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1994 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top
Repairs and Upgrades
This Defender 90 has come to us from Idaho for some needed repairs and upgrades. It has over 100K miles and is really starting to show its age. The 90 looks to have had a pretty hard life, but the good thing about Defenders is that they can be easily brought back up to snuff. To that end we have gone over the Rover and worked with the customer to make a list of what he does and does not want done, and then we get to work.
One of the primary things wrong was this 90 was the gearbox. The customer told us that the gearbox would no longer shift so he drove it to ECR in 3rd gear, the only gear he could get, and left it with us to fix. Luckily the gearbox itself was good and did not have any gear issues. The problem was a loose set screw on one of the selector rods, shown above. Once we repaired that issue the 90 shifted well and the customer didn't get taken by some local mechanic that would tell him he needed a completely new gearbox.
Now that the gearbox issues have been sorted we need to turn our attention to the other issues on the Rover. It has some typical oil leaks from the engine, so we have stripped down the leaky parts and will reseal everything with the right gaskets and sealants so that it will no longer leak. Lots of folks say Rovers just "leak", but that just isn't the case. If done correctly they can be easily sealed and be leak free.
The top end of the engine also had some serious leaks, so we have resealed all those areas and put the top and front end of the engine back together, as shown above.
Inside the 90 the 100K plus miles are starting to take their toll. There are a lot of broken parts and messed up systems. The added on wiring for lights and such in this 90 was horrible and making lots of system not work correctly. The only answer at this stage is to gut all the goofy add-on crap and start over from a repaired and correctly operating stock electrical system.
Same thing behind the dash. All the plastic that holds the dash was broken and cracked and the wiring was a mess. We have removed all the broken and damaged parts and brought the 90 back down to the stock parts that are still good. Now we'll build it back up with the correct parts to make it live again.
The Defender is also getting a number of off road upgrades, such a ROX tie rod guard and a new top. So we have pulled the differentials in order to install the ARB front and rear air lockers that the customer has requested. We have also done a front turn signal conversion kit so that the customer's front turn signals and parking lights will all work correctly.
Once the differentials were removed we updated them with ARB air lockers front and rear. The image above shows the latest version of the ARB locker installed and ready to go back into the axle housing
ECR's unique way of installing the ARB air locker eliminates the potential loose air line issue that can occur if you install the locker the way the ARB tells you to. Our system uses 2 fittings, one inside the case and one outside, eliminating the factory single fitting that can loosen and leak, or worse yet make it so that you have to pull the differential in order to repair it. Our system makes it easier to service and trouble free.
Another part of this 90 that is suffering are the 120K mile seats. The seat bases and backs are just plain worn out. The trim looks terrible and the foam is out of shape.
The foam in the seat base has decayed badly and is shedding all over the truck, but luckily the fix is an easy one.
The first step is to strip off all the old foam and get the seat base down to the base frame, as shown above.
Here you can see the foam that was removed. This seat had a poor attempt at a repair (the green foam), but it didn't work and when the seat foam gets this nasty it isn't repairable.
This image shows the new seat base installed on the pan awaiting a new trim. The shape is correct and it will make the 90 a much nicer place to be and will completely fix the seating position issues of the old dead foam.
Underneath the repaired seat you can see that the foam bits are no longer falling out and the seat looks good again.
The seat backs were suffering from the same thing. Here you can see the foam and trims have been tossed and the seat frame is ready for the new foam and upholstery
The completed seats look great and they have their shape back. The covers are done in the factory colors and will make for a much better looking interior. We also welded up the broken seat bases in order to stop the annoying click that happens in older Defender seats so these seats will be good to go for the long haul.
In the engine bay the new AC system is going into place and the needed tune up and service parts are being added to make the engine run correctly.
Next up we will hook up the ARB locker control systems and add on the Rockware front bumper.
Here you can seethe customers front bumper in place and set up with a Warn 9000 winch. We also added a ROX HD drag link and a tie rod guard and then added the customers front skid plate for near bulletproof steering gear.
Inside the 90 has had the broken dash parts sorted out and the ARB locker switches have been added within easy reach of the driver for ease of locker control when off roading.
Under the hood the repair work orders have been taken care of to get this 90 that has over 100K miles back up to snuff.
Back inside the new Air Conditioning has been set up and installed and the missing interior trims have been installed. These not only make the 90 look better, but they will help reduce heat and noise that easily transmits through the floors on a bare Defender 90.
Couple the repaired dash and front interior sections with the dyna-mat products that we installed and then add in the newly redone seats and suddenly this 90 has gone from worn out to a nice place to be while heading down the trail.
Here you can see the completed 90 ready to head back out west. It hasn't been restored, but it sure has had a lot of things fixed up and some nice off road upgrades installed. All these repairs and the upgrades will make this 90 more capable on the trail and a much nicer on road vehicle as well.
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.