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88 SS Monte Carlo 355 timing/tuning issues

  
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88 SS Monte Carlo 355 timing/tuning issues

 
jeremyt2-#002 jeremyt2-#002
New User | Posts: 12 | Joined: 03/07
Posted: 11/16/09
07:22 AM

I recently did a swap on my 355 in my 88 Monte SS. I swapped a set of stock iron heads with little gasket matching and 2.02 valves for Patriot 190s and a 244/265 lift small base circle cam for a Comp XE274. I'm probably around 9.5-1 with flat tops and the 64cc chambers, shortie Hedmans 1 5/8, factory 200/4R and converter, rebuilt distributor with street curve kit, adjustable vac adv(locked out right now)and hi volt coil, Wieand Air Strike intake. All in a 90 model block. My old combo was a long block crate rated at 300hp I ran low 9s with it on street tires thru the 1/8 at 77mph. After the swap I haven't been back to the track cause I don't wanna be embarrassed. After all was swapped when I rev this thing its really sluggish. I've tuned the carb played with timing til I'm sick of it. Vacuum gauges, by ear, by tach, in gear, outta gear, you name it. All except an actual dyno session. I started this project in Florida and since moved to Cheyenne Wy. Now I know what an altitude change like this will do so I've moved up from a 625 Road Demon Jr to a Speed demon 750 with annular boosters and 65 primary jets. I'm still sluggish and extremely rich, although it runs much better with the bigger carb. I haven't fine tuned the carb and timing since the change due to cold weather and no heat in the garage. I'm no tuning guru but I can usually do enuff to satisfy myself. My major concern here is when I installed the cam I used a manual for a 1990 C1500 to keep me honest, which told me align the marks on the timing gears at 12 o'clock on top gear and 12 o'clock on bottom gear. I did, against my better judgment. Now I know this isn't my sole problem as I have my work cut out for me here. But does anyone other than me think the gears are installed wrong  and that this would be a good place to start to put this engine back on track? This should be around a 400hp combo at the flywheel and right now it feels more like the stock 180 this SS came with from the factory. All inputs will be be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!