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352 engine and firing order

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Old 10-30-2013, 11:59 AM
Camper Special Gene Camper Special Gene is offline
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352 engine and firing order

I hope this isn't too silly a question from a newbie:

I have a 1965 F250 with 352 engine, recently purchased. I plan on changing points, condenser, spark plugs and plug wires this weekend.

Right now, the spark plug wire for #1 cylinder is at the back of the distributor cap at the carb side, and just about directly across from the vacuum advance module. Rotor point is just above label on distributor.

According to the book How to rebuild big block Fords by Stephen Christ, this layout is correct. But looking at the Ford factory manual I bought which covers 352 engines, a diagram looking down at the top of the engine and giving the firing order on the distributor shows #1 spark plug wire to be at the front of the engine, just about above the distributor vacuum module and water pump.

I have the engine on TDC on compression stroke, and I can fit the distributor in either way, # 1 at the back of the distributor or at the front. Which is correct or are both correct. Am I reading these books incorrectly?

Thanks, Gene
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:02 PM
daveengelson daveengelson is online now
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Some caps actually have #1 marked on the distributor cap. My 65 with the 390; same as 352, with #1 cyl. at TDC on compression the rotor is pointed toward the firewall at #1 plug wire.

If uncertain whether #1 cyl. at TDC I resort to removing the plug and place finger in opening then rotate engine until finger is forced out, then check position of the rotor and timing marks; they must be aligned. Bought an inline spark tester(don't need to remove plug) for $5, and a start button (type that connects to batt. and start relay) and while sitting under the hood able to rotate engine. If you find marks are aligned with rotor facing water pump believe you should be able to remove the distributor and position the rotor facing forward and then position the wires in correct firing order: Assuming the book provided the firing order of 15426378 with the rotor turning counter clockwise.

At some point may want to consider swapping out for Electronic Ignition, starting on a cold winter morning probably no longer an issue??
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