I am about to turn 18 here and go off the college (Chico St). I currently drive a '96 sr5 v6 that has ~225,000 miles, it was a grocery getter and kid hauler for 210,000 of that and has been well maintained the thing is mechanically sound. I personally have had my heart set on a 4th gen but there is no way I would be able to even come close to splitting that with my parents as i do want to pay for what ever i get. Then i started looking around at 98-00 runners to see what was out there and price ranges. On the drive home from school today, it kind of hit me. Up in the Chico area, i would really like to go camping and find some trails have have a good time. I have been reading long enough to realize that 3rd gens with locked rears are VERY capable. I want to start looking at what i could do to my truck, I'm not really sure what i want to do with it. I personally don't really like pre-runned trucks so i don't think i want to go that route.
I was thinking maybe a 3" lift (the current shocks have seen better days so they will need to be replaced soon anyway), maybe some 285s, gears and a locker, possible a bumper and sliders and i think that would be a very good start. I need some suggestions on this and i would like to see what this would cost because i think it would be a much better option rather then getting a while new(er) truck.
Thanks for any and all suggestions
Edit: should probably mention this is the model with the 225 tires