Firstly you really should do them in the order valves, ignition then carbs.
Altering the timing by 15 degrees either way should make a clear difference
to idle speed if nothing else. Rather than just swinging the distributor
about did you try to set the timing to the specified figure with a light?
If not, why not! And if you did, why were you swinging the distributor
----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Sorkin <email@example.com>
To: Spridgets List <firstname.lastname@example.org>; MGs List <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2000 9:32 PM
Subject: What's going on with my distributor?
> Dear List:
> I spent part of the afternoon balancing my carburettors, checking my valve
> clearances and trying to set the timing. No vacuum leaks were found, and
> other unusual things were discovered with the exception of the fact that
> when I turned the distributor 15 degrees advanced and retarded, and no
> changes occured in engine behavior, roughness of running, or idle speed.
> What could possibly be the problem? Other than the timing be a little
> and apparently unsettable, the car is running fine.
> '74 Midget
> '68 Sprite
> Bloomfield, NJ
> "How about we duck inside for a Hen?"