You need the 9-point axle nut socket (Lisle brand makes one; other likely as well). It's not required for removal of the nut, but you'll need it to set preload. It is a re-usable nut as well, though the SI indicates the retainer isn't (for some reason). The installation involves torquing to 52ft lbs (same spec as older 10.5s), loosen, and re-tighten finger tight until the key-way lines up. This in a condensed instruction, since it sounds like you've done this stuff before.
They're not stepper motors, but air core motors and seldom actually go bad (no real moving parts besides the needle itself). More than likely there's an issue with the truck farther upstream from the cluster, but it's not impossible for the motor to be bad. Be prepared to pay though if you attempt to repair it, as they run about $40 each for a new one, and then the calibration is a little more difficult than the '03+ clusters if you're doing it on a bench.
There is no "reverse band" (it's the 2-4 band) used in this transmission, just a reverse input clutch and a low-reverse clutch . Probable causes are either bad low-reverse clutch or low line pressure rise from the boost valve. Take it back to the rebuilder for repair/ warranty.
This^ I've been doing a bunch in recent years, for some reason, that I have can drive a truck in and out of my garage after swapping in a new trans (on jackstands, on my back) in about 6-7 hours on a half-ton Chevy, and that's with 4WD too. Anyway, the 3ft+ extension, preferably with a wobble end, is crucial. I alternate between a wobble extension, and swivel sockets, depending on the bolt position and angle of attack. Great extension, but that adapter on the end won't fit the 10, 12, and 2 oclock bolt positions, unfortunately. A short socket on a wobble end, or a swivel socket works best.
If your truck isn't moving, it's not a limp mode. The transmission can be completely unplugged (at the electrical connector) and you'll still have 2nd and 3rd gears, and reverse. Something else is wrong. Does it have reverse still? Can you tell when you're shifting into D or R (engine lugs a small bit), or does it do absolutely nothing?
Simply mixing Dexcool and plain green does nothing. It presumably takes heat and pressure of the cooling system to have any effect. Some years ago as a curiosity experiment, I mixed a jar of half Dexcool and half green and set it on the work bench for a year, and nothing happened. It was still a water-like consistency.
It was more than likely a bad intake plenum gasket, or lower manifold gasket(s) that allowed coolant into the oil. Most 3800's have suffered this failure. I have owned a few, and fixed many more, in addition to many 60* V6's as well.
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