I am having timing issues with my 81 FI Spider 2000 and after reading the various related posts, I remain puzzled. Here are my puzzlements:
1) When I hook up a timing light to the wires for cylinders 1 or 4, the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley appears to be 180 degrees out -- that is to say it is over on the right (drivers right) side of the engine bay, where it is very hard to see. On wires 2 and 3, it is more or less over where I expected it to be -- near the yellow timing cover on the drivers left side of the crankshaft pulley.
2) There are no timing marks on said timing cover! I know they can be hard to see -- but I swear I have used a really good light, cleaned the cover till it sparkles, and examined it very closely. The only thing molded into the plastic in that area is a very small (about 10pt font) number: "4027" -- which is raised and upside down (so you read it right side up while peering down at it). My Brooklands shop manual has a drawing of where the marks should be -- but I swear that they just ain't there.
3) I don't seem to be getting proper advance. I get a bit of advance (perhaps 10 degrees) between 700 and about 1500 rpm, but then things are quite steady upward from there. When I disconnect the vacuum line from the vacuum advance module, it behaves just the same way. I can feel suction at the end of the vacuum line when I rev. Does that necessarily indicate a bad vacuum advance, or are there other things I should check first?
This is in the context of a distributor that has had a bad inner seal for several months. I have the new seal, but have yet to get the dang pin out of the dizzy shaft. I think I will have to have a shop press it out -- no amount of hammering on a punch has been able to budge it.
Given 1 and 3, you would think the thing would run badly -- but it actually runs pretty well. It is getting lousy mileage (like 19 or 20 mpg), and the tailpipe is sooty -- but top speed is still 100mph+ and it feels good to drive. I'd love to find more horsepower in there with everything working right, but its not bad as it is.