Hello all. This would be my first post on this forum so please, be gentle. Anyway, I'm am a motor head. I'm into bikes, cars and trucks. I have wanted to get into wheeling for a long time but never bit the bullet. An opportunity presented itself recently and I need to gather some data before pulling the trigger. I'm open to opinions, options and info that could be useful.
The deal: I own a 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 with a transplanted 383 big block. It's a project car but runs and drives. It's for sale but not advertised. I have many plans for it but no place to work on it. It's been sitting around for the last few years, only getting driven occasionally in the summer.
I was offered a 1992 Cherokee (pic bellow) in trade for it. I went to look at it today and it is trail rig despite the owner saying it's streetable. I'll give the specs as best I can remember. I don't speak Jeep or 4x4 fluently so please forgive me.
The Cherokee is lifted 6" or so (rough county kit), has a long arm kit installed, front skid plate, winch with cab only controls, a HO engine out of a '94 Jeep, aux lights all on relays, dual electric fans, front axle is a Dana 30, can't remember what the rear is but it's stock-ish, rock guards, newer 33/11.5/15 Super Swampers, all ignition components mounted in the glove box, long rear shocks with top mounts in cab, fuel filter relocated in cab, dual battery set up with batteries in cab, the pinion yolk has been modified to prevent the u-joint bearings from spitting out the sides and the rear diff is welded essentially making it spooled. The body is pretty beat up but all the glass is in it and all the doors open and shut with no problems.
Here's my dilemma:
I am looking for a rig that is actually streetable and will have no problems hitting some trails. I'm not looking for a beauty queen cuz I don't wanna get all butt hurt every time I put a dent in it. I believe this thing is not street ready due to the tires and rear axle. The axle being welded will either cause shafts to break or destroy the tires on the pavement. I don't have a trailer or my own to haul it to/from the trails in my area and they're about 30-45 minutes away, some of it highway. I also don't like the welded gears. I 'm not a fan of that unless it's in a derby car. I feel with swapping tires and putting in a locker, this thing will be better suited for occasional street driving.
Since I'm in new territory I would very much appreciate any advice, opinions or whatever you got to assist me. I've looked at tires and wheels (I'd like black wheels like the AR767's and maybe a set of Nankang mudstars), but need some guidance on the rear axle. Is it better to swap out the whole axle with a stronger unit? What unit should I go with? If I keep the current axle and swap the carrier gears, should I install a locker or will a posi-track limited slip unit be fine? If I do this trade, how much am I gonna need to pull out of my wallet to get this thing safely on the street? I'm not looking to make this a daily driver.
Again, I would like to here what you folks think. Thanks.