Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Lake Mary, Florida
I'm going through a similar situation as you. My 327 had a HEI distributor, and to make the engine bay look period correct, I decided to remove this distributor and replace it with a points and coil setup. I first noticed that the HEI number 1 cylinder position on the cap pointed at an angle (the number 1 cylinder when the engine was at TDC). However, the points style distributor's number one cylinder on the distributor cap points more straight ahead (points straight forward then that of the HEI distributor). In doing research, this was due to the vacuum advance canister on the distributor; in order for the HEI's vacuum advance canister to clear an intake runner, the distributor was shifted slightly, making the number 1 cylinder on the distributor cap point more at the number 1 cylinder. For the points style distributor, number 1 points more in a forward direction (to the passenger side of cylinder 1) than the HEI.
You can basically install a distributor and have the rotor point to ANY position you want on its distributor cap, as long as you follow the firing order when installing the plug wires.
And as a tip, there is no need to worry about aligning the oil pump slightly counter clockwise prior to installing the distributor when installing; just install the distributor to get its gear and the rotor pointing where it needs to (number 1 cylinder location), then rotate the engine while slightly pressing down on the distributor (I use a socket and ratchet on the crankshaft pulley bolt) until the distributor drops and seats on the intake. Continue to rotate the engine to verify you have TDC (looking at the timing mark on the harmonic balancer and toothed timing bracket), and the rotor is pointing at the correct position for the number 1 spot on the distributor cap.
Never argue with an idiot; they'll only drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.