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You changed to much to fast. There are to many "could be's" at this point.

I would pull the motor and then start by pulling that balancer, timing cover, and drivers head.

Here is a easy to understand video on degreeing a cam.

Ok now thats done and everything is set at to put your heads on( new gaskets).

Ok now our timing is set and we know what our cam numbers are. You can put on the timing cover, balancer, then rockers. Inspecting the pushrods and rockers where the pushrod hits the rockers at that time. Give the springs a look while your here looking for any damage etc.

Ok now our valves are all correct. You can throw on the intake. Before you put the gasket on set the clean intake on the heads "dry" with no gasket. Your looking for any gaps between the head and intake. You can set a low profile led light that wont hit the intake in the valley and with the lights out and shop dark(perferably at night) you can often see any gaps easily. You need to cover and openings like the distributior hole etc of course.

If you have gaps its not a big issue. Just mark that area with a permanent marker so you know you need some gasket filler in that area.

Ok pull the intake and remove the LED light. Then put down new gasket and the correct rtv before installing the intake. Inspect the cam gear , chevk the function of the vacume advance, then with the engine at TDC install the distributior.

Ok now onto the carburatior. Same deal with the LED light set light inside the intake then set the clean carb on the intake dry with things tapped off then with the lights off check for any gaps. All your looking for is areas that need rtv. Put down the gasket with fuel resistant rtv on the top and bottom then torque it down. Oh shoot you left the led in there. Yea remove that before putting the carb on.

Ok. Now we have a engine that is timmed correctly and is air tight. Get some new vacume lines using the old as refrence and one at a time swap out tge old lines for the new.

Make sure you maintain any pcv system. If you have an egr make sure its hooked up. If it has the egr blocked off make sure the plate has a good gasket and gasketrtv so it is not a source for leaks.

Now your ready to put the engine back in(remove the distributior cap temporally). Once in you can install new exhaust gaskets and bolt up your exhaust. I like remflex exhaust gaskets.

Ok engine us and all the electrical is hooked up. Now you have eliminated several "could be's" you can get into playing with the carburatior and timing adjustment knowing whats going on with the shortblock.

This is more a time thing then cost. Your into it for mostly new gaskets. You will need a degree wheel and dial indicator to find the cam numbers. One of those things you buy a good one once and if you dont loose or loan it out for it to never return you wont need another. You may be able to borrow or rent these tools.

This is a good amount of work. But it is worth doing the detective work writing down your results then saving them in a notepad file somewhere so you know whats going on. That engine could have a massive amount of combinations it could have done to it over the years. Doing the detective work will give you a foundation to further tune.
If you dont do this your dealing with the "could be's" hoping you get lucky.
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