The dude has an AX15 in it, says so right in his signature.
Call me stupid, but I'm not understanding the issue here. If you don't wheel it paint it. If you do wheel it swap out the dirty 30 or run it till it blows.
You already have 1 piece shafts, in the 20 throw a truss on there, weld the tubes and it should live. I never popped an axle shaft even with the 2 pieces and a 360 on 35s. I'm the exception though it seems since many folks blow them up attempting to back out of the driveway.
My personal vote is wheel it.
Its a good looking Jeep, but we can see the dents and dings in the back corner, if rust removal and dent repair are lumped in with the paint go for it.
I see you also have the 4:1, more or less useless/trivial if its just a street jeep.
I would do the following in this order:
1. Fix anything broken/maintenance related, leaky wheel cylinder, worn u-joint, broke this, etc. that.
2. Fix the rust while you still stand a chance at it.
3. Weld the tubes and truss the 20.
4. Think about a front axle swap if you plan on wheeling it.
In reality I think you could fix the rust + get it painted and choose between get lockers + regear (if you think you need it), or swap the front to a 44 or something a little more substantial. I think a good balance between paint and offroad goods would work out best for you. You get a great looking jeep in any color you want, and a sweet off road machine.
I would think you would be able to paint it and throw some 1 piece axles in there for $2500.
She should be able to take you just about anywhere you want to go just the way she is,
Lockers are great but being a good driver and picking good lines are just as important.
Try not to go heavy with the right foot and she'll hold together (cross your fingers)...besides a little street racing is just
as fun as tearing up the trail....imo.
I agree with the paint it option. I would like to put lockers in mine but the reality is that I just don't wheel it. I take it up to deer camp a couple of times a year and we will take it out to bait or pick up a deer and I take up when we go to the cabin. Other than that, it is on the street. I get more satisfaction from the gawkers than the trails.
In the end, of course, it depends on what your goal is.
'76 CJ7 Quadra-Trac 304 2.5" superlift 1" body lift 33" DuraTrac's
2014 Grand Cherokee Altitude
I am doing an LS1 CJ7 build and here's my opinion after many months of deliberation. My CJ will spend most of it's life on the road, but I want it to be capable when I do take it off road.
Rear axle: With an LS1 the CJ needs a strong rear axle during daily driving anyways. This way you can actually drive it like it has an LS1 in it when you really want to and not worry about breaking anything. Without a strong rear axle you're shorting yourself because you don't get the full potential of the Jeep. I picked up a Ford 8.8 from a salvage yard for $150. You can get the axle flanges redrilled to 5x5.5 for $60, buy some new spring perches ($30) and now you have a decent axle that will not break the bank ($240 total). Also, this axle is about 59" WMS which is about wider than the CJ widetrack (about the same as a YJ). This will give you better handling and road manners, but you'll want to change your front axle as well.
Front axle: Not as important as the rear on the road, but off road it isn't even in the same ballpark so it'll be the first thing snapping when you hit the trail. Dana 44 is the answer. Out of all the options the two that are the most cost effective is finding a Wagoneer front for about $300-$400 or cutting down a Dana 44 from a late 70s Chevy truck/blazer. You can find a Chevy dana 44 for about $100 and there's one for every square mile in the US. The waggy option is harder to find and the chevy option is more involved. With the Chevy option you also have to change the lug pattern from 6 to 5x5.5. I can give you more details through pm, but can be done for less than $500 total (including the axle).
This setup also gives you 4 wheel disc brakes which will help stop your speeding bullet. So for less than $800 you can do the axles and that leaves you $1700 for other stuff like ARBs, stronger driveshafts, YJ spring conversion, power brake conversion, etc.
A great paint job would be nice, but it's a 30 year old vehicle that you are not going to be taking to the show. Think about how content you will be being able to take your jeep offroad without it breaking at the first sight of a boulder.
Jhughes2013. This direction seems good. For that kind of money I can probably afford to get axles and get it painted. It means I will have to do more of the prep work myself, but that's part of the fun. I sent you a pm asking for details.