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1997 Defender 90 Soft Top
Repairs and Upgrades
This low miles 1997 Defender 90 has come to us from directly from the point of purchase. It has been sent here so that it can be fully gone through to make sure it is ready for service when the new owner takes delivery. We'll also be adding on a host of upgrades that will make the 90 better and turn it into exactly what the new owner wants it to be. To start off we have brought the 90 in and done a number of service items and small upgrades like new Bilstien shocks and some minor repairs.
You can see in the image at the top of the page we have already removed the weak factory bumper. Here you can see we have started to install a new front bumper with a Warn 9000 winch. This not only looks better, but it will help protect the front end of the 90 from obstacles.
This D90 is a very nice car, it needs very little repairs, but it does need upgrades. One of the upgrades going in is a better sound system. We have removed the factory sound system and have started to install the new Alpine system. Here you can see the front door panels have been modified to accept the Kicker speakers and we have wired and installed the cross overs. The speaker grills are still to com, and we will modify the factory speaker grills to fit these upgraded speakers. Why you ask? Two reasons. #1. We like the look of a clean install. We don't like that "in your face" look to a sound system. We love great sound quality, but it should look like it was part of the car, not like an 18 year old at the local stereo place stuffed it in your ride. #2. Theft. The more "hidden" your system is, the less thieves will eye it up. If you "advertise" you have all the coolest expensive sound gear, some jerk might just rip it off. If they think you are still running the stock system, they'll leave your rig alone.
At the back of the 90 we have started to work on the sub box. We will be making changes to the factory sub box so that it will hold a Kicker 8" sub, but still keep in line with the factory look.
In the image above you can see we have removed the rear bench seat and have started the install of the 4 jump seats. We also replaced the worn load mat with a new unit and added a set of upgraded seat covers to the new jump seats in rear of the 90. This set up will give the Rover 6 passenger seating for short hops, and the seat bases can be folded up when not in use.
Back up front we have finished up the front end wiring and added the Warn 9000 winch. Above you can see that we have hidden the winch control box out of view and relocated the winch control plug in point on the left fender. Putting the winch control hook up here makes it easier to plug in, especially as we will be installing 3 Hella 4000 light on the bumper, and is also a safer option than having the control cable near the winch drum. In this location it is very hard to accidentally wind up the winch control cable, something we have seen on the trail a few times when the control cable dangles in front of the winch drum. It also makes for a cool and clean looking install.
Here you can see the new 9000 winch installed with the roller fairlead. Two ECR ROX recovery points have also been added to the bumper to facilitate different winch set ups and hooking onto straps while off roading. We have also installed the skid plate under the bumper that will help protect the steering gear from harm.
In the rear we have installed the new 6.5" Kicker speakers and wired them up. We have topped them off with the factory speaker grills for all the reasons mentioned above.
The front speaker install has also been completed now and now it is time to install the Alpine glide-strip head unit and iPod interface.
Here you can see the new Alpine head unit and the iPod connection (yellow arrow). Just plug your iPod into the system, wedge it into the safe and secure foam covered bracket and close the cubby box. You now have access to all your iPods songs that you can search through the face of the glide strip radio. The system even powers your iPod so that you never have to worry about running out of music.
In the back of the 90 the new Kicker sub install has been completed. This set up will help all those iPod songs sound great and add the low end that most stock sound systems lack.
Up front we are finishing up the bumper and light install. The bumper, skid plate and recovery points are all set, and now we have added 3 Hella 4000 CELIS lights.
The CELIS Hella 4000 lights give the 90 a cool custom look, and the ability to turn night into day whenever desired.
To make the 90 a much better place to be inside, we have install an upgraded top that is made from better materials and has a correct seal around the doors by way of a gutter kit. This eliminates the stock top and cures all its flaws. It even adds nice touches like larger rear windows and a handy bag so that you can store the zip out side and rear windows if you feel like driving with that "open air" feeling.
Along with the larger upgrades on this 90 we also have completed a ton of small items, from new valve cover gaskets and a brake fluid flush, to new alloy wing to guards (shown above)...
a complete set of Badger Coachworks seat covers...
New side running boards to replace the old rusting ones...
a set of ECR ROX kick panels. These get rid of the factory cardboard pieces and replace them will a polymer coated alloy, for a stock look, but a set up that is tough and will stand up to your snowy and muddy boots without fail. More ROX kick panel information can be found here.
We have also installed a new set of upgraded door hinges that will eliminate the typical rust bleeds from a Defender door hinge. Here you can see the new units have been primed and painted and installed with all stainless steel hardware for a long term rust free approach to Defender door hinges. For more information on hinges go here.
We also installed some dual purpose tires in the form of a new set of 265/75R16 Good Year MTRs. These tires are great in all conditions and a good balance for a 90 that needs to be driven on the street, but doesn't want to be helpless on the trail.
Under the hood everything is buttoned up and ready to go. Every filter is checked and replaced as needed and everything is serviced so that the customer can have a good shot at trouble free service. Once all our work is complete we then test drive the Defender and operate everything in the vehicle to make sure it is working properly. How many times have you brought your truck home from your dealership only to find the problem wasn't really solved? It happens all the time. Here at ECR two members of the ECR staff go over each car before it leaves our shop. Think those kids working at the dealership does that for your Defender? They don't. You'd be lucky if the service manager even remembers what car is yours in most cases. ECR is a completely different experience. Does our way work? Check out what our customers have to say.
This image shows the completed 90 ready to head to NY for winter and summer fun for the new owner. We have taken this Defender directly from point of purchase and gone over it from top to bottom and even made some changes and updates to make it into exactly what the customer wanted. If your Defender needs anything from minor service to a host of upgrades, contact ECR. We'll be happy to help make your 90 a top of the line machine... just like this one!