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'84 Ur-q W/88 MC motor timing(ignition&cam) question

Well finally draged the '84 out from under its cover after a not so long
winter.  Last night was the first time that I got to ring her out a bit.  I
had forgotten how much that car really is.  But one thing concerns me.  I
filled the tank with Sunoco 94 and took it for a few runs through the gears.
Once into 3rd gear it feels as if the ignition retard is coming into play.
The previous owner has removed the perminent bolt that keeps the distributer
in its palce and replaced it so that it is now adjustable.  The car has a TAP
box and a big exhaust.  now my question is should I just back off the advance
at the distributer so that this does not happen, How much retard does the TAP
box throw into the equation?  Second question concerns the cam timing.  The
car pulls like crazy to @4800RPM, but after that it just does not seem to have
the oooomph that my '87 5Ktq with a IA Stage II box.  I guess I should try
using the IA box in the coupe.  Would this lack of high RPM oooomph indicate
that the previous owner might have moved the cam timing back a tooth to
improve low end?  I'm sure I missed something important here which might give
someone a clue.  Thanks for the info.