Not sure what got me into Landys to start with since everyone else I know drove Jap drift cars but hey. After about a year of searching I found this one, a pretty decent late 2002 Defender 90 CSW with 65k on the clock. Knew almost nothing about cars at the time, didnt even have a tool kit. That changed pretty sharpish.
It had a few jobs that needed doing to start with, the usual Landy stuff, with the help of a few mates it started to transform. Snorkel, rock sliders, new tyres, new bumper and some spot lights when on. Took a while as being a student working part time cash flow is pretty minimal! Had to get it muddy soon as I could...
After a few Pay & Plays and a couple local laning trips wanted to go further, do more. So we went to Wales, Brecon Beacons to be precise.
My first deep water crossing, a little fast and I had the vents open!
Excellent trip, though not without its mishaps.... Surprisingly no damage
Got a couple of mates to come with for a trip down to the Salisbury Plain, pretty good trip. My mates just need to learn to listen to me! I told him to close the window, he didnt close the window. Que mucky water spraying into the cab as we crossed. Needless to say he got soaked!
Close the window!!
I have made some mistakes, I thought it was maybe a 30cm deep, it wasnt, it was much much deeper and made of clay.
I have made some mistakes....
The idea was to create a good balance between off road capability and on road drivability. So many people go too far sticking 4"+ lifts on which just are not needed unless doing some serious competition stuff. Along with a little modernising this Defender has come a long way. One of the first things was fitting Wipac LED indicators, side lights, brake lights, reverse & fog lights, while 100% IP67 rated water/dustproof they are brighter and do not crack when they hit water! Not to mention no more MOT man "ahh your lights were out, i've replaced em with my £3.00 bulbs" Yeah cheers you dick. They were fine when I turned up....
Completely soundproofed throughout using FatMat on the majority of metal surfaces which greatly reduces vibration and tinniness. Combined with varying thicknesses of closed cell foam (does not absorb water like open cell foam) and thick rubber matting over the top it really does make a world of difference. You can have a normal conversation at 70mph. In addition to that the front and rear headlinings were covered, by myself, with some alcantara which is water resistant so easy cleaning. Also fitted a heated windscreen which made daily driving considerably better.
Eventually settled on some heated leather Corbeau bucket seats, which are unbelievably comfortable. You'll notice that all the big tuning companies such as Nene, Alive, Twisted etc... all use a re-trimmed version of the Corbeau RRS, at wildly inflated prices.... Buy direct, buy cheaper. To finish off the interior I decided to cover quite of a bit of it with Italian Leather, each part was custom made and fitted myself. Even though it is a Defender, doesnt hurt to have a nice inside! Plus leather is hard wearing and wipe clean, not had a problem yet.
Performance wise I went for a Serck fullsize intercooler due it being £150 less than the Allisport, Dynachip re-map (seriously great work for the price!), upped the boost 18psi, Bosal Decat Pipe, Straight Through and an EGR Blank & Cooler Removal. Currently running about 170bhp and 360nm torque, runs brilliantly.
Sits on Terrafirma Medium Load springs with +2 Medium Load Shocks, for £250 they give an excellent ride. Even Jim Marsden of Gigglepin commented on that! Both anti roll bars removed to aid articulation.
The drivetrain is pretty standard bar an Ashcroft Transmissions gearbox with HD Bearings, higher ratio 5th gear and a Syncro Works Slickshift - Shortens the throw between gears and makes for a much more precise selection.
With everything I've done it rides well, even into corners. Quiet by Land Rover standards even on the 265/75 Cooper mud tyres and the power upgrades make it really easy to not only keep up with traffic but perform the occasional overtake!
After some night laning and once being lost in the middle of Wales with no map, no phone and no satnav decided to fit the biggest light bars I could find.
52" CREE LED Bar on top and a 20" CREE LED Bar in the bumper to replace the HID spots, the vibration from off road driving quickly killed them... On the rear are x3 54w CREE LED Bars, VERY helpful reversing in the dark, also useful when someone is following too close...
Sometimes 2nd low isnt enough. Floor it into 3rd low!
Always having fun with some good mates
Been back to France twice since really great place for some fun off roading, pretty none damaging unless you're acting like a penis.
Second trip to Salisbury Plains with a different group, much more relaxing not having to drive down for a day at 430am. Crashed in a hotel this time round. Very good trip but down to a failed Crank Position Sensor it was a big yellow taxi home...
Been through a lot with this 90 from Festivals and greenlaning to mini overland trips and pay & plays, not to mention met a lot of good people and some friends. Just gotten to the point where a 90 just doesn't have the space I need, so reluctantly being sold. As it stands now its clean and tidy, looks more like it belongs in Chelsea than the Plains! Going to miss this truck, though onwards and hopefully not upside down in the 110!