you guys are just starting to broach what i have been thinking about...
here are some of my thoughts-
3.4 drivetrain (with 5 speed) to marlin crawler to split case. or, the 4.7 tundra to marlin to split. both produce (or can be made to produce) more horses than the 1FZ. torque is at a higher RPM than the F series, but with a marlin, that is solveable.
coil springs, ala proffitts. '40 axles. '80 would be nice, but i find it is hard to find them. aussie locker in rear, ARB/electric in front, 4.56 gears and 33x9.50 tires.
taco/tundra HVAC system fitted into the cruiser dash.
i should probably say that i am wondering if such a truck would be fesable for a resto-style production run, like the TLC Icon. ward does some great stuff with the Icon, but it is an aqualu tub and GM drivetrain on a cruiser frame. i wonder if it could be done, profitably, in small production and keep it all toyota. i would like to open a VERY small shop doing this kind of stuff.
unfortunately there are many things i dont know about restorations of vehicles, so i am trying to get an idea if anybody would even buy such a truck if it were priced at $45K or so, half of what an Icon is going for... i have mused jeff zepps resto site (great work jeff! keep it up!) and i think i could do a lot of that kind of resto work. this would become a full time job anyway, so having the time to actually do the R+D is there.
i have a business partner who wants to put up some investment capital to do this. i have the space, i have the money, and i can hire out to a quality shop for paint and body work. i am probably a 4 banana guy, so what i am thinking i would want is to have everything lined up waiting to be put together for final assembly. i would want to do 10 or so trucks per year and make them all the same...
this topic has launched into a massive discussion on the wasatch board and the idea is a monster one. the key would be finding people willing to pay $45K for a 'refreshed' 40. the idea being going after the market of people who think the FJCruiser is neat, but not a '40. those who buy toyota for its reliability, but dont want to mess with a carburetor and timing. unfortunately people who tend to frequent these boards LIKE tinkering with carburetors, so my question was really more to find out what good wheelers would want in a 'refreshed' truck. yeah, a turbo diesel would be sweet, but they are rare as rare can be... rolled tacos and tundras are becoming more and more common!