About my Defender 90



Photo by Ed Boudreau.  (The Defender has driven the entire Denali Road five times, and has been to the ends of the road twice in both the northeast in Labrador and in the northwest in Prudhoe Alaska.)

(Some of the facts I need to check. I worked this page up quickly to post it before I leave on my trip. I will revise it when there is time.)


I bought my Defender 90 (#291) new on December 31, 1993.  It has been well maintained over the years and has served me well.  Few Defenders have seen the breadth of this continent as mine has. It has been in the featured pieces of two cover stories of the National Geographic. I have had -but resisted- numerous offers to sell it over the years.  One of the reasons I have not been able to give it up is because there is nothing new out there that comes close to its capabilities.    But at some point, I probably will be convinced to part with it.


There are two features I most value with this magnificent precision machine: first, it takes me where I want to go and, second, and more importantly, it gets me back home.


In addition to its five-speed manual locked transmission with low and high gears and superior BF Goodrich Mud Terrains, here are some of the add-ons I have made over the years. # means since 2011:


- More powerful AC#

- New larger heated front seat and new passenger seat#

- Warn winch (800 pounds*)#

- Rear chassis replaced 2018#

- Engineer updated to 4.6 liter in 2016 at 211,000 miles; RPI Tornado chip installed#

- Complete cooling system replaced in 2011#

- Rovers North stainless steel full-roof rack capable of holding more than 500 pounds of gear plus holders for gas can, water can, pull pal, hi-jack lift, shovel

- Differential locks in front and rear with air compressor under passenger seat#

- Easy access panel to fuel pump installed in floor of rear

- Supplemental gas tank (8 extra gallons) bringing total to 24 and range to 320 miles (395 with jerry can)

- Extra (lighter) battery chargers (total of 7 devices can be charged simultaneously)

- Caged window inserts for three rear windows (to keep dogs and stuff in)

- Surrey-type Bader Coachworks roof installed in 2016#

- New hinges installed on driver's door

- Transmission/transfer case replaced c. 2010

- New radio installed in 2012#


Accessories include:

- Winch kit

- Various off-road recovery gear

- Chains

- Various setups for rear bumper hitch steps

- Extra Ladder system for access to front roof rack

- spare tire mount on hood

- shovels

- hi-jack lift

- Pull pal recovery device

- Jerry cans for water and gas

- Portable window inserts for front windows

- GPS Garmin

 - Mini Battery jumper (1600)

 - Heavy duty jumper cables

 - Assortment of containers, bags, bungee cords, tie-downs for roof rack and rear

- Portable shower

- Protectors for headlights and radiator (homemade)

- Cover for winch (homemade)

 - More


Spare Parts include:

- Alternator

- Distributor

- Ignition coil

- Ignition wires

- Hoses

- Belts

- Plugs and wires

- More (see "Garage" container on OTR To-Take List)


Mechanics who worked on Defender

- John Kinter at Eurosport in Lorton VA

- Dean Kruse at LR Independent in Bethesda MD

- Travis, Michell and Olaf at John's Auto Repair in Yukon Canada (installed new engine)

- Land Rover Alexandria VA


Main suppliers Include:

- Rovers North VT

- Atlantic British NY


The Defender’s performance is best when driven listening to the following music on your headphones

- This Land is Your Land, by Pete Seger

- North to Alaska, by Johnny Horton

- The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Tokens

- Country Road, John Denver

- Red Rover Rock, Johnny and the Hurricanes

- Born in the USA, by Bruce Springsteen