ECR... We build your dreams
North American Style DEFENDER 110 5 door Soft Top
Project: BR110 "Beach Runner -5"
The images below show just how radical a Defender 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 and gear at the beach. This custom ECR 110 has inspired a number of copy cats by other places, but the real "Beach Runners" are only built in one place, right here at ECR. The ECR Beach Runner comes with all the usual tricks, full time four wheel drive so that it can get you to and from your adventures with ease, a galvanized frame so that you'll still be able to enjoy the vehicle even decades down the line and much more. Beach Runner #5 is going to be really cool. Not only will it be a true BR110, but it will be Willow Green with a Pursuit 4.6 V8 and it will even have an on board air compressor.
The starting point for BR110 is this top notch condition Defender 90 that has come to us from far outside the rust belt (TX). The 90 has low miles and is in great shape. It has no rust of corrosion to worry about during the build up and all the parts that we need to create the new Beach Runner are in near perfect condition. The first step is to strip the entire donor vehicle down and get everything evaluated and ready for the next step in the process. This image shows the 90 being readied and stripped down to made ready for the new galvanized 110 chassis.
A little while later the new galvanized frame has been brought in and is getting set up as the basis for the BR110 build. You'll notice that not only do we have a galvanized frame, but things like shock towers and other steel parts are all galvanized as well for a truck that will stand up to beach use, after-all it is a "Beach Runner". Once the rolling chassis is complete we will start to install the new stainless steel fuel and brake lines and then start setting up the new Pursuit 4.6 EFI V8 that will be going in this BR110.
The bulkhead, or firewall, on this BR110 is in great shape, but because this is a color change to Willow Green it means that everything comes off the bulkhead so that we can paint the entire bulkhead. There are no corners cut in an ECR color change paint job. We paint the vehicle just like the factory did and every area is coated in new paint and primer, there is no old white paint hiding underneath existing equipment.
Here you can see the bulkhead has been fully stripped and then media blasted back to white metal. This assures a 100% rust free starting point. The next step for the bulkhead is for it to be galvanized in a new process that assures paint will stick to it long term. We see lots of trucks come through ECR for service that were built by other shops, and the paint is all peeling off the galvanized pieces. Those shops who do not know how to go about the process will always have paint peeling issues, no matter how much or what type of paints they use. It is a very specific process with a chain of events that must be adhered to in order to make paint stick to galvanizing, and we have it down.
The T supports will also be going through this process so that the steel main body structure on this BR110 will be completely rust resistant.
Other parts that can be galvanized are already back from being coated. The battery box is now galvanized so that it is rust resistant, as is the tool locker. The tool locker is already modified, prior to galvanizing, to house the upcoming Oasis on board air system, so this will be our most rust resistant Beach Runner ever.
Once the bulkhead and T supports come back from the galvanizing process we will get them coated in the new Willow Green paint and then start body assembly on the BR110.
In the past we used to locate used 110 tubs in order to make the rear body for the BR110s, but with very limited availability in the US and corrosion being a big factor in the used units, we no longer do that. We now make our own that are stronger and better constructed. Above you can see an ECR constructed rear tub for this BR110. The fender sides are factory pieces and we blend them with a heavier gauge alloy floor and support braces. The cross supports, normally mild steel, are now galvanized so that corrosion is not an issue.
We have even made all the correct tooling on order to reproduce a completely correct factory fitting rear body tub. All the depressions for the hardware speed nuts are there in our rear tub as are all the correct rivets and spot welds. It is a factory tub, only better, and we don't have to search high and low for a used junky tub anymore.
The tubs fit perfectly as we take care when building them, unlike the factory guys. You can see above the tub drops right on and fits perfectly with the new T supports and unlike some factory pieces it is true and square.
This images shows BR110 #5 in the body mock up phase. We take this extra step to ensure that the body lines will be perfect. Perfect body lines not only look good, but they are the reason why the doors open and close easier on ECR 110s than ones from other shops.
