You can exchange the Samurai chunks, as long as you're swapping a front for a front Or a rear for a rear-- the side gears are different (yes, you can switch them, too) [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
Yes, you can swap just the front. Gear ratio is the same and the 3rd will bolt right in just like the original. You'll need the carrier and side gears out of the early model chunk if you decide to put a locker in the front. But if a locker will not be in your plans then I wouldn't worry about it. I think Suzuki went to a 2-pin carrier in 88.5, the 88 will have a 4-pin which is what you'll need for the locker.
The 88 year model sammy's have a slightly smaller axle diameter than do the 88.5 and newer models.If you have to change your rear you might want to find some front tracker or sidekick diffs they will fit perfectly in the housing and if you have a 88 or older they will accept the smaller shaft without any change to the spider gears.You'll need two front diffs and you'll get a 5.12 gearing ratio probably the cheapest way to gear down.They also make lockers for them.If you have any questions and I can help let me know.keep the 88 axles!!!!!