Originally Posted by tresi
I missed the part about having 4.11's. That's plenty of gear but having a stall speed 1000 RPM lower that you torque curve takes off is killing you. Big cams with basically stock heads make for a real narrow spikey torque curve. A wide flat curve is what's gets it done on the street. You will quickly come to hate a really loose converter on the street. Swapping to a 3 speed manual is not going to be much of an improvement. 3 speeds are going to like a flat torque curve also. You'll be able to spin your tires a bit due to the energy stored in the flywheel when you dump the clutch but when the tires hook it will pull the motor down. Expect excessive RPM drop on shifts too.
And has there ever been a strong 3spd stick even made? And if so would it not be built back when christ was a cowboy?
Your machinist may be a pure genius, but the motors together now, so he isn't relivant anymore.
Start at the basics, remove Carb, set transfer slots, set float levels, confirm fuel pressure, verify tdc, lock the timing, and see what you have, the converter sucks for your cam but it should still idle okish and tear the tires off at will. As for your switch, its dead simple, like a monkey could do it, so don't fear that. Make sure you have or make a starter brace. These changes alone will likely help mileage, drivability and power. What are you waiting for?