Wow...it's been an interesting few hours since I started looking into this further.
Long story short, I had used the VIN off of the dash/windshield for my insurance stuff, and never confirmed it was the same as the sticker inside the door or on the title.
I've had the jeep for 7 months and have been working on it slowly. Today, as I was realizing that the color I had was not flame red but chili pepper red, I realized that was only available in 1998 and 1999.
I checked the sticker and the title, and sure enough, it was different from the windshield.
I then realized that the PO had to replace the entire dash after some twit broke into his car and cracked a bunch of stuff trying to steal the radio and other goods.
The dash VIN is under the top piece, but isn't stamped into the metal frame, but instead riveted to the dash piece underneath. So when the whole dash frame got changed, the VIN changes.
So, I now have a 1998 instead of a 1997 like I assumed (I can't believe I never looked at the title), and I already did the Progressive dance to chance the VIN to the right one (glad that didn't come out in an accident).
Does anyone have any idea what I should do about the wrong VIN on the dash?
My hunt for doors continues, I've realized I am going to have a hard time finding the chili pepper red in full doors, so I've resigned myself to trying and find other doors in good shape and getting them painted.