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1994 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top #799 Galvanized Frame Swap
This 1994 NAS Defender 90 has come to us from IL so that we can cure some serious rust issues. The first step with any 90 that comes into ECR for the first time is for us to do a complete evaluation. In this Defenders case we can compare the new evaluation to the one we did a few years back, as we have seen this car before. It lives in IL but comes to ECR when it needs major work because the owner knows that he wants the best service available for his Defender. Once we go over the trucks needs with the owner and formulate a plan, we get to work. In this 90s case we will be doing the work that relates to installing a new galvanized frame and also doing some nice stainless steel parts upgrades as well. The 90 also has gearbox issues (blown gearbox) and while the body is off this will be the perfect time to get a new R380 gearbox installed in place of the original LT77.
Here you can see the 90 a little while later with its running gear and rolling chassis removed. Unlike other shops we do not have to dismantle the body to change the frame, thus saving you thousands of dollars in labor over places that take the Rover to pieces to replace the chassis.
A rusted chassis is rarely just a rusted chassis. In most cases the fuel lines and other parts have also suffered from road salt induced rust, and this 90 is no different as you can see from the fuel lines on the fuel filter in this Rover. The good news is that we have all stainless steel fuel lines that will replace these rusted bits and cure this issue for good.
The roll cage support parts have also taken it hard. This type of rust means only one thing... replace the part, but instead of replacing it with a new part that will have the same problem down the road we will be replacing all these underbody roll cage parts with galvanized units so that rust will not be a factor in the future. Our goal is always to complete a repair and do our best to make sure that problem is not only fixed, but cured so that it won't come back. Most repair shops want to see you back in a few weeks... we want your Defender to last as long as it can before it needs to see us again.
Here you can see the rolling chassis getting stripped down. We have removed the LT77 gearbox and will be replacing it with a new R380 and while things are apart we will be installing things like a new clutch and other work that should be done when a Rover is this far apart.
Once we strip everything from the old rusted chassis it is time to start setting up the new galvanized frame, shown above. The axles and suspension are now being installed and next we will start to install the new stainless steel brake and fuel lines. Then we will install the engine and mate it to the new gearbox and then get the rolling chassis back under the Defender.
Here you can see the new rolling chassis is now ready for the body. All the lines have been replaced with new stainless steel units for longevity and all the service items that needed to be addressed have been taken care of while the engine was out and easy to work on.
We installed the new R380 5 speed gearbox to replace the old LT77 unit and mated that to the freshly rebuilt and upgraded LT230 transfer case. All that combined with new seals and a new clutch means that the drive-train on this 90 will be ready for the long haul. Speaking of long haul, we have also taken care of parts that rust quickly with new galvanized parts. You can see above that the braces, cross-members and even the shock towers are all galvanized for longevity. All this adds up to a Defender that will last a long time without rot issues.
Here you can see the new galvanized frame has been mated to the D90 body and all the systems are getting hooked back up. We have also replaced the rusted front bumper and added a turn signal conversion kit to the front end to eliminate the corroded wiring that went to the stock 1994 front bumper signals.
In the name of corrosion resistance and longevity this 90 has a lot of our products installed. The green arrows point to the products that we have developed to help Defenders last longer that are in place on this project. Our stainless steel brake lines, or alloy fuel tank skid plate and our 304 stainless steel performance exhaust system all adorn the new galvanized frame, making for one nice looking and long lasting chassis set up.
This 90 has been to ECR before and the upgraded soft top and the other previous upgrades and holding up great. So once everything is set up and tested this 90 will be ready to head back to IL without worry of chassis rust issues.
Here you can see the completed frame swap all cleaned up and ready for delivery. The customer also had us do some other upgrades while the 90 was inside the shop. Things like new tires. some side steps and quite a bit of service work. The 90 is now ready to head back to IL for many more years of faithful winter service.
If you have needs for your Defender, from routine service to wild modifications, contact ECR. We'll be happy to help make your Defender everything you want it to be.