'97 D90 LE Refurb - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 1st, 2019, 07:33 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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'97 D90 LE Refurb

I've debated a lot about whether to do a "build thread", since I wasn't doing the vast majority of the work. But it's almost done (after about 15 months) and I'm getting excited about getting it back, so why not.

For background, I'll refer you to a couple of older threads:

https://www.defendersource.com/forum...in-128697.html
https://www.defendersource.com/forum...90-a-4566.html

Here it was in its "glory days" when new, on a nice day in the Oregon Coast range. Digital cameras were pretty crappy in 1997, and I think this may even have been on a phone, so the pic isn't so great:

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A pic with may son riding shotgun. He's a junior in college now:

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The day in December 2017 when it unceremoniously got hauled off the old place on a flatbed. Looking kinda sad, I turned down an offer from the new land owner to buy it:

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An hour or so later it arrived at Ship's in Portland and found other Land Rover friends. I turned down another offer to sell:

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More to come ...
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  #2  
Old April 1st, 2019, 09:53 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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After a few weeks, the gas tank's been cleaned out, new fuel pump, and a top end rebuild on the engine. That squeak I heard on the left side was a bad camshaft. Engine ran great for the first time in many years.

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  #3  
Old April 1st, 2019, 09:59 PM
Bostondave's Avatar
Bostondave
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Dave
97 D90, 07 LR3
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It’s very cool that you’re the original owner. Will it be your daily?
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  #4  
Old April 1st, 2019, 11:51 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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That's not the plan. This is the only one of our vehicles I'll get full coverage on, and I think insuring it as a DD would be pretty pricey. I have the D2 for that. I'm mostly retired so I don't have a daily commute.

When we moved to the new place we really downsized the house, and part of the deal would be that the garage would be exclusively mine (don't feel sorry for her; she got a great 700 sq. ft. artist's studio in another outbuilding). The 2-car garage will be part man-cave, and part D90 Repository. This summer's project is to put in an 8 ft. door so it can be parked inside. It's never been parked inside its whole life.

Anyway, by the end of January 2018 the rig was drivable again, and that could have been it. But I told them "my wife says it needs to look perfect". OK, perfection on a vehicle this old isn't going to be achieved, but we proceeded to look into doing a respray.
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  #5  
Old April 2nd, 2019, 01:02 AM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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While the rig got sent off to Ship's, I still had the ARB bumper (the one that replaced the unit that got wrecked in the accident), and the Warn M10000 winch. I had taken them off and reinstalled the original bumper and A-bar when the winch stopped working. So now I decided to rebuild them myself.

The winch itself was in rough shape. having set outside in western Oregon weather for many years:

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Disassembly showed that the motor was trashed; it was filled with a mush of rust flakes. It turned out there were a couple of weep holes in the motor mount that were installed in the wrong orientation, and instead of allowing water to drain out, they provided a pathway for rain water to fill up the motor interior. Fortunately, the gear train was in great shape:

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On the motor end, the drum was seized in the end housing due to rust. I had to come up with a type of makeshift press with some C clamps in order to separate them. If I had cracked the end housing doing this, it probably wouldn't have made sense to continue with the winch rebuild, as replacements are spendy:

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The drum as well as some other parts were pretty rusty:

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I set up an electrolysis tank to remove the rust non-abrasively so as not to remove any good metal, with a baking soda solution. The brake disks are sacrificial anodes:

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After a few days with a battery charger hooked up, there's a rusty scum floating on the top:

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The resulting rust-free parts:

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Original labels are aren't available, so I duplicated them in Visio and laser-printed them on silver waterproof paper to match the originals:

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Got the bumper and winch parts powder coated; they turned out pretty nice:

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Got all the parts laid out. It's great that all the gaskets and other replacement parts are still available for this 20-something year old winch:

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Gear train reassembled:

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I bought a new motor, and painted it to match the powder coating on the other parts:

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Winch all back together, and ready to mount on the bumper:

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  #6  
Old April 2nd, 2019, 05:56 AM
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WK2Burner
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Francis
1991 D90 200TDI
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that is some damn fine work. winch looks great. thanks for the walk through.

