All Figured Out!
so i finally figured this mess out. the main issue was a simple back spark plug wire, looks like it burnt out on the exhaust or something. but because the exhaust was wrapped it probably only shorted out some of the time.
when i replaced the spark plug wires (I bought some nice customizable MSD wires) I also bought a new MSD distributor. mine seemed to have a lot of play in it causing the timing to move around. also even with medium weight springs it never advanced more than 8 degrees when i should have been getting 20 degrees. the new distributor also seemed to make a big difference
I also changed the plugs, I'm sure a few of the old ones were fouled from running too rich.
thanks for all your help guys. good luck on your projects.