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 Bush Ranger kit purchased from John Davis, fitted to a 1987 Land Rover 120 (one twenty) ute. It began as a four door Bush Ranger then converted to a ute for extended trips to remote areas.

Toyota Landcruiser HZJ105R axles replaced the original Land Rover axles, mainly for the 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 this weakness was addressed by replacing the Toyota front differential 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 reduce the rear overhang, and the width was reduced from 2050 mm to approximately 1700 mm to blend in better with the cab on Bushie Ute and improve clearance on tight tracks. A rear winch, spare tyre, 130 litre auxiliary fuel tank, 70 litre water tank, recovery gear, etc. are located underneath the tray. A 120 litre long range fuel tank replaced the original Land Rover fuel tank, giving a total fuel capacity, main plus auxiliary, of 250 litres.

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 Tolga on the Atherton Tableland, protect the seats from mud, water, etc.