Assuming you're still using the stock Conti AX4N, I'd strongly reccomend that you have it rebuilt and beefed up before you even think of bolting on a turbo. Just the stock torque levels are pushing its capabilities. There's a handful of guys out there that are pretty good with the AX4N. Doug at FPS is the first person that comes to mind. Even with a beefed up tranny though, I wouldn't try to add much more than 5-6 psi
. Upgrading the C/V axles is also something you're likely going to have to address sooner or later.
If you want to roll the dice with the tranny, at bare minimum I'd at least add the biggest auxiliary cooler you can find. I'd also avoid any excessive acceleration from a dead stop.
As for front vs. rear turbo placement, that depends on a few variables. The biggest one is going to be the turbo you use. If you're thinking of going for a cheap junkyard turbo setup, keep it up front. To get good results with a rear mount turbo without a ton of lag, you're going to have to run a much smaller exhaust turbine housing than you would if you ran it up front. Getting the A/R ratio correct is the biggest key to having a good performing rear turbo system. The installation will be much easier though, even with all the piping. If you are into the rear mount idea, you may want to check out STS Turbo Systems website or give them a call. They're really good at the rear mount setups and offer some fairly affordable universal kits.
The other big consideration is how you're going to tune the system. Tuning is going to be mandatory here for a few reasons, the biggest being that you're going to have to put in bigger injectors (and likely a larger fuel pump). A rear mount setup is going to be more difficult. It's not practical to mount the mass-air meter on the turbo inlet. The stock EEC-V computer and mass-air meter don't handle blow through applications well. Short of going to a stand-alone EMS, a front mount application is going to be your best bet here.