Yeah it has 3.55 gears right now front and rear.

I just don't want to spend $500 and end up with factory gears.

That's what lead me to buying an entire junkyard axle and swapping it in last year; I didn't want to spend the money for a regear and end up with factory gears.
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A Lada with manually adjusted drum brakes sounds like a fantastic car.
2000 Cherokee / 2011 Focus