Back to the Defender 110 Section
1993 NAS Defender 110 Station Wagon
Automatic conversion and Upgrades
This totally tricked out Defender 110 is one that ECR did a lot of work to a year or so ago. It has recently changed hands and has come back from Texas to ECR for even more changes. It now will be further modified for use on Nantucket. These cool new modifications include being converted from a 5 speed to a ZF heavy duty 4 speed automatic with all the factory style consoles for a clean look, as well as other upgrades such as a Safari Gard winch mount bumper, Oasis on board air system, XM satellite radio system and much more. For images of whet we did to this 110 last time around go here: NAS 110 Upgrades.
A few of the personal touches from the last owner of the 110 need to be removed for the new owner. Above you can see the 110 in our paint booth. The logo on the back from the previous owner has been removed and the area correctly re-painted back to factory Alpine white. This new paint will help keep any corrosion away and get the 110 into a "blank canvas" form for whatever the new owner sees fit for personalizing touches on his 110 Wagon.
Now that the paint work has been completed we have moved the 110 into the mechanical side of our facility and have started to work on the upgrades. The weak factory bumper and brush bar have been removed and will be replaced with a new Safari Gard unit with a Warn 9000 winch. Here you can see the old parts have been removed and the frame has been modified to accept the new bumper.
Inside the 110 you can see that we have removed the passenger seat because underneath it we will be extending the under seat toll locker so that an Oasis Air air compressor will fit in that location. This on board heavy duty compressor will allow the customer to air up tires quickly and reliably and even power air tools if required. We are also starting the conversion to ZF 4 speed automatic. The cubby box needs to go, along with the clutch system, shifters, the gearbox and more.
In the image above you can see that we have removed the clutch pedal box and all the associated hydraulic lines and brackets from the 110. A cover plate for the clutch hole is then made from galvanized sheet metal (so it won't rust), then painted in Alpine white and installed. This makes for a clean factory look.
After all the 5 speed related parts are removed from the 110 we can start to set up the new ZF automatic. Here you can see that the new ZF HP gearbox has been mated to the 110s transfer case and all the required changes have been made so that it will bolt directly into the 110. Next we'll install the new gearbox and start to hook things up and convert the interior to a "factory look" automatic Defender.
With the gearbox and transfer case assembly now installed we can begin to make the needed changes to make it work correctly in the originally 5 speed 110. One important item is the automatic's kick down cable. The 5 speed Defenders did not have the required pieces to hook this system up correctly, so the the correct parts are sourced and installed onto the 110's throttle linkage so that the shift points are correct and the gearbox will shift into overdrive when the driver calls for it.
Here you can see the inside of the 110. All the 5 speed equipment has been removed and the needed changes to the wiring have been made. We always make our wiring changes to 110s as "additions" to the factory wiring harness. We never "hack" into the factory harness, just in case 10 years from now someone wants to put this 110 back to factory original. Doing the wiring this way also makes it easier for someone else to diagnose potential problems down the line. We also use wire that is color coded to the factory specifications, so future trouble shooting will be a snap. We have always said, "It doesn't take any longer to do it right, so why not do it right."
On the outside the 110 is also receiving some new touches. Here you can see that the new front bumper and skid plate have been installed. We also converted the turn signals (they were originally in the cheesy factory bumper) so that the 110 is still correct with twin park and single turn signals up front.
In this shot you'll also notice that the 110 still has the factory gearbox oil cooler. We have adapted this cooler for use with the automatic so that it will stay cool and last a long time. The lines used for this are factory units so getting replacements in the future will not be a problem for the owner.
This images shows the new Warn 9000 winch installed in the new bumper. Due to tight space on the Defender 110s the solenoids will be remotely located in the engine bay and the winch control will be mounted on the grill. This allows us to mount the 3 Hella 4000 lights on the bumper and still have room for everything, even with the NAS 110's extended nose piece.
In this image you can see that the interior changes for the automatic are starting to take shape in the 110. The factory console and shifters for the automatic have been modified and installed. This console will later hold the new Alpine stereo with CD, MP3 and XM radio and it will all blend together for a clean factory look with nothing looking odd or out of place.
