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1995 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top
4.6 Pursuit install and other upgrades
This 1995 NAS Defender 90 soft top (with a fiberglass over-lap top installed) has come to us from Virginia for a new Pursuit 4.6 and a host of other repairs and upgrades. These items range from a heated windscreen to new ECR ROX stainless fuel lines. The first step with any Defender project at ECR is to do a full evaluation of the Rover and then share that information with the owner and go over it to find out what he/she wants to end up with as a finished product. Once the work list is settled on we go to work on the tear down portion of the project.
To get ready for the Pursuit 4.6 install we have removed the old 3.9. We will now strip it down to the long block so that we can re-use the crossover parts we need. The take off parts are cleaned and evaluated to make sure that they will cut the mustard with the new 4.6. Any part that isn't up to snuff gets replaced because you don't want some small dollar part end up blowing up a brand new performance 4.6.
Here you can see the engine bay with the 3.9 removed. Now that the old lump is out of the way this is the perfect time to install some of the new upgraded ECR ROX stainless steel products that the customer desired. We will be adding ROX fuel lines and brake lines, as well as a new ROX 304 stainless performance exhaust system to not only help things perform better, but last longer too.
Here yo can see the new Pursuit 4.6 ready to be outfitted with the parts we could re-use form the original 3.9. A little while later the engine is fully dressed and...
installed into the Defender's engine bay. Once the engine is pre-lubed and the new EFI computer chip is installed (the chip makes the engine computer understand that there is a 4.6 installed and not a 3.9. Without it the ECU thinks there is a 3.9 under the hood) the engine is fired up and checked over. This 90 has our performance Jet-Hot coated exhaust manifolds as well as our stainless exhaust, so exhaust flow is greatly increased, therefore increasing engine performance. The intake system on the Pursuit is well documented on other projects on this site, so we all know that more air in and more air out, combined with more fuel mean more grunt, just the way we like it.
Look closely on the bulkhead of this 90 and you can see the CNC bent stainless brake pipes as well.
To reduce the chances that this 90 will end up like so many others (consumed by an engine fire) we have installed a set of ROX performance oil cooler lines. These are made from top notch racing materials and keep the oil cooler lines far away from the heat of the exhaust manifolds. The ROX oil lines will not only help prevent the dreaded engine fires, but also help keep your engine oil cooler, because it won't go by the super-hot exhaust manifold, another win-win situation.
As the engine is test run and tuned, we can turn our attention to the interior of the 90. The customer had already installed some rear cargo area Tuffy storage boxes, but he wanted the install dressed up with our spacers that fill the void between the back of the Tuffy box and the rear of the Rover. We painted a set in the correct Coniston Green and installed them for a nice finished look to the rear cargo area storage box addition. We also added a set of Alpine 6x9 speakers to the boxes to get the rear speakers set up correctly in this Defender.
The front speakers were factory originals that had fully delaminated, so we have also replaced them with some Alpine 6.5" units for realistic sound in the Rover. The sound difference from the old blown out speakers to the nice/simple install of the Alpine units is amazing.
Continuing with the rugged and secure Tuffy box theme we installed a new center cubby box to replace easily broken into factory cubby box. The 3 Tuffy boxes in this 90 will give it quite a bit of secure storage space.
Here you can see the new ROX fuel tank skid plate we have installed. We have to drop the fuel tank in order to install the ROX stainless fuel lines, so instead of putting that rusted old factory skid plate back in place we have installed this thick alloy skid plate that is correctly designed to securely hold the fuel tank in place (unlike others on the market that allow the tank to shift around). This addition will help keep the rust away and will make any future fuel tank servicing a breeze.
This 90 already had a set of upgraded door hinges, but they were black instead of green and had the wrong spacers installed. We removed the hinges and painted them with the correct Coniston Green and them re-installed them for a much more tasteful and finished look to the exterior of the 90. Also seen in this image is the "V8" logo that we installed on the Rover, as it was never put back on after some bodywork that was done to the RH side of the Rover.
To help set this 90 up for the owner to start taking it in some tougher off road situations we are installing a ROX tie rod guard and HD steering link. These 2 items are almost required for any Defender that goes off road, and are a great way to start setting up a 90 for off roading. To learn more about our ideas of setting up a Defender for off road check out our Off Road 101 article for ideas.
As is the case with most 90s, the rear tire carrier was showing some age and rust, so we removed the pieces, replaced what we had to and media blasted the rest back to white metal. We then applied 3 coats of PPG epoxy prime and 3 coats of PPG satin black for the correct finish, but without all the rust. The orange arrows above show the tire carrier looking all black again, instead of black stained with red rust.
Here you can see the 90 undergoing road tests. The new Pursuit 4.6 is fully tested under various conditions to make sure it runs 100% long before the customer takes delivery. Our customers are located so far away from ECR that it is important that everything be triple checked and tested, that way we know the customer will be happy. You can also see the lengths we go to to protect your car. We cover all the areas we will be touching with heavy duty material so that when your prize Defender comes back to you there are no new scratches from the mechanics that worked on it. We treat your Defender as if it were our own... actually, better.
The owner of this 90 wanted to make sure that things underneath the truck were not going to have rust issues, so we have installed a whole host of ROX stainless steel products. Above you can see the ROX 304 stainless steel exhaust system. This high performance system will not rust, sounds great, adds performance and has Random Technology cats, all the best products that make the best Defender V8 exhaust system bar none.
We also installed ROX stainless steel brake lines as well as stainless steel clutch lines and stainless fuel lines. These are great upgrades that add longevity and piece of mind. Its nice to know that your brake pipes aren't rusted out when you are pointing down a steep hill on the trial.
To help out with the future trail duties of this Defender 90 we added a set of ROX sliders. These ultra tough frame mounted units are good looking and fully functional. They will protect the sills and lower body form rock damaged and even have points so that the side of the truck can be lifted in safety by a Hi-Lift jack. We also stand behind all the ROX products completely. If you ever bend these sliders we will fix them at no charge for as long as you own the truck. We know they won't bend because we have tested them on our own Defenders and put them through things you would never consider doing, so we know they work and they'll never let you down. This image also shows the new MTR tires that we have installed. These not only replaced the dangerously dry rotted original tires, but they'll give the 90 much more bite on the trail.
Inside the 90 we have taken care of some routine repairs, like making all the heater cables work with ease and fixing some minor broken odds and ends. We also added a heated windscreen so that defrost will be a much easier task in the winter. We install the Rover heated windscreen with all the correct wiring to handle the heavy electrical load and we use the correct relays and timers that allow for ease of use. We even install the correct switches so that everything looks like it belongs and was a factory option.
Here you can see the now Pursuit 4.6 powered 1995 NAS D90 with all the road tests complete, nearly ready to go.
This image shows the Defender 90 cleaned up and good ready to to hop on the transport truck and head back to VA to be everything the owner wanted it to be. We've added a new 4.6 engine, updated the truck with a number of ECR ROX products and checked everything over. This 90 will now be ready to head down the highway or head out on a camping trip and the owner will know that everything was professionally installed and tested, so he'll be able to cruise wherever he wants with confidence.
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.