Here is a great How-To on how to check your camshaft timing;
There are many vids on how to do this on youtube, but I think this one is the best. This is also known as the centerline method. The cam card for you cam should tell you what your intake cenertline should be.
This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VwsbEg7Z4I shows you how to check by the other method. In this clip, the guys comp cams cam spec sheet show the timing degree value at 6 thou lift. Many cam card will only give the timing values at 50 thou lift. You need to use either a vernier cam gear, or offset keys/dowels to alter the cam timing if it's not where you'd like it to be. On the A series motors, in the past I've just removed the factory dowel, and once the camshaft was dialed in dilled a new hole in the end of the cam for the dowel to go into.
The thing to bear in mind is that if your camshaft is a brand new part, chances are that it will be almost spot on when set up to the factory marks. But if your cam has been reground using a standard core, (Like a cam from Kelfords, or Franklin) it's quite likely that it will need to be adjusted to get the timing just right. (On account of the base circle will have been altered to accommadate the new profile. That said, often the factory timing marks (As per say what a workshop manual might tell you) wont be 100% accurate. Although unless you were really trying to get every last bit from an otherwise standard engine. (Like maybe for a ministock engine?)
And here is a really good video on how to check your piston to valve clearance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifoGVT4G0m0 It's all pretty self explainitory.
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