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1993 NAS Defender 110 #161/500 Service and Upgrades
This 1993 NAS Defender 110 has come to us out of California and is destine for an Idaho home, but before it heads out west it has made the trip east to ECR for us to make it ready for its new owner and do some upgrades to make it better as well. The 110 has very low miles for its build date, but the years have taken their toll on some of the systems and cosmetic items. The 110 has "good bones" and does not have any real rust so the majority of the work will be repairs and upgrades to the customers taste and some routine items to make sure the 110 stays in good shape.
First up for the 110 is a full evaluation. Once that is done we go over it with the customer to see what he/she does and does not want done. Once we compile the work order list we get to work. This 110 does not suffer from rust issues and to keep things that way we will be doing upgrades like new door hinges and updating the lower door seals and lips to the later specification versions. So the doors come off and the bad mechanical items are removed and made ready for replacement with new genuine Land Rover parts.
With the doors off we can work on one of the most common rust areas on a NAS 110, the door sills. As you can see above we have removed the lower doors seals that attach to the body and hold dirt and debris against the steel. The door seals will be moved to the bottom of the door because these seals work better and do not get ripped off as people enter and exit the vehicle like the stock ones do. The sills above look quite nice with the seals removed, but there is an underlying problem...
rust! Above you can see the door sill area with the cover removed. Those nice clean sills are hiding a lot of rust that can potentially get a lot worse fast. Land Rover didn't put any paint or primer between the T support and the seal trim, so even on this rust free 110 this is what is lurking underneath. The good news is that we can remove all this rust and get the areas epoxy primed and painted for long term rust protection.
Inside the 110 the old saggy headliners have been removed and now we will clean everything up and install the new updated headliners and updated interior lamps.
Under the hood the low miles motor appears to be in great shape, but it has some typical leaks and seals that need to be replaced. So we will update the motor with the new style seals and such to make it the best it can be. Sadly the gearbox didn't last as well as the engine and it had internal synchro issues that are common on the original LT77 5 speed, so we will be updating the gearbox to the latest version R380 5 speed for smoother shifting and quieter operation.
Upfront on the 110 there are some AC parts to replace to get things up to snuff and we also had to revive the factory installed Warn 8000 winch. We also installed upgraded Hella H4 headlamps with upgraded bulbs for better vision at night. While we are in the engine bay we'll also update the oil cooler lines to the stainless ROX units to make sure this 110 doesn't get too hot and do a compete tune up so that when the 110 arrives in Idaho it is ready for action.
Here you can see the completed sill repair. No more hidden places for rust to hide and everything painted in epoxy paints and upgraded to the later specification Defender 110 parts making for a longer lasting 110.
Along with the service items we are also adding some customer requested items like mud flaps front and rear, shown above, and new running boards to replace the rusted originals, still to come.
We also installed the customers choice of tires to replace the old dry rotted units and gave the 110 a mild suspension lift via our Stage 1 set up.
The Stage 1 set up is a slightly heavier spring combined with a set of Bilstein shocks for excellent road manners. The added height of the Stage 1 means we also install our rear shock drop kit that keeps the shock travel correct and stops the shock from bottoming out on full extension of the rear suspension and you see see those parts in the image above. You can also see that we have done some upgrades to other systems, mainly the brakes. We have scrapped the crappy old rear drum brakes and updated the rear axle to disc brakes.
Up front we have also done suspension and brake upgrades The Stage 1 suspension is a direct bolt in up front with only springs and shocks needed. We also added on some ROX protection items in the form of our ROX tie rod guard. Instead of making the tie rod out of something else to try and keep it from bending, we fully encase the tie rod with the ROX tie road guard so that nothing can harm it, no matter if the 110 is pulled, dragged or driven over rocks or stumps. Even for mild off road work a ROX tie rod guard is great because the tie rod is the lowest thing and even a small obstacle can bend it and leave you walking home
We also upgraded the front brakes from the original solid rotor units to vented rotors for better stopping power and less fade when you are towing or on the brakes hard off road.
In front of the axle we have added our heavy duty front steering rod and an OME stabilizer for full protection and correct operation of the steering set up. We have also added a front differential guard just in case the front axle of the 110 tags a small rock. A little bit of protection now can save thousands in repairs down the road.
To eliminate the weak, and downright dangerous, factory oil cooler lines we have installed a set of ROX oil cooler lines. These performance stainless steel lines are a direct replacement of the factory units and will make this much less likely. Other suppliers will rebuild the factory lines, but we never did understand the thinking behind running an "oil cooler" line right next to the "really hot" exhaust manifold, so our units stay far away from that heat source and run directly from the engine to the radiator mounted cooler and don't get anywhere near the exhaust manifold. Remember we are trying to "cool" the oil, not super heat it.
Now that the sills have been completed we have put the doors back on with upgraded hinges that won't show rust bleeds any time soon. These new hinges have been installed with stainless steel hardware to really keep rust away, and because the Alpine White color really shows the rust badly, that is a very good thing.
The doors have been upgraded with Alpine 6.5" speakers with factory grills for a subtle look to the sound system, but one that still puts out good sound quality. We feel this speaker placement sounds better, looks better and works better than other places that try to adapt the dash location with a larger speaker. Those set ups always end up in the way where these blend in with the interior, and the sound is firing towards you in our style set up instead of at the floor.
The front speakers are enhanced with another pair of 6.5" speakers at the rear of the 110 and it is all controlled from the new Tuffy center console box that now also houses a new Alpine head unit with iPod connection. Plug into your iPod and close the cubby box and you can control all your iPod functions directly through the head unit.
The dash area of the 110 had a lot of broken plastic and such that needed to be addressed but as you can see it is going back together and starting to look good again. You can also spot the new shift knob for the R380 gearbox we have installed that replaces the worn LT77 unit and that we have added a set of trailer brakes and full trailer towing set up to the Defender.
Here you can see the new style headliners are in place along with the updated interior lights that give you light where it should be,instead of behind the roll bar like a factory 110 set up. We also set up the wiring so that the front and rear lights come on when you open either the front or the back door so that there is plenty of light inside the 110 at night when you need to load your gear at the airport or read a while doing some night off roading.
Under the hood the stock 3.9 is doing well and we have cured a number of running issues down to past poor repairs and made everything ready to go.
Now that the Defender is done and the inside is cleaned up we can now add the floor mats and seat covers.
The rear cargo area also gets covers for the jump seats and a heavy duty cargo mat to keep the carpets in nice shape.
The front seats are also covered in upgraded seat covers and their seat tracks have been welded up so there is no more annoying click or rattle from the seats as you drive down the road.
The final touch is to toss the goofy cardboard kick panels and install a set of our ROX alloy kick panels that can stand up to your muddy boots and then install the front floor mats. The driver's area of this 110 is now starting to look like a nice place to be.
Here you can see 110 #161 cleaned up and ready to head to Idaho for years of service to its new owner. It has been repaired, upgraded and fully tested right down to the smallest light bulb so that the owner will be assured of some good seat time when the truck arrives. So why does a Defender 110 come from CA to Maine for work and then to Idaho? Because the owner of this 110, also an owner of a nicely built up ECR D90, knows that the attention to detail, quality workmanship use of Genuine Land Rover parts by ECR means the 110 will be a fun and trusted friend once it is out west, instead of a troublesome used car purchase.
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.