There is a Canter engine 4P10-T6 which is very similar to the 4M41 in capacity, horsepower and torque and, at 3.0 litres, about the same size. Comes with a 5 speed manual or 6 speed auto which also has manual mode. Good thing about those gearboxes is that 1st is lower but only 5th in the manual or 6th in the auto is overdrive, rather than the overdriven two top gears in the later Tritons. First gear, at 5.4 would give you a very handy low first and the ratios of the other gears are a bit closer. Even comes with an exhaust brake.
Just change the whole engine and gearbox. Plus computers and various other bits. Wouldn't be cheap (maybe $15K?) but with a bit of tuning would give Pajero like performance. Bit of other engineering to sort out but might be easier than trying to mate that gearbox to the 4M41. Worth it on a 15 year old ML? Probably not, but would make a fun project.
If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay us to do it?