Thanks gerg, great info.
I've looked at the steering shaft input vs output and it's where most of the free play is.
I'm thinking the advice from deankdx about the pedders check might be a good idea, although they're typically conservative and over recommend repairs.
I'm hoping to get some time on the weekend to have a more serious look at it and your tips above will help immensly, thanks.
At this point I'm starting to think that unless I can find conclusive evidence of recently replaced parts I'm going to assume that everything is 38 years and 360,000k old and is going to get redone. Think I'll see what a Pedders quote looks like, and where I can save some cash, but I'm also of the opinion that penny pinching with suspension/steering/brakes isn't usually the best option.
Thanks again guys.