Good luck with your build. I won't try to shoot you down but take what you want from my experience:
Bought my jeep at 20 (I'm 22 now)
Lifted it with a cheap RC lift kit.
Slapped on some 33x12.50 Duratracs
I got antsy and decided to do a motorswap. I thought...ehhhh...a 350 SBC wouldn't be too hard since I have my own welder and have a lot of experience with cars. The build turned into a 400hp 400 ft. lbs 355 SBC (that I built with the help of my buddy) because my power hungry side got the best of me.
Fast forward 6-8 months later
I finally got the jeep road worthy after spending about double what I originally intended.
Its been over a year since I started the swap and I still have some small things to do in order to be satisfied (for a little).
Moral of the story, I was young (still am) and dove head first into this project. I was in college and had money saved and worked 2 jobs in order to support myself as well as fund the build. I did ALL of the work myself and paid for every dime on my own. HOWEVER, if I were to factor in money, the supporting modifications (axles, gears, driveline, susp. geometry, etc,), time, effort, frustration, and unforeseen BS, I would say the project was 5 times what i though it was going to be.
Take what you want from that, but I dont see your project getting done very soon (or at all) with the expectations that you have and the skills (not to knock your know-how) that you have. Even if your buddy is experienced with welding/fabrication and cars in general he will not always be readily available to help you.
"Keep your booger hook off of the bang switch"
'88 YJ SBC 350 w/ goodies, SM465 Transmission, Ford 8.8 Posi, NP231 w/ MegaShort SYE, 3.5" BDS Lift, 5/8" Boom Shackles, 33x12.50 Goodyear Duratracs, Supertop, TJ Flares, Bedlined, etc.