after i fired up the car TONITE , having overcome the timing problem- thanks to multiple legends on the forum, i can report the following
1. the instrument lights work - yes
2. the wiper motor works - yes
3. the temp and pil pressure gauge are good - although i noticed that the oil gauge it doesn't get past half way - is that bad?
4. this is what happens to the rev counter
when you turn the key, the needle moves to 500 rpm, pauses and then swings all the way to 6,000 - and stays there regardless of the revs
.. looks like the tach is driven by the output current from the alternator? i'll look up the fsm in a sec