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Problems with T3.0 (17) and SR9.7/DN4000's

It's time for my monthly request for help in resolving the above.
Some helpful replies and/or dialog would be nice (there are a
few people who always respond).  Here's the scoop:

Config:  DN3xxx or DN4xxx, SR9.7, T3.0 (17)

1.  define-foreign interface doesn't seem to work quite right.  Some
    system calls don't return error codes but have no effect and other
    calls work sometimes and cause errors at other times.

    An example of the latter is gpr_$text.  I call it all over the
    place and there is one call that always fails that used to
    work just fine under SR9.5.1.

Config:  DN4xxx, SR9.7, T3.0 (17)

1.  GC breaks to the Z-system level (tell the implementors...) just
    before it finishes.  (RET) sometimes allows one to continue with
    out any visible problems but eventually this loses.

With SR10 around the corner and the requirement that all nodes in the
network must be running at least SR9.7 to be compatable these minor
annoyances take on great significance.  Basically, all our code is
about to break and there are no solutions in sight.  I'll be happy
to provide details for any of the above.  I also suspect that part
of the problem might go away if we could rebuild T under SR9.7.  Any
clues on how to do this would also be welcome.