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I think I got it started again. Cleared the registry entries except for the basic entries.
Also, ZA would have definitely affected it. I had a custom rule for svchost.exe that would only allow it to access my DNS servers for DNS.
Made sure to stop the AU service.
Then, got rid of extra registry entries in the AutoUpdates:
Kept AUOptions (set to 3)
Changed AUState (from 7 to 2)
Kept ODFFile Url.
Deleted anything else
Then, went into Control Panel and set AutoUpdates to Automatically Download and then notifiy me.
So far it connected yesterday after the fix and once today. I have ZA set to notify me when svchost wants to connect. Each time it did, the Windows_Update.log file was updated at that time, so it's working.
It runs as a service.