I plan to make these upgrades already:
- 0.10" off the head
You best not just randomly take some random number of thousandths off the head. Put in the time and effort to measure your combustion chamber volume, then you figure out how much to shave off the head and/or block to get the CC volume and compression where you want them to be.
An OK stop on the way to the HEI upgrade
Super six manifold and Carter BBD
One of several good carburetion options. You might want more (such as a Motorcraft 21-series carb).
Headers or Dutras, w/ water-heated or heater-piped intakeDutra Duals
a hotter cam
and ported head
You're definitely going to want to spend money, time, and effort on the head.
we're working with 100HP from the factory.
That depends on what numbers you're using when you talk about horsepower.
Really better to think in terms of what you want the car to do, rather than horsepower numbers that don't actually help except when you're bench racing.
how all this head and cam work potentially affects reliability and driveability.
Do your homework and proceed thoughtfully and you'll wind up with a car that runs well for a long time. Cut corners or try to "cookbook" it, or do it backwards (pick parts because they look cool), and you'll likely wind up with aggravation and despair.
Can the /6's reputation as a tank largely be attributed to the low compression and output from the factory?
They hold up very well when hopped-up thoughtfully.
I would like to get to 180 because I have considered selling my truck for a newer one with P/S and more power, but if I can get to 180HP, then even after subtracting around 20HP for compressors and P/S pumps, it might be highway streetable
Throwing around horsepower numbers doesn't achieve anything.
Too many people who were born on third base actually believe they've hit a triple.