Re: Lift is here.. questions
Okay, Did the kit come with new control arms? Because the illustration looks like an aftermarket one. Obviously the gusset is there for a reason, so NO I wouldn't drive it without it! The add-a-leaves work by adding to the total height of your springpack, thus lifting your ride height, and adding a little more "arch" to the pack.
On the welding, it should not cost alot to do, BUT it needs to be done when installing the lift as the clearance and the placement of the gusset needs to be exact to your truck. I suspect that Explorer Pro-Comp added the gusset after they found out that the factory control arm wouldn't clear the spindle, thus they needed to cut the arm, then add a gusset to strengthen it, becuase the ball-joint is right there(a highly stressed peice!).
Ideally, EPC would have supplied you with,or offered to you as a trade-in, modified control arms as a part of the kit.
I would make sure I got my brake lines, then right them a letter telling them how you were lied to by the guy on the phone. I've seen them pull a few shady things before with other lifts. Well, good luck to you with it. I hope that you are satisfied with it in the end. Oh, yes do take some pics when you do it. We LOVE PICTURES!
1989 GMC S-15 4x4 4.3L/700R-4, 3.08s, 31" Sport Kings For Sale
1985 S-10 4x4 Soon to have 3504BM/TH350/D44/14FF, 35" Boggers