What is the casting number of your vortec heads? (under the valve cover)
New, recent GM Parts heads or the original '96 to 2000 GM OEM L-31 truck heads, or after market copy?
Apparently the new/recent GM service heads are from Mexico and do not flow the same as the old OEM L-31 heads or make as much power. (typically down 20hp according to some engine builders dyno results)
Hmmm I did not know this about the mexico castings, my 062 castings were from scoggin dickys and there was "assembled in mexico" in the casting? 20hp is a huge deal. I researched the hell out these heads and that info never came up before now, makes me wonder...I would like to know more about this
I have recently done the same vortec swap and have a comp XE 12-235-2 grind which is a 210/218 dur @ 0.050 with 447/462 lift and 111 lsa 4x4 cam. Also used 41 thou gasket, performer EPS with edy 1405 carb, 1 inch spacer, headers. Cam is straight up and run 12 deg initial adv, 45 total with the vac adv can, 3 spd tranny with 3.73 in a 72 C10. I am getting very good performance compared to my old 76cc heads, other than some valve train noise which I can't make go away. Also I made the mistake of not measuring the piston to deck height so I don't know the squench or the true CR. It will smoke the tires without dumping the clutch and break the tires loose when shifting hard into 2nd. There is something a-miss with your setup for sure.