... because it's the little things that count.
So to build from my last post. I did some of what I said I should do. #1 I got the car warmed up and made sure the coolant was all set. Good to go there.
In an effort to eliminate a potential vacuum leak I disconnected and plugged the vacuum line to the distributor and then set out on tuning the idle. I screwed the mixture screw in probably 1+ full turns until the idle came up. So i dropped down a jet size and did it again until it was basically dead at 2 turns out. Right in the sweet spot. I then hooked up the distributor vacuum again.
And of course, the idle went to crap again. I pinched the line while it was still connected, to eliminate the vacuum leak, and this did not solve the issue. If i held the line pinched and disconnected it from the distributor the idle came back down. So I had this new bit of information to go on, came inside and started typing up a post to ask for some help. Just before submitting it I did some searches and kept seeing people referring to "ported vacuum" so I dug a little deeper to find out that the distributor is supposed to be connected ABOVE the throttle plates and I had it hooked to manifold vacuum.
So, that problem is solved. I have the warm idle tuned pretty well now, but I still need to work on the cold idle. As much as I like the water choke, it is a bit more frustrating to adjust so i swapped it out for an electric choke that came with the car. I will work on getting the choke adjusted properly in the coming days.
I also have some front suspension parts on the way because of some concerning noises when driving it around the neighborhood recently.
I have also decided on a near term path for the car, stage 1.5 i may call it. With the M10 burning oil there is some need for attention. I also am not a huge fan of the emissions levels of carbureted non-cat/conv vehicles (he says having removed the rudimentary emissions equipment). My eventual plan is to go electric with it. At the moment however the electric swap aftermarket scene is still not mature enough for me (read: I'm too dumb to figure it out and too cheap to pay someone else to). So my intermediate plan is an m20 or m42, but probably an m20 because I like a straight 6. This will also let me do a 5 speed swap all at once.
That's all for now, thanks to those that have left comments.