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1993 NAS Defender 110 #6/500
4.6 Pursuit upgrade and more!
This NAS 110 has come to us from New York, but is destine for MA for use as the ultimate island cruiser. This 110 is in very nice shape overall, it just suffers from having been worked on by some poor quality shops and it has some very goofy "upgrades" that aren't really upgrades at all. The Wagon is a new purchase for the owner and he sent it directly from the point of purchase to ECR, so that we could bring it up to his standards. The new owner also has a list of upgrades he desires, and we'll also be fixing all the problems with the 110 to get it back into shape. That list includes such cool items as a new Generation 2 Pursuit 4.6 EFI V8, a rear disc brake conversion, vented front disc upgrade, conversion to R380 5 speed, high end sound system, Rear AC, and more. The first step was a full evaluation to find all the issues with the 110. Then we discussed that list with the owner to see what he would like fixed, and what upgrades he desires.
In this project outline we are going to do things a little differently. To visually show you the difference between ECR's work and other shops, we will be giving you "before and after" shots in regards to the upgrades on this 110, rather than just what our finished product looks like.
First up, are the brake upgrades. A 110 Wagon, especially the NAS version, is a heavy beast and the brakes are barely adequate, but they can be updated. In the image above you can see we have removed the standard non-vented rotors and calipers and installed performance cross drilled and vented rotors, along with new calipers to match. We'll also be installing performance Kevlar brake pads that will give more bite and more stopping power for the 110. The hub seals on this 110 were leaking when it arrived. We assumed it was from beach use by the previous owner, but in reality it was the fact that some other shop had installed the front inner hub seals backwards, so that the inner lip was rubbing on the bearing. Obviously we corrected these problems as we did the upgrades.
The Salisbury rear axle in this 110 has already been upgraded with an ARB air locker, but we also need to update the rear with new disc brakes vs. the old drum brakes. So in this case we have stripped the factory axle down to the axle tube and will be installing a full update kit to swap the rears over to the later model disc brakes. This axle will also get performance brake pads for better stopping power.
Here you can see the rear axle, fully converted to disc brakes, with new axles, drive flanges calipers and more. This, along with the performance brake parts will cure all the 110s poor stopping ability... a very good thing in such a heavy vehicle.
This image shows the ARB Air Locker control system installed in this 110. The shop that installed this really wasn't thinking ahead. They placed the only weak link in the ARB system (the compressor) right behind the left front wheel. This meant dirt, water, road salt, etc. were all being tossed at the system when the 110 was being driven. Keep in mind these air compressors do just that... they compress air, so if it sucks in dirty air, then the compressor doesn't stand a chance of lasting very long. Needless to say the compressor and the solenoids all failed from road debris and now the system needs to be re-installed.
Inside the 110 the ARB installers did an equally nasty job. They cut through costly dash parts and installed Radio Shack style cheapo switches (the yellow arrows) and ignored all the factory switch locations that are all pre-existing in an NAS 110 (green arrows). We'll fix the entire system and get it up to snuff and we'll add a tire inflation system so that the owner can "air up" after running the 110 on the beach.
This image shows another "good one". See anything missing?? You have a factory bumper a full skid plate and a factory brush bar, but yup, you guessed it, NO recovery point and no way to pull this 110 out of the sand or muck short of wrapping a chain around the axle (we know... it had a dead battery and we had to tow it into the shop).We'll also be fixing this problem, with heavy duty recovery points front and rear, a Safari Gard front bumper and a Warn 9000 winch, just in case it gets stuck.
Under the hood on this 110 looks in pretty good order, but definitely a little neglected and the smell of fuel and coolant in the engine oil lead us to believe some sort of major problem exists, but as we are installing a new Pursuit 4.6 anyway, all this will be taken care of and the engine bay will look great again.
Here you can see the stock 3.9 liter engine pulled from the 110. We'll strip it down, clean each piece and get started swapping the ancillaries over to the new Pursuit 4.6.