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  #7  
Old April 2nd, 2019, 03:18 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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Some more pics from that Coast Range outing when it was new. My daughter (the one in the tan shirt) graduated from Northwestern with a doctorate in Physical Therapy a couple of years ago and now practices in the Los Angeles area. Time flies:

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  #8  
Old April 2nd, 2019, 03:34 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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In the frame shop in January 2018, checking out why one of the front frame horns was a little out of alignment. Some parts already removed in preparation for painting. Those marks outlined on the back door are actually gouges into the aluminum. You see from the last post that I originally had a tire cover on the back. The elastic border on the back of the cover would bounce against the door whenever the door was closed, which is what caused this. Won't be using a cover anymore.

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The frame was bent on the right side, and it turned out the front axle housing was bent as well. "What did you hit, a garbage truck?" I was asked. At this point we decided to put the respray on hold and ordered a new chassis from RN.
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  #9  
Old April 2nd, 2019, 11:10 PM
Mr.BlueSky
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Miles W
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Awesome thread and some cool history you have there with the 90!

I think you have inspired me to setup a electrolysis tank to get rid of some of my rust problems

Thanks for the fun read. Look forward to the rest.
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  #10  
Old April 3rd, 2019, 03:13 AM
Waykool plantz
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Waykool plantz
94 defender 90
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Very cool on the diy electrolysis system. Original owner as well...time for a rehab too
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  #11  
Old April 3rd, 2019, 02:59 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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Yes, the electrolysis just removes the rust and does nothing to the good metal, unlike abrasive and acid methods. I understand it even converts the "black rust" back into good steel. The solution is non-toxic; if you have iron-deficient soil, it will even benefit your lawn.

When you take the parts out they do have a tendency to get a slight film of "flash rust", but a quick wipe with phosphoric acid takes care of that.
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  #12  
Old April 3rd, 2019, 03:10 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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The Marsland chassis showed up from RN last April. The box contains new shocks, springs, suspension bushings, and fuel lines. I later got the stainless steel brake lines set as well.

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  #13  
Old April 4th, 2019, 05:39 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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After the chassis was delivered, it sat around for a few months while vacations happened, and non-running daily drivers needed servicing. 'still wasn't happy. , But hey, it's only a 2-person shop. Some prodding got things going again. In August, preparations to lift the body off the old chassis were well underway. The bars running front and back would help when lifting the body.

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  #14  
Old April 6th, 2019, 02:32 AM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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Location: Bend, OR
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September 2018. Body's been lifted off, parts being removed from old chassis.

I had taken the wheels to clean them up and swap on new rubber; the shop swapped on some old RRC wheels in the meantime.

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  #15  
Old April 6th, 2019, 03:04 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bend, OR
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We agreed I'd do some things myself. It made no sense to pay them $$$ for cleaning an refurbishment that I could do myself.

The center console was dirty with some rust on all the metal bits. I had bought the CD changer, and like everyone else, had thrown out the original cubby insert when I installed it back in 1997. I drilled out all the rivets and completely disassembled it, and de-rusted and painted the metal (more electrolysis for the radio mounting sleeve). I used Armor All Outlast Trim and Plastic restorer on the plastic (it was the only one of these restorers whose label recommended it for interior surfaces).

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I got one of the replacement non-CD changer cubby inserts that ECR had made, since I had no need for the now-useless CD changer. The foam around the perimeter of the cover was mostly perished, but there was enough left that I could measure its dimensions and get new matching foam from McMaster-Carr

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There were a couple of small cracks in the plastic, one each on the notches that go over the roll cage. I wanted to reinforce them with some plastic strips glued to the inside to keep them from spreading. After several glue failures, I finally found that the gooey black ABS cement used on plumbing pipes worked well.

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  #16  
Old April 7th, 2019, 03:51 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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I took the side windows to refurbish, too. They were leaking and the back would get pretty damp.

The felt for the sliding pane was perished, and the plastic track on the bottom was cracked on both. The metal frames were dull and had mineral deposits, and the glass had mineral deposits as well.

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I got the Garrison Outfitters kit to replace the felt. The new replacement material is a big improvement. The "Goo Gone" that comes with the kit is pretty useless, though. I suggest not bothering with it and just get some 3M Adhesive Remover from an auto parts store.