Here you can see the body loosely together to check everything, and you can see that the T supports and the bulkhead have come back from the galvanized and are coated in the unique process that will allow paint to stick to them long term. Now that the body lines have been checked and all the required holes drilled, the body will be taken apart so that the inside of all the new holes can be painted for superior corrosion protection.
Once the pieces are apart they are off to the paint shop for epoxy primer and paint, yes, even underneath. Once the primer is done on the tub it will be sent out to the Rhino-Liner and then when it returns, the exterior show surfaces will be painted in the customers choice of Willow Green.
This image shows the galvanized bulkhead primed and painted in Willow Green. Next up it will be installed on the new galvanized frame and the systems will start to be hooked up.
The heart of BR110 #5 will be a new Pursuit 4.6, shown above. The engine is a 280 hp version of the stock 4.6 that gets it added performance from good old fashion hot rod techniques. Ported and polished heads and intake. Larger injectors, better camshaft, an updated EFI computer and more. Add in a performance stainless steel ROX exhaust and you'll feel real grunt when your right foot goes down.
Here you can see the Pursuit 4.6 being built up. The Jet-Hot coated exhaust manifolds are in place and the shorter velocity stacks have been installed in the enlarged and polished intake. Soon we will hook the engine up to the ZF automatic and start getting the systems hooked up.
This image shows the frame now set up as a rolling chassis. The stainless steel fuel and brake lines have been installed and the gearbox and transfer case have been dropped into place. The upgraded shocks and 110 springs are in place and you can see the new BFG wider tires in the background. these are mounted on Boost alloy wheels that along with the Willow Green paint will give a great custom look to this Beach Runner when it is completed.
The stainless steel brake pipes and the wiring is now going into place. All the additional wiring for the high end audio/video system is run at this time as well, to keep the install looking clean and tidy.
This image shows things a little further along. The rims and tires are installed and small jobs have been completed, like the install of the rear step/tow bumper and lots of other small details to get ready to start installing the body.
Here you can see the doors have been epoxy primed and are ready for primer. The front doors are the originals form the donor and the rears are parts that we fabricated here at ECR. They are basically copies of the early 110 split doors, but as those are no longer available new, we fabricate the doors here in house. These doors will now be loaded into the bake booth and coated in numerous coats of Willow green base coat, and then clear coats on top of that.
This image shows the body of the Beach Runner coming together. The body lines are critical and since the body has been mocked up already everything just drops into place now that the fresh paint is in place and it this stage the rolling chassis really begins to look like a 110.
As the body is assembled the floors, that have all been Rhino-lined so that they will stand up to beach use, are installed with all stainless steel hardware. You'll also see that all the stereo amplifier wiring is pre-wired before the body goes on, that way there are no loose or sloppy looking wires underneath the BR110. Yes, restoration means you make the underside look as good as the show surfaces, and it is what sets a true restoration apart from just a paint job.
This shot shows the body nearly complete. The H bar has been fabricated and those items are now ready to head to zinc and powder coating.
The Pursuit 4.6 has now been fired up and the EFI computer software updated to give the engine the max that we can get from it. A few more things like bleeding the stainless steel brake lines, adding ECR ROX oil cooler lines and then the engine bay will be complete.
Here you can see the subwoofer boxes have been installed and the rear jump seats installed. The seats have been re-done in grey leather with black piping for a custom touch. Next all the seat belts and then tough seat covers will be install.
The 60/40 bench seat also looks great wearing its new leather surface and pattern.
The owner of this BR110 wanted the ROX front bumper skid plate powder coated black like the bumper, so we have made that modification and install the bumper, Warn 9000 winch, 3x Hella 4000 lamps and shackles in the built in recovery points.
The exterior of the 110 is now starting to really come together and the BR110 is nearing completion
Inside we still need to sort out the wiring and install the new updated dash that will house the new Alpine audio/video/Navigation system. Here you can see that the under-structure of the dash has been installed and all the wiring run and all the modifications that need to be done to run the new style dash have been made.
