The story of Grover - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 27th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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Mark Bichin
97 NAS Station Wagon LE
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The story of Grover

As most of you know, ive been trolling these boards and many others for over a year now. I pop in with my asinine comment here and there, never lacking an opinion or a question.

Several times horsey has asked me to stop keeping what im doing to myself and to post a build thread. Personally i think its just so people can do to me what ive been doing to them all this time . The difference is that they would actually know what they are talking about.

Seriously though, let me just thank everyone for the time and effort they spend trying to educate me and answering my posts. Im the type of person that becomes interested in something and researches it to death often going off on many other tangents in the process.

Ive always loved D90s, ever since i saw the first one in a magazine in 94. They were way out of my price range. Years later after going through a series of changes in my life, including going back to university, i decided to get rid of my bmw convertible and under the guise of a midlife crisis buy a D90.

After some research i decided that a 95 SW would fit the ticket. I was looking for a DD that i could take offroad and do some camping and wheeling. I really liked the look of the SW and i wanted a 5 spd. I decided that since i was giving up a 300hp car, i wanted a v8 in my rover as going to a 84hp one would not do. There werent alot of 94 SW and with a 94 you might end up with the LT77 tranny not to mention the POE looked like they were half finished (no headliner, not a complete roll cage etc...). I also wanted something in good shape, not a fixer upper.

My color choices were, in order of preference: Aires blue, conniston green, nato white.

I began my search...
and kept searching...
and searching...

okay nothing was coming up or when it did it got snatched up before i had a chance to buy it.

Part of the problem was that i was in canada and there werent alot of defenders up here, and since i wanted a V8, i was looking for a NAS. Also with university starting, i wasnt going to be able to run around and look at rovers because i was going to be in class, so i had a time limit.

I did at some point look into importing one from overseas and had an excelent candidate but it fell through.

Meanwhile my wife was going crazy as i had been spending all my time looking for this D90. (Sound familiar???)
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  #2  
Old July 27th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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Mark Bichin
97 NAS Station Wagon LE
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so i had been cruisin ebay as one of my sites and noticed a 97LE come up.

It was an automatic not a 5 spd.

Willow green... not on my list... but not bad....

it had the 4.0, which is an upgrade to the 3.9

It was in GREAT shape and only 51k miles.

in retrospect im still not sure if that milage is correct but several people have looked it over and it has been kept in excellent shape with no rust.

New 255/85 km2s on Nato rims.

Stainless steel bolt kit on hood and doors.

so it wasnt exactly what i was looking for... it was more than i wanted to pay...

my wife said just buy the damn thing!

SOLD!
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  #3  
Old July 27th, 2013, 02:37 PM
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Brian Kandefer
1957 107 wagon, 94 arles St, 101 FC
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Best color ever!! What is Grover gonna be when he grows up??? Excited to see some pics of this beast!!!
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"Someone once told me not to bite off more than I can chew, I told them I'd rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity!!!"
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  #4  
Old July 27th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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Mark Bichin
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Oh yah...

Also had a sg front bumper with a warn 9000
5 hella 4000... I think they are 4000s
Sg steering guard
Hd rock sliders
1.5 ome md lift



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  #5  
Old July 27th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Mark Bichin
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Almost forgot the best part...




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It came with an axe! (People tend to be more polite when I cut in front of them)
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  #6  
Old July 27th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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Mark Bichin
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As per agreement with the love of my life, the D90 had to be kid friendly...

I decided to work on the interior to start (yah I decided lol).

Trolling the boards I noticed that safari hp had a cancelled order for two black leather exmoor elites and black carpet that they were giving a deal on...

I phoned up Scott and took advantage of the deal...

I had done some research and found that the exmoor lock and folds would meet my needs to make the truck kid friendly... My kids are 2 1/2 and 5 so one is in a booster seat and the other in a car seat. I needed seats that could support those. I also wanted something that wouldn't take up all the limited cargo room of the D90. Since these seats fold away when not in use, I felt that they are what I was looking for.

Scott helped me out and arranged to have them shipped direct to Vancouver from exmoor.
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  #7  
Old July 27th, 2013, 05:24 PM
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Mark Bichin
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Meanwhile according to my needs, I wanted a decent stereo system.. I have been into home theatre and sound for over twenty years...so I wanted clean sound that could be heard over the roar of the truck.

