Originally Posted by mgmann
This is driving me crazy! I’ve replaced distributors many times, and never had this kind of problem. Set timing mark to TDC, rotor pointing to #1 wire, position of the distributor is identical to what it always was but all I can get is a back fire. I move the distributor a few degrees one way or the other and it still doesn’t work.
I’m on the verge of just going out and buying a new distributor but first I’ll see if anyone can give me some hint as to what might be going on.
X2 on it being out of sync 180 degrees.
Here's how to correct it:
With everything as is (distributor being installed 180 degrees out, engine backfire, etc):
Disconnect the battery
Turn the crank so that the timing mark on the balancer reads "TDC" and the distributor is pointing at the #1 plug.
THIS position is actually 180 degrees out of sync. NOW, turn the crank ONE REVOLUTION to "TDC" again.
VERY IMPORTANT: ONLY TURN IT ONCE!!!!
Now you will observe that the distributor is NOT pointing to the #1 plug at all. This is good. (at the moment.)
Next, PULL the distributor out and re-insert it so that it is pointing at the #1 plug.
Snug the distributor hold-down bolt a bit, but not too tight that you can't turn the distributor a little bit. (for timing it later).
Re-connect the battery. Hook up your timing light. Fire it up and time it as you would normally (engine at operating temp, distributor advance removed and vacuum line plugged).
Don't worry. I've had this happen to me, too, and I had to have someone remind me that there are two "top dead centers".