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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, here is my problem. I'm working on a 1966 Mustang and have installed a 347 CI (as all know a 302 bored and stroked). I hate to admit this, but this is the first Ford motor I've done. Ask me about Chevys or Pontiacs, they are simple. So the distributor is in and not a single marking indicating the number 1 terminal. So the question is; Can I use anyone of the terminals as number 1 and if so does the firing order proceed in a counterclock wise order or clockwise. I'm leaning counterclock wise. I would sure appreciate any help. :happyhapp
 

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#1 cylinder

I use MSD also and the way you locate the number one spot on your distributor cap is to set the number 1 cylinder to TDC (top dead center) on the compression stroke. Once you've done this, pull out, adjust direction and re-insert the distributor so the rotor physically pointing at the number 1 cylinder on your motor. Put the cap back on and see what terminial the rotor is pointing at, however it might not be perfectly dead on but it'll be easy to tell what cylinder it'll spark next (the number 1 and keep in mind that it rotates counter clockwise). You have just determined the number 1 cylinder distributor terminal so install your wires accordingly. I also posted a picture of the cylinder numbers and the correct firing order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'll give that a try. Also, thanks for the additional attachment.:happydance:
 

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I'm not sure I understand the thing about pointing at #1 on the motor, but if you look at dakine858's illustration you can see that #1 is at about 12:30-1 O'clock when looking at the distributor from the front of the motor.
I can't think of a good reason why it would matter if you started anywhere, other than it may screw up your plug wire lengths. I'd still do it the way it is in the illustration.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the thing about pointing at #1 on the motor, but if you look at dakine858's illustration you can see that #1 is at about 12:30-1 O'clock when looking at the distributor from the front of the motor.
I can't think of a good reason why it would matter if you started anywhere, other than it may screw up your plug wire lengths. I'd still do it the way it is in the illustration.
The reason every car that has a distributor must point at the number 1 cylinder in order to properly utilize the timing marks on the the crank pulley.
 

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Really simple. Crank the engine until you're at TDC on the compression stroke of the #1 cylinder. Drop in the distributor and turn it so it lines up with the closest terminal post. That becomes your number one spark plug wire and then layout your wires from there. Counter clockwise, making sure you have the firing order specified by your camshaft manufacturer. As newer 302's use a different firing order than old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So from what mwillis and ieatdrt are saying, it doesn't matter where #1 terminal is as long as the firing order is correct and the corresponding plug wires go to the appropriate plug? And what I'm gathering is that dakine858 is saying that #1 terminal has to be pointing at the #1 spark plug in order for the timing tab to be accurate. So who is correct? Or am I reading this wrong and both ways are the same?
 

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Obviously, I think me and ieatdirt are correct, but I'm smart enough to know I don't know everything. Greek seems to be the technical guy, let's see what he says.
 

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If you have the #1 cylinder at TDC on the compression stroke, it doesn't matter which terminal the rotor is pointing at as long as this is where you put the #1 wire. And yes, rotation is counter clockwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree. lets here from greek or veronica. I have received great advice from both of them. How do we have them weigh in on our subject?
 

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Install your distributor so that the vacuum advance canister on the side of the dist. housing doesn't hit anything. You will need to have room to rotate the dist. to adjust the timing. The K code or 289 HIPO distributor didn't have vacuum advance as well as some aftermarket units.

It doesn't matter which terminal #1 is set to as long as the rotor is pointing to the wire/terminal for cyl.#1 when the crank is positioned at TDC for cyl. #1 on the compression stroke.

You can position #1 to any position you like by lifting the dist. out and rotating the dist shaft a few teeth over. All that needs to be certain is that the rotor is pointing to the assigned wire/terminal for #1 when #1 is at TDC.

As said before, rotation is counter clockwise. You will turn the dist. clockwise to advance the timing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
:bigthumbsupWell, I guess that answers my question. The expert has spoke and thats the way I'm doing it. Thanks, greek. I knew we could count on you. I'm on my way out to the garage in a few minutes. Also, thanks to mwillis, ieatdrt and jgard07. its great to have a forum where I know I can get the right answers.
 

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Howdy! I'm curious to find out when they changed the firing order. Someone above mentioned it changed on later motors?? When was that.

You folks sure can supply the info when it's needed and the visual aids are killer too!!

Thanks,
Cris
 

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When the 5.0 High Output (HO) was introduced around the early 1980s the firing order was changed to that of the 351 Windsor. The reasoning was that with the 302s firing order (non HO engines) there was excessive stress being placed on the front main bearing. This was causing cracks in the webbing of the newly redesigned "Thin Wall" castings of the 5.0 blocks.

Using the 351s firing order was the remedy. There were non HO engines being produced along side of the HOs, but these engines were being placed in trucks and non performance oriented cars. These engines retained the old firing order.
 
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