Might have to rely on those e-lockers saving my bacon. The chain drive case does have better reduction than the stock 4cylinder case. I'm making these considerations NOW as I'm about to put mounts and cross member in.Granted this is mini-truck info, but having the double setup is REALLY nice for all kinds of gearing options. It kind of sucks with just the 4.7, because you have road gears and crawler gears, but nothing in between. If you were just crawling, sure - why not. But the majority of my rigs use has always been road gears and just the stock transfer case gearing. Sure, occasionally I wished I had a doubler. But not that often. I would be inclined to keep the stock chain case and upgrade from there if a need arises.
The 80 series suspension design is pretty proven. Keeping it all attached to the frame and just stretching the 40 body onto the chassis makes the most sense to me. Custom suspension(links,coils,etc) sometimes turns into a headache sometimes. I have been working very slowly for the last year on the bj74s coilover/link setup and am just now getting to where is setting just right where i want it.
As I said, I have a fairly clear picture in my head of what I want to do and it would have involved stretching the frame on the 40. This, although it sets my timeline back a bit seems like the best bet to get my goals accomplished. I posted the body and drivetrain on the local page for free if someone wanted to remove the body and drivetrain they could keep it. I hope someone needs it.
That's actually fairly close to what I have in mind. Appearance wise. I want it to be really understated....on 38's. Some simple color, smoke grey or tan...Yeah this was quite a few years ago, I'm not sure why the body was placed where it was, but I'm assuming there was a reason it's that way. It had a 1FZ and all that. A VW diesel would be much easier to play with body placement and frame cutting.
Now the best "45ish" on an 80 series frame setup I know is @Waggoner5 's FJZ45, which I think went to 2UZ power. There is A TON of custom work on that one.
I messaged the MOD of this section to move it over to hardcore for me, as of yet it hasn't happened...Gary's 45 was one of the best builds with a Cruiser ever. I've been all over that one in person and it was done 100% right.
@HandForged you will get a bit more help and knowledge on the hardcore section for builds like this than here in the 40 section.
Lots of guys there know how to cut and paste this truck onto that truck... etc.