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1993 NAS Defender 110 Station Wagon #3/500
Numerous upgrades and repairs
This NAS (North America Specification) Defender 110 Station Wagon has come to us from MA. The 110 spends a good deal of time on Martha's Vineyard, so it has some rust and corrosion issues to deal with, and the owner wants to make the 110 better with some modifications, and get some of the old parts replaced to make the 110 a nicer ride. At over a decade old, these 110s are great vehicles, but they all need some work. This one will be getting that work done by the experts at ECR, and we'll be adding a ton of upgrades to make it just that much cooler, and more of what the customer wants from his Defender. As you can see in the image above, the first step in the 110 is to strip it down. This isn't a full restoration, but there will be a lot of work going on, so all the old damaged items have to be removed so we can see what we are up against.
As usual, what we are up against with these aging 110s is rust. Here you can see that we have removed the side sill trims from the 110 and the T supports are starting to rust. Fortunately the rust isn't too bad, so we can arrest it here, and make the 110 better before this rust means that the entire body would have to come apart.
You can see here that the rear area of the T support isn't any better. These areas will be taken down to white metal, then primed and painted with epoxy materials so that the parts will last. Once that is done these areas will be covered up with our stainless steel sill trims, that will be painted Alpine White to match the rest of the 110 and give a stock look, but actually be a much better combination to fight off rust.
One of the upgrades that the owner requested was to make the brakes better. The 1993 NAS 110s came with solid front rotors and rear drum brakes. That isn't a great combination for a vehicle this heavy. To make things better we have upgraded the front brakes to vented rotors and installed new pads and calipers, as you can see above.
To get rid of the old drum brakes we have converted the rear axle to disc brakes as well. You can see the new rotors and calipers going on in the image above. This makes the 110 stop better, and also makes service and repairs easier down the road.
Martha's Vineyard offers some great surf fishing and the owner of the 110 makes use of that, but where do you put your surf rods in a 110? We have come up with a great solution that allows the longest of surf rods to be carried to your favorite spot securely on the outside of the 110, see the arrows above.
These rod tip mounts handle just about any rod and we have installed them on the 110 with stainless steel mounts so that they will never rust. The placement of the mounts allows for large surf reels and easy access from the side steps of the 110.
The rear mounts hold the rod handles and again are attached to the 110 without drilling any holes and using stainless steel brackets and hardware for a no rust situation out on the island.
In the guts of the 110, the original LT77 gearbox had expired. We have replaced it with the latest suffix R380 gearbox with all new clutch parts. We also installed a new cross drilled transfer case input shaft to take care of those nasty drive-line clunks and thumps that happen in these older 110s. Above you can see the new R380 with the new generation bell housing installed into the 110.
Inside the 110 was showing its age and use. 110s are meant to be used hard for outdoor fun, but after 12 years or so things start to look pretty ratty. To make the interior look fresh again we have gutted it, as you can see above. Out with the old sagging headliners, rotten carpets and old dry rotted window seals. The rear body will be getting new window seals, new headliners and new carpets for a clean fresh look.
A welcome addition to any 110 is the installation of the latest generation interior lights. The new set up gives you a light in the rear of the 110, shown above and a light above the driver and passenger. The original system only had one light that was tucked behind the driver and passenger, hidden behind the interior roll bar. That worked great if your middle seat passengers needed to see something, but not so great if the driver or passenger needed to read a map. The new units offer more light, and better yet, more light in all the right places.
To let even more light into the 110 we have installed a factory sunroof. These units can be flipped open to vent air from the interior, or it can be completely removed for some open air driving.
Inside the 110 the fully trimmed factory sunroof looks great and adds some much needed light to the interior. In front of the sunroof you can see the new style interior light that shines down on the driver and passenger. The 2 interior lights work together or individually for real flexibility. If you could have a 2005 110 here in the USA, it would have these lamps. The bad news is you can't have a 2005 110, but we can update your 1993 110 to have these updates like the new models do.
Years of beach running had taken their toll on the old steel wheels. The paint had been eaten off and they had a lot of rust blisters. In an effort to make things better we have installed a new set of steel wheels that have been epoxy primed inside and out and painted with numerous coats of paint and topped with a few coats of clear. This will mean the rims will look good long term. We have also added a new set of Yokahama Geolanders to the new rims to offer both good highway and beach use. Just a new set of rims and tires makes this 110 look much better, but there is much more to come.