A few cans of engine cleaner, a pressure wash and the engine bay has come back to life (It actually is white in there, not brown). This will make the install not only look better, but a clean engine bay helps mechanics to diagnose any potential problems and helps engines to last a long time.
This images show the LT77S gearbox pulled from the 110. It has the typical synchro problems and some pretty major wear in the clutch. The transfer case had both seals leaking and the rear output was one of the loosest we have seen to date. The rear seal leak coated the handbrake shoes with gear oil, making the hand brake useless as well. We'll reseal the transfer case, clean everything and also be installing a latest suffix R380 5 speed so that no more gearbox problems will befall this 110.
Another typical issue with 110s is the corrosion on the T supports. This images shows the right rear door area with the carpet removed. It has some pretty serious rust problems, but we can fix it... and we can fix it with stainless steel so that it wont come back. First step is to remove the seal and the trim plate and grind out all the rust so that we can start with fresh steel.
With the seal lip removed you can see what the problem in this area with the 110s is. There is an air space between the T-support and the seal lip. These two pieces are spot welded together and water, road dirt, etc all get into the area and immediately cause rust because the factory did not paint in this area, nor did they seal it off. The image above shows the very typical rust in a 110. If this area is left untreated it will mean that you'll have to disassemble the body and install new T-supports.
Here you can see the seal lip removed from the 110. The yellow arrow shows where the factory paint and primer stopped. With no paint and no primer and bare steel what do you get??... you guessed it.. rust.
In this 110's case we can catch it in time and slow down the rust and we'll replace the seal lip above with new stainless steel pieces fabricated by ECR.
It isn't a pretty job, but it has to be done. In the image above you can see that we have ground out all the rust from the T-support and then prepared the surface for paint. We then use an epoxy primer to cover the entire area (shown above). Once that dries we'll spray on a few coats of the correct Alpine White, then install our stainless pieces and new seals and it will be as good as new. Actually, it will be better than new because "new" they didn't do a very good job in this area.
Here you can see the new R380 V8 gearbox all built up and mated to the repaired LT230 transfer case, ready to go back into the 110. This latest suffix gearbox will cure all the common 110 gearbox issues and make a nice long term upgrade for the 110.
Back to the rusty sills in the 110... Here you can see that we have fully primed and painted the area under the seals (remember Rover left this area unpainted) in the correct Alpine White. Next we'll get the seal lips fabricated and ready for paint.
This image shows the newly fabricated stainless steel seal lips for all 4 doors on this 110. They have been media blasted and will now be painted in Alpine White for a bone stock factory look, but without the rust, or potential for rust, and that is a good thing because this 110 is headed for Nantucket, and that salt environment will take its toll on the Rover.
As the small parts are sent to the paint department at ECR, we'll turn our attention to the Pursuit 4.6 install in the 110. A lot of potential customers ask us, "Just what makes the Pursuit 4.6 from ECR so much better than a stock motor, or a motor from another source?" Well, this time we'll show you. In the image above you'll see a close up of 2 intake manifolds. The stock 3.9 or 4.6 intake manifold on the left and our Pursuit 4.6 manifold on the right. Right off the bat you can see that the Pursuit's feed to the cylinder is larger, but what you might not notice is that the intake is also polished for smooth air flow. It is also gasket matched so that air flows in easily with as little disruption as possible. Gasket matched means that the intake, the cylinder head and the gasket all share the same size opening, this allows air to flow freely, without hitting any obstacles. If you look at the stock intake on the left you can see we have highlighted an area with a red line. If you look inside the red line you can see where the old gasket opening was (this appears as a black goop). So that means that a lot less air was getting into the cylinder with the stock intake, and as you know more air and fuel means more power. This type of hand work is what sets the Pursuit apart and why the engine is happy to idle along on the trail or rev up and pass everyone. We don't build power by just slapping a big camshaft into the 4.6. That causes lumpy idles, stalling issues and increases fuel consumption. We do things the right way. Did you also know that the Pursuit 4.6 under normal driving conditions get BETTER fuel mileage than a stock 3.9 by roughly 2 MPG!
