You seem to be in the same boat i was in a couple months ago. Here is what i have done (partially) and this is my .02 on what you should do.
I'm new to CJ-7s
***** I am too, isnt it fun, lol
1985 CJ-7 inline 6 w/ auto tranny. 35" tires
***** Awesome beginning, Bad tranny. I am doing a T-18a swap now. It was a bitch finding one but it is highly recommended by all the Jeepers.
Crappy 5" shackle lift (The first thing that I'll get rid of!)
***** That sounds scary. 5" Overall shackle lift??? Junk that and go for a 4" Superlift
Decent frame and body
***** THat alone is worth $1000
Stock hardtop and doors (BIG )
***** I am Jealous
Possible dying rear end (I didn't notice any problems but the owner said it's going [psychic?]
***** Going, meaning a bearing or something small, or a ring and pinion???
and a stock "dying" carb (Some yokel messed with the hoses and the current owner just fiddled with the fuel mixture to compensate the problems)
****** Trash that immediately and get a Weber 32/36mm. They are great on gas and great on the rocks in tippy times. Not a big HP monster though. ONly $350 /-
Also, someone down the road kinda trashed this puppy. Nothing specific enough to define but she's beginning to look a little tired.
***** All CJ's look a bit tired. Looks arent anything. LOL
The price is only $1,000.00 Not bad for an entry level CJ. Can anyone give me some areas of concern and rough estimate on what a used stock axle would cost to replace?
***** if you are looking to replace the stock axle with the same thing. You will be in luck. A lot of people that do serious wheeling HATE the AMC20 and will be selling the WHOLE thing CHEAP. BTW, what is the vehicle going to be used for??
Of Course This Is Just My .02
Good Luck With Your New Toy
New England 4x4 Club
79 Jeep CJ-7