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1989 Land Rover Defender 90 Cummings Swap


  • Powered by a low-mileage 5.9L Cummins six-cylinder, a five-speed Spicer gearbox, and a heavy-duty Reece Myers transfer box
  • Freshly restored, with a galvanised bulkhead, galvanised chassis, fresh Audi Nardo Grey paintwork, new modular steel rims, and plenty more
  • Built to a very high standard, with clear evidence of expert craftsmanship, and considerable expense spent
  • Presents a fantastic opportunity to obtain a very rare, and incredibly capable Land Rover Defender
  • Runs and drives brilliantly, with no faults to note, and advisory-free MOT until June 2024

The Appeal

Trusted by enthusiasts, off-roaders, commuters and public services across the globe, it should come as no surprise that the Defender remains an incredibly popular choice for a wide range of modifications and upgrades.
Sitting towards the top of the most desirable engine swaps for these trusty Land Rovers is of course the ever-popular diesel Cummins swap. These beefy American lumps are packed full of torque, and come renowned for incredible durability, and fantastic practicality. In the Land Rover Defender, a Cummins swap dwarfs the standard figures and takes the vehicle to an entirely new realm of power and capability. 
In addition to boasting a 5.9L Cummins six-cylinder under the bonnet, there’s a huge array of drivetrain, interior, and chassis upgrades, as well as some superb restoration work. Now offered in superb condition, with clear signs of excellent craftsmanship and plenty of high-end parts as far as the eye can see, this Land Rover Defender is sure to impress the next lucky keeper. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered on the 17th of September, 1989
  • Converted to a 5.9L Cummins by the previous keeper, and correctly logged on the current V5C document
  • Cherished by the current keeper since June 2022
  • Freshly restored, by renowned specialists King Rig Customs, with a very impressive list of new and refurbished components
  • Ready to enjoy, with MOT until June 2024
This 1989 Defender would of course spend its early years in its standard guise before the previous keeper decided it was destined for far more. The vehicle was then equipped with galvanised chassis, suspension upgrades and of course, the 5.9L Cummins swap. 
The vehicle would later be acquired by the current keeper in June 2022, who sought out renowned Land Rover specialists King Rig Customs, for a very thorough restoration. As part of the restoration process, this 90 would receive the likes of a full rewire, ‘ultra’ galvanised bulkhead, a full professional respray, interior upgrades, a cosmetic overhaul, and a huge array of mechanical work, and futureproofing. 
The restoration process has been recorded through an in-depth series of photographs, as well as select paperwork detailing the purchase of parts, and labour. Also included, is the current V5C document ready to sign over, and a valid MOT certificate until the 15th of June, 2024. 

The Interior

  • Restored, with a range of tasty upgrades and new components, including;
    • Leather Corbeau bucket seats
    • New inertia seat belts
    • An Optimill security steering lock
    • MOMO three-spoke steering wheel
    • Brand new gauges
    • New door cards, and rubber seals
    • New galvanised cappings, door tops and heavy-duty roll bar
    • A new rear hood
  • Features a sandblasted, painted and raptor-coated seat box, and rear tub
  • Offered in fantastic overall condition, reflecting minimal use
As a result of the extensive restoration work, you’ll find the interior of this 90 equally as impressive as the exterior, with a huge array of new components to show.
First and foremost, is a set of adjustable leather Corbeau bucket seats, which sit a upon sandblasted and raptor-painted seat box, with new inertia seat belts. As the images reflect, both front seats offer fantastic finishes, with hardly any signs of wear or use. 
The front also hosts a new Optimill security steering lock and MOMO steering wheel, as well as new moulded door cards, and fresh rubber door seals. Looking forwards, you’ll also notice a USB charging point, along with a series of new dials, including a rev counter, GPS speedometer, turbo boost gauge, voltage gauge and oil pressure gauge.
The rear of the vehicle also received its fair share of love during the restoration process, sporting a sandblasted, painted and raptor-coated rear tub, new galvanised cappings and door tops, as well as a new Purely Metal galvanised heavy-duty roll bar. Atop the galvanised frame sits a brand-new black hood, offering crystal clear windows, and a superb, waterproof finish. There are of course also two rear benches, both of which reflect minimal use, retaining a rather tidy finish indeed. 

Overall, the interior of this Defender is in fantastic condition and offers a welcome selection of upgrades, with plenty of comforts to enjoy. With absolutely minimal signs of use throughout, it certainly leaves very little to be further desired. 

