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1995 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top Galvanized Frame Swap
This 1995 NAS Defender 90 has come to us from NY for help in curing some rust issues. The first step with any 90 that comes into ECR for the first time is for us to do a complete evaluation. We then forward all that information to the customer and discuss with them what they do, and do not, want to have done. In this 90s case the work we will be doing relates to installing a new galvanized frame and doing some nice stainless steel line upgrades while we are there.
This 90 is suffering pretty badly from rust (the arrow points to a large rust hole) but the good news is that a Defender is a rebuild-able car, unlike most today. So when rust happens you can replace the offending parts and not have to toss the entire vehicle in the trash. Our next step will be to disconnect the body from the chassis and get ready to complete the frame swap.
Here you can see the body and the rolling chassis have been separated. Our frame swap system means that we don't have to do a costly complete tear down on your Defender to install a new frame. If you truly just want a new frame we can just install the frame. The process we use to do this swap means we don't even have to change your oil or your coolant, everything stays contained. We strongly suggest routine service when you have such easy access to the drivetrain systems, but we are happy to do what the customer desires, big job or small job. Next we will tear down the rolling chassis and begin to set up the take off parts on the new galvanized frame.
This image shows the new galvanized frame being set up into a rolling chassis. The new galvanized frame will mean rust will not be a factor for this Defenders frame again. The frames we use are factory correct and require no modification of any kind. They are direct bolt ins just like the originals. All the parts are assembled on the new frame just they were on the old one. No need for any changes or alterations.
Here you can see the running gear has been installed into the new chassis. While we had the engine out we installed a new clutch and pressure plate because it is so easy to do at this stage.
The galvanized frame will combat rust in the frame, but what about those other steel pieces like the fuel and brake lines. As you can see in the image above we added a full set of stainless steel brake pipes and stainless steel fuel lines so that rust will not be a factor in those systems. Why do stainless lines?
This is why. This is a shot of the top of the fuel pump on this 90. The rust is so bad that it has expanded the lines and even cracked the plastic housing of the fuel pump, and good luck trying to get those fuel line fittings off with a wrench. Luckily all this goes in the trash and new fuel pump and the new stainless steel fuel lines will cure this problem.
Speaking of stainless lines, to make sure that is D90 does not have an engine fire, we have removed the original oil cooler lines and installed a set of ROX oil cooler lines that are not only stronger, but they are routed far away from the hot exhaust manifold. For more info on Defender V8 oil cooler lines go here.
Here you can see we have lowered the body back down onto the new galvanized frame and hooked up all the systems so that the 90 is running and driving again. Our frame swap system meant that we did not have to do any costly body tear down and just a handful of days from when we started this 90 is road ready again, but this time with a lot of new stainless parts and a new galvanized chassis.
Corrosion on this 90 wasn't limited to just the frame. The tail lights and signals at the back were also suffering from corrosion. To completely cure the troublesome 1995-1997 Defender tail lights we have installed a set of our LED tail lights that are sealed full LED units so that this customer will no longer have to battle with corroded rear lights. More LED info here.
Once the new frame was installed the customer decided to have some off road upgrades done as well. To that end we have installed a set of ARB air locking differentials in the 90. We then installed an ARB compressor under the passenger seat to keep it safe from the elements and have easy access for service. We mount these compressors on rubber isolation mounts so that less noise and vibration is transmitted into the cabin.
To control the lockers we installed a center dash pod that allows us to use the ARB supplied switches. This set up looks clean and is easy to reach when off roading.
Under the 90 we installed an ECR ROX tie rod guard to protect the vulnerable tie rod from harm. Notice that our tie rod guard allows you to retain your factory sway bars if you like. We also added some recovery points to the front of the 90 just in case it gets stuck.
Here you can see the completed Defender 90 ready to head back to NY. It has a brand new galvanized frame and a number of off road upgrades. All these items will not only help this 90 have more fun, but with the longevity upgrades you can be assured that this 90 will be around for a long time to come, thanks to ECR.
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.