A easy way to set correct igniton timing
While my (and Phil's translation of it) first documentation of how setup ignition timing sounds very difficult, here is a better and much easier way to set it up.
One remark first. The 1600i's lower crankshaft pulley has only one mark, and this is not like at the old beetle engine's the ignition point, no, at the 1600i it's the mark for the TDC (Top dead center). The correct igniton point is about 10 mm on the right side of the TDC mark (6° BTC).
Now make sure, that the engine is hot (over 88°C)
Switch of the engine
Connect your Laptop with a diagnostic interface and VAG-COM or the VW-Tool 1551 to the diagnostic plug of your car. Switch on igniton, start VAG-COM, click SELECT, click 01 ENGINE and after a few seconds you should be connected to ECU. Now start the engine (be shure you fastened the hand-brake and put the gear shift into the neutral position).
Within VAG-COM now select BASIC-SETTINGS and make only a click on Go! at Group 000. You should see a row of 10 values.
For us only value number 10 is of interesst . This is the digital value of RPM. If this value is reaching about 168, the corresponding RPM is 1508 (167=1534, 169=1492) And don't look at the other values of this picture, they are not true.
While still in BASIC SETTINGS, open the throttle with one hand until value nr. 10 is nearly or exact 168. Allways stay with value 10 at 168 and now check with a timing ligth if a change is necessary. While value nr. 10 is still at about 168 you could now change the igniton time by rotating the distributor with the other hand. Check again with the timing light, if ok fasten the distributor and check again.
After all is done, stay for another 3 minutes within basic-settings, but now with closed throttle at idle speed.
Good luck and i would be glad, if you tell me your results.