The voltage regulator replacement solved my draining battery issue, but I still need to jump to start...even right after shutting the engine down. Battery tests okay, but not enough oomph to turn it over.
Steering problem is gone, but that seemed to appear as the battery (same one as now) drained due to lack of charging.
Unsure if the lack of cranking ability is part of the same issue, or perhaps a malfunctioning compression release.
Short on time for the next week or two to mess with it, and using the starter/charger for starting isn't that much of a problem for the moment.
I'll post further steps I take.