ok so doing more research and talking to others i've come to this thus far:
not supposed to be a track bar
leafs lean because of larger shackles
i got the jeep to move on its own power yesterday. the transfercase wasn't engaged fully. i pushed it all the way forward (4L), the 4wd light came on on the dash and after putting it in gear it started to drive out of the garage
this weekend im going to check the trans fluid to see the level and what it looks like. im told if it's really low it'd cause it to grind or it could be the throw out bearing.
also the SR-4 was only in 80-81 CJ7's also the narrow tracks last year was 81, in 82 the wide track came out. i measured my rear axle and it's 50" which means its a narrow track. i ran the VIN through my insurance company's website and it's an 82 so im guessing that it's an 81 drivetrain and frame with an 82 body.