Setting timing...silly question


it sucks (I know) to be on the receiving end
15 Year Member
Nov 11, 2003
Northern KY
A couple questions actually.

1) the timing cover has the timing marks made on it....did this change year to year? I have an old Futura timing cover on mine right now but i had to cut it down to only the part that has the timing marks on it because the rest wouldn't fit...should i trust that the timing marks are in the same place?

2) what exactly is the "pointer" for reading the timing? Is there a notch or mark or something on the crank pulley?
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Well, some of the covers were metal and some were plastic...honestly, it's not an ideal way to actually find TDC, but it's close enough I guess.

I think as long as your timing cover piece still has three bolts holding it on so you can "triangulate" it, it should be close enough.

And yeah, the crank pulley has a notch in it denoting TDC. It has white paint in it from the factory so it'll show up with your timing light.
I can bring up #1 (after you tell me which cylinder is The main thing i'm doing is just checking and adjusting base timing since i put the LA3 on...i was told that the LA3 should have 10* base timing and my stock ECU is 13* so i'm probably running way too much timing. My stock belt cover was busted to hell and back so i haven't even checked the timing on this car yet.
#1 is the front cylinder.

Back that timing down immediately unless you want to melt the engine down...

Yeah it's been parked for a couple days now just to be safe. I checked it today and it read 11* which is probably why 1) it was a little soft before on the stock computer since it should've been 13* and 2) i haven't gotten any detonation with the LA3.

Can any of you verify something though? I was told that a quick way to check to see if this timing cover is right is to run a straight edge from the crank bolt centerline to the bolt that's under the bulge in the timing cover, and the line should cross over TDC on the timing marker. Is that right?

Here's the ghetto marker:

Also for anyone who's ever fought to get to the distributor bolt, look into something like this:
the line trick is for cam timing when installing a timing belt. also you did remove the spout connecter when setting or checking the timing I assume you did. take the plug out of no 1 and bring the piston all the way to the top. look at your timing mark it should line up or be real close. the picture looks like it is in the correct spot