CDminter59, I did call MSD and they basically said that I am modifying a distributor in a manner that is not recommended for that particular unit so they can help me. They recommended I go to the adjustable one. Lol, was what I expected.
Cobalt327, that is the procedure I followed and listed next.
Ok, progress on the Holley.
* idle timing continues to be at 18 with a medium spring in the distributor that kicks in at 1200.
* got the primary and secondary transfer slots set at 0.020 and reversed the secondary transfer slot screw so I can adjust it on the fly.
* Started up the engine and adjusted the secondaries only to give me an idle of 1050.
* Fuel pressure reads at 6.5 (7 psi stock, but new, pump)
* Vacuum reads at 14 hg in idle (at 1050) and 5 hg in drive (at 560)
* choke is fully off.
Setting it at anything below 1050 caused putting it in drive to drop way to low (450) and the engine would stall. Putting it above 1050 caused it to start getting mechanical advance.
I have not yet played with any other components of the Holley (ex. jets, power valve etc).
* what controls the space between the idle rpm and drive rpm? how do I get the drive rpm to go up but leave the idle rpm at 1000?
* I am noticing that the idle is not always stable. It is stable during a particular run but if we stop the engine and turn it back on again it will run at 1150 next time so I have to adjust the secondaries again and the another time it will be at 1450 (mechanical advance kicked in) requiring me to adjust the secondaries again - any thoughts on why this happens?
Thanks for all your continuing help!
PS. Ordered the Holley Carburators book by Dave Emanuel. I'm sure that will help with the understanding. Should be in later this week.