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Home Page Ford Custom Crate Engines Forums 302 / 351w FORD DISTRIBUTOR TIMING PROCEDURE

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    This is a general procedure list. Some exceptions may apply.

    1. Bring the Harmonic Balancer to the Zero Mark on the compression stroke of Top Dead Center

    2. Reference # 1 on the Distributor Cap. Mark on base of Distributor Cap where #1 wire and also on housing of Distributor.

    3. Drop the Distributor in place so it aligns with the Drive Rod of the Oil Pump. If there is difficultly aligning with the drive rod then use a a socket head  (1/4” for a 302  or a 5/16” for a 351w) to turn it enough to drop in place. Drop in place to align with # 1. Turn Distributor a ¼ of a turn to advance (Clockwise) to get the engine to start.

    4. Tighten up the Distributor hold down

    5. Make certain the Rotor is returning on its own, to see if it has some end play. Rotor on the small block Fords always  turns CCW.

    6. Put distributor cap on and follow Firing order.

    7. Connect Red Wire of Distributor to + Positive side of Coil. Connect Black wire of Distributor to – Negative side of Coil. Need to have a Key Activated (Power on when key On, Power Off when Key Off)     12 Volt Souce Wire leading into the Positive Side of the Coil.  If your Running a Tachometer run this on the Negative side of the Coil.

    8. Run engine for a few minutes to get up to temperature. Then disconnect the vacuum hose off the distributor and have it idling @ 1000 RPMs

    9. With a Timing light hooked up to # 1 spark plug wire, set the initial timing light to 15 degrees before top dead center while vacuum hose is disconnected @ 1000 RPMs. Turn the Distributor Clockwise to Advance Timing.  Turn the Distributor Counter Clockwise to Retard Timing.  At approx. 3000 RPMS it should have central fugal Advance of 34-38 Degrees with Vacuum Hose off.

    10. Reconnect Hose after initial timing is set. You’re all set to go.


    302 (5.0L) HO & 95-96 Truck,
    351C, 351M, 351W, 400
    Firing Order: 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8


    Ford Firing Order

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