Project: BR110 "Beach Runner-2" Upgrades
Beach Runner 2, the second in a series of ECR built unique soft top 110s came back to us after a number of years of duty on Cape Cod. The owners love the truck and they want to keep it in top shape and install some upgrades so it has come back to us so we can complete that work. Along with a complete service there are some updates that need to be done that have been developed since BR110 #2 left the shop. The EFI computer will be getting an upgrade along with upgraded oil cooler lines to help prevent any fires. Once the routine work is done it is time to install some upgrades to make the BR110 exactly what the customer wants.
One of the upgrades desired is the later model style dash system with a double DIN radio with more functions, so to make that happen we have removed the dash pieces we will not be needing as you can see above. At this stage we will start to run all the wiring needed for the new Alpine touch screen system and all the other new systems, like Sirius satellite radio and a Bluetooth set up for hands free phone use right through the radio.
As the wiring is being done we are also taking care of some surface rust on the doors. The steel doors just can't hold up against the salt water on the beaches of Cape Cod so we have removed all the rust and repainted everything with epoxy primers and paint to make it last as long as possible. The long term good news is that we are now putting the finishing touches on our new all aluminum doors for BR110s, so if the doors do rust away over the long haul, we can install the new all alloy units to completely cure the issue. As we continually evolve the BR110 model line, all future BRs will be built with all alloy doors so that rust will not be an issue. Next we will put the interior back on the door and continue with the dash and other upgrades.
Here you can see the later model dash taking shape. The wiring looks like a nightmare at this stage, but we are just pulling cable to the right locations now. Once the system starts to get installed all the wiring will be cut to length and made to look good and work correctly.
This image shows the dash system nearly complete. The new Alpine head unit has been installed and the rest of the dash has been put into place. Next up we will pull the front seats and install heated seat elements that will be controlled by the factory heated seat switches that are in the new dash. That will make for a nice clean factory look to the heated seat system.
The owner of BR#2 frequently takes the roof basket off so that the truck can go into lower garages, so to make that easier we have installed some simple tie bars that connect the rear ladder system to the front bar. These are bolted in place with a simple nut system so that the basket is easy to take on and off with simple tools. Its a simple solution to something that can be a headache without the cross bars holding things in place. The cross bars also allow the truck to be driven without the roof basket if need be.
Here you can see the center console back in place. The radio is no longer in the factory location, so we have made a small storage box for coins or whatever that makes the old radio location good for storing small things.
This image shows the complete dash system. The Alpine touch screen unit has a ton of functions: AM/FM radio, Sirius satellite radio, CD, DVD, Bluetooth hand free phone and audio, and iPod connection, USB audio, touch screen Navigation, a back up camera and much more. The head unit drives a new 5 channel digital amp for great sound and plenty of bass from the two 8" subwoofers in the back. All that function is packed into a dash that looks almost factory.
Here you can see the competed project ready to head back to the Cape for more family fun. The owner recently took delivery and had this to say,"Hi mike. Rover is great! Nav. is great!" The updated dash brings the truck into the modern era a little more and the peace of mind the owner has now knowing the BR110 is fully serviced and checked out by the people who built is well worth the effort. The BR110 will be ready for whatever the owner wants to do with it and will be ready for another summer of family memories for next summer.
If you have Defender needs, from mild to wild, new project to updating an existing truck, we are the only Defender source you need.
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East Coast Rover Co.