Author Topic: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor  (Read 2019 times)

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Offline dhmike661

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Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« on: October 19, 2008, 08:31:10 PM »
Ive made the rookie mistake of removing the plug wires off of the distributor, i know the firing order from my haynes manual, but it is not clear where the #1 plug wire begins on the distributor.  Right now I have the #1 wire placed just left of center (front of engine).  It ran really rough, hence leading me to believe i messed up the order, but i checked it a few times.

BTW I had removed the cap to install a new magnetic pick up.
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Offline Elwenil

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Re: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 09:29:29 PM »
Looking at the distributor from the front of the engine with you facing the firewall, there will be a cap clip on the driver's side.  Moving in a clockwise direction from the clip the next tower is the #7 then #2, #1, #8, then the other clip on the passenger side and then #4, #3, #6, #5 and that should put you back at the clip on the driver's side.
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Offline JerryWayne

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Re: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 05:45:50 AM »
 the #1 terminal is usually the first or second terminal past the driver's distributor clip.  its gonna be somewhere in the 4:00oclock-5:30 area.
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Offline wycowboy

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Re: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 06:24:54 AM »
What advice that has been given so far is good but why don't you do it right. Pull the #1 spark plug, have someone else bump the engine around while you hold a finger or thumb sealing he spark plug hole. When the compression blows your finger/thumb off the hole tell your partner to stop bumping the engine. Fine tune the position by the turning the engine by the use of a socket and ratchet on the harmonic balancer bolt until the timing marks are lined up. The remove the distributor cap and see which terminal on it the rotor is pointing to. Start there with the #1 plug wire and follow the firing order from there. Then you'll be fixed.

And remember, never, ever, remove all the plug wires at the same time unless you are SURE you can put them back correctly. I've been working on cars for years and I still won't do it unless its necessary becasue its a PITA putting them back.

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Offline wevie

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Re: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 11:07:55 PM »
Quote
have someone else bump the engine around while you hold a finger or thumb sealing he spark plug hole

wycowboy is right, except DO NOT seal the hole with your thumb!!  I've had my index finger painfully sucked INTO the spark plug hole doing this.  Hold your finger over the hole but don't make an air tight seal.
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Offline Sowinski

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Re: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 01:03:31 AM »
Saying which position on the distributor is #1 is kinda misleading. #1 can start off of any terminal depending on how everything is rotated. The easiest way to set initial timing is to pick which post on the distributor cap is #1 (mark w/ sharpie). Then rotate the engine over via the damper bolt (1 1/4" socket + long wrench & it will be much easier to rotate with the spark plugs out) until the notch on the damper lines up to the zero on the timing cover. Other than putting your finger over the spark plug hole you could take the driver's side valve cover off and watch the valves, should go intake open, both closed w/ piston at top- this is when it should be zero on the timing cover (end of compression stroke with the spark plug just about to fir). Then rotate the the engine further until it's about 15 degrees advanced. Then rotate the distributor until the rotor tip lines up with the post you marked earlier. (Btw #1 piston is the front right when looking at the engine after opening the hood.)

Hope that helps...
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Offline Elwenil

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Re: Plug Wire Configuration on 318 Distributor
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 05:50:36 AM »
All the info in this thread is good but for the sake of standardization, the info in my first post is spot on.  If the distributor drive gear is installed correctly the firing order on the cap is the same for all models.  Moving the wires around on the cap can limit your timing adjustment on most models since the vacuum advance will hit either the firewall, coil or manifold and can also lead to confusion when replacing the cap and wires if they are transferred exactly.  By keeping the factory specs you can be sure of the same result each time.  The number one tower is clearly marked on original Mopar caps or can be found by counting off the towers as in my original post. 

To verify that the distributor drive is installed correctly, rotate the engine over until it is at TDC on the compression stroke on the #1 cylinder, remove the distributor and verify that the slot in the drive gear is inline with the crankshaft.  If not, take a large flat screwdriver and insert it into the slot and rotate the drive gear out and then reinsert it to line it up.  Keep moving one tooth over until it is inline with the crankshaft when seated.  Insert the distributor so that the rotor points forward and rotate it so that the rotor points slightly before the #1 tower then fire it up and set the timing.
L.Clemons

1988 Ramcharger-Mil-Spec AW450 Project-318EFI-NP435 4 speed-NP205 Transfer Case-Front & Rear Dana 60s-Braden Wormdrive Front Winch
I do not like shortcuts.  Any job worth doing is worth doing right.

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