the fuel evap stuff, thats just some thin rubber tubes that connect the fuel tank vents to the carbon cannister up front. those hoses rot out and need replacing eventually.
your timing on a LH2.2 car is set by rotating the distributor, you check the timing with an old fashion inductive timing strobe light thats clipped to the #1 spark plug. if its that far off, you probably should check the timing belt first and make sure that all the dots line up right when you have rotated things around to where they go (the timing belt drives both the intermediate shaft that drives the distributor, and the camshaft that works the valves).
when you replace the catalytic converter, use a new O2 sensor too.