I can sympathise with you. I bought an 85 with 81,000 miles on it and too many years of Texas heat. All of the rubber on the suspension parts is/was cracking. I still have the creaking front end. I imagine it is partly due to the spring pads. I also had to replace the "brake force guide rod bushings" or "caster control rod bushings" or 10 other terms for those dang big ole bushings. I can tell you this...with the springs in, it was a PAIN to get the parts lined up again to get it all back together.
I also had a clunking noise coming from the center support bearing of the drive shaft. You could feel this one with your hand over the hump in the rear floor board.
Good luck! I still have to replace the rear subframe bushings and differential support, as well as the upper control arms in front.