ECR... We build your dreams
North American Style DEFENDER 110 5 door Soft Top
Project: BR110 "Beach Runner-3"
The images below show just how radical a 110 we can create for you. Our only limitation is your imagination.
The image above shows one of our most talked about creations, the Beach Runner Defender 110, or BR110 as it is known here at ECR. It is a 5 door, full soft top, 9 passenger Defender 110 that is at home on the sand or on the highway. It gained magazine exposure and has been one of the most common topics of conversation with those who call ECR. Think of it as a NAS Defender 90 with more seating room for you growing family or all your friends at the beach. This custom ECR 110 was so cool that we are building yet another, with a twist this time though. We will be completing only a handful BR110s and keep in mind that BR110-3 is already sold, so don't miss out if you want your own BR110, as they are very limited.
As with all the BR110s they start off life as very clean low miles Defender 90s. In this case the donor vehicle has just arrived and once it is inside we fully go over it for any potential issues. We have already lined up all the parts we need in order to create the BR110 so that the build goes smoothly so its time to create what doesn't exist yet again.
The next step is to tear down the 90 into pieces and get ready to start on the construction of the BR110. The "twist" in this BR110 is that the customer wants a custom color that he has chosen and he would like the 110 to look a little more "old school". So to that end we will make some mild changes in order to make the 110 look a little more vintage than modern, but we will keep all the things that make the BR110 cool. Now that the majority of the tear down is complete the body panels are off to our paint department in order to get primed and painted in the customer's color choice. We will now start fabricating the lower rear doors and getting the new galvanized frame set up with all new stainless steel lines and hoses.
Here you can see the new galvanized 110 frame set up as a rolling chassis and waiting for the drive-train.
When we do a full color change on a Defender at ECR we mean "a full color change". This isn't your local body shop where they leave bits of red here and there. We strip everything down and re-prime and paint it with the correct epoxy primers and paints in the customer's choice of color. As you can see in the bulkhead above, now painted in the customer's color choice, every piece is painted in the new color inside and out.
As the body and paint work continue the rolling chassis continues to take shape. The new 110 fuel tank is installed and all the stainless fuel and brake lines are being installed so that when the 110 does some "beach running" it won't end up with rusted out brake pipes or corroded fuel lines.
Here you can see the drive-train has been installed and the bulkhead has been set up and installed. The "90" from this project is now all gone and it is now time to press on with the build up being all "110".
This image shows the bulkhead being set up with the interior trims and dash parts. The wiring is all getting set up and tested and we are also making some modifications to add in some vintage aircraft gauges at the customers request.
Here you can see the BR110 starting to look a little more complete. The rear body, T supports and other parts have now been primed, painted and installed. This step in the body assembly of a 110 5 door is the most important and the most overlooked. At this stage most shops will just start bolting everything together, but to end up with a correct finished product you can't do that. This is the time when all the body lines and gaps are set. If something is off now it will compound the problem when you go to install the other body panels and the doors will never close right and you'll either have to work backwards or you'll have to live with doors that don't close correctly. Here we line up each panel and push and pull them into shape and then bolt them down in the correct location. That means when the truck is more complete the doors will close with a gentle push and there will be no large gaps for air or water to get in. It one of the things that makes a difference between a nice 110 and great 110.
This image shows some the battery cut of switch installed on the truck. The BR110s usually see a good bit of down time, so the battery cut off switch makes it so the owner can easily kill the power when the 110 is stored. There is nothing worse than getting ready for a weekend of fun at the beach and then finding a dead battery to ruin your morning. Above you can also see that the Rhino-Lining has been done to the panels. Each panel is done on its own so that everything can still be serviced and removed down the road. The areas that see a lot of abuse and foot traffic are coated and the areas that aren't are painted in body color to give some nice highlights to the interior of the truck. All the floors and panels are assembled using stainless steel hardware that is isolated where need by by teflon washers to stop corrosion. These BR110s usually end up in the worst environments for corrosion, so we take lots of care to make sure that corrosion won't be an issue any time soon on these vehicles.
All of the custom 110s built here at ECR are done with our normal attention to detail and safety. All the safari cages we build are fully tied into the frame. The BR110, for example, has 6 point roll cage with 2 more supports at the T supports as well. The image above shows that the cage isn't just a nice looking part, it passes through the body and bolts directly to the frame for strength. All 6 points on the BR110 are tied to the frame and 2 more points are tied into the T supports making a correct safari cage as Land Rover would have intended had they built this model. No corners are cut and its just one of the many aspects that sets our vehicles apart from others built at other shops.
Here you can see #3 coming along nicely. The body panels are in place, all the suspension, brakes and drive-line items are complete and it is almost time to test run all the systems. This image also shows some of the "old school vibe" items coming into play on the truck. The new steel wheels have been epoxy primed and painted body color and set up with some new BFG tires for good manners on the beach and the set up gives the truck a little more vintage look.