Age and salt air had done in the exhaust system and now it is time for a real upgrade, the new ECR ROX stainless steel exhaust system. What sets our system apart from the other stainless system on the market? There are a number of things. We have installed a ton of NRP stainless exhaust systems over the years and some things we liked and some things we didn't. The new ECR ROX system addresses all the concerns we had with the NRP system and adds more performance as well.
#1. The collector at the exhaust manifold in an NRP system is 2 pipes welded together. We commonly found leaks in the area where the 2 pipes met, as it is impossible to weld in that tight area. The ECR ROX system is made form one large pipe that is flange molded to fit the full shape of the exhaust manifold outlet. This mean no potential leaks and no weak point where the 2 pipes connect. The by-product of doing it this way for longevity was more performance. Our manifold collector flows more exhaust gas faster than the NRP system.
#2 All the flanges in our system are stainless steel. The flanges in an NRP system are steel. Only the pipes are stainless.
#3. Our system is made from top quality 304 stainless. This means the way your pipes look are the way they will keep looking. The NRP system is made from 516 stainless and that rusts. Don't believe it, go stick a magnet on your NRP system (it will stick). This makes a big difference 5 years down the road when you try to remove your NRP system to install a clutch. It likely won't come apart. The ECR ROX system will.
#4 We went or a full 3" pipe, as you can see above. Larger pipe means more exhaust flowing faster and therefore more performance. The NRP pipe is smaller diameter.
#5 We use top quality clamps that surround the pipe with even pressure to keep the joints tight. The NRP system uses standard exhaust clamps. If these get over tightened it can pinch the pipes together. Not a big deal now, but a few years down the line when your Defender needs a new gearbox or something, you'll have to cut your NRP system off. The ECR ROX system will unbolt.
#6 We went for top of the line stainless steel metal matrix catalytic convertors. These are superior to the standard type cats of the NRP in every way. The interior of the convertor can never fall apart and block the pipe or rattle. This makes them longer lasting and better for off road, in case you hit the bottom of your Defender. Our cats won't crumble or clog up. That means a longer lasting system all around.
So an NRP system is a good solution, but the ECR ROX system takes it to the next level. All the concerns we ever had with the NRP system have been upgraded for both performance and longevity, making the ECR ROX stainless exhaust the best Defender system going.
Here you can see the tail section of the ECR ROX stainless system. Our tail pipes are kept tight to the Rover to allow for maximum departure angle when you head off road. The muffler is also a full stainless unit that has a nice low rumble of power, but isn't too loud like the Borla system. The ECR ROX system is available for the 1993 NAS 110 and 1994-1995 NAS Defender 90s. We are currently working on the 1997 NAS D90 system. The new ECR ROX 304 stainless system makes a perfect addition to this island bound 110, and it will help the stock 3.9 make a little more power too.
Another common area of rust in a 110 is the door hinges. Here you can see we have upgraded the old rusted door hinges to the later model door hinges and we have attached everything with stainless steel hardware for a clean and long lasting fix to the typical nasty looking NAS 110 door hinges. For more info. on hinges go here.
In the rear of the 110 we have installed new carpets, new jump seat retainers and replaced the seat belts as required for safety reasons. To make the rear area look better we have installed a full set of upgraded seat covers that will take the abuse from those long days at the beach.
The sound systems installed in a stock 1993 NAS 110 was miserable the day it was new. Two 4" paper speakers in the front dash, and 2 speakers in the back with an AM/FM tape deck. In 2005 that type of system is so out dated it isn't funny. You may not need bass thumping rap blasting from your 110, but you do need to hear things better than that cheese ball factory system can offer. The owner of this 110 agrees, so he is having us install a nice tasteful system so that all music will sound crisp and clear. To make that happen we have installed two 8" JL Audio subwoofers in a custom encloser in the back. This set up still allows you to use all 4 jump seats and it only eats up a very small area of the cargo floor. The box was then covered in factory carpet and we fabricated two stainless steel speaker guards so that passengers feet can't damage the subs. It may look small, but this system hits heavy on the bass and makes all music sound great.
