Saw all that. Called All Pros a while back, basically they estimated the price to do the front swap, including a diamond axle and labor, to be around 15k, not including the wheels and tires. Then you gotta beef up the rear too. Was quoted similar price by a couple local fab shops. Local guys also discouraged me, someone else local had All Pro do it and there were geometry issues and such that persisted, were not very happy with the results. Another guy who lives around me just had a shop in Cali do his, both front and rear, all in, 40K. Local fab shops quoted me about 8k for the Taco front swap, 10k with bringing the rear up to spec. And apparently electronics and such are compatible. These are the numbers I got from my research. Again, add the current value of the FJ, plus the bad visibility on the trail, and kinda makes no sense to do it.
I have been really torn about this as the FJ puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. It just is not a good platform for a crawler and, based on what I have read and lots of people I talked to, you can spend a nice chunk of change and still not have that good a crawler.
Feel free to challenge my numbers.
Agreed about the FJ not being a good dedicated rock crawler. I'm building an '84 Hilux truggy for this. 5.3, 4L60E, Marlin Dual Case, Chevy Dana 60 kingpin, 14 Bolt rear, 5.38s, 40"ish, custom bed, blah blah. I've got most of the parts and the truck and have less than $3k in all of it, so it's a more logical choice. An avenue like this may be a good suggestion, I'd probably do a 4Runner if I wanted more interior space for kids/dogs/lady friends, etc.