The Ford car engine family is just like all the others when it comes to ignition timing, and this is something that any modestly skilled home mechanic can do. Whether your Ford car is an older model, with a vacuum advance on the distributor, or a later model that is fully electronic, it isn't a difficult procedure to do at all. Locate the timing mark notch on the harmonic balancer. If the mark is not visible "bump" the engine over by turning the ignition key to engage the starter then immediately releasing it do not allow the engine to start. Observe the balancer each time. Once the mark is visible, chalk or paint a line around it.
How to Replace a Ford Escort Timing Belt | It Still Runs
No it will NOT bend valves on this particular engine, if it goes out of time. I would replace BOTH the timing belt and the drive belt at the same time, since both are very inexpensive, even from the Ford dealer. Line up both timing marks on both the cam and crank sprockets in the 12 o'clock position. The marks are very easy to see, once you remove the timing belt cover. Hope this helps.