Originally Posted by Richard123vmt
I'm having a little trouble with timing marks. Is the line on the pulley in the same place as the key ? I am lining up the line with the pointer on the block but when I put on the plastic cover I get about -3 degrees. All plastic covers are the same, right? The only thing I can figure is maybe the pulley line is to line up with the plastic degree marks and the key and pulley line are not in the same place? I can find this out by removing the pulley.
Also, I notice that my distributor was all the way to one extreme, as it was when I bought the car. This may explain why I burned a valve. I assume the correct place is nearer the center. This previous owner was known for his odd ways, like for instance the front axle nuts were finger tight ( although staked). I felt play and at first assumed it was BJs. Not so--just loose nuts. But it shows what previous owner was capable of.
Maybe someone can asner my timing mark questions?
The distributor does not have to be in the middle. Hard stop to one side is unusual, but being near the end is not necessarily a bad thing.
The timing mark is a notch on the edge of the crank pulley, visible between the belt and the "degree marks".
I'm not sure if the notch should be inline with the crank key, but that shouldn't really matter.
Find the notch, and get it colored white or yellow, are at least clean enough to see.
Depending on your year model, you may need to disable a certain part of the spark advance system, so that it is not constantly changing the timing while you are checking it.
While the engine is running at idle, turning the distributor back and forth a little should allow you to hear the engine running smoother when the timing is close.
If this doesn't work. Post again with model and year of your vehicle.