The image above shows the top section of the Pursuit 4.6 intake. The velocity stacks help funnel and accelerate air into the cylinders and help give the Pursuit its punch. The entire cylinder feed is larger for more air intake to the combustion chamber. Compare this to the stock intake image below...
Yuck. Lets move on.
Along with work to the intake on the Pursuit, work is also done to the cylinder heads. The image above shows the cylinder head intakes for cylinders #4 and #6. The intake area is huge compared to stock (see the intake comparisons above) and the air passage is polished and free of any casting mistakes for smooth air flow. This efficiency is what helps make the Pursuit better on fuel. The engine is then complimented with an upgraded camshaft, larger valves to keep up with all the air flow and better lifters for more performance. We also install EFI chips into the computer to keep everything running right, but we'll install that a little later.
The image above shows another system that is being upgraded in this 110. We are installing a high end audio system using JL Audio and Eclipse components. Above you can see that we have fabricated an aluminum panel that is hidden under the rear seat, we then mounted a JL Audio amp to the panel and fitted the factory under seat cover back on for a stock look. We installed the amp in this location so that it would have good air flow, ease of adjustment to its outputs and still keep all the 110s versatility. We are running all the wiring to the amp in a way that will still allow the seat to fold forward for carrying larger cargo in the back. See if you get that from your local stereo installers. We also solder every connection and we don't use "crimp" connectors of any kind. The system will contain 4 speakers, a 10" sub woofer and a CD changer, watch for more images of it as work continues.
The headliners in this 110 are suffering from the standard 110 headliner "sag". We'll be replacing them with all new units for a much better look in the interior. We've also must replace some interior trim items to get rid of damage and stray holes that other shops installed.
This 110 is going to be used a lot on the beach, and that means you should "air down" your tires for better traction on the loose sand, but this presents the problem of getting your tires "air'd up" once your ready to head off the sand. In the past people have used small 12v compressors that take lots of time to fill one tire, let alone 4, or you can bring a bag or quarters and go to the local gas station for those coin-op machines. Then came better 12 compressors, compressed air storage bottles and such... these are good, but do have down sides. Years ago the Jeep guys we knew used to convert old York air condition compressors to belt drive and have plenty of compressed air, but with the tight Rover V8 engine bay this hasn't really been an option, until now. Recently Oasis Air has come up with a great idea. They have mounted the wonderful York compressor to a winch style 12v motor to drive it. This combination gives you the best of both worlds, compressed air that really flows at the switch of a button, without adding another drive belt to your engine. In the image above you can see that we have added an Oasis system to the RH seat box area of this 110. We also plumbed in the ARB air locker as well as an easy access tire fill. In tests of the system this on board compressor fills tires just as fast as our massive shop compressor does... very impressive.
This images shows the Oasis Air compressor install from the other direction. To make it fit the 110 we fabricated a drop box for the seat box area and then painted it in Alpine White to match the Rover. We also installed quite a few air passages with dirt and mud deflectors so that air can get in and out of the box, but as little road dirt as possible enters the drop box.
Here you can see the factory seat box lid in place. The system is totally hidden from view and you only need to access the area under the seat for compressor service.
The air chuck outlet for filling the tires is located in the passenger area. (See red arrow above) So it is easy to fill tires or run air tools when the need arises.
Underneath the 110 you can see the holding tank for the Oasis compressor mounted to the side of the RH frame rail. The tank kit from Oasis comes complete with a safety "blow off" unit, adjustable pressure switch and a drain for the tank as well as all the fittings and hoses. Its a very well put together set up. In the image above you can see the extended seat box we fabricated for the 110. If this 110 was a serious off roader, and not a beach cruiser, we would also suggest a skid plate in this rear to protect the air tank from any harm that might come to it.
The tank kit also comes with this tire gauge and air hose. The image above shows these parts connected to the holding tank's air outlet, and from this point you can easily reach all 4 tires to air them up quickly and better yet, reliably.
