Timing by ear is what I have been doing. And believe me that it sounds what I think is wonderful. But I can't make heads nor tails of what the timing light is telling me. I am interested in maxing out the torque though, as getting the C-2 belly mower spinning better is one of my hopeful outcomes of this timing adjustment.
The following pictures speak for themselves. She sounds good where she is, but somehow or another it looks like I'm approximately 90 degrees off. I've checked multiple ways that I've got the clip on the #1 wire. You can see where I had to digitally adjust the light to get the 16 degree mark to line up with the needle. How much can you twist the distributor and the engine keep running? It seems like there's probably 30 degrees of adjustment without much noticeable change.
Like I said, she sounds just fine. Drives around good. Won't spin the belly mower for nothing. I'm just trying to dial in the timing as it's what's best for the electronic ignition. Then put this baby to work !