Back to the Defender 110 Section
1983 Defender 110 Station Wagon
Left hand drive conversion, Safety Devices full external cage, updated dash and other upgrades
This UK specification early 110 was one we imported some time ago. The new owner has decided that it is time for a make over for this 110, so we will be making a number of changes to make the truck better, safer, and just plain cooler (literally, as we will be installing air conditioning). The first step of the process is to get everything pre-built up and painted that we can, so that things go smoothly when we tear into the truck itself.
Along with doing the conversion to LHD from the UK spec. RHD, we will be installing a new bulkhead. There is quite a bit of work required to convert an old bulkhead to be what this one needs to be (watch for coming updates) correctly and repairing the rust, and although that certainly can be done (the original bulkhead having already had one round of patches already), sometimes it is smarter for the longevity of the project, and smarter for the customer's budget based on time spent, to just install a new bulkhead that has no rust and isn't going on 3 decades old. So to make that happen we have supplied a new bulkhead and have epoxy primed it. Next up we will seam seal everything and make everything as rust resistant as possible.
Here you can see the bulkheads after numerous coats of the factory brown. Next up we will get the roof panel stripped and ready for paint.
This image shows the roof now in primer. We have stripped out all the old sealant (that cracks and leaks over time) and have resealed everything with products that will remain flexible long term, making sure there will be no leaks from the roof of the 110. The new roof will not only leak a lot less, but it is required when we install the full external roll cage. More images of that coming soon.
Here you can see the 110 after a little tear down. The old bulkhead is out, and the parts are required from it have been removed, cleaned and made ready for the new bulkhead. Next up we will install a new steering box (for the LHD swap), start to plumb all the hydraulic systems with new stainless steel pipes and convert the front axle to LHD as well.
Along with the new roof we are going to update the rest of the interior, and to make that easier, we have painted and installed a set of later model roof sides with sliding windows. These windows will help round out the more modern look of the 110 and they work better as well. Once everything is together on the inside this will make the interior look a lot better than the old crumbling tan cardboard pieces.
Here you can see the roof after being shot in the correct Limestone color. The alpine windows will now be installed and then it will be installed once the body is ready for it.
This image shows the 110 a little further along. The new bulkhead is in. Smaller systems like the wipers are taking shape and the axle and suspension work for the LHD conversion has been completed. The windscreen frame is back on and things are staring to look like a 110 again. Unlike some places that do half-ass conversions this will be a full and proper LHD conversion. We service a number of recently imported Defenders and the shops that did the conversions in the UK, and some in the US, leave just as much as they can to save themselves money. They will even leave the hand-brake on the RH side and we even saw one recently that still had RHD style windscreen wipers! We don't do that kind of work, but we do fix others mistakes.
Here you can see the 110 coming along. The roof has been installed and new seals installed in the alpine windows. The Safety Device EXO cage is now complete on the rear section and the remainder will be put on when we put the front clip (front fenders and hood) back on the Rover. Inside we have started running the new wiring and installing the dash and heater duct work.
Also on the inside we have installed later model headliners and side trims for a more modern look and better functionality. The twin interior lights alone are worth this upgrade, so now the owner will be able to see in the cargo area, unlike the factory lamps where there was only one lamp over the front seats.
Because a LHD conversion means all new hydraulic pipes we have gone with all new stainless steel pipes for the brakes and clutch. This is work you only want to do once, so doing it right the first time with quality parts that will last is the way to go.
Here you can see the body coming back together. The front clip is on and the rest of the EXO cage has been installed. Now we will turn our attention to getting the running gear up to snuff and ready for the road.
Inside the 110 things are coming together. The updated dash and wiring is all going into place and the changes needed to make all this work with an early 110 are being done. The wiring has all been installed for the new Alpine radio and the lower AC fascia has been installed. Next up a few mechanical items will be taken care of , along with some rust issues in the seat box and then we will button up the 110.
This image shows the 110 nearly complete and now ready for some test miles to make sure everything is good to go. The swap to left hand drive is complete the Safety Devices cage installation is ready to help make the truck much safer, and better looking in our opinion.
The original 2.5 petrol motor has been all hooked up and the modern wiring installed. The wiring has been set up so that if the owner of the truck ever wants to swap in a newer motor, like a 300 Tdi, the wiring will be a simple plug and play operation. The goal of ECR is to keep these Defenders going long term with an eye to the future and future repairs and upgrades.
Here you can see the interior coming together. The new Alpine head unit has been installed and all the nice modern gauges have been installed and made to work with the original systems, including the digital odometer and such, so when sitting behind the wheel the truck has the feel of a much newer model 110.
This shot shows the 110 completed, cleaned up and ready to head out to Colorado to its new owner. The 110 has been built up so that modifications or even an engine change can be simple procedures down the road. The new bulkhead, new wiring and the rest of the updated systems will be welcome additions that will not need further work as the new owners continues to repair and upgrade this 110 into what they want it to be.
If you have needs for your Defender, from routine service to wild modifications, contact ECR. We'll be happy to help get your Defender back into shape.