As interior space is limited in a 110, we mounted the CD changer under the LH middle seat. This keeps it out of the way and safe from the elements, but still offers easy access to the CD cartridge.
The JL Audio amplifier is mounted under the right hand rear seat. This location allows for a large amp to be installed, but it keeps the flexibility of the 110s interior.
The way the amp and the changer are mounted, the middle row of seats are still able to fold and flip in case you have to carry large objects in the back of the 110. Here you can see the amplifier with the seat folded forward Think your local stereo shop thinks that far ahead?
The system in this 110 now has everything from CD, AM, FM, MP3 and even XM radio and an iPod interface. How do you get that much equipment into a 110 without it being all over the place, or stuffed in the seat boxes (we don't put electronics there as those areas do get wet often)? We installed the Alpine head unit in a new cubby box and fabricated an alloy base that slightly raised the cubby box (about .5") and that gave us enough room to get all the electronics in place without looking cluttered and without it being seen by passengers or the driver.
All you see is the new Alpine slide control head unit. This unit controls everything from CDs to XM radio and sounds great doing it. The new cubby box also makes a welcome addition to the refreshed interior.
As you can see above, if you open the cubby box you will find a small bracket that is fully padded so that your iPod can jack into the car audio system. This set up allows the iPod to be safely stored in the cubby box, without it falling to the bottom of the cubby box, with all the other items that end up in a Defenders cubby box. Once the iPod is jacked into the 110s system, you can close the cubby box and control the iPod through the head unit. At ECR it is all about attention to detail and making it all work together.
We eliminated the cruddy 4" speakers and installed a set of upgraded speakers in the front doors. These are matched to a another set of speakers in the rear of the 110 in the stock locations.
The cross overs for the front speakers are hidden behind another upgrade. Above you can see we have installed our ECR ROX upgraded kick panels to replace the cardboard ones that came stock with a 110. These panels are made from alloy and polymer coated for long life. Go ahead, hit it with your muddy boot or sandy boat shoe, it can take it. That is a lot more than can be said for the factory cardboard pieces that constantly falls on the floor.
The drivers side gets the same ECR ROX footwell trim. These units end the need for cardboard and duct tape, and they will outlast the 110 itself.
A good number of the things we do here at ECR come from customer complaints. Our customers complained about the cardboard footwell trims, so we came up with a long term solution. They complained about rusted brake and fuel lines, so we came up with a long term solution (stainless lines). The owner of this 110 wondered why a 110 doesn't have any cup holders. Good question. The good news is that we have come up with a simple long term solution for him, and maybe for your 110 as well. We have fabricated a small alloy panel that is polymer coated that slips into the factory cubby box front area and can easily hold 2 drinks, and yes we made it big enough for everything from soda cans to 1 liter "big slams". Above you can see the simple solution installed in the new cubby box. Drinks are held in place and are within easy reach of the driver and passenger.
Lift up on the drink holder and it is easily removed so that you can use the area for other types of storage, or to easily clean it out. The unit is held in by slight magnetic resistance and is just another reason why we say, "If you can dream it up, we can build it."
This images shows the old rusted sills looking much better. The new stainless steel trims have been painted and installed on top of the primed and painted T support. The lower door seals have been updated like a new 110 to be on the bottoms of the doors for a better seal that won't get ripped off as your passengers get in and out of the 110. You can also see that we painted the feet of the interior roll cage, as it was getting really rusty.
To make sure the 110 has a hassle free summer on the island we have done a complete service of all the systems and changed all the filters and fluids. That will keep this nice low mileage 110 reliable for the owner. One system that everyone overlooks is the brake fluid. The fluid in this 110 looked original. Brake fluid absorbs water, and that can wreck you brake parts internally, so for long life of the new upgraded brake parts the brake fluid has been flushed and replaced with new, as was the clutch fluid. Is your local shop looking after your Defender like this? We even complete full on road tests of every system and every moving object on your Defender. If it needs attention, we let you know so that you don't get back a vehicle that immediately needs to head to a repair shop. In this 110s case, a road test turned up a small hole in the radiator due to corrosion, so a new radiator was installed to make sure the summer fun doesn't slow down.
Inside the 110 the interior is coming together. New carpets compliment the new headliners and give the 110 a much fresher look. Small items like new wiper blades are also installed to make sure the 110 is ready to go.
