I've got a beautiful 4.88 Yukon Geared and ARB locked third member awaiting me in my garage. I like to be able to use 4WD, so yes, I'll be regearing my front reverse clamshell as well.
Called three shops nearby (Bellingham):
Shop A was $1200 and shop B was $1150. For just the front. Going with master install kits (Timken) and Yukon 4.88s. Shop A said that they only use "OEM" gear sets, because every other non-OEM brand will eventually "heat treat" itself and fail prematurely. I suppose that's kind of like when you've got to change your blinker fluid... Shop B sounded like a nice guy, and has been highly recommended to me from a few people. But he wanted $1150.
Yes, I understand that dropping the front diff is a pretty involved process, and does take time. But seriously, these prices are almost double a pre-assembled 3rd from ECGS. Seriously thinking about going this route..
Now, my second question..
I'm putting an ARB in the rear. It'll be $1675 for an ARB locked/4.88'd front diff. Seriously, seriously thinking about just biting the bullet and getting the front locked as well. I haven't wheeled the truck hard at all, yet. Have sliders, and a HC rear waiting to go on... Got plans to turn this into an Expo rig for the PNW and beyond. Plan on driving the truck on some medium to difficult trails, really hoping to make it down to Moab for the taco gathering this May. Basically, I don't want to skip locking the front only to regret it once I build my technical driving skills...explore more areas. What to do?
Also, going to be selling both complete rear 3rd and front reverse clamshell, with stock 4.10s within the near future. Seriously guys, these will be a quick, bolt on and go way to gear up to 4.10!
My "Wow this isn't going to be that expensive", bubble was quickly burst; especially after getting my rear third with ARB and 4.88s for less than half of new retail..