The tool makes it much easier, but can be done without it.
If you remember the old days with distributor timing, you set the distributor in the hole so rotor was close to #1 spark plug wire on the cap(with crank at TDC compression stroke) and THEN started the engine and used a Timing light to fine tune spark for #1 at 10 BTDC by turning the distributor.
Well the setting of CPS syncro is similar but without the tool there is no fine tuning so you need a voltmeter.
Good read here:
Today, it seems you can't compete even the most routine job - such as replacing a timing belt - without these new tools. One question our hotline callers often ask is how to align a camshaft position sensor synchronizer without Ford's special tool.
Here I am using a 1995-1998 3.8L Ford Windstar as an example. Usually the problem starts after engine work has been done. Maybe the timing cover has been removed or the engine was replaced. Either situation requires the synchronizer to be installed and timed to the engine. The service manual states that a "special tool" is required to index the vane inside the synchronizer to the housing. As you read through the procedure, you may be thinking, "I don't have that tool - now what?"
Good news! You can line up the synchronizer without a special tool and without a lot of extra time. Here's how:
1) Bring the engine up to top dead center (TDC) of the compression stroke for cylinder No. 1.
2) The engine needs to be positioned at 26 degrees after TDC. There will often be a large groove machined into the balancer at this point. If not, mark the balancer by measuring from TDC to 26 degrees before TDC. Take that measurement and make your own mark at 26 degrees after TDC.
3) Drop in the synchronizer so that the leading edge of the vane is close to the center of the opening in the housing (this is directly below the actual sensing part of the cam sensor).
4) Leaving the synchronizer loose, install the cam sensor and connect a voltmeter from the ground to the dark blue/orange wire with the sensor plugged in.
5) With the key on, the voltmeter should read either "0 volts" or "battery voltage."
6) Turn the synchronizer back and forth to find the point where the voltage is just switching from "0 volts" to "battery voltage."
7) Once you find that point, tighten down the hold-down bolt.
This same procedure can be used on most OBD-II Ford products with Hall-effect type cam sensors.
Hall effect sensor has 3 wires, used until late '90's
Your 2000 probably uses VR(variable reluctance) 2-wire, so not sure if you can fine tune it with a meter.
Computer does adjust the CPS signal to CKP(crank position) sensor(CKP is assumed as correct over CPS), which is why the tool works, if you are within a few degrees it is going to work fine.
CPS was added for better fuel economy and spark advance tuning, once computer "learns" its off-set you will be fine.