In the dash area of this 110 we have quite a bit of sorting out to do. 9 years of different shops "adding on" upgrades has taken its toll on the wiring harness and dash parts. In the image above you can see that we have stripped the 110 back to the factory wiring harness. From this point we can start fresh and install all the upgrades correctly. What do we mean by "correctly"? That means that we'll pull 12 volt power for our upgrades from the factory locations that are provided, we'll solder all the connections and make sure each system is fused just in case. The "upgrades" we removed from this 110 pulled power by jamming wires into the fuse box and using those "scotch lock" connectors in really bad locations... and the funny thing is, previous owners of this 110 actually paid people to do that work!
Speaking of 12 volt power... here you can see the twin Optima batteries that we have installed into the 110. We made sure to keep all the systems isolated so that the stereo will sounds great with no "buzz", and so that the factory installed battery kill switch will still function correctly. This "kill switch" system is often overlooked as people install upgrades, and they don't realize that power could back feed through various systems if the installs are not done correctly, therefore causing a costly burnt wiring harness. The kill switch is a great idea, but you need to make sure it is wired correctly.
Inside the 110 we have pulled the interior out so that we can install the new headliners (as seen in the above image), and replace a few damaged trim parts. The 110 is in good shape, so all that is needed is some freshening up to make it look great again.
On the outside of this 110 we have also made some changes. This images shows the rear access ladder, freshly painted in Alpine White for a different look. The upper roof basket will also be painted Alpine White to help set the 110 apart from its other sister NAS 110s.
In the two images above you can see that things are starting to go back together. The freshly painted stainless steel sill pieces are now installed, along with new lower door seals. Be sure to compare this image with the "before" image above, and remember that these pieces are stainless steel, so even if the paint gets chipped off from foot traffic in and out of the 110, they still won't rust.
This image shows a few of the other upgrades going on the 110. Here you can see the Safari Gard winch bumper, 3 Hella 4000 lights and the Warn winch. The white stuff on the bumper is a protective film we use to make sure that this 110 (and all our Rovers) get delivered without a scratch. Hey, you spent good money on these parts... we think they should look new when you take delivery so we alwsy go the extra mile!
Here you can see a close up of the winch bumper and the winch. We used a Warn 9000XD winch, and left and right ECR ROX front recovery points to round out the front end of this 110. The ECR ROX recovery points use any standard shackle or pin, and allow greater uses from your winch for turning blocks, or winching to the side.... much better than NO front recovery points like when the 110 arrived!
If for some reason you do get stuck in this 110, at least you'll have great tunes to listen to while you wait for recovery! In the image above you can see the Eclipse head unit that we installed. This is an AM/FM tape deck with CD changer controls. Also remember that every connection is soldered and covered in heat shrink so you won't have any "gremlins" down the road with ECR electronics installs.
That head unit is mated to this Eclipse 8 disc remote changer that we located in the factory cubby box for easy access to your favorite music. You've seen images of the monster JL Audio 500x5 amplifier (see towards the top of the page) that we installed under the rear seat and that helps drive the front JL Audio separates, as well the JL Audio coaxials in the rear and the JL Audio dual voice coil 10" subwoofer! A Serious system, built for very true sound reproduction.
Here you can see the JL Audio separates cleanly mounted into the front doors for great sounds and a tastefully installed look.
In the image above you can see that we have replaced the factory cardboard footwell cover with an aluminum unit that has been covered in Hardura for a correct factory look. This piece serves to replace a factory weak point, and it also has mounts on the back of it for the cross-overs for the front speakers. Keeping all the crossovers hidden and keeping all the factory look is one of the things that sets an ECR stereo install apart from other shops. Just in case you are wondering... no, that nasty little 4" factory speaker you can see in the dash is no longer used in the system.
This image shows the rear speakers that were installed in their own enclosures built underneath the 110. This gives you great sound and also keeps the speakers out of the way.
This images shows the JL Audio 10" subwoofer. We made this unit as small as possible, but for good sound you have to have a sub... you just have to. It does take up some cargo space, but we made some special brackets that allow the jump seat to be used even when the sub is in place, so you are able to keep all your passenger carrying ability.
