Trials, winch challenges, snowy winters and lots of trips away – and it’s a daily driver. Paul Milburn’s 1997 300Tdi Defender 90 has seen it all. No surprise then that Paul has heavily modified his Defender.
Paul’s first changes were to the engine, which got extra oomph courtesy of a K&N filter, then the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve was removed and a Safari snorkel fitted. Next came BF Goodrich mud-terrain tyres, modular steel wheels and a Warn 8274 winch mounted to a D44 winch bumper for when the grip just isn’t enough.
Paul is quick to point out that the ARB air locker does make a big difference. It runs from a Viair compressor and a two-and-a-half gallon air tank that also provides air to two outlets, enabling him to run air tools and, of course, inflate the tyres. Challenges push a vehicle to its limits, which means protection was high on Paul’s list of priorities.
A D44 steering guard was fitted along with rock sliders to protect the more vulnerable areas of the Defender, which was also converted to a truck cab – Paul’s preference for a challenge truck. However, the 90 was soon back as a hard top for everyday use.
Out back a selection of storage boxes and nets allow recovery and off-road equipment to be stored. In the cab, Paul sits comfortably on Cobra Daytona seats, which he reckons are a huge improvement over the originals. With the Defender’s suspension tiring, Paul replaced the previous two-inch lift with a kit from Bearmach. Not only did this help the 90 perform better off-road but it improved the road handling. Following a spruce-up last September in time for his wedding to his partner, Anna, the 90 looks as good as it drives.
Border collie puppy, Bailey, loves the 90 and Paul thinks Anna does, too… even if it sometimes drives her mad.
This owner review appeared in the October 2011 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues.