The 302 was one of Ford’s most popular engines, and they were produced from 1968 until 2001. Although the 302 was used in a variety of Ford vehicles, it is commonly associated with the Mustang. As with other engines, the 302’s ignition timing is critical to the engine’s performance. Checking the timing requires a timing light, and twisting the distributor adjusts the timing. Unlike most other engines, however, the 302’s distributor is located at the front of the engine, making it easy to check and adjust the timing.
Step 1: Open the hood of the Volkswagen and mark the timing number on the harmonic balancer with either quick-drying white paint or with chalk. The harmonic balance is a circular metal disk at the bottom of the front of the engine. Along a portion of the outer edge of the balancer are several numbers. It may be necessary to turn the engine to spin the balancer if the numbers are not in view. Turn the bolt in the center of the balancer in a clockwise direction with a wrench to turn the balancer. Use the paint or chalk to scribe a mark over the number 6.