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Accessing the chain is not a simple afternoon project, as it involves removing the engine; it's circling the crankshaft on the backside if I recall correctly. I had Ford do it for me as I was nearly failing smog. Cleaned everything up and got a nice smooth idle back too. Did it for the first time at 160,000 +/-.
Sounds to me like your clutch plates in your tran are on their way out. I had at 166,000 a hard time getting into 2nd gear from 1st. I changed it out of concern over getting stuck somewhere. You may also have a vaccuum leak which is in turn causing issues with the shifting. Vaccuum leaks are typically cheap to fix.
Make sure your throttle body's clean too, if you have buildup, your valve may not shut all the way, which would also result in the truck pulling harder than it should at a stop when in gear, but not reaching the same rpm count since not moving and stuck in gear.
If both the brake lights and reverse lights are coming on together at the same time, there's an electrical issue. If their behavior is reversed, just move the bulb from one part of the lens to the other, as they use the same socket. The brake lights need to be the dual-filament as they have two stages of lighting (lights and actual signal/brake),
These older cars actually use individual gauges that can by themselves go bad, I've had my voltmeter gauge replaced on my 91 (was told it's not hard to do). Aside from that, the sensor lead's out, or there's another electrical issue.