This image shows what we call the "H bar" completed and ready to head to powder coat. This piece ties the front and rear cage sections together as well as keeps the T supports securely in place so that the doors operate correctly. You'll notice that the H bar's upper section matches the factory roll cage bends exactly so that once the new soft top is on everything will look factory.
Due to the old school vibe to the project we couldn't install one of our ROX front bumpers, those have too modern of a look, so we are fabricating a heavy duty winch mount bumper that takes its cues from Series Land Rover bumpers of the past, but yet will still fit the 110 and house a modern Warn 9000 winch. Once the fabrication is complete we will have it galvanized for a great look that will complete the old school vibe.
At the back of the #3 we have installed all the galvanized trim that contributes to the old school look and topped that off with all the standard parts that make a BR110, such as ROX LED tail lamps and much more.
Now that most of the main body assembly is done it is time to Rhino-Line the rear cargo area of the 110. So the 110 is loaded up and we'll let the bed liner guys have it for a couple of days while we get all newly fabricated items powder coated and painted.
Here you can see #3 back from the bed liner guys and a little further along. All the cage pieces have been powder coated and installed and the custom gutter kit has been installed and made ready for the upcoming custom top. The galvanized running boards have been installed, soon to get their new tread plates, and the seats have been installed.
Here you can see the rear seating in the BR110. The 4 jump seats all have seat belts and have been topped off with new seat covers for a nice looking and long wearing addition. Fold the 4 seats down and you get seating for 9 in a BR110.
Fold the rear jump seats up and you get a large cargo area for beach gear, dogs or whatever you need to haul around.
New technology in sub-woofer construction means we can now make the sub-woofer boxes smaller. The new generation of subs use less cubic feet of sub box and we can now mount just one on the rear door to give plenty of bass response from the Alpine audio system. The stainless steel sub-woofer guard will keep things in the cargo area from being able to harm the speaker. This new design retains more cargo area than previous BR110s and works great. As you can see the sub box is made from high quality materials and in then Rhino-Lined to match the interior and last a long time.
Each BR110 is numbered by ECR and comes with its own rear badge to show its build number, recall that BR110s are a very limited edition here at ECR. Its a small detail, but building a great project is all about getting all the small details right.
Now that the doors are all hung and adjusted to open and close easily the new Alpine speakers have been installed in both the front and...
middle door panels. These middle door panels are custom made here at ECR and mimic the front NAS door panels for a uniform look to the entire vehicle. Here you can also see that the BR110s have stainless steel door top studs and quick nuts that allow for quick and easy door top removal.
This image shows the dash area coming together. This 90 did not come with air conditioning so we have added factory AC to the Rover to keep things cool. The owner of the 110 also wanted some vintage aircraft gauges installed, so to that end we have installed an aircraft clock, altimeter and artificial horizon unit in a custom made center dash, and yes, everything works. We have also added an Alpine 7" touch screen unit into the new dash console to control the new Alpine on board DVD navigation system.
Under the hood everything has been cleaned up and serviced as needed. Keep in mind the donor for this project had only about 17K miles so the mechanical systems are still top notch. New belts, filters and some other precautionary items have been installed to make sure everything stays trouble free.
Here you can see the newly fabricated bumper back from the galvanizers. It has been installed with a new Warn 9000 winch and we have added shackles to the pair of built in recovery points on the front. To make things easier on a night beach run we have added a set of IPF driving lights to help turn night into day.
The running boards have also received their Rhino-Lined tread plates for a no-slip entry into the BR110. These side steps usually rust out in about a year, but with these being galvanized they won't be rusting away any time soon.
A few more details and some test miles and the BR110 will be ready to head to the trim shop for its new top, then onto the new owners to enjoy.
Here you can see the driver and passenger area with seating for 2 and all the controls are within easy reach, from the DVD navigation system to the Alpine iPod connection.
The second row seating hold 3 and has full inertia shoulder seat belts for the 2 outboard passengers and a lap belt for the middle. Heavy duty floor mats cover the front and middle passenger areas so that beach sand or mud can be easily removed, and then the rest of the vehicle can be hosed out because it is covered in Rhino-Lining.
In the rear you can see the 4 jump seats with lap seat belts for all seating positions all set up and ready to go.
Once all the parts go into place the vintage look of the truck comes through and makes for a great looking final package.
Combine that with the customers choice of custom color and upgrades and you end up with a completely custom vehicle that is one of a kind.
Here you can see the completed Beach Runner #3. Seating for 9, open air driving with a simple sun cover, no top, a fast-back, or install a full soft top for all weather driving.
Full time four wheel drive so that it can get you to and from your adventures with ease and a galvanized frame so that you'll still be able to enjoy the vehicle even decades down the line. For fun in the sun it doesn't get any better than an ECR Beach Runner.
If you'd like your own BR110, or if you need repairs done to your existing Defender, contact ECR, we'll be glad to help. We are the USA's premiere Defender source. The BR110 shown above proves that hands down.
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