As this 110 is used on the beach, the owner has to air down the tires for maximum traction and flotation on the soft sand. The problem with letting some air out of the tires is that when you get off the beach you need to air them back up. To solve this dilemma we have installed an Oasis on board air system to allow the 110 to have all the compressed air it needs. Above you can see that we have located the system neatly under the front passenger seat.
We fabricated a drop box inside the standard under seat box to allow the Oasis system to fit. When done like this the compressor and all the factory tire changing equipment still fit in the same location.
The system is activated by a remote switch on the seat box so that you never have to access under the seat, expect to service the compressor. Here you can see the Defender style switch installed in the seat box. Also notice that all the carpets on and around the seat box are all new.
Underneath the 110 we have installed a reservoir tank for the system. This allows for fast tire fill ups and less compressor running time. The reservoir tank is tucked up above the bottom of the frame rail to protect it from hazards. If this 110 was an off road rig, not a beach going Rover , we would fabricate a skid plate to protect it, but for beach use the tank being located high on the side of the frame rail will be plenty secure. Also notice that with our install items like the fuel filter (the small silver canister in the upper right) is still easily accessible for routine service.
Flip the switch on the seat box and plug in the supplied air hose and you are ready to fill tires. The Oasis system is so strong that it will also run air tools if you need to make repairs on the trail. The air and electrical connections are tucked neatly away inside the 110. This is done for easy access and to combat corrosion. If we had installed the fittings on the outside of the 110, corrosion could damage them in the future. In this image you can also see more of the new carpets throughout the Rover.
The on board air system easily reaches all 4 tires and it fills the new 265/75 Geolander tires up as fast as our huge shop compressor, so you won't have to wait around for tires to fill up. Our other customers that have had us install these system in their 110s say that at the end of a long beach day they end up filling up all their buddies tires too because it works so well.
Here you can see the passengers footwell. If you have ever looked at a stock NAS 110, you'll know that this area usually looks pretty nasty. The old cardboard trim is usually falling off, or about to fall off and it is usually discolored. The carpets usually appear old and ratty. That isn't the case in this 110. This area looks factory clean and in fact it is better than when the 110 left the factory. Keep in mind that we not only have all the stock equipment in here, we also have 2 sound system cross overs neatly hidden away on the back side of the ECR ROX kick panel.
The rest of the interior is complete as well. The new sun visors replace the old stained units and the new interior light set up will give light where it should and the factory sunroof also makes a nice addition to the inside.
Here you can see the upgraded seat covers for the middle seat. These covers are strong and durable and they will stand up nicely to beach use. These will be a welcome addition to the 110, especially if you could have seen all the sand we removed from the seats and seat backs! Also notice the new carpets and the heavy duty rubber floor mats to protect them.
The front seats get the same robust seat covers. These units are far superior to the factory heavy duty seat covers as the manufacture did something we do a lot... they thought ahead. The seat base (bottom cushion) of a Defender seat has to be removed periodically to service the batteries or get the jack to change a tire. The Land Rover seat covers are all one piece, so taking out the seat base is a production. These upgraded seat covers are 2 pieces, so the seat base can be easily removed just as if it had no cover at all, a great design touch. Speaking of batteries, to be able to let the music play on the beach, we also added twin Optima batteries to this Rover.
Here is one last image of the sills on this 110. We wanted to put this image up here as it is the same area that appears in the second picture at the top of this page. Scroll back up and check out that rusted mess, then take a look at this finished product. Then remember that isn't just fresh paint that will start to look bad shortly, that is a full stainless steel sill piece. It is only painted white to help it match the rest of the 110.
Here you can see the finished product, a great low mileage 1993 NAS 110 that has been made better through upgrades and repairs by ECR. This 110 is now more of what the owner wanted and fits his needs better. Isn't that what custom cars are all about? We have added everything from a great sound system to on board air, 4 wheel disc brakes to custom fishing rod mounts and we have made the interior of the 110 look almost new again. To complete our "anything you want" service and attention to detail with our Defender clients we will be loading this 110 up on the ECR transporter and delivering it to the customer so that he can meet his ferry reservation later this week. From full blown custom work to routine service we are your land Rover Defender source. If you have Defender dreams feel free to contact ECR, we'll be happy to make them come true for you.