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Check to make sure the choke is coming off all the way, which can cause starting problems when warm and idle fine, then not allow normal driving type problems. You are right about the timing marks and the vacuum hose disconnect (plug it when setting timing), and if you loosen the bolt/adjustment nut enough to move with a little force, it won't shift around to set the timing and then shut her off and tighten. Check the play of the shaft on the distributor, by rotating the engine to the point where you are setting the points, grab ahold of the rotor and move it around to see if you can alter the points gap. Too much movement of opening or closing at this point is a bushing wear problem that needs addressed.
 
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