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440 performance

As you have already saw, you will get many, many opinions on what you should do. So here is mine and from my own experiences. I would definitely install higher compression pistons to work with the better breathing 452 heads because a 440 loves compression. Shoot for as close to 10:1 as possible and keep the 484 cam. I can promise you will have a strong running 440.
Degreeing the cam is something that I would like to do as I do have a multi keyway gear in it already. I installed it straight up because I didn’t have a wheel at the time
But straight up doesn't necessarily mean its running on the designed centerline of the cam.
It's quite possible that the cam is retarded today.
I'd like to know...
440s do not tolerate duration because of the large built-in rod/stroke ratio. [ see below ].
Couple that with a cam that is waaaaay to big, a reasonably heavy car & 3.23 axle.....& you are headed for dog status.

A simple cam change to an Isky 270 Mega will make a world of difference; have your current lifters re-faced, do NOT use 'new' lifters unless you want to wipe out your new cam.

Here is the cam specs I am running in my low compression 440.
the card on the Comp xe262H - 10 I installed shows.
gross valve lift - 462 int 470 ex
dur @.006 tappet lift - int 25 btdc 57 abdc
Ex 69 bbdc 21 atdc
specs for cam installed 106.0 intake centerline
dur @.50 int 218 ex 224
lobe lift int .3080 ex . 3130
lobe separation 110.0

With the fast advance, headers, preformer intake, and T quad . It's pretty decent off idle to 5,500 :drinks:
Here’s a cold start from this morning, around 20° with wind chill

Plan on doing some tuning today
Biggest bang for your buck will be the manifold. IMO a dual plane from Edelbrock would be the best. After that a set of headers. And tune, tune, tune. You wouldn't believe how much horsepower people leave on the table when they don't spend enough time dialing things in.
As already mentioned , tuning. If I was only making one big purchase : Converter. Call PTC or Dynamic and get their suggestions on a good 9.5 inch 3500ish . That will get you the low end performance you want. A quality convertor in that range should drive pretty nice , even with 3.23s. With the spate of bad lifters/flattened cams that seems to be occurring a lot lately, I would keep the cam that is in it. Performer RPM intake would probably be ideal. Your 700 dp is fine. A piston change and all that entails would be nice but sometimes opens up a can of worms(expense).
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