Good to see you're not LS swapping it, AMC power all the way. The supply of old trucks and their parts are definitely drying up and cost a lot more than I remember from my days as a young man. I owned a '78 Levi edition widetrack with a 4 speed years ago, man that was a fun ride.
X2 on Irate4x4.
I know they made some open knuckle Dana 70 steer axles for Ford Fsuperduty 4x4 conversions and Chevy medium duty 4x4 conversions. The ones I've seen and worked on were 1980s and 90s rigs. I have one from a early 90s Ford Fsuperduty tow truck. They had 10 lug hubs and used Dana...
Speedos are year 'round wear, just wear GoreTex speedos in the winter.
I grew up in northern CA near the coast, there's something just awe inspiring about being on the beach in a raging winter storm. Makes a person feel very small and insignificant compared to mother nature.
Nice job. The 8LL is going to be so much more betterer than your old 545 boat anchor. Your bus will be able to leap tall mountains in a single day now without overheating or running away on the downhill. Good job on replacing the rear main seal while you were there too.