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1995 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top #2997
Repairs and Upgrades
This Defender has come to us from Georgia for a good sorting out and some upgrades. The Rover has over 120,000 miles and has its share of needs. The goal in this project is not a full restoration, but a small scale refurbishing to fix the major issues the owner wants fixed, and get the truck running well. We will also be doing some upgrades along the way in order to make the 90 a much nicer place to be when behind the wheel. The first step, as always, is to do a full evaluation and then get that information to the owner so that he/she can choose what they do and do not want done. Once the work list is set by the customer, its time for us to get cracking.
After 120K miles and a lot of time with the top off, the seats have had it. The covers are worn and the foam underneath has broken down and is out of shape. To cure this we will strip the seats down to their metal frames and then replace the foam with new foam that doesn't have the same decay issues and then top the seats off with new seat covers to make things look new again.
Here you can see the completed seats, all nicely re-covered, and not only do they look better, but more importantly they feel much better and will hold you in place, unlike the old worn out originals.
The engine on the 90 has had a hard life and oil issues mean that it needs some work.
In sealing up some leaks we removed the valve covers and found a good bit of sludge in the engine. This type of sludge comes from many things, but the main reason is lack of oil changes and service parts on the engine.
Here you can see the build up of sludge in the engine. The oil pan also was filled with sludge and this was causing some serious oil pressure issues because the engine could not pick up enough oil to keep the oil pressure where it should be.
When this happens the metal parts of the engine suffer greatly. The image above is of the rocker shaft once the rocker arms where removed. You can clearly see the damage to the metal internal parts of this engine. These parts will need to be replaced in order to make things the best they can be. Once we get everything cleaned up and the new parts installed we will button up the engine bay and get everything tested.
Here you can see the engine bay now that we are done. The oil pressure is back up where it should be and the engine is running well.
The top on the 90 was ripped and needed to be replaced. Instead of just putting on another stock top we are installing an upgraded top that will last longer, fit better and cure some of the issues the stock top has. The image above shows the gutter kit that we have installed around the door. This set up, a modified version of what UK Defenders have, gives a full perimeter door seal and seals much better than the factory BestTop ever did, even when it was new.
Here you can see the new upgraded top installed on the Rover. The fit is better and everything seals nicely. The new top combined with a trip to the detailer to buff the paint makes this truck look like a whole new ride.
Another upgrade is the addition of our LED tail lights. These replace the faded old units and will cure the troublesome rear 95-97 tail light issues for good. For more information on our LED tail lights go here.
Here you can see the completed 90 ready to head back to GA. It hasn't been restored, but it sure has had a lot of things fixed up and some nice upgrades installed. All these repairs and the upgrades will make this 90 a much nicer vehicle and now that the service items are back up to snuff it will help the Rover last longer as well.
Helping to protect your NAS Defender investment is easy... send it to ECR to get it serviced and ready for the next 13 years!
OK... so we aren't done. The owner of the 90 has decided to have us do the other work the 90 required from our evaluation and install more upgrades to make the 90 fully refurbished. We'll be adding a sound system and fixing all the items that don't work, but first up is to rebuild the gearbox that has the all too common 2nd gear synchro problem, so up on the lift the Rover goes.
Here you can see the rebuilt R380 gearbox with all its issues solved has been mated to the LT230 transfer case again and is ready to install into the 90. We have also done all the items that should be done when the gearbox is out like a new clutch and rebuilt the linkages. Next up we will fabricate a skid plate for the front and get the other off road protection items installed.
One of the upgrades the owner wanted was our ECR roof rack system, so we have fabricated a new roof rack system and installed it. This system allows the top to now be a platform for anything from a roof top tent to a great place to store your camping gear.
The factory style rear ladder offers easy access to the roof and allows the rack system to be installed on a soft top or hard top Defender 90.
This image shows the roof platform that is rugged and ready for anything you see fit and unlike the factory roof basket you won't fall through the cracks on our roof rack, you can easily walk around and secure your gear on our system. This customer also had us add our billet Yakima adaptors that allow any Yakima roof rack product to be used with our rack. In this case the customer wanted to easily carry 2 kayaks, so we have set it up to do that, and with the Yakima system if the customer wants to switch to bikes, boards or even a roof top storage unit it can all be easily done.
Another view of the rack system shows just how flexible it is. Everything we have learned about what is wrong about other racks on the market was built out of our rack system and ours is the most well rounded system on the market, and it looks stylish and low profile to boot. This system will easily handle the 2 kayaks (lake or sea kayaks) and still has room for wet bags and more gear up there.
Now that the gearbox and the engine are doing well the owner wanted to turn his attention to making the interior even better. So we have replaced the broken door panels with new units and installed some new JL Audio speakers in them for great sound.
To power the speakers we have installed an Alpine head unit that will play CDs, MP3s and more. We have also added a 6 disc CD changer and an iPod hook up to the system so that there will be tons of music to go around for those long road trips. We also added an Alpine amplifier to power the...
10" slim line subwoofer that we installed on the rear gate in one of our custom made sub boxes. These boxes are not like the typical sub boxes. We make them from materials that will stand up to the elements and then we have them Rhino-Lined to make sure they will last. Its one tough box and with the 10" sub driven by the Alpine digital amp it has a great sound.
Up front we have fabricated a mount and a front skid plate and installed them. The customer already had the SG front bumper, but it did not have the skid plate with it, so we made one that completes the system and keeps the SG look. We also added a new Warn 9000 winch and ROX recovery points to the bumper so that it is really ready for action now.
To protect the truck when it is off road or hunting for that perfect kayak spot we have added a set of ROX sliders and a ROX tie rod guard so that the truck and the steering gear are protected. These new items combined with what the truck already had and what we added in the first phase of the work means that this is one well set up Defender.
Here you can see the finished product, the ultimate kayak delivery vehicle! The truck has a re-worked engine, a newly rebuilt gearbox and a long laundry list of small things repaired right down to new seats.
It also has a dream wish list of upgrades from a roof rack to a killer sound system, and all this work is done in one shop and fully tested before delivery back to its owner. That ensures that the Rover is ready for fun when it arrives back in GA. The 90 will now head back to the owners for all kinds of fun in the sun and on the trail.
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.