This image shows the driver's footwell area on the 110. As you can see there are no goofy conversion pieces and nothing looks out of place. The correct larger brake pedal arm has been installed, as well and the footrest for the driver's left foot, all in the correct locations. The upper footwell trim is still to be installed, but instead of the factory cardboard (that sagged for new) we'll install an alloy trim piece covered in hardura for a factory look, but with a piece that will last for a long time, even with wet or muddy feet in the footwell. Our goal at ECR is for your Rover buddies to say, "I didn't know they made any automatic 110s?" Well the fact is that they didn't, but our's sure are as close as you could get. Next we are on to the new sunroof and sound system.
The first step in the sunroof install is to remove the center support brace by drilling off the spot welds. We then use our sunroof template to correctly mark and cut the roof panel. As you can see all the headliners and trim need to be removed for this install. While we have the headliners out the heated front windscreen operation is checked and wiring inspected because if this repair was needed we'd need to take all this stuff out again.
What you are left with is a large hole in the roof panel as you can see in the image above. At this stage the front headliner is installed and marked for the preliminary cut for the sunroof.
While the sunroof is being installed we have finished up the front end of the 110. Here you can see the bumper in place along with the lower skid plate. The Warn 9000 winch and fairlead have been installed and the solenoid box has been relocated into the engine bay for a nice clean look to the front end. We've also install the 3 Hella 4000 lamps and installed our recovery points.
The ECR ROX recovery points are made to be simple but tough as nails. Remember that old saying: K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid? We make these recovery points so that a standard 5/8" shackle fits into them giving you numerous possibilities for any of your recovery needs, and you don't have to worry about them breaking or having a low load rating. We kept them simple and they work great, no matter if you need to run a snatch block for recovery, or if you just need a place to hang your winch hook.
Back inside the 110 we have installed the sunroof panel and cut the headliner to correctly fit around the new unit. The sunroof trim is then added and the rest of the interior will now go back together. The sunroof can tilt up at the back, or can be removed completely for an open air feel.
Outside the 110 the sunroof looks right at home and blends in without looking goofy. You'll also notice that in our last round of upgrades to this 110 we powder coated the safari cage in a satin black for a really nice custom look.
Here you can see the final sunroof install with all the trims and visors in place. The good things is that this is a Land Rover sunroof, so once again your buddies will say, "I didn't know they offered 1993 110s with a sunroof?" Well... they didn't, but we do.
An all to common problem with Defender 110s is that the headliners delaminate and sag. This doesn't come from abuse of the vehicle, they all do it. It is because the headliners that Land Rover manufactures are of a very poor design. The only solution is to periodically replace them. The green arrows above point to the section of this old rear headliner that is coming unglued. The other problem with 110 Station Wagon headliners is that it takes a lot of "digging" to get them changed. The side panel trims have to be removed, and that means rear jump seats have to come out, etc. The image above shows the rear section of the 110 has been gutted and we are now ready to pull out the saggy headliner and replace it.
This image shows the new headliners installed and ready for the trim to go back in. It may be a hassle to replace them, but once they are replaced they give a very clean look to the interior of the 110. Nothing makes the inside of a 110 look worse than old saggy headliners.
Here you can see the side trims and jump seats have all been re-installed for what now looks like a fresh and clean interior to this 11 year old Defender 110.
Now that we have the interior looking better we can move on to the stereo install. To handle the winch and the stereo needs we have tucked 2 Optima batteries into the standard seat box of the 110. This will give the winch all the reserve power it needs and also allow the customer to play the tunes on the beach without fear of his battery going dead after just a few minutes.
The 110 will be getting a high end Alpine system with CD changer, JL Audio 500/5 amp, 10" sub, and 4 6" speakers. The Alpine radio also has XM satellite radio so we have installed that as well. The image above shows the marine grade XM antenna that we installed on the 110. This will give great reception and you can even fold it down out of the way if you plan to go off roading in places with low tree branches.
In the front door we have installed JL Audio separates. These will give great sound and still look very close to factory stock so that the stereo install looks like it should be in the 110, not like an odd-ball addition.
In this image you can see the cross-overs for the front speakers are hidden under a panel that covers the EFI computer in the passenger footwell. This will keep them out of sight and out of harms way. The factory panel in this area was cardboard. These fell apart about 10 minutes after the 110s were delivered, so our alloy piece will stay around long term, even if people's muddy or wet feet do hit it occasionally.
The JL Audio 500/5 amplifier is hidden under the rear bunch seat. As you can see in the image above we removed the seat coverings and fabricated some anchor plates so that the amp is bolted to the steel framework of the seat. We then reinstalled the factory seat trims for a clean look. The amp is pretty big, so this makes a great spot for it as it is out of the way and has good air flow. We also run the wires in such a way that allows the seat to still flip and fold as the factory intended, so even though you have a great sound system, none of the flexibility of your 110 is lost.
