Thanks a bunch for the feedback everyone! I'm glad to hear that no one feels that gearing down that low "ruined" the vehicle. I suppose if I really didn't like it I could always sell or trade the thirds for a stock set. I think for an initial upgrade this is a good way to go. I've got about 20k on the front and rear axle rebuilds so by the time I get around to it it will be close to the maintenance time for those anyway. It will be really nice to get out of the driveway without having to really get on the gas on a cold engine.
I'd plan on pulling the 3rds myself and then taking them somewhere to have the gears setup. I think i figured about 450 for the Nitro R&P's, then maybe 300-500 depending on if the "true" full master install kit is necessary or if the installer needs to replace the 2 smaller bearings.
What is the consensus on bearings? Are timken's acceptable or is it worth any extra to go with Koyos? Or maybe koyos's aren't' even available for some and there's no choice?
Thanks again everyone.
'97 lx450, 170k, factory lockers, ome 850/863, 285's, 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 )
'74 project pig (sold