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Land Rover Restoration Planning

     The Land Rover Restoration Planning Phase is a critical part of the process. The goal is to ensure that we have a 100% understanding of what you want, and expect, when we deliver the final restored Land Rover Defender. With proper planning, you save valuable time and money because we have laid everything out from start to finish. Inevitably there will always be small changes during the project but, keeping back tracking to a minimum aids with efficiency.

Types of Land Rover Defenders That we work on:

  • NAS Defenders 1993 to 1997
  • Gray market or rest of world defenders 1993 to 2016

Planning Begins with a Vehicle Inspection/Check-Over

Our customers come from all over the country. There are a lot of different reasons to send your defender to The 4x4 Center:

  • It’s worn out
  • Its got a lot of corrosion
  • Customer wants to upgrade / modify it.
  • Customer wants to change the color.
  • Customer wants to make sure it’s going to last for decades to come.

     We are happy to take a look at your pictures in advance but, until the Defender is in our shop & has been evaluated, it’s impossible to provide an accurate estimate. For example, we are seeing more & more gray market Defenders that have been made to look pretty but under close inspection, have a lot of problems, and poor workmanship.

     The environment, in which the Defender has lived the first part of its life, plays major role in which parts and areas wear out the fastest. Desert & very sunny environments tend to be harsh on plastics & paint. Locations near the ocean tend to see a lot of surface corrosion. Places where there’s winter, especially the Northeast U.S., that have heavy road salt see a lot of heavy underbody corrosion.

     A lot of new Defender owners, believe that Defenders don’t rust because they are made of aluminum. This isn’t true from two standpoints:

  • The aluminum corrodes due to the dissimilar metal reaction it has with steel, especially when you introduce moisture & salt. Evaluating the Defender in person is the only way to determine how far the corrosion may have gone.
  • There are a lot of steel components in defenders such as the frame, bulkhead (firewall), door frames etc. These were originally painted mild steel and tend to rust heavily depending on the environment the defender lived in and the amount of washing and care it received. To ensure a long lasting restoration, it is typical that most restorations begin with a galvanized chassis & galvanized firewall.

The first step is to get the Defender to The 4×4 Center facility in South Burlington, Vermont. 

  • Do you live out of state? Many of our Land Rover Restorations come from the North East and East Coast however; we've restored vehicles for customers from all over the world. Contact us to discuss how we make these projects possible.
  • We can provide assistance with trucking if needed. 

     In the event a full restoration is desired but the budget does not allow, we will create a plan that includes a series of smaller repairs to tackle over time to complete the restoration. We understand that not everyone has a bottomless bank account, and we work hard to find solutions that meet budgets as well as fulfill wishes.



     The backbone of every Defender is the chassis and the firewall. These were originally painted mild steel and tend to rust heavily depending on the environment the defender lived in and the amount of washing and care it received. Typically every restoration starts with a galvanized chassis & galvanized firewall.


Repairs / upgrades / modifications to consider:

  • Paint
  • Electrical 
  • Upholstery / interior
  • Tires
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Axle gearing
  • Exhaust
  • Suspension
  • Wheels & tires
  • Skid plates
  • Rock sliders
  • Locking axle diffs
  • Roof rack
  • Lights
  • Stereo
  • Power ports
  • Cooler / fridge
  • Hardtop to soft top
  • D90 to D110 or D130


     Once we’ve agreed upon a direction, The 4×4 Center will create a detailed outline of the project, including a computerized cost estimate and a line-by-line breakdown of the proposed build. At this point, we will have another in depth conversation with the customer, and make revisions to the estimate based on customer comments.

     When the line-by-line plan is finalized and approved, we get busy.



Open and regular communication is the key to all of our successful projects. At the 4×4 Center, we make sure it’s smooth process that puts you into the vehicle of your dreams.

Learn to get the most out of your Land Rover at The 4×4 Center Driving School. Check out the challenges that await you at our 1,100 acre facility in Bolton, Vermont. Use one of our vehicles. It’s a fun, educational experience you’ll never forget.

The 4x4 Center is a World Class Land Rover Restoration facility located in South Burlington Vermont, known for North East Land Rover Repair and East Coast Land Rover Restoration and, is in no way affiliated with Jaguar Land Rover of North America.