Originally posted by Ratpack:
Thank you Marty...I appreciate that. I agree, I have to check the clearance or I'll never feel good about firing it up! Quick question, if I start the disassembly with #1 at TDC, then pull the distributor once I confirm it's pointing to number one in the cap,if I rotate the crank twice to do the clay thing, I should be back at the point where I started from right? and the distributor should drop back in without a problem and align to the oil pump drive rod? I know I'm letting this freak me out...lol.
Yes you're right about rotating the crank twice and being back where you started from as long as you are exactly at the same location on the crankshaft timing marks (which is what I figured you implied).
I took a sharpie and made marks on my distributor and intake manifold, so that I knew exactly where it was positioned prior to removing the distributor.
If you can get the engine to fire up, you might want to take a baseline timing reading so that it gives you something to shoot for when you get her back together, but if you do the sharpie thing like I mentioned above, it should get you in the ball park.
If I remember correctly, I did have to play around with the distributor a bit to get it to drop back in where I had it before. I'm not sure what was causing the problem, maybe some others can chime in (Eric68, PDQ, Chicane???), but I'm thinking that maybe the oil pump wasn't lining up, but I eventually got it back as it was. I think I had to keep pulling it out and reinserting it until the rotor made a revolution and things all lined up. There's probably an easy trick to it, I just don't know exactly what the trick is. This was my first head change and it worked out nice, just took a little longer than expected, but was worth it. Hope this helps.