I was getting a air/fuel ratio of about 10.0:1 (way rich)! I installed the smallest main jets I had in my box (.135) and I am now getting an air/fuel ratio of about 12.5:1 and the car definitely pulls harder and cleaner. I have to place an order for even smaller jets to try and get me towards the 14.7 ratio but I am being cautious because I don't want to blow up this engine with a overly lean mixture. I guess my question is: SHALL I CONTINUE TO GO LEAN? I am running RJ cams, 85mm pistons, Sperry stage 5 head with big valves, etc. I thought I'd have a thirstier engine than this!
First! Forget 14 to 1 with carbs!
Don`t use less than a 130 main jet if you have to experiment.
These cams demand less fuel at all RPMs to produce the same HP as old lobe design cams, due to reduction in overlap, but the additional lift and duration above .040 will need adequate fueling. I would hesitate to go less than .135s jets in fact. Under no load you can get by with 13.5 to one but not under load. That is lean enough.
As to higher RPM mixtures what Air Correctors are you running? What Emulsion tubes? Going to a slightly larger AC will lean out higher RPMS. But that is when lean mixtures will damage the engine so keep AFR around 13 and no more than 13.5 at cruise.
As for idle jetting because of long runners you have to have a richer mixture to keep drivability on throttle openings under load. A larger accelerator jet may solve the dead spot issue but the popping is from incorrect mixtures. (what is AFR when that occurs?) You have to run the engine at steady rate during that point for the fuel in the runners from the accel jets to burn out.
I suspect you need a idle jet of .50/.55 for quantity but with and a smaller air correction bleed hole to keep fuel flow greater (F6 series)
Regardless of AFR you have to have good responce at low RPMs. You can adjust the idle air needle to lean out "constant idle) as long as the accel jets are adequate.
Look at your accelerator pump bypas jet in the bottom center of the bowl. What is it? If it has any bleed hole pull all 4 and solder up the bleed hole. That should resolve initial "dead spot on open throttle. If you see black smoke on throttle opening, drill out the soldered hole to 1/2 the original size. No point in buying lots of jets.
While tuning take time to run the engine at adequate RPMs to clean the fuel deposits from the O2 senson. They don`t like rich mixtures and will give false readings.