I do not see a downside on the IFS other than the "look" for your intentions..The S-10 Blazer or similar would be a good starting point for what you contemplate..I use the following recipe for building a "brush buggy"
I strip the body off saving all the wiring and such by unplugging it..Move the engine back so the front pulley is 10/12 inches behind the centerline of the front axle..this requires relocating the motor mounts and cross member to suit..Trim the rear frame rails off just past the rear spring mounts and weld in a crossmember there..
Cut the cowl firewall and floor pan out of your body and remount that in the rearward location..then it is a matter of extending the steering shaft to meet up with the steering box in the stock location..
Optional is to replace the stock frame rails with box tubing as it looks nicer and makes the job more finished. Putting a roll cage on allows for having a windshield and Allows a bikini top which is nice in the rain and also shade in the hot sun..Mount some kind of PU box for carrying stuff..the spare tire mounts up on the rear of the roll cage..Gas tank is in the bed to be up and away from damage..
Remove the sway bars to allow the suspension to "work"..
Careful as this can be addictive and joining in on some 4wd drive runs can be just "too much fun"
I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..