I realize this is late, but for the benefit of other owners who may be
having power problems with 1980's-era carbureted 318's. The 2-BBL 318
from the mid-eighties was sadly undercarbureted and choked with poorly
engineered smog equipment. This was remedied once they were equipped with
better engine managment and FI.
Unlike typical Chevy and Ford products, these old Chryslers cannot have
their ignition timing set at 0 degrees. You have to set the ignition
timing (with the vcacuum advance disconnected and plugged) at 8 degrees
BTDC. Many mechanics who are unfamiliar with Mopars, incorrectly retard
318's and 360's too much when trying to tune them. They will idle and
start great at 0 degrees in the shop, but during the road test, it will be
a real challenge trying to get the beast up to the speed limit in less than
1/2 a mile.
Advance the timing to 8 degrees and it should be fine. Also make sure the
carb feedback loop and O2 sensors are working and switching OK. Under the
base of the carb, sometimes the EGR jet will plug with carbon too - this
will cause poor running and bad emissions.
Sadly for us California residents, we're stuck with the 2-BBL and stock
engine, but for those wanting to help their poor 318 along, a good MP 340
cam, Edelbrock SP2P and Carter 600CFM 4-BBL will make it respond like a
whole new machine.