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1994 Defender 90 Soft Top
Galvanized frame and accident repair
This 1994 Defender 90 has come to us from Oregon for some accident repairs. We'll also be adding a correct galvanized chassis that will allow the direct bolt in of the engine and still retain all the NAS (North America Spec) body mounts and rear fuel tank, with no modifications.
In most cases we would just lift the body in our frame swap system to be able to drop it down on a new galv. frame, but due to the need to repair the accident damage we'll do this one the old fashion way, we'll take it apart into large sections and get it ready for the repairs and a new paint job.
Here you can see we have removed the front clip and are getting ready to remove the bulkhead. We'll rework the bulkhead to get it straight again, but some of the front sheet-metal is toast and will be replaced with new panels. Next step is to get it stripped down to the rolling chassis so that we can remove the axles and get them set up on the new galv. frame.
This image shows the 90 taken down to the large pieces that we can work with. The tub will now be cleaned up of all the dirt and dust and we will start to prep it for new exterior paint.
Speaking of dirt, the top of the fuel tank is one area that takes it pretty hard when a 90 is used off road. Here you can see the accumulation of dirt and debris. In a west coast car luckily this doesn't immediately turn to corrosion problems like they do here in the Eastern US, but to make sure there are no future issues we will be installing new stainless steel fuel lines so that rust will never be a factor in this Defenders fuel lines.
Here you can see the 90 reduced to the old damaged chassis. The nose of this one is swayed badly, but the axles check out as being straight so that is good news.
This image shows the new back bone for this D90, its new galvanized frame. This frame has all the mounts and needed points for the special NAS parts, like the fuel tank cradle, etc..
Here you can see the 90 a little further along. The ARB lockers have been added to the diffs and the suspension has been installed. The engine has been installed in the frame and the rear body is now back on the body so that it can get stripped down and ready for paint.
The new, not rebuilt, R380 gearbox is now installed as well with the correct 1.4 ratio transfer case. Along with the galvanized frame we are also doing all the other rust resistant items on the chassis, adding our stainless steel brake and fuel lines, with dummy ss filter, to make sure this 90 won't have any rust issues any time soon.
Here you can see that the paint work is complete. All the panels are painted apart so that paint coverage is 100% and so that common rust issues, like up under the body cappings, will not be a future factor. The factory puts all these pieces together and paints them, and that is where the rust comes in, from behind. We fully epoxy prime and paint the back side of these parts in order to stop corrosion, then we assemble the Rover. Speaking of Rover assembly, the stage above is the most crucial Most shops just toss a crash damage truck back together. We take the time to make the body lines correct. This ensures that everything will work and that the doors and seal gaps will be perfect. That makes the doors close easier and it reduces water ingress into the truck.
Once the body lines and gaps are set correctly it makes the assembly of the front clip a breeze. The fenders fit right on without issue. You can see that the new paint is looking great and we are already adding upgrades like our turn signal conversion kit that will make all the signals and lights work correctly, even with the upcoming ROX front bumper.
To make things nicer inside the Defender we have added some sound reduction material that will be nicely hidden under the factory mats. It won't be seen, but it sure will be heard... in the form of greatly reduced road noise, and that will be a welcome addition on the gravel roads this Defender travels frequently.
This image shows the body coming along. We have the new power cables run for the new winch bumper and the final body parts are being assembled and dressed out, making the mass of newly painted parts look like a nice Defender 90 again.
At the rear of the 90 we have re-powder coated all the tire carrier parts and installed them, along with the rear step, trailer lights and such. The tailgate is adjusted to close easily and we have even added a tailgate exterior lock, something that anyone with a 94 NAS D90 will tell you is a welcome addition... instead of having to crawl through the car to lock and unlock the tailgate.
This image shows the new ROX bumper installed along with the front skid plate. We have also added a new Warn 9000 winch and set the steering up with our HD drag link for a very well protected front end to this Defender 90. You can see above that our turn signal conversion set up keeps all 4 parking lights up front and converts the lower lamp to be both a parking lamp and a turn signal so that all the functions remain and the look of the factory 1994 front end stays clean and free of goofy add ons.
