Tales of a 3.9 litre Tdi Bushie Ute

Bushie Ute

“Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“There are many roads to ancient Rome and everybody will have to find his own.”

This is the story of “Bushie Ute”, a 1987 Land Rover 120 (one twenty) ute fitted with a Bush Ranger body kit purchased from John Davis. The Bush Ranger kit was originally the more popular four door version fitted to a Range Rover. For extended outback trips it was converted to an extra cab ute and transplanted onto a Land Rover 120.

Toyota Landcruiser HZJ105R axles replaced the original Land Rover axles, for a wider track, stronger half shafts and constant velocity joints, and better brakes. Landcruiser 105 series are notorious for breaking teeth on the front ring gear so the Toyota front differential was replaced with a H233B unit from a Nissan Y61 Patrol front axle. To allow stock Landcruiser half shafts to be used with the Nissan differential an ARB air locker (for H233B) was fitted with Landcruiser side gears. All other axle and steering components, apart from the differential unit, are Toyota Landcruiser.

The original aluminium tray from the Land Rover 120 was shortened to approximately 1800 mm, to allow space for the “extra cab”, and reduce the rear overhang. The tray width was reduced to approximately 1700 mm, to blend in better with the cab on Bushie Ute and improve clearance on tight tracks.

Located underneath the tray are the main and auxiliary fuel tanks, a 53 litre water tank, recovery gear, etc. A modified (pneumatic actuated free spool, etc.) Warn high mount winch mounted underneath the front of the tray can winch forward or backward. A 120 litre long range fuel tank replacing the original Land Rover fuel tank, plus a 130 litre auxiliary fuel tank  mounted above it, provide a total fuel capacity of 250 litres for long trips.

ARB Paratus “Pararally” seats (Paratus seats are now Paradrive) replaced the original Land Rover seats that were in poor condition. Excellent canvas seat covers, made by Dingo Seat Covers at Atherton on the Atherton Tableland, QLD, protect the seats from mud, water, etc.