The Exterior

  • Expertly restored, with a fresh coat of Audi Nardo Grey paint
  • Fitted with an impressive list of new, and galvanised components
  • Features modular steel rims, with 35” Kumho mud terrain tyres
  • Offers a superb finish, fresh from the restoration process
Having been subject to an incredibly thorough restoration at the hands of King Rig Customs, this Defender now sports a fresh coat of Audi Nardo Grey paint. As the paintwork was rather recent, the exterior retains its restored finish brilliantly, offering a very glossy finish, free from noticeable defects, or blemishes. 
Underneath the fresh paintwork sits an impressive list of new components, including a brand new ‘Ultra’ galvanised bulkhead, new SP Panels front wings, new SP Panels galvanised doors, a new SP Panels galvanised rear door, new galvanised inner wheel arches and a new genuine Puma bonnet, with Optimill security hinges. 
The fresh paintwork and aforementioned galvanised components are further accented by the likes of new extended wheel arches, new heavy-duty galvanised rock sliders, new black billet & stainless mesh intake covers, and a genuine Land Rover aircon grille with new stainless hardware, and black stainless mesh top and bottom. 
The vehicle was also fitted with a new style Defender wheel cover at the rear, and a galvanised front bumper, with new Ring LED daytime running lights, inset into a set of sleek black billet holders. 
Completing this Defender’s exterior upgrades are a set of gloss black modular steel rims, which are in sublime condition all around. These tidy wheels come wrapped in a set of 35” Kumho mud terrain tyres, with plenty of tread to enjoy. 

The Mechanics

  • Powered by a 5.9L Cummins six-cylinder, paired with a five-speed Spicer gearbox
  • Features a heavy-duty Reece Myers transfer box, and custom heavy-duty prop shafts
  • Equipped with an air-over-hydraulic system, assisting braking, clutch operation and the handbrake
  • Converted to 12V electrics, with a full professional re-wire, a new battery, galvanised 13-pin towing hitch, as well as new LED headlights, side lights, indicators and rear lights
  • Features a new fuel tank, and rubber lines
  • Freshly serviced, with new fluids, belts and filters
  • Runs and drives brilliantly, with plenty of power to enjoy, and MOT until June 2024
Fitted by the previous keeper, the 5.9L six-cylinder is said to have covered around 70K miles, which by Cummins and diesel standards is impressively low. The engine is mated to a five-speed Spicer manual gearbox and is then believed to be combined with a heavy-duty Reece Myers transfer box. The transfer box utilizes a custom-made conversion plate and custom-built heavy-duty prop shafts
Adding to the impressive specification list is a custom stainless steel exhaust, as well as a new radiator, and an adjustable thermostatically controlled electric fan. The vehicle has also been converted to 12V electrics, featuring a new HD Bosch battery and battery isolator, and a full professional rewire. 
Underneath, this 90 boasts Salisbury axles front and rear and has recently undergone a rear axle refurbishment. The vehicle is also fitted with an impressive air-over hydraulic braking system, with 300mm drilled and grooved front discs, four-pot front calipers, and large rear drums. In addition to assisting the clutch and handbrake, the two rear-mounted air tanks also come fitted with an air drier, and air take-off fitting, ideal for inflating tyres.
Buyers will be pleased to know that the impressive specification is indeed put to good use, and the vehicle performs fantastically. The torquey Cummins engine and generously sized Holset turbo provide smooth ample power and combine brilliantly with the aforementioned upgrades for a thoroughly enjoyable, and very capable machine. 
With fresh fluids, filters and belts, an advisory-free MOT until the 15th of June 2024, and no known mechanical issues to note, this beast of a Defender is ready to hit the road. 


The Defender has long been the go-to choice for a wide range of motorists, for its impressive practicality, and off-road capability. As if the standard vehicle wasn’t capable enough, this particular 90 now boasts a whopping 5.9L Cummins engine, with an incredible array of high-end upgraded components.
In addition to its mighty specification, the vehicle has also just been subject to an incredibly thorough restoration, and now offers a truly fantastic opportunity to obtain a superbly upgraded and specced example of everyone’s favourite utility vehicle. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1988
  • Make Land Rover
  • Model Defender 90
  • Colour Grey
  • Odometer 4,113 Miles
  • Engine size 5883
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Wirral
  • Location Merseyside
  • Country United Kingdom

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