Here's just a little writeup to help you with checking and adjusting
your ignition timing.
Here's what you need: A timing light that you can purchase from
Autozone, Pep Boys, etc. It runs between $25-$100. I picked up the inductive
kind, that way I don't have to worry about messing with the spark plug wires,
it was around $35-40. Also need a paper clip, or some kind of other tiny conductive
metal piece so that you can jumper 2 terminals. I used a safety pin with the
'head' cut off.
1) Warm up the car so that it is at normal operating temp. This
is important, so try doing this after you have gone on a drive. Leave the
engine running & in neutral.
2) Locate the diagnosis connector near the rear trunk.
3) Open it up and you should see the many terminals. You can
see which terminals are which on the underside of the cap. Highlighted here
are the 2 of importance, E1 (red) and T (green).
4) Insert the safety pin/paper clip between these 2 terminals,
jumpering them together.
5) Consult the instructions for your timing light on how to
hook it up. Here's how mine is done. Connect the positive clamp of the timing
light to the battery (red) and negative to chassis ground (green). Also clip
the inductive pickup around the #1 spark plug wire (yellow).
6) Next, pull the trigger on the timing gun and point it into
this direction aiming at the red circle, right at the top of the crank pulley.
7) The timing light should then flash each time the #1 spark
plug fires. Here is what you should look for as you point down at the crank
pulley. The green arrow is pointing to the timing pointer. That is going to
be your reference point. You need to find this before you are able to do any
kind of adjustment. (You may want to find this first with a regular flashlight,
if you aren't sure where it is located.) The 3 notches on the crank pulley,
that the different colored arrows are pointing to, are indicators telling
you where TDC (top dead center, yellow), 10 degrees advanced (blue), and 16
degrees advanced (purple).
When you look down with the timing light, it will seem as though
the crank pulley is standing still, and the notches should be just sitting
there. If you saw the below pic in your car while you were actually using
the timing light, the engine would be running at about 2 degrees advanced.
You would need to adjust the timing, since the BGB calls for 10 degrees advanced
(with the T and E1 terminals shorted). So, if you see the timing pointer pointing
to the notch by the blue arrow, then you can skip the next adjustment step.
Here are a couple more pics taken from the Haynes manual.
8) To adjust the timing, you need to pivot the distributor.
Do this by loosening the two 12mm bolts, that hold the distributor to the
engine head, a turn or two. They are circled and pointed to in the below picture.
Then slightly twist the distributor either toward the passenger (to advance)
or drivers side (to retard), depending on if you need to retard or advance
the timing to meet the spec. Only do this a little at a time and recheck the
timing with the timing light to check your progress.
9) Once you are at 10 degrees advanced as indicated by the notch
in the crank pulley (blue arrow above), tighten the distributor bolts to 14
ft-lbs. Then remove the jumper you used in the Diagnosis Connector and recheck
the timing. You should then see it at more than 16 degrees advanced (purple
arrow) if you have a manual transmission and more than 12 degrees advanced
if you have an automatic.
10) Take the car for a spin, and see the results. You may need
to adjust the idle a little. Or in some circumstances you may need to adjust
the timing some more to get the car to run properly.