You will need to know; firing order, #1 cylinder location, and have a assistant. Get a basic repair manual from library to look up these things. Remove #1 spark plug from engine. Place your thumb over the hole. Have assistant crank engine over until compression is felt on your thumb; this is close to TDC or top dead center. Grab onto belt and nudge engine over until timing pointer is aligned with O or TDC on engine dampner. This is near perfect TDC. Now take and insert distributor into engine so that the #1 spark plug wire terminal on the distributor cap aligns with the rotor inside distributor. If it does not pull up distributor and reinsert till it does. Tighten everything and it should fire right up. Now you can fine tune with a timing light.
You need to manually rotate the engine and set the number one cylinder at Top Dead Center (TDC) before re-insalling the distributor. Hopefully, you made a mark on the distributor that relates its position to the engine in orde to re-install it as it was. If you forgot to make a mark, try to remember in which direction the rotor was pointing before you removed the distributor (assuming the engine was at TDC) and re-install it as close as you can. At TDC, the rotor normally points toward the number one spark plug wire post. Follow the firing order sequence from there.
It all depends on where the engine is stopped when you pull the old distributor. It's easiest if you turn the engine to #1TDC BEFORE you pull the old distributor, then put the new distributor in and make sure it's pointing at #1 when you put it in. The most important part is the timing. Make sure all of the wires go in the same place and that the NEW distributor is aligned exactly the same as the old one.
Remove all spark plugs, turn the engine by hand and get the #1 spark plug at TDC on the compression stroke. Install the distributor so the rotor is pointing to the # 1 plug position on distributor cap. Start the engine and set the time it with a timing light.Remove all spark plugs, turn the engine by hand and get the #1 spark plug at TDC on the compression stroke. Install the distributor so the rotor is pointing to the # 1 plug position on distributor cap. Start the engine and set the time it with a timing light.
I'm putting a distributor in my 79 ford 351 modified 400 351 crank but 400 big block .. i know it is off of time and the timing chain is still good .. but how do i time the 1st cylinder with the distributor . how do i get it firing in order ? The firing order of the 351 Cleveland, 351 Windsor, and 400 are all the same at 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 Rotor turns counterclockwise. Get the #1 piston, which is the piston on the front of the engine passenger side, at top dead center, (TDC) on the compression stroke. Turn the rotor on the distributor to the #1 spark plug on the distributor cap and insert the distributor into the engine. Time the engine with a timing light.
2.5L and 4.0L ENGINE NOT ROTATED 1. Clean the mounting area of the cylinder block and install a new distributor mounting gasket. On some models there is a fork on the distributor housing. The slot in the fork aligns with the distributor hold-down bolt hole in the engine block. The distributor is correctly installed when the rotor is correctly positioned and the slot is aligned with the hold-down bolt hole. On these computer controlled distributors, initial ignition timing is not adjustable. 2. Align the rotor tip with the scribe mark on the distributor housing during removal, then turn the rotor approximately 1/8 turn counterclockwise past the scribe mark. 3. Slide the distributor shaft down into the engine. It may be necessary to move the rotor and shaft slightly to engage the distributor shaft with the oil pump slot. Align the scribe mark on the distributor housing with the mark on the cylinder block. Ensure that the distributor is fully seated against the cylinder block. It may be necessary to slightly rotate (bump) the engine while applying light downward force to fully engage the distributor shaft with the oil pump drive gear shaft. 4. Install the distributor shaft hold-down and bolt. Tighten the bolt to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm). 5. Install distributor cap and ignition wires. Insure that the wires are routed correctly before attempting to start engine. ENGINE ROTATED 1. Rotate the engine until the No.1 piston is at TDC compression. 2. Using a flat-bladed screwdriver, in the distributor hole, rotate the oil pump gear so that the slot in the oil pump shaft is in the correct position (see illustration). 3. With the distributor cap removed, install the distributor so that the rotor is positioned correctly (see illustration). Insure that the distributor is fully seated against the cylinder block. If not, remove the distributor and perform the entire procedure again. 4. Tighten the hold-down bolt. 5. Install distributor cap and ignition wires. Insure that the wires are routed correctly before attempting to start engine.
I had to replace my block heater on my 89 Accord and the plug/location for the heater is in behind the distributor. I had to remove the distributor from the engine block and then removed the old block heater. It is an easy do it yourself job but you have to be carefull to reinstall the distributor exactly the same way it came out. .
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