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1993 NAS Defender 110 Wagon #362/500
Stage II suspension, upgrades and service
This 1993 Defender 110 has come to us from a customer in CT. The 110 has only 19,000 miles on it, but it has been living on a beach, so we need to address some rust and corrosion issues, and get some upgrades installed to get it ready for him. The owner of this 110 is a long time ECR customer. A few years back we built up another NAS 110 for him. You can see some of that project here.
The bad news is that the fully tricked out 110 he used to have fell victim to an all too common problem with NAS 110s, a blown oil cooler line that resulted in a fire, destroying the 110. You can see that 110, and some suggestions if you own a 110 on this page.
The first order of business is to address the rust issues. Here you can see the sill of the front passenger door. The salt air where the 110 used to hang out has taken its toll. The real problem though lies beneath this piece of rusted metal. The side body support on a 110 has this outside layer where the sill seal is supposed to be. As you can see the seal is missing and the steel is rusting badly.
It gets worse the deeper you dig. Here you can see we have removed the sill trim piece and have exposed the structure of the body support. Land Rover did not apply any paint in this area, so rust happens quickly, and bites deep into the raw untreated steel.
Here is a shot showing the back side of the sill seal retainer itself. There isn't much left. Luckily ECR has a complete fix for this entire problem.
The first step is to remove all the rust and get the body support back to white metal. Here you can see that we are about half way through the grinding process to save these supports.
Once all the rust is removed we treat the steel with a rust prevention chemical, and then 3 coats of epoxy primer. We then top coat everything in Alpine White. Keep in mind what you are looking at in this image is not the finished sill. This is the area that Land Rover left without paint. To top off the corrected sill we will fabricated stainless steel sill retainers that can never rust and get them to our paint show for color. Once everything is done, the sill will look better and last longer, a combination we always shoot for at ECR.
In the front of the 110 we will be adding a Safari Gard front bumper with Hella lights and a Warn 9000 winch. Above you can see we have stripped down the front end to get it ready for the new bumper set up. We'll also be adding our turn signal conversion kit to the 110. A stock NAS 110 had the turn signals in the front bumper (see the image at the top of this page) and the new bumpers don't have this, so our signal conversion kit gives you a turn signal and keeps all 4 parking lights for a stock look, with the signals built in.
The left front fender of the 110 was damaged, so it has been removed and will be replaced with a new fender skin. Here you can see we have removed the skin and the new panel is in the spray booth getting primed and top coated in Alpine White.
This image shows the new fender skin installed to get rid of the dented old panel. This 110 will look pretty trick once we are done with it, so you can't have a dented fender.
Here you can see that we have lifted up the 110 and we have gutted the suspension and axles from it. The stock stuff just isn't up to the tasks that will be asked of this 110, so everything is getting upgraded. The weak 10 spline front axle will be getting a 24 spline conversion with an ARB lockers and 1 ton CVs. The rear axle will be upgraded to disc brakes and an ARB locker will be added to that axle as well. We'll also be installing a Stage II suspension lift with modified radius arms, corrected trailing arms and Fox Racing shocks. To finish the set up of the 110 it will also be getting an ECR ROX tie rod guard and heavy duty drag line to make the steering gear tough as nails and ECR ROX sliders to protect the body.
A lot of those trick custom parts will be coming off the customer's burnt out 110. Here you can see we have brought in the crispy 110 and have started to strip off everything we can. The interior and the engine bay are completely trashed, but the upgraded axles and suspension bits will be just fine once we go through them. Everything that can be swapped over to the "new" 110 will be, from the Stage II suspension to the R380 5 speed. Don't let this happen to your 110 or 90. Make sure your oil cooler lines are not the old original units that have more than a decade of heat damage from the RH exhaust manifold.
Above you can see that we have removed the original axles and suspension from the stock 110. These rusty units will be replaced with the tricked out and locked axles we already built for the burnt 110. Once everything is installed we'll hook up the new CV drive shafts and get started on the details of the upgrades.
Here you can see that we have swapped out all the cool bits from the burnt 110 and tucked them under the customer's new 110. The Stage II suspension with the Fox Racing shock have been installed, as well as the corrected trailing arms and ECR ROX radius arms. These have been connected the transfer case via CV driveshafts for a smooth ride, without driveline vibration. The next step is to swap out the front rubber brake flex lines for a new set of extended stainless flex lines and then bleed the brakes.
