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Ok... I found true top dead center on the compression stroke..using the piston stop tool ...by hand i rotated eng clockwise & counterclockwise to get both stops.聽 Then found mid point on the HB, between both of my markings..

To my suprise IT lined up exactly on the full-length groove on a harmonic balancer.
SO.now..Chilton's manual says 12掳 before top dead center for all such engines in the lower 49 and Canada excluding Ca, and high altitudes.
I moved from the full length groove, i had lined up on聽 "0" ..backing it to 12 degrees bef TDC.

BUT the rotor will not line up on number one cylinder.. actually it...points almost down the middle of the engine?????
Anybody ???.... i just took the below images..
Now I'm confused...reading off the plate on the engine.... Before is on the passenger side...my left, and after is on my right facing the front of the engine.. .but the HB show's a marking聽 "ATC" moved the HB to 10 ..
EDDIEK
 

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I don't know where the whole "point the rotor at the #1 cylinder" nonsense came from, but it is meaningless.聽 The rotor will point wherever the rotor points at TDC.聽 out.聽 The thing relating to the #1 cylinder the rotor needs to point at is the spark plug tower on the distributor cap for the #1 cylinder.聽 On a Mopar smallblock the rotor will either be dead on or 180 degrees out of phase with the crank.

It sounds like you have found TDC correctly (as long as you are sure it is TDC on the ompression stroke.聽 Did you watch the valves on the #1 cylinder to make sure you were getting TDC on compression and not TDC on the exhaust stroke?).聽 Just put the distributor in place and rotate the body so the rotor points at the distributor cap plug tower you have selected to be the #1 tower.
 

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I forget what year your engine is, but early ones were supposed to be straight forward. It was sometime in the late 80's I think that they switched to pointing at the number 1 cyl.

Either way, Reed has it exactly.

but it is meaningless. The rotor will point wherever the rotor points at TDC. out. The thing relating to the #1 cylinder the rotor needs to point at is the spark plug tower on the distributor cap for the #1 cylinder.
AS long as you have the plug wires in the right order, you can have number one where ever you want. On a Mopar, it involves removing and reinstalling the gear, But if you want to just drop it in, and use where ever it points as the number 1, it will run just fine. The whole issue, is more a matter of standardization, then any performance issue.
 

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I am used to dealing with slant sixes where we can't cheat and use a slot in the oil pump drive gear to tell us where the rotor should point.聽 Slant sixes just have a drive gear with no index.聽 To retime a slant six you need to know what you are doing.
 

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the rotor does indeed point at the # 1 cylinder from the factory , you can have it point anywere you want, till you figure out stock length plug wires dont reach any more = that'll piss ya off , ask me how l know this - by thinking l knew better than the chrysler engineers that designed it聽
 

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And here is from 77. Somewhere it changed.

 

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I think part of your problem is advancing the crank to 12掳 before top dead center. Leave it at zero when installing the distributor. Advance it when you get it started or before you start it. Just a little bit. Then use a timing light to set it right. Or by ear which I usually do.
 

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You don't want to go counter clockwise because you could loosen the bolt on the balancer.

Besides checking for TDC, you have to be on compression stroke (1 TDC is exhaust, the next TDC is compression, etc). When you are approaching TDC, put your finger covering the #1 spark hole and you should feel it being pushed by air.

Your aligning is all correct. You put the balancer to 12 BTDC. Then at the dizzy, you rotate the outer body/housing of the distributor until the rotor is pointing to the #1 post (just like you have it in your photos). Tighten down the distributor clamp. You should now be at 12 degrees BTDC and the engine should start.

You can make adjustments based on a vacuum gauge, but that only affects the idle smoothness, not the rest of the performance. Loosen the distributor clamp just a little bit. Start engine with vacuum gauge connected. Adjust timing up/down a little until vacuum is highest. Tighten distributor. Done.
 

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If you are finding TDC using a piston stop tool, you must rotate the crank counterclockwise.

(1) remove plug from cylinder 1
(1.5) remove the valve cover and rotate the crank while watching the valves.聽 Rotate the crank until you see the intake valve on piston 1 open and then close.聽 This ensures you are on the compression stroke.
(2) install the piston stop tool
(3) rotate crank clockwise by hand until piston contacts the piston stop tool.
(4) make a line on the damper at the TDC mark on the timing tab
(5) rotate the crank counterclockwise until piston contacts piston stop tool
(6) mark a line on the damper at the TDC mark on the timing tab.
(7) TDC on the crank is halfway between the two marks you made on the damper.聽 Don't be surprised if true TDC does not line up with the mark cast into the damper.聽 Make a new mark at true TDC on your damper.

