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1995 Defender 90 Station Wagon #301/500
Upgrades and Service
This 1995 Defender 90 Station Wagon has come to us from NY with under 6K miles, yes, you read that right, it has about 5400 original miles and is one of the cleanest D90 Wagons we have ever seen. The 90 is a great car, but the issue isn't really the miles, but the age and in some ways the factory build up. The 90 needs some upgrades to make it better and some other things done to keep it looking this good for the long term. A stock D90 Wagon is great, but this customer wants it to be even better, so we will be adding long term fix items such as stainless steel brake and fuel lines and curing the lack of power from the stock 3.9 engine by installing an ECR 4.6 engine.
The first step is to do all the tear down. Here you can see we have removed the original engine and next we will get everything cleaned up in the engine bay to make it ready for the new 4.6 V8.
Here you can see the old 3.9 out and ready to go to an engine stand to surrender its parts that we will re-install onto the new, not rebuilt, Rover 4.6 liter engine.
While the larger scale work is done on the engine and other system we are also adding small upgrades like LED tail lights and a stainless steel brake pipes to help keep things lasting a log time without issues.
A new set of updated door hinges painted in the correct Arles Blue and attached with a new set of stainless steel bolts will cure the all too common hinge rust bleed issues and with the door now lined up better than factory the doors are easier to open and close.
Upgrades that are lurking under the surface, but that are important to longevity are things like our stainless steel fuel lines, shown above. These cure the rust issues associated with the stock lines and will offer far greater longevity for this part of the fuel system.
This image shows the mew 4.6 that has been set up by ECR to run in the 1995 Defender. We have installed a new performance camshaft and dual roller timing chain that replaces the plastic geared timing chain of the stock 3.9. The new 4.6 will give the Rover the torque that it was missing from the factory and will make the 90 a much better driver. You won't have to shift down out of 5th gear all the time, you can just put your foot into the throttle and the engine will respond.
As the engine build up is going on and all the old engine's parts are cleaned and inspected the body work on the 90 gets underway. The 90 Wagons have a nasty habit of leaking through the roof seams. This causes headliner issues, water leaks and even mold on the inside of the vehicle. The correct cure for this problem is to remove the roof panel and correct the issue.
With the roof panel removed we now remove all the old and brittle sealer that Land Rover used and replace it with self leveling seam sealer that remains flexible. We also use that sealer inside and out and this cure all the leaks that happen through the roof thereby making the inside of the 90 much drier and free of leaks.
This image shows the new ECR 4.6 fully dressed and ready to go back into the engine bay of the Rover. To make it be the best it can be we have also added performance fuel injectors and new exhaust manifolds that have been Jet-Hot coated. These upgrades will keep the 90 running smooth and help keep the under hood temps lower as well as speed up the exhaust gas flow to aid in power production from the engine.
Here you can see the roof is back together and ready to go back onto the 90. All the seams are now done and it has received new coats of Alpine White paint for a clean factory look, even though it is actually a much improved roof panel.
Back in the mechanical side of the shop the new 4.6 has been installed into the engine bay and pre-lubed for start up. Each engine we do is fully pre-lubed so that no damage happens at start up, unlike other shops that just start the engine and then hope it picks up oil pressure. The new ECR 4.6 looks at home in the engine bay of this 90 and the way it is set up tuning and replacement parts are easy to source if years from now the engine does need service.
To help keep this beautiful low miles Defender from ending up destroyed in an engine fire we have installed a set of ROX stainless steel oil cooler lines. These replace the factory lines completely and route the oil "cooler" far away from the extremely hot exhaust manifold. This will not only help keep the oil cooler, but will help keep the oil line fire from happening. For more information on oil lines go here.
Here you can see the restored roof panel is now back in place on the 90. Now it is time to put the interior back together and start in on the interior upgrades.
This image shows the new headlines in place. These give a nice fresh look to the interior and get rid of the old saggy and moldy ones. Next the roll cage goes back into place and the side window trims and rear seats as well.
Upfront on the Rover we have installed a ROX front bumper with a Warn 9000 winch and 2 recovery points. The original Hella 3000 lights have been saved and used again on the new bumper set up.
To make sure that the new ECR 4.6 works correctly we have installed a Tornado ECU chip into the 14CUX EFI computer. This will let the computer know that the engine is no longer a stock 3.9 and it will aid in everything from performance to enhanced drivability at low speeds. The factory chip is a compromised mess, this upgraded chip makes the most of the EFI system and even returned slightly better fuel mileage.
Inside the Rover we have installed a new Alpine sound system with an iPod connection built in so that the customer can enjoy all kinds of music. We topped that off with a full set of JL Audio speakers for a sound system that is far superior to the factory AM/FM tape deck with the paper speakers!
Defenders are not know for having the best defroster system in the world, so to cure that completely we have installed a new heated windscreen. This is operated by a switch on the wiper motor cover (green arrow above) and is wired in just like the factory units that came in the NAS Defender 110s. It has a warning lamp on the switch when it is on and is run by a timer so that you don't have to remember to turn it off. It operates seamlessly just like a rear window defroster and once our install is done it looks 100% factory.
Here you can see the interior now completely back together. The headliners and trims are in place and it all looks like a 5400 mile Defender should.
Another upgrade that helps make the most of the new 4.6 and adds longevity is the ROX exhaust system we have just installed. The system is made from thick wall 304 stainless steel with stainless steel laser cut flanges. It runs muffler of our own design that increases ground clearance and adds a nice mellow rumble to the exhaust along with increasing performance. The catalytic convertors are state of the art Random Technology metal matrix units that will not fall apart and fail down the road like a standard convertor. The tailpipe exit is closer to the vehicle as well so that you can squash it when off roading. It is the best and last exhaust system you will ever buy for your V8 Defender.
The original tires had few miles, but suffered from some dry rot and being BFG All Terrains they had no grip off road, so we ditched them and installed a new set of Good Year MTRs. These will give good road use and much better off road bite for those weekend trips.
To keep the front end in shape during those excursions off road we have installed our ROX skid plate to protect the front steering gear and installed a HD steering rod as well. We topped that off with a new steering stabilizer to keep everything on the straight and narrow. A front differential guard also helps protect the front axle differential case from harm in case a rock or stump jumps out in front of the truck.
To protect the tie rod from harm we have installed a ROX tie rod guard. This HD unit surrounds the tie rod completely keeping it from harm. This unit is so tough you can even jack up the Rover by it if you see fit. Our set up is the only one on the market that allows you to retain the factory sway bar if you like (see upper arrow) and it does not interfere with anything else on the vehicle.
Here you can see the 90's interior has also been set up for playing around off road. We have added a heavy duty rear load mat that will keep the carpet in god shape. Combine this mat with the heavy duty floor mats that the 90 already had in the front and our ROX kick panels and this Rover is ready for muddy boots all day long.
The completed 90 looks great and drives better than a factory stock one ever did. The installation of the ECR 4.6 with all the updates make this one of the nicest Defender 90 Station Wagons going. It is no longer under powdered and with all the stainless steel parts it is ready for the long haul. The added protection items like the bumper and the guards make it even tougher when off roading as well. Top that off with all the things that make the interior a nicer place to be (Alpine sound system, heated windscreen, sound proofing and much more) and you have a truly world class NAS Defender 90. Now that the 90 has completed its test miles and its post work inspection it has been cleaned up and will now be transported back to NY for the owner to enjoy.
If you have dreams for your Defender, contact ECR. We'll be happy to make your Defender world class... just like this one.