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Noob with timing problems

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Hello all, this is my first forum post in 15 years so please forgive any ignorance at to how this works/ doesn't.I have a 96 vortec 5.7, YES I KNOW hpt doesn't support this model. I'm waiting for the hpt adapters now so I can scan and trying to figure out what's going on with it so I don't blow it up in the mean time. Already understand that I will need other software to flash it, or do the 411 swap. I'm ok with the swap, I'm an aircraft electrician so this isn't something that worries me. My current issue is that my timing is running negative 22* all day long, even goes as far as 24*. To temp, cold, driving, idling.....all the same. Without much knowledge on the subject I knew it had 260k on the odo, so I started replacing ignition and sensors and filters and fluids, just as a starting point. O2s were clogged shut, knock sensor was broken and flopping around. Distributor was worn and the body was broken......plethora of problems to start. New radiator and thermostat, new batteries and relays. So now that half the electrical and systems are new, I figured let's start figuring out what's the problems. I purchased Jet dst a week before the new hpt adapters came out....doh....but that at least got me a screen with my stock program to start going through while I wait for the mpvi to get here. From what I've read and watched on the online tuners, everything looks pretty normal, but without the scanner option I'm kinda waiting in the wind for the fedex truck to get here. Any ideas? Thanks.

Sorry I'm a little confused - If you can't currently scan the ECU how do you know what the timing is doing? -22 deg is massively retarded and I'd honestly be surprised if the engine would run or at least be driveable!

I have a expensive hand held code reader and it shows in real time the timing, ect, battery and alternator status ,o2 sensors. It runs rough as heck, I was able to drive it 30 minutes to my place where I am worrying on it, replaced the ignition system and it ran much better, had a fusible link fry, replaced that, and did a wire gauge upgrade to the power and grounds, then it started running like crap. Diagnosed it down to the fuel injectors, GM spider injector, which is notorious for failing poppet injectors. While I replace that with a new mpfi spider, it still is throwing p0300 codes. I know I'm in for a long project to get this running well enough to be able to tune as a learning engine before I build and tune a high output v8 for off road applications. I do understand that this is not a mechanic forum. I sincerely appreciate the service you are providing with HPA. I'm learning tons by watching your webinars, this is literally the first time I have even thought about getting into tuning, I figured why not start with the junker I have already, learn the ins and outs of fuel injection engines, then build up experience and branch out. By the way, your approach is very understandable and I look forward to purchasing the other courses as I am able.I will take some photos of the scanner while running if it helps me any.

Screen shots from my phone scanner, cold, warm, and at temp.

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Pictures from innova live data and code reader

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Hi- So you replaced the distributor ? Are you sure its timed correctly ? Even though your scanner says -21ish degrees have you confirmed with a timing light ?

This car is stock or mostly stock right? You need to go through the diagnostic tree for the error codes. There are specific diagnosis procedures to follow for each of the check engine lights. Alldata or some similar service manual can provide this. So for example it will have you inspect the sensors and harnesses. This doesn't sound like a "tuning" issue, it sounds like a "my old car has a check engine light" issue.

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