Here you can see the 110 out getting some shake down miles under its belt. It isn't complete yet, still missing the ECR ROX sliders and such, but short runs around the industrial park are required to get everything just right before we go to the road testing phase. Since this is the first time the 110 has been outside we are now able to test systems like the GPS, Satellite radio and Bluetooth unit.
Once all the wiring is sorted we end up with what you see above. A more modern dash that houses an Alpine double DIN head unit that does just about anything you need. The system looks factory and doesn't scream "add on".
The Alpine unit handles all the audio/video and Navigation It doesn't matter if you want to make a hands free Bluetooth call, watch your favorite DVD or listen to your iPod. The unit handles everything with just a few touches of the screen.
We have this system running through 4 JL Audio speakers and 2x 8" subwoofers driven by an Alpine digital amp, so if you want to enjoy the tunes... feel free. This image shows the customer middle door panels we make here at ECR. They mimic the factory front door panels for a clean and finished look and also give us a spot for the other pair of speakers.
Here you can see that, like all BR110s, the stock lights have been replaced with our LED units to make sure there are no corrosion issues. We have also added a LED work/reverse light. Don't let its small size fool you, this light is seriously bright. It puts out the same light that the large twin bulb lamps we used to use did. The LED lamp can be swiveled and pivoted to direct light where you need it and it can be turned on manually, or made to be switched as you select and deselect reverse gear. The smaller light also works much better with a soft top Defender because the light is now not in the way when you take the top on and off.
This image shows the new wing top guards in place and the customer's big game fish tag and release flag that adorns both sides of Beach Runner #5. The paint doesn't look bad either.
Here you can see the 110 out for some road tests with the new top installed. We now make all our own tops and seat covers in house and this not only helps keep everything exactly the way we want it, it allows us to make improvements, especially to the top that we have been unable to do in the past. The top on this BR110 is by far the driest and quietest top we have ever run on a BR110. Being able to tweak the set up in house has given us a whole new level of "custom" for our custom tops.
Seat covers are now made in house as well and here you can see a set on the jump seats in the rear of the Defender.
Hiding behind the jump seats are the two 8" subwoofers. This way they are out of sight, don't take up any cargo or people space and sound good as well.
The 60/40 seat covers also have been installed and the Warn recovery kit has been installed and the heavy duty rubber floor mats installed.
The front seats, minus any detracting logos, have been installed and these will not only stand up to whatever you want to dish out, they look good and help tie the interior look together, and their split seat design helps you access....
the twin Optima batteries on the drivers side...
or the Oasis on board air system on the passenger side. This air system fills tires that you have air'd down at the beach just as fast as our huge shop compressor does. No more pumping coins into a gas station's air pump, or driving on nearly flat tires. Be careful though, if your friends find out you have this system you'll be filling up everyones tires after a day on the beach or on the trail.
BR110 #5 is by far the most rust resistant 110 we have built to date. Its galvanized parts, liberal use of stainless steel and truck bed liner products makes it really a long term vehicles, even for beach use. To take that one step further we are now using billet allow hinges for the doors. The updated hinges from Land Rover were good, but these are better. They are billet alloy with stainless steel pivot pins that are grease-able and rebuild-able. Here you can see these trick units installed on the 110. Rust bleeds from the hinges on a Defender are a thing of the past.
Here you can see the completed project. Beach Runner #5 is now cleaned up and ready to head to CT for years of fun in the sun with its new owner. This Defender sums up what ECR is all about. Its a color that Land Rover never offered in a 110. Its a body style that Land Rover never even thought of. Its a 4.6 with an automatic, something Land Rover never offered in a Defender and it is fully custom built with the customer's desires and longevity in mind. This is what we do... we create something that never existed and we make it all look like a factory product.
BR110 #5 will now be loaded up and transported to its owner to become part of his family. If you want to have us create something for you give us a call.
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 BR110s we build prove that hands down.
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