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1997 Defender 90 Station Wagon
Repairs and upgrades

This 1997 Defender 90 Wagon has come to us from New Jersey. It is already pretty well set up, but it needs a few more upgrades and some repairs to get it to where the owner wants it to be, so he sent it to us. We'll be going after some interior water leaks and some routine service items.

The water leaks are a somewhat common problem on the hardtops. This 90 was the victim of an accident in the past, so some of the body assembly isn't up to snuff and some of the seals have cracked. The good news is that we can easily cure the leaks, but it means roof removal to cure it correctly, as seen above.

Accidents stress all kinds of places in a Defender body, especially the tops. The joints in the roof are sealed, but heavy stress loads can crack the sealer and that means you get waterfalls inside the cabin. The areas pointed to with the arrows above are common areas of leaks. The rain gutter and the top seams all will let water in, making for a wet ride and ruined headliners. We will remove all the old sealer and install better, longer lasting, more flexible sealer for a long lasting repair.

Another reason some Rovers leak is that the factory only applies the seam sealer to the outside of the roof. When we do this job we duplicate the exterior appearance of the roof, but with better products and we also seal the inside of the roof as well just in case any small pin hole happens on the outside. The grey product you see above is the seam sealer. The finish here is rough, but these areas will be covered by the headliners once the 90 is back together.

While the roof was off the 90 the customer wanted us to take care of some minor dings and dents in the roof panel. To that end we have metal worked the dings and dents out of the roof panel and then spot primed and block sanded the areas for a correct repair (no body filler, just correct metal working techniques and some paint to feather the edges. Try getting that at your local body shop). Once all the sealer cures we will then prime and repaint the entire roof panel in the correct Alpine White. When we are done it will look factory, but it won't leak.

As we will be painting a number of parts on this 90 the customer asked us to repaint his upgraded door hinges properly. The paint was just falling off, so we will prep and correctly prime and paint the new style hinges in the correct body color for a long lasting Defender door hinge, without rust.

Here you can see the completed roof section now sprayed in Alpine White and ready to go back onto the 90 with no more leaks.

At the customers request we have also added a new heated windscreen to keep the windscreen clear, shown installed above. The heated screen has tiny electrical elements in it that heat up the glass to remove ice and fog, these are a great addition to any Defender.

This image shows the 90s roof section now back in places and ready to be bolted up.

Here you can see we have re-install the sunroof and the rest of the glass and put the safari cage back together.

It is quite an involved process to get the roof on a Defender to stop leaking, and still look bone stock, but it can be done as you can see from the image above. Everything is back together looking 100% factory, but the materials and techniques used to cure the leaks mean they won't come back anytime soon.

We also removed the customers door hinges and properly primed and painted them. These are the upgraded hinges already, so with the new primer and paint they will be rust free for a long time to come and we correctly lined up the doors so they open and close easier. More information on new style hinges cam be found here.

At the customers requites we also added a Mantec spare tire carrier to the rear of the 90 Wagon. This set up helps the support the weight of larger tires.

Here you can see the completed 90 ready to head back to New Jersey with a lot fewer leaks and some nice upgrades. If you have Defender needs from a large job, to a small job like this one contact ECR, we can help.