Timing with a stroboscopic timing light must be done with the engine warm. If your timing is so out of whack that the engine will not start, the SVDA and 009 distributors can be timed statically to get you in the ballpark. See the Static timing procedure.[/mark]
The strobe light emits a very bright light which is flashed from a pistol-like instrument when the #1 spark plug fires. Be sure to read the instructions that come with the strobe light.
Setting the 009 Centrifugal Advance, Single-Vacuum Dual Advance (SVDA) and Vacuum-Only Distributors with a Strobe
[mark]The approximate idle timing setting for the centrifugal advance distributor (009), the single-vacuum distributor, and the vacuum-advance only distributor, is 7.5o Before top Dead Center (BTDC). This means that as you view the 7.5o mark at the crankcase split (with the strobe), the TDC mark on the pulley will be about 11.5mm to the LEFT of the crankcase split when the distributor is properly timed. Again, this is the APPROXIMATE timing setting at idle.[/mark]
Important Note regarding vacuum lines:When timing the vacuum-only distributor, the vacuum line(s) must be attached. The vacuum line on the single-vacuum dual advance (SVDA) distributors must be removed from the vacuum canister on the distributor and plugged to prevent air from being sucked into the carburetor during timing. For BOTH the centrifugal-advance (009) and SVDA distributors -- if there is a vacuum hose running from a port in the intake manifold under the carburetor up to the air cleaner, this hose must be removed and plugged as well, for the same reason. Be sure to plug it such that air will not be sucked into the intake manifold.
Summary regarding vacuum hoses during timing: Just make sure the vacuum ports on both the carburetor and the intake manifold are plugged so air won't be sucked in during timing.
For these distributors, the advance timing is more important than the idle timing. Ideally it should be 28-30o advanced at 3500 rpm, then should return to something close to 7.5o BTDC at idle (900 rpm). The centrifugal-advance portions of these distributors vary -- if the maximum advance is set to the correct 28-30o BTDC at 3500 rpm, an idle timing in the range of 5-8o BTDC should result.
Rob & Dave