On any V8 engine, the farthest cylinder forward is number one. Having said that, yes the passenger side front is #1 and as long as the crank is at TDC (verifiy by looking at the balancer's timing marks) then the rotor should be pointing at the number one post on the distributer cap. If there's any doubt, try removing the plug from #1 cylinder and have a freind bump the starter while you cover the plug hole with your thumb. As the piston comes up one the compression stroke, it will force your thumb out of the hole as air rushes past. Look down at the balancer and using either the starter or a breaker bar, line up the marks to TDC, then recheck your rotor postion. If it's not pointing to #1, then it's out of time, reset it as needed.
Also in your pic above ... #1 in the dist is at #6 cyld
Not that way on mine ...#1 is at #1cyld
What do you mean #1 is at #6 cyld?
#1 is at #1 cyld?
Your #1 on the dist should always be located physically where it is in the picture. Where the rotor points is dependant on where the engine is in it's firing order. The wires take care of the rest. I don't mean to state the oblivious, but I don't understand your statements above.
The crank timing mark should be at 0 when #1 piston is at TDC on the compression stroke and the distributor pointer should be at the #1 post. If the distributor body won't swing far enough to get this alignment remove it and re-insert it so it will. You want the body of the distributor positioned so it can swing a bit either way and not bring up on anything. Once you have this done, attach a timing light, start the motor and set the base timing to spec making sure to disable ignition advance by whatever means is customary for your engine, on a vacuum distributor that means disconnecting the vacuun line, on an EFI motor you pull the spout plug. With the timing set snug down the distributor bolt and recheck just to make sure it didn't move, then enable the advance and you're done.
I may be wrong about this, but I think the dist. can be oriented in any position as long as the wires go to the right cylinders from the right spots on the dist. according to the proper firing order. I would suggest, however that you determine true TDC for #1 piston by removing the plug and sticking a pencil down the hole (erasure end first), or straw, and watch for TDC on compression stroke (rotor points to #1). If the balancer doesn't indicate TDC (or TC) then change the marks on the balancer and time accordingly (see Conanski's post-he's forgotten more about these trucks than most of us know)
If you're at TDC on compression stroke on #1 and balancer doesn't read O/TDC then the balancer has slipped, don't change the marks. The rotor will be pointing where #1 should be. As Conaski posted, you need dizzy to have range of movement without hitting anything. Yes, you can shift the plug wires a position and will work fine. Pencil/straw only tells you that cyl is at top of it's stroke. Place your finger over the hole and make sure you feel pressure. It could be at the top of exhaust stroke. Hope that makes some kind of sense to you.
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