I gotta side with christo here. either get a different truck, and swap over items, or build the motor correctly. Emotions are tough in these situations. a proper rebuild, from short block, could be 4k all said and done.
My thought is to find a cream puff 97, and start over. you have way too much invested in ancillary items that you could never get your investment back from, but I feel and think you would be better off with a better condition truck to rebuild from.
a near-death experience is just god following "catch and release" regulations...
john (johnny) henley