This LS3-Powered Defender 90 4×4 Explores Utah’s Wasatch Mountains

Lurking around Utah’s Wasatch Mountains is this cool 1991 Land Rover Defender 90. This one-of-a-kind vintage rig has been restored and fitted with a laundry list of modern amenities. One of its most eye-opening mods is a 430-horsepower LS3 V8. Here’s a deeper look at this cool LS3-powered Defender 90.

LS3 Defender 90Potent Powerplant Mated To A 6L80-E Six-Speed Transmission

Under the Defender’s hood is an GM LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine. This is the same powerplant that propels the fifth-gen Camaro SS and C6 Corvette. The 376 cubic-inch engine pumps out 430 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 425 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. Features include a cast-aluminum block; six-bolt, cross-bolted main caps; hypereutectic aluminum pistons; a hydraulic roller cam; and aluminum L92-type rectangular-port heads. Power is routed through a GM 6L80-E six-speed automatic transmission. A Land Rover LT230 1.211-ratio two-speed transfer case splits power to the front and rear axles. And on the topic of axles, both are stock heavy-duty Land Rover units with 3.54:1 gearing. Additionally, each axle end is fitted with EBC Brakes Greenstuff 6000 pads and GD Sport rotors. EBC’s Greenstuff 6000 series pads are made for 4×4 use. The company’s GD Sport rotors, designed for heavier vehicles, feature dimples and wider slots to enhance cooling.

LS3 Defender 90

LS3-Powered Defender 90 Air Ride Suspension, And More

The Defender 90 has an air ride suspension. Created by ECD Automotive Design, the suspension is fully adjustable at all four corners. It allows the vehicle to lean side to side as well as pitch front to back. Furthermore, it can raise or lower the Defender 90 by 6 inches. No matter the selected suspension height the LT265/65R18 (31.5-inch) BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires on sawtooth-style 8-inch-wide wheels can travel without contacting the SUV’s body. And speaking of the Defender 90’s body, its sprayed in Portofino Blue gloss paint and most of its parts, including the grille and slats, are painted to match. Additionally, other exterior features include an LED work light on the driver-side rear, custom round light guards and checker painted in Zermatt Silver, and a custom dog ladder.

LS3 Defender 90

Interior: Vintage Style And Modern Amenities

The interior of the Defender 90 combines vintage style with modern amenities. The front seats are Corbeau Trailcat units, and they’re equipped with heating elements. In the cargo area, four inward-facing jump seats offer versatile seating arrangements or handy hauling options. Moreover, the SUV sports a touchscreen stereo system, JL Audio speakers and subwoofers, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, there’s blind spot assistance, a digital rearview mirror, and a comprehensive backup camera and sensor system. Furthermore, the leather upholstery boasts a tasteful tan hue, complemented by a vertical diamond stitch design. The dashboard features Puma leather wrapping, mirroring the ECD custom MOMO Prototipo steering wheel with silver spokes. Finally, there are Classic Instruments All American gauges, remote engine start, and USB ports.

LS3 Defender 90

Built By ECD Automotive Design

ECD Automotive Design built this 1991 Land Rover Defender 90 for the vehicle owners. ECD is the world’s largest Land Rover and Jaguar restoration company. The company earns recognition for its builds, which include bespoke Defenders, Range Rovers, and E-Types. Scott Wallace, CEO of ECD Automotive Design, says, “With so many places to see, the owners of this vehicle are going to enjoy some great adventures in this beauty as it hits sites such as Canyonlands National Parks, Grand Staircase at Escalante National Monument, Arches National Park, Monument Valley and of course the trails and ski slopes of the Wasatch Mountain range.”

LS3 Defender 90

More About ECD

ECD Automotive Design specializes in crafting restored luxury vehicles that blend classic English aesthetics with contemporary performance. Presently, ECD focuses on restoring Land Rovers Defenders, Land Rover Series IIA, the Range Rover Classic, and the Jaguar E-Type. ECD customizes each vehicle entirely, tailoring it to the specifications of the client. Master-certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) craftsmen meticulously construct these unique vehicles, requiring approximately 2,200 hours of labor per vehicle. The company was established in 2013 and its global headquarters is in Kissimmee, Florida. The company’s “Rover Dome” spans 100,000 square feet and houses a team of 90 craftsmen and technicians. Together, they boast a collective total of 61 ASE certifications, including five at the master level. Additionally, ECD operates an affiliated logistics center in the U.K., where seven employees facilitate the sourcing and transportation of 25-year-old work vehicles to the U.S. for restoration.

LS3 Defender 90




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About the author

Ken Brubaker

After learning to drive in a 1967 Rambler American, Ken was addicted to all things with an engine and wheels. He has owned a wide range of vehicles including a pair of 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams and a 1997 Jeep Wrangler.
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