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Lucky8 ( Ultimate) New Defender 90.

Posted by Justin monnin on

We started with a 2022 carpathian gray V8 90 and set out to make the (ultimate) New Defender 90. The vision for this 90 was to have it dominate overland trials and class 4 roads while still being able play in the rocks at off road parks before a high speed run to Starbucks for a latte. So in other words, keep it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible on the road but turn up its off road ability without sacrificing too much of its on road enjoyment.

With that vision in mind we started at the beginning. 
What size tires you plan on using dictates the build. People often start with the lift to fit tires. The correct way is to fit the lift to the tires. For the V8, we wanted to run 35in 12/50 18s KM3.  Even with our rear brake caliper conversion kit we could not fit 18 inch rims. This was because the front calipers were too large. Just couldn’t bring ourselves to change out the beautiful V8 blue calipers nor did we wanna reduce braking performance. That left us with 20 inch wheels. Not ideal but not horrible when you’re running a 35. To get that job done we were able to source some Redbourn Alston‘s with a 25 mill offset.
On the new Defender with a 1.5 - 2in lift 35s will clear in the rear *under compression you will get some mild rub. We are working on an SYA kit to help with that *
The front is completely different and not at all friendly to anything over 33 10/50. The supplementary intercoolers tucked in the front fender wells behind the bumper make larger tires extremely difficult to fit. In the past, we have relocated the coolers forward a little bit and trimmed the bumper but for this project we wanted a full winch bumper. This required making special brackets and reworking some plumbing for the intercoolers. The end result was the world's first slimline intercooler compatible winch bumper. To finish off the bumper, we added swivel recovery points. Factor 55 Fairlead and ultra hook connected to a Warn Zeon 10S winch.
I feel the most important thing to have after tires is lower body protection.  I see a lot of people go for different things like lights, rooftop tents or what not. But you need to protect your investment and the best way to do that is with rock sliders. To handle this job we installed some of our proud rhino rock sliders. 
The sliders are designed to handle impacts and support the weight of the entire vehicle. We also add another bit of protection to handle a unique problem with these new Defenders. A set of A-arm sliders. The rear A-arms are made of aluminum and tend to get stuck on rocks instead of slide over them. The Proud Rhino A arms sliders are made of steel and easily glide over obstacles.
Working our way around to the back we installed a Proud Rhino rear ladder to give us access to the factory roof rack.
For the rack accessories, I wanted to keep it as minimal as possible.  The V8 is so much fun drive I wanted to keep the mass on the roof as low as possible. Of course we had to put Treds up there in case somebody else got stuck that needed them. :)  On the opposite side we are using a Proud Rhino aluminum shovel. Not only is a shovel lightweight, it also will not leave rusty drips down the side of the rover and the aluminum ARB Jack.
To complete the roof, let’s be honest, no off road Land Rover would be complete without four large lights on the front of the truck.  We used ARB‘s new Solis lights.  The 4 lights are 9 in round and have an output of 9,546 lumens each.
To help make this 90 even more special, we did a few extra things.  On the outside, we went with our stealth flare kit. This kit is an oversized fender flare done in high gloss black to match the rest of the trim and has no reflectors or lights. The overall appearance is a smooth clean finish.
Moving onto the inside, things got a little bit tricky. Cargo area in the 90 is anything but ample.  Truth be told it’s almost nonexistent. The rear seats do not fold flat and the room behind the seats can barely hold a six pack. For the 90 to have cargo carrying ability, we needed to remove the rear seats. With the rear seats out of the way, we made a custom floor which just happens to be the same size as the rear of the Defender 110. We were able to put the cargo mat from the 110 in, giving it a clean finish.  With our new interior, we had plenty of room for gear. We built a custom fridge slide to hold down the ARB fridge and to finish off the inside, we updated the steering wheel center section and shift bezels with carbon fiber.

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