An Adrenaline Junkie's Rock Rover
Some of us retain an exceptional need for daily doses of adrenaline. Carey Steiner from San Diego, California, is no exception to the rule. Like most successful enthusiasts. she started off with something small at a very young age: a mini-bike. Her career as a true competitor blossomed a short time later while in high school when she was asked to join the motocross team. Soon thereafter, she found herself holding the title of Women's World Motocross Champion.
From then on, Carey's quest for competition has never ceased. She's built her own desert trucks and raced them in the SCORE Baja 1000 and LaRana Desert Racing series, and has competed in C.R.C.A. rockcrawling events, finishing Third in 2003, and slalom waterskiing.
Now, any day when she can break away from her job as a Los Angeles City Fire Department firefighter-paramedic, she attends every hard-core rockcrawling event and adventure she can get to. We met Carey in Moab, Utah, at the Easter Jeep Safari, 'wheeling her '95 Land Rover Defender 90. These are classic hard-core adventure vehicles and the preferred vehicle of many nations' military forces. They are extremely durable vehicles and are built in OEM form to endure an exorbitant amount abuse. Even though she has received some help building her D90, she is an accomplished mechanic and fabricator and has completed the majority of the build herself.
The factory 3.9L V-8 has received some modifications for performance. The head intakes were machined by West Coast Rovers in Lake Forest, California, and Carey installed some Headman headers. The D90 originally came with a five-speed manual transmission; this was swapped out in favor of a Rover ZF automatic transmission donated from a '97 Discovery. The factory LT230 transfer case was retained.
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Axle & Suspension Fabrication
About a year ago, the Defender was shipped off to Sunray engineering in Weatherford, Texas. There, the rig was fit with some custom Ford 9-inch axles. The axlehousings were shaved for ground clearance and then stuffed with 5:13 ring-and-pinions, ARB Air Lockers up front, a Detroit locker in the rear, and 35-spline shafts. Sunray also install AGR's hydraulic assist steering pump. A Safari Gard three-link J.E.K. stage III suspension was installed to handle Carey's aggressive off-road driving abilities. King reservoir shocks were installed to help control the ride.
Protection, Chassis & Comfort
Other custom work on the Defender includes handbuilt rocker guards from Safari Gard in Murrieta, California. Also included is a custom-built rollcage from Ryan's Custom Cages & Rock Buggy supply, custom front and rear bumpers, and other chassis modifications too numerous to mention. For safety and comfort, the interior was fit with PRP seats and five-point harnesses.
Carey's Defender has been a continual project over the past five years, and we suspect it will continue for years to come. She'd like to mention a special thanks to her sponsors: Pro Comp Tire and Wheel, M & G Auto Salvage, West Coast Rovers, Ryan's custom Cages, and Rock Buggy Supply.
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|Year/Make/Model ||1995 LandRover Defender 90 |
|Owner/Hometown ||CareySteiner, San Diego, California |
|Engine: ||3.9L V-8 |
|Transmission: ||ZF from a '97Discovery |
|Transfer case: ||LT230 |
|Frontend: ||Sunray Ford9-inch with ARB Air Locker |
|Rearend: ||Sunray Ford9-inch with Detroit locker |
|Ring-and-pinion: ||5:13 |
|Suspension: ||ModifiedSafari Gard Stage III |
|Tires/wheels: ||325/75R16 XTerrains/Pro Comp 16x8-inchers |