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1995 NAS Defender 90 Soft top
Service and upgrades
This 1995 Defender 90 has come to us from a customer who just bought it. The new owner brought it to ECR for a full evaluation, and then a number of repairs to get it back into shape and make it better. As with all Defender 90s, they are getting up there in years, this one being built in November of 1994, sold in the USA as a 1995 model is now over ten years old. This Rover has covered about 60,000 miles and is on good shape overall, but as with any decade old vehicle, services need to be done and a lot of neglected repairs were making the 90 handle and drive poorly. The good news is that anything on a Defender can be fixed to get them back into shape, and with our Defender experience we can get this 90 running and driving right again.
First up is to address the ride and handling. A number of suspension bushings needed to be replaced and we upgraded the shocks to a set of Bilstien units to give the 90 better manners. The steering box drop arm needed to be rebuilt and the steering stabilizer replaced. We also reset the pre-load on the swivel housings to cure the "kick back" that you can feel through the wheel in older Defenders. Once we removed the wheels we found that in some past repair a number of the drive flange bolts had been broken off. Instead of fixing the problem, the previous mechanic just left the missing 3 bolts out and put the wheel back on. Needless to say when the owner gets this 90 back from ECR everything will be done correctly and no corners cut.
At the rear of the D90 the tire carrier was starting to show significant rust and the rear crossmember paint has all been bleached away over time. To cure this we have removed the tire carrier and we will fully restore it to as new. The difference being that our restored carrier will outlast the original as we use better quality paint and strong rust resistant primers to make things last as long as possible. We'll also repaint the rear crossmember so slow any rust that has started. Above you can see we have stripped down the rear of the D90 to get it ready for paint. There are numerous smaller work orders for this Rover as well, none of the brake lights or running lights worked and the hardware is all rusting badly. We'll make all the needed repairs and install a stainless steel bolt kit on the 90 to make things look better and last longer.
Here you can see that the tire carrier has been stripped down, blasted to white metal, treated, primed and painted. It will now be assembled using stainless hardware. These tire carriers really can make an otherwise nice D90 look bad, so this upgrade will look better and last longer, a combination we always shoot for here at ECR.
Above you can see that we have moved the Rover into our paint booth and are getting it masked off to thoroughly prime and paint the rear crossmember. This will give the 90 a longer rear crossmember life before any real rust repairs are needed.
In the front of the D90 we have added a set up wing guards, rewired the driving lights and done a full fluid flush and fill. We've also given the motor fresh tune up parts and replaced a leaking clutch cylinder. All of these things will help the 90 run and drive as it should and give the new owner piece of mind, even though this is a ten year old vehicle.
An upgrade that we think all Defender deserve is a set of updated door hinges. The factory NAS hinges were the same as the old Series III Land Rover design, and they wore out, and bled rust constantly. The new hinges has a bushings and a better design to combat this. Above you can see we have painted and installed a set of new style hinges with all stainless steel hardware, for a longer lasting rust free set up. For more information on these later model hinges go here.
The rear of the 90 is really starting to look better. We have reinstalled the step and tow bumper on top of the new rear crossmember paint, and installed the restored tire carrier with all stainless hardware. No more rust bleeds down the tailgate and with new bushings and pivots the tire carrier moves easily as it should.
Inside the Rover we have replaced some of the trim pieces to correct past damage. This make the interior a nicer place to be and returns a nice clean appearance to a used Defender.
We also added a CB to the D90 for keeping in touch while on the trail, and replaced the rear seat belts that someone had cut for some reason in the Rover past 10 years.
Out back you can see that we have added a better CB antenna mount and replaced the damaged lamp guards. The freshly redone rear crossmember and the restored tire carrier now make this 90 look like a million, unlike the rusted old mess you can see in the early images of this project.
Here you can see the D90, serviced, upgraded and ready to head back to its new owner. The owner can now rest assured that his new purchase doesn't have any major issues, and he can now enjoy driving it, rather then worry about what issues are going to pop up in his used vehicle. The repairs and upgrades done to the vehicle will help it be long lasting and trouble free. If you have Defender needs, from a list of service items to a full restoration, be sure to contact ECR. We'll be happy to make your Defender dreams come true.