the normal stuff, like AM, FM and CDs.
Then you can plug in your iPod and close it away in the cubby box and you can listen to all your iPod's music...
right through the head unit with full logic iPod controls through the head unit itself.
If you have music videos or movies on your iPod you can watch those as well through the Alpine head unit.
If you need navigation help you can pop the new Alpine Blackbird navigation unit into the docking station in the cubby box and then...
control all the navigation functions through the head unit for easy to follow displays on the touch screen head unit. If that isn't enough you can load mp3s into the Blackbird unit and listen to them on the AUX. feature. If that still isn't enough you can load...
your favorite DVD and watch a movie with killer sound while you relax in the Rover.
It is a great system that all works well because of all the custom touches we have built in and with the new dash and hidden subwoofers none of it screams "bling-bling". Its is a great system with subtle and stylish execution.
Out back on the 90 we have added a heavy duty rear cargo mat to protect the new carpets. New front mats were added as well. Up front we also added ROX kick panels for a set up that will stand up to muddy boots, unlike the stock cardboard units.
Here you can see the front of the 90 all set up and ready to go. The synthetic winch rope has been added along with the recovery shackles and the lower skid plate.
This image shows the rear of the 90 and the rear work/reverse lamp we have installed to aid with loading the camping gear, or just backing up in dark areas. The ROX LED reverse lamps are very bright on their own, but this unit makes daylight when turned on. It has a 3 position switch so that it can remain off, can be turned on manually for loading gear or it can come on and off automatically as you select reverse gear.
Another important upgrade on this low miles 90, to help keep it from having an engine fire, is to remove the factory oil cooler lines and install our performance ROX oil cooler lines. These lines keep the oil away from the exhaust manifolds for lower oil temps. and they won't explode causing an engine fire like the originals. For more oil line information go here.
Here you can see we have fabrciated and install the ROX sliders. These units have built in Hi-Lift points and are as tough as nails. We run these on our own Defenders, and if we can't bend or break them, we know that customers will be happy with them. This customer also requested a set of Euro-style side step and and front mud flaps.
The Rover gets mud flaps out back as well and looks great with our LED lights, rear work/reverse lamp and the darker colored spare rim.
One last shot of the upgraded interior now that it is all cleaned up and ready for the customer. New dash, all new carpets, new headliners, new leather seats and all the other updates make the interior of this 90 one nice place to be.
Here it is, the low miles beauty, with a ton of service work done to keep it that way, and a huge laundry list of upgrades and tricks that very few other NAS D90 Wagons have. All those ECR installed upgrades combined with the low original miles makes this limited edition Defender 90 one of the best out there.
If you have needs for your Defender, from routine service to wild modifications, contact ECR. We'll be happy to help make your Defender everything you want it to be.