1997 D-90 LE to 110 conversion - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 21st, 2010, 11:23 PM
Tyler Wirken
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Tyler Wirken
1997 Defender 90 LE
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1997 D-90 LE to 110 conversion

So it is time to start a thread on this here project. I have certainly been on here long enough with many questions and many parts for sale and I have finally found time to start a thread on this build.

Some background first. My first car at 16 was a 69 IIA Bugeye 88. After driving it all through high school and most of college and adding many dents off road we retired it when I bought a salvaged title rebuilt 1997 SW 90 LE with 8,000 miles on it.

After many many years of wheeling and modifications in the 90 life changed on me and after starting a business and having 2 boys the truck was pretty much useless to us. We wanted a 110 to make room for the boys. I had two choices. Sell my 90 and try find a 110 or convert my 90 to one. I decided I could not let my truck go so I might as well just modify it.

The biggest challenge is fighting ever urge to not totally restore the truck. Finances and time just will not allow it. So I am doing my best to rebuild it fixing the vital problems and not cutting anymore corners than I have to.

The other goal was to do it spending as little as possible. With a TON of luck and some ingenuity I am progressing rather well on that front. Here are some images of it started out as as well as some progress images. I took it apart in June of 2007 then started hunting for parts and selling others off my 90. I was able to get a 1983 110 parts car of off ebay which gave me the frame and other vital large parts. The rear crossmember had to be replaced but otherwise the frame was in good condition. The only real obstacles were the footwells in the 90's bulkhead. I was very shocked at how rusty they were as the truck was in really condition when taken apart. We replaced them and stuck the bulkhead on the new galvy frame. The plan is to keep it willow green with a white top as well as retaining as many LE options as possible including the rear ladder that will later be modified to bolt to the NAS 110 cage I have for it.

Specs are going to be-
4.10's with ARB's front and rear
Stock 4.0 to be upgraded to a 4.6 down the road
Rear sals disc conversion
Dynamat throughout
sunroof
Full NAS cage
Custom front ARB bumper with Warn 8274
Snorkel
Tire size unsure but as close to 35" as possible
Custom rear bumper and tire carrier
Rovertym rear links
Custom off road sway bar in rear
possible SG 3-link- will decide how it handles when done
Make the cabin as comfortable as possible without breaking the bank
custom sliders with bars
Custom interior storage
rear AC if I can ever find or afford an elite unit
Fox or the like shocks
lift is yet to be determined
Some sort of custom middle seats- possible Range Rover


I am sure the list will grow.

Hopefully I can start giving back a bit to the great help I have received here.

I will do my best to keep it updated.
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  #2  
Old April 21st, 2010, 11:42 PM
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Looks great, Tyler. Envious of that garage! That pic with your kid with the LE's top off looks cool as hell.
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  #3  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 12:16 AM
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Who's green bugeye is that in pic 6 by the blue clown car?

How much for that??
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  #4  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 08:05 AM
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97 D90, 05 LR3, 95 RRC LWB
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Love those healeys..
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- Moab rally vids 2010
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  #5  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Very cool Tyler.. Nice shop too..
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  #6  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 08:57 AM
Tyler Wirken
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Tyler Wirken
1997 Defender 90 LE
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Thanks! Yeah the series truck is technically my dad's. It was my first car at 16. Love that truck. Needs to be gone through next. Good eye on the Healey's. The red one is my dad's first car he bought in 1964 I think. Ground up on it over 15 years ago and rebuilt to a works rally replica. The green one is a 53 104 rebuilt ground up also.
Hard to believe my son was 2 then. Now he is 4! I gotta start picking up the pace!
I will update soon with some more detail images.
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  #7  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 09:42 AM
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looks great so far Tyler! looking forward to seeing more pics of the build. (I'm partial to Willow Green 110's though - pm me if you want to see some pics of mine).

I'm intrigued by your modified ARB bumper. Care to share any more details on how you modified it? The approach angle looks much better.
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  #8  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 10:40 AM
Tyler Wirken
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Tyler Wirken
1997 Defender 90 LE
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Thanks Tom. Yeah i would love to see some images of your truck. Back when I started this thing I knew of no other willow 110's I have since seen a few now which is cool.

