honestly i would place the timing strait up. make sure the motor is at TDC on compression stroke and line up the timing marks on the gear set. if you want a bump in power swap your cam. Now is the best time since you have everything off already anyway. I would also recommend you take this time to install a new water pump and thermostat. good insurance.
What Kemical said.You're 80% there.The only things left to remove is the intake manifold and the dist. and maybe the rad.You'll not gain any worthwhile power by messing with the stock cam timing.I also say change the water pump while you're in there unless it was recently done.Cheap insurance.Pulling the front accessories(waterpump,timing cover) off the front of the engine is the biggest pain when doing a cam swap IMO.
It's a 302, the one that came with the Bronco. The motor has a little bit of blow-by but doesn't seem to smoke out the exhaust. 105k on bronco so i'm assuming it's same on motor, didn't look like it had ever been into.
We just re-sealed the intake 2 weeks because it was leaking in antifreeze into #4 cylinder and near #5 to the outside... Had overheated with the wife twice because of low antifreeze and fouled #4 plug. We pulled radiator to have more room... What is a good cam to upgrade to? I've read that the 302 does not have adjustable rocker arms so do i just use the stock push rods with new lifters? Already bought the best water pump I could get at Advance Auto parts and thinking about replacing the Fuel Pump too since i'm going to a one piece essentric and the truck did sit for 4-5 years.
So back to my question though, have any of you heard that the timing was set 4 degrees retarded for emissions? is that in the cam or in the stock chain gears? so if i put the new timing set in at 12 and 6 "straight up" will it be 0 or -4? i guess the best way to find out really would be to check the TDC...