This image shows a great way to combat rust and make your 110 look better at the same time. You can see that we have treated the sills and painted them, but to make them look original, and last longer we have added on a set of our T304 stainless steel side sills that have been painted Alpine White to match the body. These give the correct look and will stand up to foot traffic and road debris, as they are stainless steel. To make the 110 even better, we are adding a set of new style Defender hinges that don't show the rust bleeds. For more information on these hinges go here. These will be attached to the Rover with a full set of stainless steel hardware and help keep the rust off the white paint of the NAS 110.
Once all the sill work has been completed we went through the 110 and did a front to back service. New filters and fluids and a flush of all the systems. Keep in mind that the NAS 110s were built in 1992, so they typically need a good bit of servicing to be steady and reliable. Once the list of service items, things we don't document on the web site, are repaired we are ready to start adding on some more upgrades.
One of those upgrades is a new front bumper with a Warn 9000 winch and 3 Hella 4000 lights. This set up combined with 2 ECR ROX recovery points and a skid plate will make the 110 ready for the trail. We had already installed an ECR ROX heavy duty drag link and tie rod guard on the previous 110, so now all that equipment resides under the "new" 110. Next we will be adding a set of ECR ROX sliders, sorting the interior and getting the 110 ready for delivery.
The upgrades inside an ECR prepared 110 are just as nice as the upgrades outside. Here you can see the switching we use to control things like the upgraded Hella lights. The simple driving lamp logo with the lamp and the number "2" reside correctly in the wiper motor cover. The switch looks factory, works correctly and blends in tastefully with the original equipment in the 110. This seems like a small detail, but nothing looks worse than a big green goofy switch hanging out of your dash.
To control the front and rear ARB air lockers on the 110 we also use a factory style switch. The locker system is armed by a standard switch and operation of the front and rear units is done by the switch indicated by the orange arrow above. One pull towards you and you get the rear locker. Pull it again and you get the front and rear lockers. This set up is clean looking and within easy reach of the driver when off roading.
An aspect of the original NAS 110 that was just plain silly was the use of black fiberboard to trim out the left and right footwells. After about a week of use these cardboard trims got wet and fell down onto the floor. Our solution to these inadequate factory parts are the ECR ROX kick panels. These are made from alloy and mimic the factory look, but they stand up to wet and muddy boots and they will not fall down, sag or rip. Above you can see the ECR ROX kick panel on this 110.
Here you can see the completed sill area. The rust is gone, the stainless parts have been installed and everything is looking good to last a good long time. Compare this image to the image near the top of this page of the same area. It looks much better. Keep in mind that this is a full repair with a stainless steel upgrade, this isn't just more paint like a local body shop would do to this area.
This image shows the new ECR ROX kick panel on the drivers side. It won't sag and it won't decay with age, but it looks stock. The alloy panel will last for as long as you own your Defender.
Here you can see the ECR ROX sliders we have installed on the 110. These units are satin black to match the front bumper, but we offer them in any color. The sliders are frame mounted in 3 locations on a 110 and they will not bend or break. The ECR ROX sliders carry a lifetime warranty. If you can bend them off road (we can't, we've tried) we'll replace them, no charge.
Up front the new bumper, winch and trick set up has been tested and is ready to go. We pre-spool each winch before it leaves ECR and fully test everything to make sure your Defender is ready to go when you get it. Look closely between the parking lights and you can see the outlet for the winch control. To mount the 3 Hella lights on the bumper we located the winch control pack in the engine bay and installed the control outlet on the front. This makes for a clean install and also keep the remote control cable away from the winch drum. A number of times off road we have seen people damage their winch controls by getting the control cable tied up with the winch cable itself. This simple change will help keep things safe and it also hides the ugly control box where it can't be seen, but where it can easily be serviced.
Here you can see the completed 1993 NAS Defender 110 project, fully tricked out and ready to head back to CT for some on and off road fun. We have completed everything from some minor accident damage to a full stage II off road suspension set up. Updated some interior pieces and done a complete front to back service. This 110 may have only had 19,000 miles, but it is still more than a decade old and had a number of issues that needed to be repaired, updated and just plain tricked out. The good news is that ECR can handle anything on a Defender from standard service work to wild upgrades.
If your Defender needs work, or needs some upgrades contact ECR. We'll be happy to make your Defender what you want it to be.
To see a list of the work completed on this 110 in the Fall of 2005 go here.
To see the post-work evaluation on this 110 go here.