I have a 1965 P1800 Volvo. How do I time the engine when it won't start? I'm pretty sure that the timing if off so far that it just won't start. I thought I had a mechanic who knew what he was doing. I now believe that he doesn't.
Pull the spark plugs, hold a finger over No 1 cyl and get someone to turn the engine by hand when you feel compression building, look at the timing mark coming around on the pulley, when it reaches TDC stop and align No 1 distributor cap post with the rotor, this is TDC No1 firing, this should be close enough to start and time with a timing light.