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1997 NAS Defender 90 Station Wagon
Galvanized frame and upgrades
This 1997 Defender 90 Station Wagon has come to us from Arizona for a new galvanized frame and a number of other tricks such as a Stage II suspension with a custom ECR 3 link. The first step is to remove the body from the chassis. Much like our frame swap system for the Series II-III Land-Rovers, we offer this same system for Defenders of all years, that way your trusty Defender can really have a shot at lasting a good long time, with no frame rust.
Here you can see the D90s body lifted in our unique frame swap system. Most Rover shops want to have you spend a lot of money so that they can take your Rover apart piece by piece, but if your body is good, and you need a frame, or just want the piece of mind a galvanized frame can offer you, then the ECR system is the only way to go. We rolled this D90 in Friday at 8am. We took this picture at 11:30 am the same day, by noon we were ready to start tear down of the chassis system. Think that budget Rover shop closer to you is the answer? Think again, if you want quality and a shop that is concerned about your budget, contact ECR.
This image shows the D90s rolling chassis moved to the tear down bay. We'll remove the engine and drivetrain, as well as the axles, bumper etc. and get them ready to be moved over to the new galvanized frame. The custom frames that ECR offers are made to fit all the aspects of the NAS Defenders.
Here you can see the new galvanized chassis being set up into what we call a "roller". The axles and suspension are being installed as are the fuel and brake lines as well as the rear wiring harness. We also made the changes that allow for the upcoming ECR ROX sliders at this point.
Here you can see the new ZF Tdi automatic mated to the engine. We've also installed the correct ratio LT230 transfer case (1.4 vs the stock 1.22) so that the D90 will have lots of low end grunt, around town or on the trail. You can also see that the fuel lines and rear wiring harness are now back in place. We have also modified the LH engine mount to clear the automatic gearbox cooler lines and installed the Defender style air cleaner onto the engine. Keep in mind Land Rover never offered this combination, so once again ECR is building the Rovers that people want, but that Land Rover never built. Next step is to install the Stage II suspension and 3 link system and then install the body on the new rolling chassis.
This image shows the start of the Stage II suspension. We've installed the heavy duty rear trailing arms, the longer bump stops, the springs and the Fox Racing rear shocks.
Now that the chassis has been fully set up, and the bulkhead of D90 modified, as well as all the other changes needed, the chassis is rolled back under the body so that we can assemble the rest of the Rover.
The body is now lowered back down onto the new galv. rolling chassis and we will start to hook up the systems. We'll be setting up the 3 link with its custom crossmember and are now working on the engine bay wiring. Once the engine is set up we'll move onto installing the ECR ROX sliders and other tricks.
This image shows the new Safari Gard fuel tank skid plate and the 2" receiver we installed on the new galv. chassis. These are a nice addition and make for a great departure angle.
The inside of the D90 gets the same attention to detail as the rest of the 90. Here you can see that the dash binnacle has been re-wired and that the correct binnacle has been installed. This unit carries the correct warning lamps as well as other features.
This images shows the RH side of the engine bay. The new coolant expansion tank is now in place, along with the fuel filter assembly and the Air Cond. compressor has been mounted and hooked up to the NAS Defender AC system. The air cleaner is also now in place and soon we'll be testing all the electrical systems. The power for those systems will now come from twin batteries mounted under the seat.
As this D90 is also getting a Stage II suspension with a 3 link, we have to make some pretty serious changes to make that set up work in this Defender. The 3 link is a great suspension system that gives the front axle a lot of travel, but it is designed for a stock NAS D90. We have made a new 3 link bar and a new crossmember (shown above) to support the 3 link and will now send these pieces into the ECR paint shop for epoxy priming and painting. We've had the Tdi 3 link system in ECR 4 (our test Defender 90) for many years now and it is going great and is one of the best suspension changes you can do to a coil Rover.
The customer also asked us to re-do most of his accessory wiring. It was all working, but some items were missing fuses, some wires were too small and the D90 had the typical really poorly done cell phone install. So as you can see we have gutted the "add on" wiring from the D90 and are now left with the correct factory wiring. We'll go through and install new heavy gauge wiring for all the customers upgrades and we will fuse them correctly and use all the correct switches from the factory so that his dash area in neat, clean and functional. Running all the wires correctly also makes it easier to track problems down the road. If for some reason a failure does occur you wouldn't be able to locate the problem in a rats nest of wires run in odd locations. When ECR is done with the accessories in this D90 you'll think that the Rover came from the factory with those items installed.
In the image above you can see the springs and shocks from the Stage II suspension system. The extended brake line, bump stops and the 3 link arms are all in place and doing great, and will give long term service and great off road flex for the front axle of this Defender.
Here you can see the custom 3 link crossmember all painted and installed into the Rover. You can also see the CV joint drive shaft and a good shot of the exhaust system.
This D90 is also getting a set of ECR ROX sliders. In the image above you can see that the sliders have been fabricated and then media blasted to white metal. They are now in our paint shop ready for epoxy primer and paint.
Here is a close up of the front of the slider. You can see the Hi-Lift points on the bottom of the slider. We put those there so that you can jack up the side of your Rover by the slider and have less chance of the Hi-Lift kicking out to the side, as it fits nicely between these heavy duty tabs. This set of sliders also has a set of side recovery points. These fit a shackle and can be great for complicated winch set ups, or in a worst case, for getting your Rover back on its wheels again after a roll over.
Once the sliders are painted in PPG 9300 paint, they are mounted to the 90 and are a clean looking, but fully functional addition to your Rover. If you ever bend a set of ECR ROX Defender sliders off road, bring the Rover back to ECR and we'll fix them for FREE. We've tested them on everything and we know they stand up. There is no "maybe" here. These units are tough as nails. If you do manage to bend or damage them (and we don't think you will), we'll fix them at no cost to you. Ask the other guys if they stand behind their products like that. They should.
The fronts of the sliders are mounted to the frame, close to the main rail where the strength is, with a heavy duty outrigger and 5 bolts so that they can not flex or twist.
The rear of the slider is mounted to a heavy duty steel brace that we weld directly to your chassis. We also strengthen the original chassis outrigger tube by sleeving it with thick wall steel and welding it in place. This is what makes the ECR ROX sliders bulletproof. It is also the reason we can't offer them mail order, they must be installed here at the ECR facility.
The interior of this D90 is now complete and all the auxiliary systems have been re-wired to be fused correctly and run by the proper switching. In the image above you can see the wiper motor cover area. It now neatly houses the switches for the dash lights, the roof mounted driving lights, the rear work light that can be switched to be a second reverse light as well, and the "economy" fueling switch for the Tdi. These switches all fit in factory locations and give the interior a more "polished" factory look than the number of odd ball aftermarket switches that were used prior to the ECR re-wire.
The other side of the steering column houses the switch for the PIAA driving lights that can be operated in a number of combinations and the ARB air locker paddle shifter. This gives full control of the front and rear lockers and you never have to take your hands away from the steering wheel.
This image shows the completed project. The stance of the 90 is now perfect with its Stage II suspension. The off road articulation is greatly enhanced by the 3 link front suspension and the automatic is just a dream to drive. This D90 has almost all the tricks we can think of: from ARB air lockers to ECR ROX sliders, a raised air intake to a galvanized frame. The Rover is now ready to head back to Arizona where its owner will enjoy many years of fun and performance from the ECR modifications. Let ECR know if we can help make your Defender into a world class vehicle... just like this one.