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1995 Defender 90 Soft Top #2216
Rust Repair and Service
This 1995 NAS Defender 90 has come to us from Nantucket. The truck is in good overall shape and it is a vehicle that we service on a regular basis. This time however the island environment is getting to the steel parts of the truck and we are going to have to address the rust issues in the bulkhead.
The bulkhead, or firewall, is starting to show the signs of rust taking hold as you can see in the image above. If rust appears in this external area that usually means that more rust is hiding behind the blisters and other body panels. There is some good news though, a few years ago we installed a set of upgraded door hinges on this truck and you can see those are holding up great, they are dirty, but still look great and are rust free.
To get at all the rust and be able to correct everything for a long lasting repair we have have removed the front clip (or front body panels) to expose both sides of everything we need to work on.
The bulkhead rust is not only on the outside of the panel, but it has eaten through the footwell and the bottom of the door post. This swiss cheese will all need to be replaced.
The passenger side isn't much better. The inner fender mount has rusted off completely and the upper section has through rust as well.
So as the customer is going to keep this Rover long term, we will be curing the issue and not patching over the rust. Here you can see that we have started to remove all the bulkhead parts in order to get the old bulkhead out.
The interior has been stripped down as well and after a few more bolts the bulkhead will be ready to come out of the truck.
This image shows the complete, no rust, solution to the 90s bulkhead issues. There is one issue, the factory original bulkheads for the NAS 90s are no longer available, so we use the new bulkheads that are currently available and modify them to the exact specifications of the original. Once the steel work is done we will dunk the bulkhead, to prevent the rust that happened to the original, and then seal and paint the entire thing with better products than the factory used. This will ensure a long lasting repair that will allow the bulkhead in the 90 last long term.
Here you can see the new bulkhead after dunking and numerous coats of epoxy primer. Next up we will seam seal all the gaps, so rust can't happen in the cracks, undercoat the trouble spots and then give everything 3 coats of AA yellow top coat.
This image shows the new bulkhead ready to be installed into the 90. All the common rust areas have been addressed before the paint went on, and once the bulkhead is installed we will coat those areas again with truck-bed liner for a true long term fix.
Here you can see the new bulkhead has been installed into the Defender and things are starting to take shape again. The stainless brake lines and clutch lines are all going in and being hooked up. The wiring has been run and things are starting to look like a Rover again.
This image shows the 90 a little further along. The safari cage is back in place and the only thing left to do is re-install the dash and interior and then the Rover will be ready for summer back on the island.
A nice benefit that comes along with the new bulkhead is the updated wiper drives and arms. If you have been around NAS Defenders for any length of time you will know that the splined drums that drive the wiper can get sloppy and seize onto the truck. This creates a "slap" or over-reach from your wipers and in some cases can lead to a wiper that doesn't work at all. Rover realized this wasn't a very good design and changed it on the newer models. The image above shows the new wiper drives installed in this 1995 NAS Defender 90. These are more like any other car and will not seize, slap or rust in place. They work well and the days of vague wipers are no more for this Defender and they are much easier to service if something does go wrong.
Inside the 90 you can see that we made all the changes required to the bulkhead, before any primer or paint work was done, in order to run the stock wiper motor and stock dash system. The bulkhead on this 90 is now set for numerous decades, even in the harsh island environment, and the best thing is that it doesn't even look like the truck had any work done.
After a few test miles the 90 is given a clean bill of health and is now ready to make the customer's ferry schedule for the island. Unlike other cars the Land Rover Defender can be rebuilt, even if it is rusty, and although the correct "NAS" bulkhead for this 90 is "NLA" (No Longer Available) ECR can work with the current replacement parts in order to make everything blend expertly for a correct and long lasting repair, and even some upgrades along the way. A correct looking repair with long lasting attributes, that is the ECR way.
If you have dreams for your Defender, contact ECR. We'll be happy to make your Defender world class... just like this one.