With over 250 vehicles under our belt, it’s safe to say E.C.D. has picked up on which build features and brands clients and Defender enthusiasts alike tend to choose when thinking of features for their custom Defender. Building custom Defenders since 2013, E.C.D. has developed a multitude of relationships with the upper-crust of Defender parts and accessories suppliers — that means our clients get the highest quality upgrades for their custom Defender build. If you’re looking to customize your Dream Defender using our custom Defender builder or having us build the real thing, here are some of the components you’ll want to look at for a truly jaw-dropping Defender.
By far, our Chevy LS3 V8 engine is our most popular engine choice. It can be paired with an automatic or a manual transmission, has excellent reliability, and top-of-the-line maintenance. Since the block is new and GM, it can be easily serviced at any nationwide GM dealer and has a 2-year, 50,000-mile warranty. With a powerhouse pushing 430 horsepower, what’s NOT to love.
If you’re looking to keep your build more aligned with the Defender heritage, E.C.D. also offers a modern R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. This engine is also capable of having either an auto or manual transmission and is a true performance diesel engine that is a reliable take on the classic Diesel. It’s an ode to the traditional Defender.
If you like to push the boundaries of blending new vs. old, you’re in extreme luck. As seen taking the car world by storm, E.C.D. recently confirmed that we have officially introduced the electric drivetrain to our Defender engine line up with the Tesla All-Electric Drive. That’s right; your Defender can be completely electric. This option is for those looking to make an impact and maybe charge their vehicle at any available charging station; it’s truly a modern touch.
E.C.D. being the voracious beasts we are, we have been introducing custom Defender parts to our builds that have been engineered to give clients what we’ve noticed they’ve been asking for over the last seven years. That being said, E.C.D.’s custom Dynamic Air Ride Suspension offers a smooth ride that is fully adjustable and suitable for off-road use, daily use, and even towing.
Fox Suspension is another popular option that both our clients and Defender enthusiasts alike have been inquiring about. They offer an optimal quality ride, and we can determine the setup for your Defender’s exact needs.
This one is a bit more direct. When it comes to upgraded and custom braking, Brembo takes the cake here at the Rover Dome. Brembo is, after all, a world leader in performance braking solutions. We did mention we’re beasts, so you’d be happy to know we teamed up with Brembo to introduce a high-performance exclusive braking kit specifically for custom Defenders from E.C.D., the Brembo GT Performance kit. The Brembo system is available with calipers in a variety of colors, or you can stick with the traditional Brembo red, such as black and white colors.
When it comes to interior, this is where most of our clients really show their individuality. While leather and diamond stitching tend to be the go-to for most of our builds, the variety our Upholstery Team puts together for each build makes it impossible to determine what’s most popular.
Recaro (Orthoped), Corbeau (Trailcat and Racing), and Exmoor Trim (Puma Classic) brand seats are the most popular when it comes to seat options. Regardless of seat choice, E.C.D. will completely re-upholster every seat to meet the client’s design for their dream restored Defender down to the stitch color.
Our modern Puma style dash is the most popular option, although we do also offer a classic/TD5 or original style dash that is more popular with those looking to keep the style of their Defender nostalgic.
Wheels are just as much performance as they are a style staple for your custom Land Rover Defender. Whether its a custom Defender 90 or Custom Defender 110, wheels can genuinely make the overall look of your build, so E.C.D. offers a wide variety of wheels. Since custom is what we do best, we offer our very own E.C.D. branded forged alloy wheels, which have proven to be extremely popular among Defender enthusiasts and much to their disdain, they are exclusive to E.C.D.’s builds.
Our most popular wheel option comes from the brand, Kahn Design. These alloy wheels are definitely a stand-out as a design choice and range from 5-spoke wheels to sawtooth wheels, both our most popular styles. Again, for those looking to go with a more heritage style Defender, there’s something truly special about a traditional steel wheel. Khan also offers a range of steel wheel options, and if you’re feeling like making your build truly stand out, E.C.D. can paint your steelies black or white, or even to match the color of your build.
BFGoodrich. Not much else we can say here as it is hands down the most popular tires choice for our builds. The size and range may vary from All-Terrain to say mud-terrain, but the love for drive and look of the BFG tires is the number 1 choice time and again. Sometimes we also get a request for Nitto brand tires for those builds that have the purpose of being an off-road vehicle for the client.
When it comes to fully gearing up your Defender there are popular brands and styles you could choose.
For Roof Racks, some of our most popular options come from FrontRunner, who also offer a range of other accessories for Defenders, from gas tanks to LED lights. Frontrunner offers breakthrough designs and accessories for various vehicles and is a brand with quality and durable parts.
Safety Devices is another go-to brand for E.C.D.’s popular feature of the internal or external roll cage. Often our followers on Instagram can spot a 6-point Safety Devices roll cage as soon as we post a custom Defender picture. They offer an expansive range of roll cages, and you can easily find the exact one you need using their drop-down menu and picking your exact Defender’s set up whether you’re looking for a soft-top Defender roll cage or a roll bar for your front windshield. In addition to roll cages, Safety Devices also supplies a wide variety of roof racks that can be fitted with Safety Devices roll cages as one unit. Safety Devices also offers accessories like rear ladders, front bumpers, and snorkels.
Our builds tend to have two popular styles of bumper. For a more rugged, off-road styled build, Clients typically lean towards adding a Tubular A-bar winch bumper or an ARB winch bumper to their build. This style of bumper ensures that when they are driving through tough terrain, the front of the vehicle is protected from large items in the way, the bumper with a winch also helps to balance in a tight spot. Warn is our go-to brand for winches. The second style of bumper is more for the client looking to have a modern, urban styled build. They typically lean towards a slimline bumper with daytime running lights for a smooth, clean look, which is ideal if they plan on using their custom Defender as a daily driver.
Kahn Design is the most popular wide-body kit E.C.D. offers. While Defender enthusiasts don’t tend to like the look, if a Defender with a Kah wide-body kit drives by, you’re going to stop dead in your tracks to stare. The Kahn wide-body kit keeps the Defender out of the realm of cookie-cutter and transforms it into a powerhouse of a vehicle. With several wheels styles and body-kits, Kahn adds a touch of modern luxury to a vehicle, ensuring no one else in the parking lot will have a vehicle that looks like yours.
Some other parts brands to keep on your radar are Smittybilt, Aircon, PPG paint, and Momo (steering wheels). As we build more and more custom vehicles, we expect these popular features to change, and we look forward to any challenge to bring the best quality to our client’s dream custom Defender. Ready to see what selections we have for your dream custom Land Rover Defender? Get in touch at [email protected] and have a look through our showcase to get inspired.
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© 2022 ECD Automotive Design. All images are the property of ECD Auto Design and cannot be used without our consent. E.C.D. Automotive Design is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Jaguar Land Rover Limited, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, including Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. DEFENDER and RANGE ROVER are registered trademarks of Jaguar Land Rover Limited. We build restored defenders, range rover classic’s, and jaguar etypes.