The rear jump seat is still able to fold up and out of the way if need be. We also made the sub bolt in with just 4 bolts and added a wiring quick disconnect so that the sub can be removed in just a few seconds if you need your cargo area back. This keeps all the flexibility of the 110 in tact... the ECR way.
At the front of the 110 you can see the completed install of the Pursuit 4.6. We've made sure that no leaks will occur, installed all new tune up parts as well as a new oil pump and any other needed small parts. We've also updated the EFI computer with a chip so that the best can be had from the Pursuit 4.6, and with over 275 ft. lbs of torque... you know the best power available for your 110 is always at the ready.
The new Pursuit 4.6 will also be breathing through this new NRP full stainless exhaust system, a great system, and a real necessity for beach running.
OK, now we hesitate to show you this next image... but once you see it... remember... we warned you!!!
This disgusting abomination is what some hero thought up for a rear Air Conditioning system in this 110. They eliminated one of the jump seats and put this piece of work in its place. The wiring and AC plumbing to this system looked just as bad as the interior install. We can't take it anymore... lets move on to the next image.
That's better. The image above shows the ECR installed rear AC system in this 110. You can see that the system actually looks like it supposed to be there, and a new jump seat was able to go back in the correct location. The AC is ducted up from under the wheelwell through the thicker LH side trim panel and out the upper vents.
The system controls are easily accessed by the rear passengers and the system looks like a factory install. The thing that will really blow your mind about these two different rear AC installs is that the ECR installed unit was CHEAPER!!! Yes, this 110 came with all its books and records so we looked it up. The butchers that installed the first rear AC system charged the customer over $5000. to install that mess. The ECR rear AC system was about 1000. dollars less. So as you think about ECR, and our work, you may think to yourself, "Sure, they do nice work, but they are so expensive." Well next time you have that thought, think about this rear AC system. It just isn't the case. Our labor rates are less than your local shop, and our repairs are better. There is only one choice... ECR.
Please excuse the sagging headliner in these images. The rear headliner is still on back order for the 110, so we'll be installing that at a later date.
The new front and middle headliners that did arrive in time for delivery were installed and look great. See the image above.
The dash area of the 110 is also now back together, and everything is wired correctly. The image above shows the new controls for the rear ARB Air Locker. The system is wired so that if the customer ever decides to go with a front air locker, he can do so without making any wiring changes. We always make sure to think ahead to your next round of upgrades, that way the money you spent is not wasted. The system is also wired to a warning light in the dash to remind you that you have one, or both of the ARB lockers engaged.
The rest of the dash area is now back to a clean factory look as well, shown here without the steering wheel for a better view. There are no need for cheap-o switches in your Defender, almost anything can be controlled with a nice clean looking install.
This image shows the controls of the system in this 110, all clean looking and factory correct. The upper control turns on the Oasis Air compressor and arms the ARB lockers. The lower 2 switches are factory controls for the interior light and the panel lights, and the 3rd is the "arm" button for the Hella driving lights.
Now nearly complete, this image shows the 110 with is Safari Gard front bumper with the Warn 9000XD winch, ECR ROX recovery points, Hella 4000 lights, and ECR ROX turn signal relocation kit (110 turn signals were originally in the bumper) and the Safari Gard front skid plate. This Defender 110 is ready for whatever the owner sees fit.
Here you can see the roof rack and rear ladder installed and ready to go in the new Alpine White paint.
Now complete, with all the systems in the 110 fully sorted, and most of them upgraded, the 110 is ready for delivery to Nantucket for some fun! This 110 has everything from rust repair, to a new hood, a Pursuit 4.6 engine to a new R380 gearbox, 4 wheel disc brakes, on board air system and a killer stereo so you know the owner will be having loads of fun! If you need work done to your 110, from a rear AC system to a new brush bar contact ECR and we'll be happy to help you make your Defender 110 world class... just like this one!!