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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned this 1994 NAS 90 for about 8 years now. I drive it on weekends, and it stays in the garage year round. I believe one owner prior to me, it was in the midwest, and has had serious rust issues. The rust on the rear cross member was so bad, I had Linden motors in Golden, CO, replace the rear cross member, fuel tank, fuel lines, and stainless steel fuel tank guard. That was 6 years ago. I hadn't really looked at the rest of the undercarriage since.

Last week, the starter died, so I ordered a new one. When I got under the truck, I noticed a good sized hole in the muffler. So I ordered a new NRP performance exhaust, including the Y-pipe, muffler, and tailpipe. As I removed the old exhaust system, I couldn't help but notice the extensive rust.

Big sigh. I'm gonna hydrate tonight, formulate a plan tomorrow.
 

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Sorry to hear about the rust that got uncovered.

94’ with a hardtop...don’t see that too often!
 

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i guess ive spent too long in New england but ive seen much worse. whats your long term plan for the truck?
 

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I had a 93 NAS that I replaced the rear cross member on as well. The rest of the frame looked about like yours. Its not too bad by the look of it. But I would get on it now. You should look into working on the top link and ball joint where they bolt into the frame in the 2nd photo. That needs some attention if you can get the bolts out to replace them.
As far a the frame goes, a good wire brush for a drill to knock the loose stuff off and a rust inhibitor and chassis paint should do the trick. On mine I actually found a guy to media blast the bad parts of the frame before I repainted. I have spent too many hours beating the rust off these trucks.

this is what I have used on the rust and to paint the chassis. There are others out there but these worked pretty well. -

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tonight’s progress:
1. I got the large bolts out of the lead edge of the trailing arms. Holy rust bucket! And fascinating to see how there was literally NOTHING left of the bushing. Amazing.
2. I started taking off the bolts on the rear connector, 1 came nicely, number 2 broke the nose off of two of my 1/3” socket wrenches. I’ll go get a 1/2” Tomorrow and see what happens. If I brake that, I’ll grind it off with some good protection in front of the gas tank!
3. I wire wheeled some of the chassis. It actually looks pretty great under all that rust! Woohoo!
4. long term plans are to make this defender into something I can be really proud of. I want to get rid of all of the rust. I also want it to be a little more fun to drive, and that will require it to be quieter and cooler on hot days. But I’m so conflicted about putting dynamat down. The body (interior) is actually in incredible condition, and I want to preserve that. so conflicted about that.
5. I’m not 100% sure it was a hard top originally. It has exterior buttons where I think a soft top would button down to the tub. But as long as I’ve had it, it has been a hard top.
 

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Belmetric can set you up with replacement hardware in yellow zinc versus the oxide coat. I say it all the time, coat the bolts with grease before reinstalling them. Stops the rust and makes them easy to remove next time. Also, invest in an electric impact. Makes it easy to either remove the rusty bolt, or break it off.
 

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The last picture you posted post wire wheel doesn’t look bad at all. I’d say there’s hope!

There were some hardtop 94’s (not many). The only one I ever saw was green like yours. It had the bench seat in the back, not the jump seats as in a 95 or 97 SW.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When i bought this Defender, there was no seating at all in the rear. Apparently, a previous owner had removed it. I put two Exmoor forward-facing seats in the rear tub, and they are awesome.
 

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looks like a POE to me


with all the work you are doing you are better off doing a frame swap
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Piece by piece. The frame is looking pretty good after some work with the wire wheel. I'll post pics of that once it's closer to compete. Here are the first few victims of the debridement:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I couldn't talk the rear link assembly into letting go of the ball joint. So i took the whole ball joint out. Even now that I've removed it all, I still can't separate them without destroying them. Here are a few pics after the first experimental pass with the wire wheel. It's incomplete of course, but i think it shows a lot of promise.
 

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