I picked up a alpine Ida-x305s headunit on eBay. It's a mechless headunit so it's 100% USB sticks or media player based I.e. no skips on rough rides. It also has 24bit burr brown dacs. It's expandable to include Bluetooth (more on this later) and also to use the auddessy eq system.

For an amp I found a used audison lrx 4.5 which gives me 4x130w at 2ohm imp. I figured that would be plenty of sound for such a small cab. Audison makes amps that concentrate on clarity vs power. The difference between a rap concert and a trip to the orchestra.

For speakers I went with focal krx2s for fronts and rears. Amazing speakers. That's all I have to say about them. Go listen to a set to see what I mean. They are speced at 6.5 woofers and 1" tweeters but in reality the woofers are closer to 6.75".

I also sourced an alarm which had the added bonus of a remote start. Kinda fun and gimmicky, so of course I loved it.
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  #8  
Old July 27th, 2013, 06:59 PM
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Mark Bichin
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Speaking of fun and gimmicky... Heated windshield... Soon as I found out they existed, I started searching...

I ordered it through the shop I deal with, British classic auto.
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  #9  
Old July 27th, 2013, 07:35 PM
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Mark Bichin
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So the seats and carpet came in. And the instal went fine... Until we got to the seat belts for the lock and folds...apparently station wagons need additional brackets to fit them. I searched around for a while but everywhere in the us/Canada that I looked didn't stock them.

I ended up ordering them from John craddok in he uk. They arrived in a week.

If you are thinking about doing this yourself be aware that there are several kinds of these brackets, at least one kind for ROW and another for NAS. I'm still not convinced I got the right kind because I had a hell of a time getting them to fit.

In the end I had to machine a collar to fit the stud that came up through the tub and secured the station wagon top to the roll bar piece that sits in the corner. The stud was too short to fit through the bracket. I also have to modify the trim piece that covers the side windows and the rear corner window as they would not fit back into position with the bracket in place.

But when it was finished it turned out okay...



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  #10  
Old July 27th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Mark Bichin
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You may have noticed that my door cards are black too... Instead of buying black door cards which are aftermarket, I used a vinyl dye and sprayed my original ones... It took a couple of coats but I think it turned out well...


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I also replaced the rear card with one from mud uk. Way better than the original flimsy cardboard one.



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Somewhere along the line, the carpet from the cargo area had gone missing... I placed the original rubber mat down in its place with cut outs for the lock and fold bracket lockdowns... I placed a small strip of carpet down beside the lockdowns so the bracket from the seat wouldn't scratch the tub paint.



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Finally I had an auto upholster make up some heavy duty black carpet for the cargo sides.



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  #11  
Old July 27th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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You can see from the pics above how I had my speakers mounted. There really isn't a lot of options. The fronts woofers went on the door cards and had to be brought out of the card due to the increase in size from the stock ones ( were they 4.25s?)... The door interiors were Dynomatted to reduce vibration.

Here's another view...


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The front tweeters were dash mounted...



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  #12  
Old July 27th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Sam
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Looks great! BTW, the boys down at SafariHP have fabbed that rear upper seat belt bracket that will work in NAS SWs without hacking on the plastic. Obviously a bit late for your application though...
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  #13  
Old July 27th, 2013, 09:08 PM
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Mark Bichin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMac View Post
Looks great! BTW, the boys down at SafariHP have fabbed that rear upper seat belt bracket that will work in NAS SWs without hacking on the plastic. Obviously a bit late for your application though...
Great to know. I love passing stuff like that along.
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  #14  
Old July 28th, 2013, 01:45 AM
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Mark Bichin
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For the rear, I ordered the aluminum speaker mount corner trim from safarihp. I figured that they would be stiffer than the original plastic pieces and thereby lessen any vibration... I Dynomatted the space behind them as well. When I ordered these pieces I specifically asked what size speakers they accommodate. I was told that they mount a 6.5". They don't. They must have made an error when they told me that.

So I had to bring the focals out again... No biggy but it would be nice if they were flush.



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I placed the tweeters at the top of the rear corner windows.



