I want to close the loop on my specific Blueprint engine tuning journey.
My problem was my carb and my timing.
FWIW--Here are my current overall specs:
383 Blueprint stroker motor
Holley 4160 750 CFM carb
700R4 trans with 3,000 stall 9.5" torque converter
Moser 3.73 posi rear
MSD 8360 distributor
First, Blueprint customer service was an A+. The lead tech at Blueprint has called me at home twice to check up on my motor and offer advice. He also asked me to call him back to keep him informed. First class service.
As for the motor, I finally gave up after 18 months of struggling to get it to run and turned it over to a local mechanic known for doing good work. The car now runs fantastic and feels like I gained 150Hp+.
I am experiencing some traction problems though--I gave it 3/4 throttle at 30 MPH and the tires broke loose and the car went sideways with the tires screaming and smoking...I guess I need better tires than the T/A radials that are on it.
I bought a new torque convertor from RevMax, thinking that would solve my problem. I was running an 1800 stall convertor in my 700R4 and upgraded to a 9.5" 3,000 stall convertor. This was not the source of the whole problem (but the 1800 stall torque convertor is now for sale)
Here is what he did:
--Swapped my Holley 670 CFM Street Avenger for a Holley 4160 750 CFM that he had tuned for use on his own race car. He had heavily modded the 4160 and then spent a few hours tuning it for my car. He enlarged the air bleeds and a whole bunch of other things that I did not completely understand.
-Unhooked the vacuum advance completely.
-Recurved my MSD 8360 distributor to get the timing in earlier.
-Set my total timing to 36 degrees. My initial is at 22 degrees.
And the car idles very well, the sound of the exhaust has completely changed and it starts immediately.
The price for all the tuning work plus I kept his carb was $275. I consider that a really good deal for all the work he put into it. (the price to swap the torque convertor was another $350).
Comments on this set-up are welcome.
Thanks to TC for walking me through this and thanks to Andrew and Ken at Blueprint for their oustanding customer service.