How to Time a Car Engine?

Timing varies with the individual vehicle type. Usually there is a sticker under the hood that shows how many ‘degrees before top dead center (TDC)’ the timing should be. These marks appear on the crank pulley. To time the vehicle you need a timing light. These lights have one set of leads that go to the battery and another wire that clips onto the number 1 spark plug wire. Use something to mark the notch on the pulley that corresponds to the degrees before topdead center as shown for your vehicle. Start the car and loosen the bolt that holds the distributor down, this should allow it to turn. Shine the timing light down on the pulley and turn the distributor until the mark you made matches up with the indicator (usually a metal prong). I recommend obtaining a proper service manual.