Welcome, cant really help you with your questions, but as far as the steering goes i would think the actual column to the rack and pinion would be fine as the end links or tie rods would be the part to move up and down, i could be wrong though, but it seems the rack would go up with the truck, know what i mean?
you have a rack and pinion front end correct? if you do how are you going to put a lift blocks in the front end if its torsion bar setup, basing the information given from your year and truck that should have independent front suspension and r&p steering. Good luck getting a lift kit for that front end, its nearly impossible unless someone has the kit they made 6 yrs ago then stopped making because of the weak/poor quality, but all in all what you need to find is torsion keys, you will be able to achieve 3 inches of lift and you need to get the torsion bar key tool or you play hell getting it back together, as for the rear you can get blocks but i sometime suggest wedges to re-aim the rearend with the drive-line when lifting like that. anymore questions feel free to ask. This information is based off of a 01 dakota 4x4 00 up used independent 99down used straight axle, correct me if im wrong