(8) rotate the crank clockwise until the true TDC mark you made on the damper lines up with TDC on the timing tab.聽 Crongratulations.聽 Your motor is now at true TDC on the compression stroke of the #1 piston, right where you want it to time the engine.
(9) Drop the distributor down in the hole and engage the slot in the oil pump drive gear so the rotor points toward the radiator, not the firewall.
(10 ) rotate the distributor body until the rotor is pointing at the #1 spark plug tower.
(11) snug distributor hold down bolt enough to hold the distributor steady but allow adjustment
(12) reinstall cap and plug wires in proper order.
(13) disconnect vacuum advance hose and plug it
(14) reinstall the plug in #1, along with the #1 plug wire
(15) start engine and use the timing light to set your base timing a specified.

Done.
 

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You are thinking too hard. All you need to do is get the dist close enough so the engine will start. Get the line between zero, and 12 degs is good enough (assuming you are on the compression stroke). Then turn the dist so the rotor points close to the number one tower. Start the engine, and set the timing with a timing light.

A timing light that has the dial, is the simplest to use, you just set the dial to 12 degs before, and then set the line on the damper to zero, with the timing light, and the engine running.
 

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OP, what I鈥檓 seeing in your second picture of your original post is a distributor that is incorrectly installed.聽 The vacuum advance should be further forward from where it is.聽 If it were in the correct position the rotor would be pointing at about 4:00 to 5:00 O鈥檆lock like it鈥檚 supposed to do.聽

That said, the distributor doesn鈥檛 care what position it鈥檚 in so long as the wires are in the right order and the rotor is pointing at #1 on the cap.聽 If you don鈥檛 want to remove the distributor and correct it鈥檚 position then just adjust the position of the plug wires on the cap to coincide correctly.聽 Then you can get it fired up and fine tune the timing.聽 :)
 

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EDDIEK said:
I would rather re install the distributor, do it correct so it's as the factory intended. Ok that means loosen the hold down bolt/clamp rotate counterclock wise ... so that rotor points to between 4:00 - 5:00: Thanks much ..
Turning the distributor will not turn the rotor. :)
 

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Eddie, you鈥檒l have to remove the distributor and turn it counter clockwise so that the vacuum advance is at about 9:00 and the rotor is a 4:00 to 5:00.聽 This, of course, once you have established TDC.聽 Remember the oil pump drive must line up also.聽
 

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Eddie, I might add you should purchase a Factory Service Manual for your year also.聽 You can get a FSM in hard copy or pdf form.聽 They are a wonderful source of information.聽 :)
 

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EDDIEK said:
I'll just start, over...Going to find TDC, on compression, at no1, balancer at 12 BTDC.
No. No no no no no. The cam is phisically linked to the crank through the timing chain. Putting the crank at 12 BTDC means it isn't at true TDC. To time the motor you put the crank at TDC. The 12 BTDC adjustment is done after you have installed the distributor and engaged the oil pump drive gear. Once have properly installed the distributor, you can spin it 360 degrees and arbitrarily decide where you want the vacuum advance pod to point and which plug tower is the #1 plug tower. You do not set base timing advance by parking the crank prior to TDC. You set the timing advance with a timing light and by turning the distributor while the motor is running.
 

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Reed said:
No. No no no no no. The cam is phisically linked to the crank through the timing chain. Putting the crank at 12 BTDC means it isn't at true TDC. To time the motor you put the crank at TDC. The 12 BTDC adjustment is done after you have installed the distributor and engaged the oil pump drive gear. Once have properly installed the distributor, you can spin it 360 degrees and arbitrarily decide where you want the vacuum advance pod to point and which plug tower is the #1 plug tower. You do not set base timing advance by parking the crank prior to TDC. You set the timing advance with a timing light and by turning the distributor while the motor is running.
That's what I said about 15 post back. ;)
 

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EDDIEK said:
KurtfromLaQuinta ...Yes, I remember.. " I think part of your problem is advancing the crank to 12掳 before top dead center. Leave it at zero when installing the distributor. Advance it when you get it started or before you start it. Just a little bit. Then use a timing light to set it right. Or by ear which I usually do."

KLQ & Reed... Thanks guys... Really...
EDDIEK
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Good job!聽 Slow and steady wins the race.
 
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