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1985 2wd base Newbie build suggestions

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Old 08-02-2017, 03:33 PM   #1  
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1985 2wd base Newbie build suggestions

So I recently had a chance to go off-roading in Sedona for the first time and caught the bug. Rather than do the smart thing and buy a 4wd capable truck, I want to explore some of my future short-term and long-term options with my current truck, with an emphasis on getting the most bang for my buck, with relative ease. I'm thinking about doing the following upgrades in order over the next few years, with an emphasis on long term value and opening myself up for a 4WD. Feel free to answer any of the many stupid questions I've presented..

I. Suspension

Currently, my entire front end is shot and the shop recommends that I replace Front & Rear Shocks, Radius Arm Bushings, Upper Control Arm Bushings, Center Link, and Inner And Outer Tie Rods. So I figure this is as good a time to upgrade as any. At the moment I am looking at getting a Fabtech 3.5" suspension lift kit. Some mention that the truck will still ride a little low toward the read after installation, and I've been looking at 4crawler for some body lift options (http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/ForSale/...ft.shtml#GenII)

Body Lift Questions (Note: I have a 2WD Automatic):

1) Other than the fact that I may look a little douchy, is there a technical reason I should not go with a 3" lift option?
2) The typical kit seems to be the (D) Ultimate Lift Blocks, Standard grade hardware, (FB) Front bumper brackets--listed as 4WD only, and (RAD) Radiator drop brackets. Should I even bother with the (FB) option if I have a 2WD?

What about the other body lift items listed?
3) (SL) Shift lever extension, does it apply to automatics?
3.5) The A/T bracket and extension are for the 4wd model, should I go ahead and skip them for my truck?
4) (SE) Steering shaft extension?
5) (BS) Bed Spacers?
6) (P) Polyurethane cab mount bushings?
7) Is there a better kit I should be looking at aside from the one provided by 4crawler?

II. Accessories and winches

As far as functionality and getting stuck in the mud, I was thinking about getting a winch.

8) Do you guys have any mid-range winch recommendations?
9) Anything else worth looking into?


10) If I go with a solid-axle swap, I imagine I should skip the 2WD Fabtech lift option?
11) What axle is best for this and would be good for a future 4WD conversion? (Not sure if I read it correctly, but I think its been mentioned that using a Chevy S10 axle works and is better? If so what years?)
12) Is there a conversion kit or other parts I should consider before committing the solid front axle? (i.e. do all the other suspension and steering components change?)
13) What suspension lift should I consider with the axle? ProComp?

IV. Transmission

My A340 automatic is on its way out (it leaks and struggles going into overdrive). I am thinking about doing 5-speed conversion in the future. I already have a clutch pedal assembly sitting in the garage and shorter drive shaft.
14) Should I be on the lookout for a W56-A transmission or something else, if I retain the 22R? Or if I want to go 4WD in the future (I know advanced Adapters makes such a transfer case adapter..)
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