Inside the 90 we have added a set of our seat rails and modified the rear support of the safari cage for more seat travel. The seat rails provide the max rear travel possible, but the seat is still limited by the rear cross brace as to how far it can recline. For very tall drivers we can alter the rear cross brace and move it backwards (see red arrows above) as we have done on this 90.
This moves the brace backward and allows for the most driver and passenger room possible in a NAS Defender 90. You can see in the image above the extent of the travel in the seat now (see red arrows). This will give the driver of the 90 a more comfortable ride and as you can see, once all the parts are back in place after being powder coated, everything looks factory to the eye.
To give this 90 more off road capabilities we have added front and rear ARB air lockers. The new compressor has been set up in the passenger tool locker and the controls for the compressor and the lockers have been installed on a new dash center section for ease of use. These ARB lockers will now help the Defender tackle more while off roading, and even come in handy if you get seriously stuck in the snow or whatever giving the truck true 4 wheel drive.
In the cargo area of the 90 we have set up the needed parts for the customer's forward facing bench seat with new seat belts and all the correct brackets and hardware. This customer uses the seat sometimes and sometimes he doesn't, so he wanted a simple modification that makes things easier to use. The front brackets for the bench seat are always in the way when the seat is out of the vehicle (see red arrows). So we have made some simple plates and attached them to the bottom of the rear body tub. Now the job of removing the forward seat brackets is as easy as unbolting them from inside the car, as they are no longer through bolted. This makes it easier to remove them and carry large items in the rear of the 90 when the seat is not being utilized.
Here you can see we have also added a new Hella work/reverse lamp on our ROX rear bracket. The ROX rear bracket is different because it is far enough away from the rear of the vehicle so that you can easily install or take off your soft top (the other brackets on the market make it hard to get the soft tops back on). Our bracket also has a nice added feature. Instead of just being able to point the work light up and down, like all the other brackets...
our set up allows you to move the light up and down and swivel it for left and right as well. This makes it easy to point the work lamp where you need light, and sometimes that is not directly behind the truck, so this set up offer more flexibility. The wiring for the rear lamp is set up so that you can turn it on manually, leave it off or set the switch so that the lamp comes on and off automatically as you select reverse gear. The switch is nicely housed in the wiper motor cover inside the Rover and fits in a factory location for a clean and functional look, without looking added on.
This image also shows the rear mud flaps and stainless steel rear exhaust section that is mated to the Tdi down pipe.
Underneath the 90 we have installed a ROX tie rod guard for the ultimate in steering protection. unlike HD tie rods, our set up surrounds the tie rod and keeps it from harm. You can even jack the vehicle up by it if you like. Our unique set up allows you to retain your sway bars if you so desire as well, as you can see above.
Here you can see the Defender nearing completion The fiberglass hard top has been re-installed and the majority of the body set up is complete. The last things to do will be to add the ROX sliders and the hood mounted spare tire set up.
This image shows the new ROX front bumper and skid plate installed. The recovery points have been installed along with the new Warn 9000 winch so that the Rover can get itself out of any jam it finds itself in.
One custom touch in the engine bay is the modification of the Mantec raised air intake to work with the NAS Defender 90 safari cage system. Once we do the modifications everything looks like it was meant to work together, when in truth, right out of the box these parts will not work.
This image shows the new ROX sliders installed onto the 90. We also added front mud flaps at the owners request to help keep the gravel down off the Rover during those off road trips.
Here you can see the completed 90 after road testing and final inspections. The 90 has it all and is set up for the long term, galvanized frame, stainless parts, new paint and much much more. Its hard to describe a Defender 90 this cool other to say that it doesn't really get much better than this. This beautiful NAS Defender 90 is now ready to head back to OR for a lifetime of Rovering fun for its lucky owner.
If you have dreams for your Defender, contact ECR. We'll be happy to make your Defender world class... just like this one.