Aren't you confusing ignition timing with valve timing? I think Jonathan was talking about ignition timing (distributor advance).JEFFMG1 - 1/29/2005 8:55 AM
However to check for proper timing you take off valve covers turn crank to tdc, and check alignment of timming mark on the cam gear to the mark on bearing tower.
A lot of factors are involved here. The condition of the timming chain and guides etc. If everything is good and you need to adjust timming, offset keys are available for the timming gear.