I'd suggest replacing the fusible links before you beat the snot out of the truck since they seem to get brittle as they age and will shut you down if they go. Pretty inexpensive part. I'm sure you already knew that.
There is a mod for the temp gauge to get it to read more accurately, but I'm at a loss for that info right now. Can a Scan Gauge be used on a 1994 (pre-OBD2)?