Gear ratio isnt a big deal, so long as it has 31 spline axles. I think that I have found a steal on one off a 1995 2wd.
if its more than 5$ its not a steal.
you will be FAR better off knowing what ratio you have, and finding an appropriate 8.8 with the same ratio.
unless you are going to completely rebuild axles with new ring pinion, bearings etc.
xcaliber, wheel spacers are fine. just make sure you use locktite on the bolts holding the spacer to the hub and hand tighten them to the appropriate torque. take your time with these things. make sure they are tightened correctly etc. they are just fine.
last word for now; regearing an axle, even if its out, will likely come to 300$ - 500$ thats without labour. then keep in mind you are asking a mechanic/friend what ever to do about 500$ worth of work, using 1500$ worth of their tools, to save you money.
all i'm saying is this is a lot of work...... plan accordingly
maybe your mechanic dad can do a gear swap for you! family HAS to help lol