In the '66-'77 Bronco world, some folks are using the NV3500, which is a lighter duty 5 speed used in (I think) Dodge Dakota pickups. I wonder if this tranny wouldn' t have some appeal in a 'cruiser? I don't think it has a granny 1st. Like all NV products, there are improvements/enhancements/bugs to deal with on this tranny - and a few web pages that discuss these.
Colo Springs, CO
'78 FJ40, '89 FJ62, '98 4Runner