glad you decided not to do this. thinking of it from his point of view, he would be buying a very low mileage jeep for 4000 and trading in his possibly damaged high mileage jeep off to you. i suppose it's a fair trade if his jeep is in good working condition. do either of you have a d44? but just for a paint job doesn't make it worth the time to settle all the documents at the dmv and what not.
i agree cutting that body lift down to an inch will help with your t-case linkage problem.
2003 Rubicon, 4.0L, 5SPD, Custom 4.75" lift, 33" MT Baja Claws
1999 SE, 2.5L, 5SPD, sold it
PM me for wheeling in and around Northern Illinois