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The timing marks for all original 1955/56/57 Thunderbirds can be difficult to locate on un-restored or older restorations. In some cases the timing marks are either dirty or painted over and cannot be found.
The illustration in the FoMoCo shop manual is for passenger cars only, which are located on the crank shaft dampener. The timing marks on the Thunderbird are located on the rear pulley edge. The large mark to the left if you are standing in front of the engine is TDC. The five lighter marks represent approximately two degrees each. The pointer is longer than a passenger car and the point is usually over the edge of the pulley as illustrated.
The marks can be found by using lacquer thinner or sand paper to remove excessive paint or crud build up. Consult the shop manual and read other timing information in this section.