95 Mustang Gt Timing


New Member
Aug 18, 2006
Spring Hill TN
Okay I just bought a 95 Mustang GT Convertible. The other day I noticed the the distributer was loose and decided to Check timing just to make sure everything was good. I hooked up the timing light to the #1 Cylinder and was never able to get my timing marks to show up. So after a little bit of confusion I then hooked the light to the #8 cylinder and my timing lines showed up. From here I tried to set the timing to 10-12 degrees. My car didn't like this it ran like crap to make a long story short I ended up setting it at about 33 degrees with a little minor adjusting after driving it for awhile. So my question is why couldn't i get my lines to show up when connected to the #1 cylinder and is 33 degrees a little crazy timing wise? The only things that has been done to the car as far as I know is a C&L cold air intake with 76mm MAF sensor, Xpipe and Shorty headers.
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Not trying to state the obvious but #1 cylinder is passenger side front of car. I had a balancer separate on me once, there's rubber in the middle of the balancer that wore out and spun, check to see if it wobbels a little that will kind of tell u its bad. Also double check your spark plug wires are connected in the right firing order on the distributer. Now that I think about it make sure the distributer isn't 180 degrees out. Hope this helps but something is messed up I wouldn't drive it like that.
Let's start from the beginning...

Setting the timing:
Paint the mark on the harmonic balancer with paint -choose 10 degrees BTC or 14 degrees BTC or something else if you have NO2 or other power adder. I try to paint TDC red, 10 degrees BTC white and 14 degrees BTC blue.

10 degrees BTC is towards the drivers side marks.

Note: setting the timing beyond the 10 degree mark will give you a little more low speed acceleration. BUT you will need to run 93 octane to avoid pinging and engine damage. Pinging is very hard to hear at full throttle, so it could be present and you would not hear it.

Simplified diagram of what it looks like. Not all the marks are shown for ease of viewing.

ATC ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '!' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' BTC
---------------- > Direction of Rotation as viewed standing in front of the engine.

The ' is 2 degrees.
The ! is TDC
The ' is 10 degrees BTC
Set the timing 5 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 5 marks towards the driver's side to get 10 degrees.

To get 14 degrees, set it 7 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 7 marks towards the driver's side to get 14 degrees.

The paint marks you make are your friends if you do it correctly. They are much easier to see that the marks machined into the harmonic balancer hub.

Make sure that you set he timing when the engine is up to operating temperature.

At this point hook up all the wires, get out the timing light. Connect timing light up to battery & #1 spark plug.

Remove the SPOUT connector (do a search if you want a picture of the SPOUT connector) It is the 2 pin rectangular plug on the distributor wiring harness. Only the EFI Mustang engines have a SPOUT. If yours is not EFI, check for a SPOUT: if you don’t find one, skip any instructions regarding the SPOUT
Warning: there are only two places the SPOUT should be when you time the engine. The first place is in your pocket while you are setting the timing and the second is back in the harness when you finish. The little bugger is too easy to lose and too hard to find a replacement.

Start engine, loosen distributor hold down with a 1/2" universal socket. Shine the timing light on the marks and turn the distributor until the mark lines up with the edge of the timing pointer. Tighten down the distributor hold down bolt, Replace the SPOUT connector and you are done.

The HO firing order is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8.
Non HO firing order is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8