I replaced the bottom track while I had the window apart. I also replaced the fixed window seal and the vertical "squeegee" seal, which both were pretty stiff and worn. The two filler strips in each window just needed cleaning, and I didn't worry too much about them since they can be replaced even after the window is installed.

TIP: I ordered new screws that hold the center vertical frame member in place. Their part number AC606081L. The bottom ones were rusted since that's where water tends to accumulate. With new ones I didn't need to worry about the rusty ones breaking in re-installation, and by getting Genuine ones rather than generic hardware store units I knew the threads would match up. I also put a little bit of caulk in the hole before I installed the bottom screw, since I noticed that's where some water had leaked out.

Also, BE SURE to use the Posi-Drive bit that comes with the kit to remove and install all the screws (or your own Posi-Drive bit). If you use Philips bits, you run the risk of stripping the heads, which will cause you a world of hurt.

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New foam gaskets for the back as well.

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I used polishing compound to brighten up the metal frame, which worked pretty well. This is a lousy picture but I tried to show the before and after difference.

I also used the polishing compound to get rid of the worst of the mineral deposits on the glass. Glass cleaner did nothing; toothpaste worked but very slowly.

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Finished result looks worthy of putting back on a new paint job.

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  #17  
Old April 7th, 2019, 08:29 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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Later in September, most of the parts are off the old chassis. In the lower left corner you can see some of the hack work done by the body shop that did the work after the accident. The passenger side bumper mounting holes were elongated in order to get the bumper back on the bent frame horn. We also found a couple of areas collapsed inward near the midsection; apparently some attempt by the other shop to tweak the frame.

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Parts start to go on.

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Drive train almost ready to go on the new frame.

Nice photobomb by the NAS 110 in the background.

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  #18  
Old April 8th, 2019, 02:23 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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In October, the body went back on (so it could then be taken off in pieces for painting )

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  #19  
Old April 9th, 2019, 07:50 PM
BarryO
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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FYI, not very good photos for this part. I was involved in a kinda nasty traffic accident just before Thanksgiving (rear-ended by a flatbed tow truck while stopped and waiting to turn left into my driveway; the D1 was totalled). 'spent 2 months in a wheelchair and was doing this work during that period, so picture-taking wasn't a priority.


Sunroof - I had bad roof leaks. I think most of it was at the seams in the roof itself, where the caulk LR used dried out and cracked. The sunroof had some issues as well, though. I got the parts once they were removed:

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The black metal frame has two seals: the roof-to-frame seal, and the frame-to-glass seal. The roof-to-frame seal is inexpensive and easy to replace, which I did. The old one had gotten vry compressed and may not have been sealing well.

The frame-to-glass seal is not available separately from LR. You have to buy the whole frame, which costs as much, or more, than a complete sunroof assembly! I didn't really want to spent $500-$600+ on a sunroof just to replace a seal. I thought it would be a good idea to replace that seal, so I found and aftermarket one from a sunroof shop in the UK. At least the frame shined up pretty well with some polishing compound:

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Looking back, I think I would have been better off leaving the original seal in the frame. As in most cases, the original Genuine seal is much more flexible than the aftermarket one. The original seal just had a small rip in one spot that I had fixed with superglue, and I don't think it was where any of the leaks were coming from, anyway.

Also, the installed the seal was a real bear. There are two "lips" on the seal that fit into the frame: a large one that slips into the bottom of the frame, and a small one with two barbs that fit into a small groove near the top. It's this last one that I found very difficult to install; I imagine the factory used some type of special tool or fixture to accomplish this. I got it in as best I could, but wasn't 100% confident in it, so I put in a small amount a caulking around the whole perimeter between the frame and the seal:

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One place where the sunroof was leaking was at one of the hinges. It looked like the gasket on top of the glass had failed. I de-rusted and re-painted the metal parts, and put a bit of caulking around the whole in the glass, underneath the hinge, to waterproof that area:

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  #20  
Old April 10th, 2019, 07:03 AM
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Uncle Douglas
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Doug Crowther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryO View Post
In October, the body went back on (so it could then be taken off in pieces for painting )

Attachment 415404

Attachment 415406
Always interesting to see how other shops do things.
Lifting the body on and off that way looks scetchy.
Glad it worked.
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