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Discussion Starter #1
OK...want to make sure I am not missing something here before I cause a catastrophic failure!

While installing my muncie, the engine was "disturbed."

I have rotated the engine to the "0" degree timing mark (on the compression cycle) to put cylinder 1 at TDC...

I dropped the distributor in, but it does not point toward "6 O'clock" (it points more toward 7 or 8ish :)

Do I need to take the distributor out, rotate the oil pump drive (so that the distirbutor will seat, and re-seat the distributor to read 6 O'clock?

btw, it is an HEI, and has been in the car before (it's not a brand new distributor).

It's been a while since I've done this...
 

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If you want the distributor orientation factory-correct (so you can set the timing properly without the vacuum advance can interfering with the plug wire support or the #8 intake runner), the correct orientation and plug wire indexing in the cap are shown below. With the engine set as you describe, the rotor should point at the #1 wire tower in the cap. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Right now, it is more or less poitng at tower for #8cylinder...mayber between 1 and 8...
 

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Put the distributor where you want it and have a helper crank the motor while you gently push it down. When the oil pump shaft lines up it will drop right down. Now start from scratch and find #1 compression and set timing.
 

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Pull it back out, rotate the shaft about that much, and it should slide right in. If you have to turn the oil pump shaft with a long screwdriver.
 

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Put the distributor where you want it and have a helper crank the motor while you gently push it down. When the oil pump shaft lines up it will drop right down. Now start from scratch and find #1 compression and set timing.
I agree, except don't push it.
It will fall into the oil pump shaft as it comes around. Then find TDC#1 again and verify your timing.

Put the engine on 12-18 degrees before TDC on the timing marks.

Hook up a timing light
Turn on the ignition and pull the trigger on the timing light.
Rotate the distributor counter clockwaise, then back clockwise.
Stop turning clockwise when the timing light fires.
Lock down the dizzy, you're ready to make noise.
 

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Put the cap on the distributor. Take a marker and mark the distributor base just below the cap in the center of the #1 post. Use a tape measure and make another mark 2-1/4" to the right of that mark.

Pull out the #1 spark plug. Rotate the motor by hand clockwise until the TDC mark on the damper is an inch or two from coming around to your 0 mark on the timing tab. Put your thumb over the spark plug hole and rotate the engine some more. If you feel pressure build, you are coming to TDC for #1. If not, you are coming to TDC for #6. If that is the case, turn the motor clockwise another full turn to that you are for sure at TDC for #1. Then turn the motor counterclockwise slightly until the damper mark is lined up with the 12 degreed advanced mark on your timing tab.

Take a flat head screwdriver and mark a line on the end of the handle in line with the blade. Put it down in the distributor hole, engage the oil pump shaft, and turn until the mark on the screwdriver handle is pointing at the #5 cylinder intake valve, or just behind the #5 exhaust port.

Take the cap back off the HEI distributor. Turn the rotor so that the leading edge (left when looking down, clockwise rotation) is lined up with the second mark you made on the distributor body. Hold in this position and lower the distributor into the hole with the vacuum can pointing 45 degrees across the engine compartment, or roughly just between the #6 and #8 exhaust ports.

Lower the distributor into the hole. As the distributor gear meshes with the cam gear, the rotor should rotate clockwise and line up with the first mark you made on the distributor body for the #1 post. You will likely have to wiggle it a little to get the gears to mesh and to get it to drop down all the way after the gears mesh so that the distributor will engage the oil pump shaft. You can wiggle the rotor a little to help with that.

Now remove the rotor and you will see eight cast triangles pointing towards each other, one set in the distributor body and one set in the rotor body. Install your distributor clamp loosely. Then turn the distributor body slightly so that the triangle points line up exactly in line with one another. Lock down the distributor clamp. If you left the damper mark at the 12 degrees advanced line, you are now set with 12 degrees initial timing.

Reinstall everything else and the car should start up. Don't forget to put the rotor back on (yes I've done this...."wtf is going on here???"). Loosen the distributor clamp slightly and set your total timing using a timing light and using the correct procedure. If you are going to run 36 degrees of total timing, your initial timing will likely move to 16 degrees as most stock HEI's have 20 degrees of mechanical advance.
 

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Seeing how it is not a stock point type distributor but an hei unit..they typically install with the rotor tip pointing to #1 cylinder and #1 ignition wire at 5 o/clock on the cap.Not period correct..but neither is your distributor.
As mentioned above..rotate the crank and stop at 12# btdc on your timing tab and then stab the distributor and rotor tip aligned with #1 tower.This will give you the initial advance for a quick start up until you time with a light.
 

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If you have to turn the oil pump shaft, align the slot so that it's roughly parallel with the centerline of the block front to rear. Might take a little wiggling, but that'll set the rotor in the right area :thumbsup:

Jim's method posted above is what I always use :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Followed Steiner's notes above:

The engine is not running very smoothly at all--I checked the timing after the distributor install, and was only able to move it to about 6 degrees BTDC (I cannot "turn" the distributor any more due to wire length--and to be quite honest, it already seems way off from where it used to be. Prior to removing the distributor, it was set at about 14 BTDC, and the tach/batt attachements on the HEI, etc were at about the 3 O'clock position (give or take)...now, at 6 BTDC, those same terminals are at about the two o'clock postion already.

I plan to pick up a new set of wires to fix the lenght issue, but why would the dizzy seem to be so far off of where it used to be?

Also I shoudl note, that I am having a really hard time getitng the engine to run smoothly (it does have a big cam and has always been "lumpy"), but the idel has been very hard to set--I think I may have blown out the carb's power valve--when first starting her up, she had a couple of major backfires, through both exhaust and carburetor.

I know this is long-winded, but any suggestions? (possiby on tunig the Holley 750cfm vacuum secondary carb as well as any timeing concerns)...seems the carb and idle shoud be set before I mess with the timing?

I know this is long-winded--hopefully someone will read it and give me some tips--it is not fun trying to run with the new 4 speed while trying to "nurse" the motor to keep her from stalling out!
 

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Why are you running it at 6 degrees instead of 14?
Is the parts of the cap where the wires go into the distributor?

You need to lift the dizzy out, rotate the rotor 1 tooth CCW (lift carefully, you'll feel the gearteeth) and drop her back in. This will put the cap back where it was, and let you get your 14 degrees without running the cap into the firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Why are you running it at 6 degrees instead of 14?
Is the parts of the cap where the wires go into the distributor?

You need to lift the dizzy out, rotate the rotor 1 tooth CCW (lift carefully, you'll feel the gearteeth) and drop her back in. This will put the cap back where it was, and let you get your 14 degrees without running the cap into the firewall.

6 instead of 14 because I cannot rotate the cap any more than it is at this point due to both Firewall, and one of the plug wires is too short...Can I move it one tooth without taking the dizzy all the way out to? (I guess what I am asking is, won't I have to "adjuste" the oil pump drive if I attmept to move the dizzy one tooth backward?
 

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6 instead of 14 because I cannot rotate the cap any more than it is at this point due to both Firewall, and one of the plug wires is too short...Can I move it one tooth without taking the dizzy all the way out to? (I guess what I am asking is, won't I have to "adjuste" the oil pump drive if I attmept to move the dizzy one tooth backward?
Yes you can do that, all you will need is to have someone crank the engine while you hold the distributor and rotor.... it will drop right in without taking the distributor out.
 
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