Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Dallas-Ft Worth
The vacuum gauge method is probably the best method for setting timing on these old motors, in that the outer ring on the balancer that carries the timing mark can slip and throw off the reading. If you have an A/T, the correct timing, I believe, is 12 degrees, while the standard tranny setup calls for 6 degrees.
As far as the vacuum gauge method is concerned, locate the vacuum source for the tranny (If A/T) and hook up to that. The "hectogram" reading throws me, since all gauges I have used are calibrated in inches of mercury. Makes no difference, though. With the carb idle set as best you can, adjust the timing to produce the highest steady vacuum gauge reading possible, then back off about one point (that's for the crappy gas out there). If the car pings or knocks, back the timing off one more point.