Here you can see the Alpine head unit and CD changer. We installed these into the factory style automatic console, along with the factory style changer cubby box mount. This makes for a clean install that is easy to access. The receiver for the XM radio and all the other equipment is built in, underneath the console so that this is all you see, but you have the ability to play: AM/FM radio, XM radio, CDs and MP3s.
This image shows the rear JL Audio speakers installed in the side panels of the 110. We made new speaker panels and covered them with the correct carpet for a factory look, but with better sound than the cheesy factory speakers. The cross-overs for these speakers is also housed behind the new trim panel for a clean install.
In the rear of the 110 we built and installed a JL Audio 10" sub-woofer. In any quality sounds system you must have a sub. It doesn't mean you have to "blast" the stereo, it just gives you proper frequency range from your system. The sub box is made to blend in as much as possible, and with a few bolts it can be easily removed if you need to carry some large gear in the cargo area of the 110.
In the image above you can see that we have fabricated small feet onto the sub-woofer box. These allow the 4th jump seat to still be used even when the sub box is in place. No modifications have been done to the seat base, so if you do remove the sub the jump seat can still function as it was designed to.
In the rear of the 110 we had to install a few small items to make the 110 complete. Some of the tire jack pieces were missing and the original tool kit was damaged, so we replaced it, right down to the gloves, to get the 110 ready for the new owner. There is nothing worse then getting a flat and then finding out you can't change the tire because something is missing.
In the front of the 110 you can now see the heavy duty footwell trims that we fabricate for Defenders. These heavy duty units will actually stand up to foot traffic and look better than the factory cardboard pieces that sagged just after delivery. Behind this panel is the updated EFI computer and the cross-overs for the front JL Audio speakers.
The drivers side of the 110 Wagon gets the same heavy duty footwell treatment. This gives the automatic conversion a nice finished look and will stand up to wet or muddy boots inside the Rover.
The image above shows the drivers area for this 110 Wagon. The area is now nicely set up with everything from a high end Alpine audio system, to the sunroof...
seat covers and correctly done automatic conversion, right down to the correct 110 fuse box diagram on the back side of the fuse box cover.
Under the hood of the 110 Wagon you can see that all the changes from the Pursuit 4.6 engine to the automatic conversion all look correct, and can be easily serviced with Genuine Land Rover Parts when the time comes.
Here you can see the Oasis Air system we installed under the passenger seat of the 110. Normally this ultra heavy duty unit won't fit, but we fabricated a new under seat locker that allows the Oasis York compressor to fit. This unit fills tires as fast as our huge shop compressor and can even run air tools. This is a great addition to this 110 as it will be used on the beach were "airing down" will be required for easy travel over the soft sand.
The air chuck outlet for the Oasis system gets mounted in the rear seat area where it is out of the way, yet also easy to access when you need to use it.
The customer can now just flip the compressor switch on the dash and plug in the Oasis Air tire system into the 110 and quickly and easily fill all his tires. When the system is not in use you'd never really know it was there, unlike carrying air tanks or small 12 volt compressors that take a long time just to fill up 1 tire.
Underneath the 110 you can see the air holding tank for the Oasis Air compressor. If this 110 was a hard core off roader we'd build a skid plate to protect this, but as it is mainly a street and beach vehicle the air tank, that is mounted above the bottom of the frame main rail will stand up just fine. This on board, on demand anytime air system will give the customer great satisfaction when all his buddies are still on the beach trying to "air up" while he'll already have beaten them home and skipped the need to carry a bag full of quarters for the local gas stations coin operated air compressor.
Speaking of street and beach... The 110 had some aggressive of off road tires, so we have swapped those out for some mild Geo-Lander AT IIs in a 265/75R16 that you can see in the image above. This will give the 110 a better street ride and great flotation and traction on the beach. Our goal is to set up every aspect of our Defenders so that the customer is able to have fun with his or her vehicle, and the right tires and set up and make all the difference. It can mean the difference between having a great day of off roading, and playing on the beach, or having a miserable time.
The shots above show the completed 110 Station Wagon project ready for delivery to the customer in MA. Coming or going you can now see that this 10 year old 110 has a new future and will be easily able to tackle anything the new owner wants to throw at it. From a Pursuit 4.6 engine install to a high end stereo, we can help you make your Defender dreams come true, and make your Defender world class... just like this one.