I have a few minor mods. Edelbrock performer intake, edelbrock 650 4 barrel, 2.25 manifolds back and a mild cam.
It shifts up beautifully, sometimes od hits hard.
I might have a little better luck if it was still fi, but I doubt it this is all cmmon for the aod.
As for timing, I have it dead on factory, I've seen the best overall performance and gas milage leavibg the timing stock.