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SoonerMatt's 1988 Defender 90 build

12033 Views 108 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  robertf
Hello everyone. I'm about to take delivery of this defender here in Norman, Oklahoma. I'd been nostalgic for my old rock crawler YJ and the 1980 C10 truck I drove in high school. Land Cruisers and Rubicons were considered. Strangely, price was an issue on those. This was about the same. I've always loved these so it's a great fit. This is not a daily driver and will likely be a Home Depot or school drop off car. A mall crawler.

It should be mentioned that I have a 2007 Escalade which is extremely desirable year for 6.2L engine donors. It is pre AFM and direct injection. It has the better push rods and pistons. It's a very easy 500HP drop in drivetrain. That is eventually going in something. Why not this?

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So I'm really curious about this install placement of the speakers. I'm fitting in 5.25" speakers in the lower dash spot, and even had a hell of a time finding some low profile enough to not hit the windshield wiper motor. Doesn't even make sense to put speakers in the lower dash as they point downwards anyways.
Your setup makes MUCH more sense pointing right at your head. Is there really enough room above to make clearance for the cone?
Just got all 7 speakers hooked up and it’s nice!

Concerning the door speakers, I had to add 1” spacer rings found on eBay. It might work without? Not sure. It’s good with them.

I strongly recommend the tweeters in the pillars. With a 10” sub in the back, .75” tweeters in the pillars and 6.5” speakers in the door it was solid. The headliner 5.25” speakers aren’t really necessary. Maybe I’ll need them at 70mph? Not sure.

However, I’m really happy with the position when the tweeters are active. You sound is more directional as it gets higher pitch. The tweeters at eye level do just enough to give you the impression of great positioning. The 6.5 in the doors play the mid range very well. It works and I recommend it.

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Finally got around to starting the engine. The old 2bbl w/mech pump ran better than the Holley 4bbl/e pump combo. So I’m ordering a new Rochester 2bbl and going that route. Had to design and fabricate an adapter to keep using my breather and get it centered.

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Cool. Make sure you hook up your pcv valve to manifold vacuum also your distributor after setting timing WITH a timing light
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Hey buddy, how did the new carb work out?
New carb is mounted on the engine. Will try to run again on Friday.

The Defender has been covered by parts for a home renovation project again (need to adjust my priorities).

However, I could have used Defender briefly when a tornado came through and shut down the highways and roads around my neighborhood (Norman, Oklahoma) last week. It would have been nice to just take it offroad and avoid the emergency crews and blocked off roads.

Based on a hunch, I took video of the storm as it was tornado warned coming into my part of town. I stopped and took shelter when the power flashes started.

Here's what it looked like after dark when the storm turned the sky green and the transformers started exploding changing it to blue. Fun times ;)

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Hey guys, the 250 swap did me in. I’m probably scrapping this build. It’s never run and probably never will. If anyone has any ideas on where to go from here let me know. I’m done putting any money into it.
Here is the closest it got:
That’s a bummer man. Home builds can be tough. Thinking you’re done with the whole build or just the engine? Maybe take a break for a while.
it sounds like its close, but it sounds like you have a little dirt or something in a venturi, or maybe an accellerator pump is being a little wonky, while someone holds the truck as good as you can, spray some brake clean around the engine, look for when the engine smooths out and runs better, could be a timing issue too. also disconnect the vaccum for the brake booster and put a plug in it. it might be a bad master causing the surging.
I had a weber that acted like that. it had blobs of gasket material floating around the fuel bowl out of the box.

there was guy selling cheap 3.9 on here.
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