I’m still curious about what the compression figures are. The fact that someone has stated that it’s new, good, or whatever doesn’t mean that much to me.
People post on this forum all of the time and refer to figures given them by a mechanic who states that those figures are good when they’re not anywhere near even average.
In my humble opinion no mechanic on Earth should tell a customer anything about compression readings unless it’s down in black and white.
With the VWs, we used a Motometer gauge that scribed a line in red pencil on a graphed card. This would give a series of lines showing the actual compression figures.
Black smoke often points to (again, based on VW expeience) pump timing being off or faulty injectors, etc.
Something else for consideration. During all of this engine work is it possible that the timing chain was installed a tooth or two off? This could drastically affect the way the engine runs and possible the pump timing too.
I don’t even know what to say about 6600 bucks on this except that I would have dropped a Ford 5.0 SEFI engine and Ford AOD transmission in it long ago and been done with it. A couple or three grand at most would have accomplished this.