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I placed the amp under the passengers seat... Snug but it fit... I was a little worried about heat but it hasn't kicked out on me yet....
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  #15  
Old July 28th, 2013, 01:54 AM
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Mark Bichin
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The system sounded good but I felt it could use a little more base... I used a all in one package that focal makes called the ibus 20. Surprising amount of base for a 8" sub. I usually run it way turned down. I mounted it on the rear door card ( after Dynomatting the back door cavity ) and covered it with black acoustic carpeting... Here's that rear door card again...



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Hopefully not too noticeable...

I took the opportunity and upgraded from the cb that it came with to a VHF radio through a group buy that our local rover club, the Roverlanders, put together...



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  #16  
Old July 28th, 2013, 02:04 AM
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The alarm installation went well... I opted for power door locks but couldn't figure out how to do the rear door... Any suggestions? Has anyone done this? I know the td5 have it but I have never seen how they do it...

I had them install the Bluetooth module for the stereo and the auddessy eq module... Piece of crap Bluetooth never worked... They told me it was a bad module... So I bought another one that also didn't work... And still doesn't... They are trying to get me to buy the new model of deck but I think that if they say two things are supposed to work together and advertise it, then they actually should... I'm still fighting that one out...

------ Follow up post added July 27th, 2013 11:05 PM ------

Wow... I've written a shitload here and still haven't gotten to the juicy bits... Blame Josh!
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  #17  
Old July 28th, 2013, 02:21 AM
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Mark Bichin
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Okay.. I know most of you really don't care about how soft my seats are ( did I mention that they are also heated ), what color my carpet is, or how pretty my music sounds...

Here's the fun stuff...

Have you guys heard of iron goat 4x4... They make the consoles that compete with the mud uk ones and great door cards among many other things... They are run by a gentleman named Tony Klassen... A class act..

After doing a little bit of local wheeling I decided that I could use a little more articulation...

Tony still had a couple of stage 2 evo kits left over from when he reped scorpian racing... They are identical to the equipe stage one kits... Here's a pic from the lucky8 website...



Basically it lowers your shock mounts by two inches gives you longer bump stops and cones front and back... Gives you two more inches of droop by sacrificing two inches of compression... But with 255/85/16 tires I really didn't want more compression as they didn't have a lot more room to stuff up. Also doesn't change ride height... Which can be handy for those of you with garages.
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  #18  
Old July 28th, 2013, 02:46 AM
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So back to Tony... Turns out he lives in chiliwack which is about an hours drive from me... After chatting rovers on the phone for an hour or two, he invites me out to his place to do the install...he says that he can help me out...

So I drive out to Tonys place... Did I mention my heated windshield... Well it got installed the day before the drive out...

On the way I pick up a rock chip in it, which by the time I get to Tony's it's now a crack... Gotta love the sense of humor the big man up there has...

I get there around nine in the morning... It's a gloomy day... Looks like it may rain... Good thing we will be in a garage...

Did I mention that I have a LE?

Well that SD roof rack puts me about an inch or three too tall to clear his garage door.

So Tony says don't worry, he has a small concrete pad we can work on... This pad is just big enough to get one side of the truck on... So we work outside on this pad basically doing one end of an axle at a time, putting the wheel back on, moving the truck to the next side, installing this kit... Which meant re and reing all the springs, shocks, shock mounts,towers, trailing arms and brake lines.. Working without a hoist, using a little jack... All the while the weather was alternating between sun and rain...

I keep saying we but the reality was that I was little more than a tool boy... Tony took over and did the job... We took one break for lunch during which his wife fed both of us with a home cooked meal. The job was finally finished just after 10pm.

Did I mention that he was a class act... Somewhere in there one of the front shock stems were stripped... He went into his store room and came out with two ome hd shocks... And offered them to me at $100 cdn. For the pair. I didn't have the cash on me so I wrote him a check. It still hasn't been cashed months later.
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  #19  
Old July 29th, 2013, 12:42 AM
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Mark Bichin
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I noticed that that the full sized spare hanging off the rear door made it a very heavy door to shut... I felt sorry for the poor hinges... I ordered a Mantec tire carrier from John cradock. With shipping I saved about $150 compared to the closest other price. I felt better about the weight being carried by the crossmember instead... Especially if I decide to goto 35s later...

I also ordered a hard tire cover from rovers north... It sort of just barely fits 33s...



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I like the lion... For some reason I feel like it matches the truck... Though a rhino would be cool too...
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  #20  
Old July 29th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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Great write up Mark and awesome rig!
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