DEFENDER AUTOMATIC CONVERSIONS
When a 5 speed isn't an option...
we can convert any Defender (gas or diesel) into an automatic for you!
The majority of the Defender 90s and 110s that are here in the USA, and most all over the world, are fitted with a manual, or stick shift gearbox. This works for the majority of the drivers out there, but some need an automatic for various reasons. Whatever the reason you need an automatic, we have you covered. No matter if you have an NAS D110 with a V8, or if you have a Td5 powered imported Defender 90, we can install a correctly fitted and factory looking automatic set up the not only looks good, but that works correctly in all respects.
This page follows one such conversion done here at ECR. This clean 1993 NAS 110 has already had a lot of work done to it by us in previous trips to our shop. It has a Pursuit 4.6 V8 engine, a new galvanized frame and a host of other upgrades, but the new owners where looking for an automatic so the 110 has returned to ECR for a complete conversion to automatic. There is more to it than just installing the gearbox, its the small details that make the difference in an ECR automatic conversion.
First step is to gut the 5 speed parts from the 110 and get the new gearbox and other conversion parts ready for installation. Since we have done so many automatic conversions we stock all the parts to do them, so there are no long delays once your project comes into the shop. Once we begin the completed project is just a short time away.
Once all the 5 speed parts are removed the ZF automatic is mated to the modified transfer case and installed back into the Rover. In our conversions we make sure not to cut or hack out any parts. Our attention to detail means that if for some reason down the road you want to convert the Defender back to 5 speed we will have made that easy for you, unlike other shops that cut and hack into the systems in your Defender.
Our conversions are complete, and that means we don't cut corners and forget items that the factory automatic Defender utilized. Here you can see that the correct automatic transmission fluid (ATF) cooler is in place and installed correctly. Don't worry about those winch power wires, those will be tidied up later on after we leak check the system. Some shops say that you don't need the coolers and some say you can use just any after-market cooler. The reason we install the cooler is because it will help your gearbox last longer. Each degree you drop the ATF temp. is some added life onto the other end of your gearbox. The reason we install the correct factory cooler is that if a repair is needed you can just order up the replacement part. If you have a brand-x cooler or lines and you have a failure away from your local shop, some road-side mechanic is going to have to figure out the system and fix it. This usually doesn't go well. In our conversions the owner of the truck can call into any Land Rover dealership or specialist and get the right parts giving a faster and trouble free repair. In the long run doing it right will always save money and headache.
In the transfer case we install the shift interlock. This is another overlooked piece. It prevents you from shifting the transfer case while the automatic is in gear. Shifting the transfer case when the gearbox is in gear can cause serious damage to the transfer case and even cause a very dangerous situation. As we always say here at ECR, "It doesn't take any longer to do it right."
Now that the underside of the Defender is "automatic" it is time to switch to the engine bay and start hooking everything up.
The 5 speed V8 NAS Defenders throttle linkage is missing key parts that make the automatic kick down work properly. The ECR conversions install all the correct factory bits so that everything works 100% as it should.
The most overlooked portion of the automatic conversion is the EFI system. Most shops don't think you need to do anything to the EFI system when you install a new gearbox and most of the folks look at us funny when we tell them there is EFI work to do in the gearbox conversion, but there is. The engine's ECU needs to understand the different loads put on the engine by the automatic. An automatic works very differently than the 5 speed and if you don't hook the gearbox into the EFI ECU the engine will have a screwed up idle and will rev up and down, or flare, when shifted in and out of gear. We have seen some automatic installs, ones we have had to fix, where the original installers tried to compensate for the idle issues by just making the idle faster. In one case of a D90 that was converted the idle speed was so high that the brakes had a hard tim holding it back at a stop light. This not only will wear out parts faster, but it could be dangerous, not to mention how high the idle was when the truck was then put into Park.
This image shows one of our diagnostic computers hooked up to a 1993 NAS Defender 110 that we have converted to automatic. Because you can't feel and see how smooth our automatics shift over the internet this is the next best way to explain it. You can see above that when the automatic is in Park the EFI computer understands this and shows that the truck is in Park. The computer then adjusts the idle and other settings so that nothing rev's up or stalls when the truck is in Park.
Here you can see the EFI computer's read out when you put the truck into Drive. The truck then adjusts the idle and settings so that the everything works correctly and seamlessly because it knows the truck is in Drive and ready to go.
Anyone who tells you this step doesn't need to be done is likely telling you that because they don't know how to do it. It really doesn't take any longer to do the job right and make the Rover run perfectly, no matter what the gear or the situation.
Inside the Rover the conversion is completed with the correct parts to make everything not only work well, but look good doing it. This 110 already has our dash update installed, and now combined with the automatic set up it all looks up to snuff and everything works like it should, from the starter inhibit switch that prevent the engine starting in gear, to the park safety switch that requires you put your foot on the brake to get the Defender out of "Park".
The foot controls are also fully updated to the automatic specs, with the correct width brake pedal and the dead pedal for your left foot.
Here you can see the 1993 NAS 110 (originally a 3.9 5 speed) now under going testing with its Pursuit 4.6 and a four speed automatic! We road test everything to make sure it is 100% before the customer takes delivery. This 110 is now headed out to Malibu CA for fun in the Southern California sun, and with the traffic in LA the automatic will likely be a welcome set up for that driving environment.
We can also convert your 300 Tdi or Td5 powered Defender to automatic. Click the link blow that shows a 1997 NAS Defender 90 that we converted to 300 Tdi automatic. We've been doing these conversions for over a decade and we know them inside and out and we stock all the parts for the conversion in house.
1997 NAS Defender 90 Station Wagon Tdi conversion and upgrades
1993 NAS Defender 110 Station Wagon with a 300 Tdi automatic conversion
Here is an example of a 1993 NAS 110 automatic conversion sorted out by ECR and lots of other work done as well
Here is a 1993 NAS 110 with an ECR automatic conversion and other upgrades
Image of one of our converted interiors.
Contact ECR about your Defender gearbox needs. We'll help make your Defender everything you want it to be!
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East Coast Rover Co.