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1997 Defender 90 Soft Top
Repairs and Upgrades

This 1997 Defender 90 has come to us from Long Island, NY. The customer has sent it to ECR because he needs some upgrades and because the 90 has a problem that no one else has been able to fix. As soon as the Defender arrived here at ECR we went over it from top to bottom. We call this the "evaluation". Once it is done we give the customers all that information and help him/her with suggestions on what needs to be done now and what can wait. We then formulate the work list and dig into the project.

One of the upgrades for this Defender is the addition of the new style door hinges with stainless steel hardware so that the hinges will continue to look good for a long time to come. For more information on hinges go here.

Another aspect of this 90 that needs help is the sound system. The image above shows how some stereo shop installed the radio into this Defender. This set up is probably the worst install that we have ever seen, especially considering the customer had to pay for this crap! The wires are visible, the radio hangs way out and that top piece is made of plywood painted gray.

This system is an absolute joke, we'll be ripping it all out and putting it right in the trash where it belongs, and then we'll have to "un-botch" all the wiring mess the installers made to try and get the 90 back into shape.

Here you can see our solution, a nice, clean and simple install of a new Alpine head unit where it should be in the center console.

We then made a simple bracket for the customers iPod holder on the dash. This customer liked using his iPod instead of control the iPod through the Alpine head unit, but that feature is available from Alpine. You can plug in your iPod and hide it in the cubby box and control all aspects of it directly from the radio face.
So what was the problem no one else could solve you ask? It was that the EFI ECU (computer) would not allow the codes inside it to be read. The engine ran well, but you could not access the ECU. Scans tools could not, nor could our Auot-Logic system. After many hours of searching and tracing wires it came down to the stereo install. The "local professionals" cut the wiring at the factory amplifier (installed in all 1997 D90s) and just left it clipped. So the stereo did work, but they didn't consider any other aspect of the Rover when they did that. In doing what they did they made it so the customer (from NY) could not get his car inspected, as they need to check that system as part of the inspection. So the "local experts" basically made this Rover useless for road use in NY. Once we found the fault and the reason for it we made the repair and got the ECU talking to the scan tool again, so now the customer can easily get his Rover inspected.
This is just one example of how one system can relate to another in a Defender. The sound system worked and the motor ran, but the one did alter the other. If you take your Rover to one place for a sound system, then another for mechanical repairs, then another for oil changes, then another for paint work, then another for a winch install you are just begging for this kind of trouble. Here at ECR we handle all aspects of Defender work from paint work to stereo installs. We make sure everything works together and does not interfere with or harm some other system in the truck.

Under the hood of this Rover we have taken care of a number of oil leaks in the otherwise good 4.0 and done a number of routine service items such as flushing the brake fluid and replacing the worn serp. belt. Once all these small items found on the evaluation are completed the 90 will be ready to head back to NY, and it will be heading back in much better shape.

We also removed the rusted tire carrier parts and restored them to like new condition and re-installed them all with new stainless steel hardware for a long lasting repair.

Here you can see the completed 90 ready to head back to Long Island with all its troubles fixed, and a number of upgrades completed.
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!