Grounded wire, check.
Engine at operating temp minimum 75 degrees, maybe more, check?
Find physical TDC and confirm your pulley is not separating.
Yes fully warmed up and I did a double check on the pulley when I re-installed the timing belt.
If things look good, double check that your distributor is in phase.
Tiny tab indent to mate up on that style right?
I'm not sure about the tab but the distributor is indexed correctly, at least according to the manual.
Does the engine timing stabilize right as the ground strap is attached?
Confirmed with the gun aimed and ready?
Just want to make sure it's getting into base timing mode.
Sort of. The timing seems to pull back some and slow down but when I rev the engine it advances but does not not jump around like when it's not grounded.
There aren't two wires to ground on a 1.5L setup, is/are there?
Not according to the manual.