You've got a great basis for a minimalist expedition vehicle! In the early '70's I had a VW 1600 with cut out wheel wells and big tires. Went all over the Sierras and Baja. With the added clearance of the portal axels you will be able to go anywhere you want! Keep the open differental, just add cut brakes. Cut brakes let you control the power distribution and are better than a locker in low traction situations, especially with the weight over the drive wheels.
'03 Dodge, HO Diesel, 4X4, 6-speed, 3.73(LS), Quad SB, Vent Kit, Hankook 35 X 12.50 X17MT on H2 rims (w Bal Beads), PC diff guards, Kodiac side steps, Cobra CB, IAS Shocks, Chin Guard, Fuel Tank Skid Plate, ISSPRO Boost and EGT, Garmin GPS, Dynatrac hubs, 2mu filter & 392pump, DSS steering brace, Smarty Jr, Rear winch bumper w Warn M15000# winch and horizontal tire carrier.
'98 Buell S-1