As for the Bumper it was one of the very first ARB bumpers. You know the early ones that hung pretty low. So I got the bumper for next to free and ran it for a while and then decided to modify it. I first cut the ends like the photo shows and re boxed them in to raise the clearance in front of the tires. To help with the approach angle I cut the bracket off that mount to the frame and took about an inch or so out of them to move the bumper closer to the truck and then simply bolted them back on the truck and raised the bumper up to where I wanted it and re welded them on. I then made some gussets and reinforced the entire thing. Finally had it powder coated. I love it. It offers a ton of protection and now sits where it needs to be. Oh I also trimmed off the D-shackle mounts on the bottom and the upper winch fairlead mount since I was going to run a synthetic line fairlead.

Hope that makes sense. The bumper is packed away or I would take a photo of it and it would all make sense. Back in the day we did it with the newer style ARB bumpers and simply cut the brackets at an angle if I remember right and just slid the bumper up the brackets to move it closer to the truck as well as up at the same time and then just re weld it.
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  #9  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 10:44 AM
Tyler Wirken
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Forgot to add the photo showing the first mod to the bumper.

You can also see where the red arrow is is where I moved the bumper up and added the gusset.
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  #10  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 10:52 AM
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97 SW
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Great pics, Tyler. What # / 300 is your LE?
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  #11  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 10:55 AM
Tyler Wirken
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Thanks Garth. Number 243/300. The new 110 plate is going to stamped 243 1/2 /300 I think.
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  #12  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Jim Cheney
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243.5/300?

243/300 Mk II?
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  #13  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 12:20 PM
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I always wanted to do:

501/500
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  #14  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 12:34 PM
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thanks for your description of the bumper mods Tyler. looks solid. didn't Bill Burke or someone else do something similar?

looking forward to more pics. will send you one of mine.
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  #15  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 01:12 PM
Tyler Wirken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
243.5/300?

243/300 Mk II?
Yeah I was thinking of 243.5 but I liked the 1/2 better, but then when I typed it today with the two /'s it looked kind of stupid so I do not know.

I will also have the old pate mounted on the truck somewhere not sure where.

Mike I also thought of that - 301/300 but that would possibly not be correct as someone else could build one out of an LE and then I would be lying or would have to prove that I did it first!

------ Follow up post added April 22nd, 2010 12:15 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyd View Post
thanks for your description of the bumper mods Tyler. looks solid. didn't Bill Burke or someone else do something similar?

looking forward to more pics. will send you one of mine.
No problem. Not sure if Bill did that or not. I am sure it has been done before as it was pretty easy to do.
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  #16  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 02:01 PM
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I've seen Bill's truck several times, and it did not look like there were any modifications to the ARB at all.
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  #17  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 03:37 PM
Tyler Wirken
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Was over at the shop and shot a few more updated images.

Fuel lines almost done. They were a bitch to bend out of that coil but in the end look pretty good. Brake line done. Rear harness extended and fished in and done. For the harness exstension we used a piece of 19 conductor SO cord, basically just a big extension cord but made for the elements and soldered and heat shrunk it to the orig harness. Worked perfectly.

Shot some images of the finished footwell patch with seam sealer and repainted and also of the start of the body work to repair and update the rear tub. I am also having a blank made to fit in the fuel filler cut out so I can update the filler neck to the new style. Tub was in pretty good shape but needed some TLC and repair. In the end I feel it will be just fine.

I also had new tabs for the rear cross member made and removed the ones that came with the replacement cross member and welded the new ones on to make it as close to factory as possible. Plus the flush mounted ones would not allow my rear bumper to work so I had to. I was very surprised after galvanizing the frame that the old welds popped back up as I had ground them totally smooth. Kind of sucked but it will be fine once the bumper goes on.
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  #18  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 04:11 PM
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barry f
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR View Post
I always wanted to do:

501/500
too late
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  #19  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 04:28 PM
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Oh well.
At least mine would be actually on the road, not just a show car.

Also thought about 1/1 for something really custom.
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  #20  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 04:38 PM
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1/1 would be cool. I think that truck is on the road. No clue who owns it but I have seen it in photos as EE
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