I will have plenty of experienced people to help me so dont worry about that. My priorities are most of all Find a strong rear end, lockers, gears then lift it and get tires.
What you are considering is trying to make a slik purse out of a pigs ear because you've got a fairly fresh engine. You're going to be pouring a lot of money into a Jeep that really won't do what you want it to do. By the time you're done you've made a Jeep with mechanical fuses in it... those fuses are:
- The transmission,
- the Transfere case,
- the Driveshafts,
- the U-Joints,
- the Yokes...
- and the list could go on
- and on.
IMHO, it may be better to sit down with all your experienced people and consider what you're going to do. They're not spending your money, you are... and you want the best bang for the buck.
I'd suggest that you simply keep the Jeep as it is, with the fresh engine installed and sell it. Then take the money you get from the Jeep and dump it into a different, more powerful platform for your build.
You'll be dollars ahead, have less headaches, less parts costs, less breakdown costs, and better fuel efficiency. That fresh engine may not be manna from heaven. It could be a milestone around your neck depending on the route you take. This could be a case of saving a penny and being pound foolish.
Think about what you're going to do, plan, plan, plan, then reconsider and plan some more before you act and commit. This is just a friendly warning that you are getting on an expensive treadmill you may not like; and it's hard to get off. There is no such thing as a cheap lift. Every lift has consequences, and your plan is no different.