As a premier Defender builder, we often get asked how you can tell if a Defender restoration was done right? Well, luckily for you lot, earlier this year, we received a Defender 90 that had been poorly “rebuilt” by an Auto shop and, as a result, sent to us for a complete overhaul. As soon as the D90 rolled off the delivery truck, the mistakes were evident, and we sought out how to help future Defender buyers be aware of the same poor quality restoration. We’re going to break down exactly what was done wrong with this build with the before and after slides.
We could say that ultimately the first error made was having the custom Defender rebuilt at a regular auto-shop instead of a custom shop dedicated to restoring Defenders specifically. The Defender is a fairly old vehicle, and having the knowledge of ensuring every bolt is properly in place takes years of experience. That being said, E.C.D. does offer an overhaul service for those looking to restore their Defender. If you want your build done right, shipping it to us is your first step in the right direction.
A ‘little’ alignment goes a long way
As old as Defenders are, when they are rebuilt, the seams should still match up around the build to prevent leaks, rust, and other damage done to the build. By looking at the first ‘before’ slide, you can see that this build’s door jambs and rubber sealing were completely misaligned. This means when it rains, the client is also going to feel the rain, and not from an open window. The doors should be able to close properly, be level without gaps, and be aligned with the rest of the build’s body.
Great alignment doesn’t just apply to doors and windows when circling your restored custom build, the bolts and rivets should match up as well. Looking at the before on this build, you can see some of the bolts have simply been screwed into place with no care whether the bolt holes and the bolt itself are lined up correctly. This is another way for water and rust to sneak into your build and destroy it over time. These small details tend to have the most significant impact, and they are one of the main reasons we have so many quality control checks in place as a build moves through the line at E.C.D.