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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 68 289. I just put the rebuilt motor in and now wanting to set TDC, install dist, rotor and wires.
Where on the Mallory cap is number one. Anybody have any pictures.
What would the firing order be. I see 2 for small blocks.
On the dist in where should the rotor be pointing at number 1.
Thanks, John
 

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your firing order will be 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8 unless you have a 302 roller cam or 351w cam then it is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. you can put number 1 anywhere depending on where you drop your dist in. your firing order is counter clockwise. Maybe someone can post a pic for you.
 

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There's a procedure for setting that distributor also. On the rotor is an arrow. On the module there is a corresponding pointer (its on the side where the led is) that you line up with the arrow on the rotor. Wherever the rotor ends up pointing use that for number one.
 

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My unilite did not have a special alignment point as Greg mentioned (wonder if that if that is an older convention). My rotor looks like this...
http://www.honestcharley.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/H/C/HC-MAL-335.jpg

As cmefly mentioned, with this type of rotor and unilite any post on the cap can be #1 Note that in the picture above there are several slots cut in the rotor's shutter wheel. Each slot allows the LED module to complete the circuit and make spark at each corresponding plug terminal on the cap. Point being, what is important is that you stab the distributor on #1 TDC and then align the rotor with the post 'you wish' to be #1. Then complete to proper firing order of plug cable routing from there.

I would probably go with the old/standard 289 firing order if you're not sure on your cam selection (ie older 289/302 or later 302/351). As long as you stab it correctly you'll know real quick if the order is wrong.
http://www.aa1car.com/library/ford_firing_orders.jpg

Easiest way to do this is if you have the old distributor in and bump the engine over till rotor points at #1 on the old cap. Remove old distributor. Then stab the new distributor at what ever alignment is most convenient so long as the post on the cap the rotor now points to is your new #1 (i.e. you might want the vacuum canister located at a particular position so that when you rotate the dizzy to adjust timing you have room to rotate it either direction) then complete firing order around the cap from there.

If you're going from scratch without the old dizzy in place, then I find it easiest to place your thumb over the #1 spark plug hole and have a someone bump then engine over till you feel the cylinder pressure pushing your finger off the hole (not too tough to tell when it's right). At that point you are on #1 cylinder compression stroke approaching TDC. You can use the timing mark on the harmonic balancer to confirm exact TDC (provided it is trustworthy as on a new balancer....old balancers are known to slip, or old marks can be inaccurate).

There is also a special tool available that can screw into the spark plug hole to let you know the piston is at the top of the stroke (a wooden dowel or even screwdriver can substitute in its place to confirm top of piston stroke although I'd only use something like that when turning the engine over by hand), but you have to remember that on a 4 stroke engine the piston reaches the top of its stroke twice (once on compression stroke aka TDC, the other on exhaust stroke aka 180* out). That is why I find it easiest to use the quick and dirty 'thumb' approach...that and eyeballin' piston will usually get you close enough to tune timing. To be extra certain you are on compression stroke for #1 and confirm TDC, you can check the valves with the valve cover off on the #1 bank (both will be closed for that cylinder as the piston is rising to TDC on compression stroke).

When you have confirmed engine is at TDC then, select the general position you would like the distributor to be in (again may want to consider vacuum canister relative location). Align the rotor to the post 'you want' to be #1 (consider plug wire routing). Make a mark on the distributor housing corresponding to this post. When you stab the distributor it is normal for it to rotate partially as you stab it, so you'll need to locate the rotor just before or after the mark you made so that the rotor lines up with the mark once stabbed (all the way down). NOTE: You will also need to align the dizzy with the oil pump shaft down inside the block. It's possible to use some long nose pliers or some such to rotate the oil pump shaft to your liking.

Main thing to keep in mind is don't be afraid to take a few 'stabs' at it (bad pun intended) if you're not real familiar with the process and in order to get things aligned as you like.

Also important to note with the unilites, as they were some of the first aftermarket distributors they are intended to be run WITH a factory balast resistor in place. Not normally an issue for old cars, but if they are run without the factory resistor or an external aftermarket resistor, you WILL burnout the module($) quickly if not sooner ;) (one of the main if not the main problem folks have 'always' had with the unilite...alone they are meant to see the stock voltage of a 'resisted' ignition system 7-9volts IIRC not a full 12volts). The only exception to 'not' needing the resistor is if you are powering the unilite with a Hyfire or MSD capacitive discharge unit.

How's that for a long one LOL...
But to recap, verify TDC, #1 post on cap is up to you, and don't forget to make sure there is a resistor in place. Hope this helps and good luck!
 

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Those look like the instructions that were included with mine, but didn't see any reference to the 'arrow' alignment. Does mention aligning 'nearest slot' in the rotor with the optical light. That is the same as aligning the rotor with a particular post.

Mallory Instructions:
"Place the UNILITE® Distributor in the engine. Rotate the UNILITE® Distributor
housing in the opposite direction of rotor rotation until the nearest slot on the rotor’s shutter wheel is aligned with the optical eye of the UNILITE
Module. This will generally give timing close enough for starting purposes. Put the distributor hold down clamp in place and tighten slightly, leaving it loose enough to turn the UNILITE® Distributor."

EDIT: Sorry if I went overboard on the 'war & peace' stabbing procedure, but figured that if you weren't sure about #1 location it might help conceptually. As long as TDC is verfied correctly, you literally have as many options on any distrubtor for #1 wire location as there are gear teeth (were it not for external object, brackets, vac cans, etc interfering with rotation).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Frank-n -stang, That was the exact info I was looking for. What gregb stated I think implies to new dist.
I'm installing the 289 in a 69 Fastback, I've replaced the PINK wire with a 12v one. I have an e-coil so I don't need the resistance wire per Mallory's advice.

Out all that has been said. I can baiscally put #1 anywhere I want. I see a lot of manuals showing #1 at 1 or 2 o'clock. With that position the housing clip post comes close to the temp sensor and by rotating the housing clockwise the clip post hits the intake.

What I need to know is- when I adjust the timing, where does most of the turning of the dist housing go? More clockwise or counter clockwise from TDC. If I know that I can place the housing in a way so that the adjustment doesn't hit the intake.

Thanks to all for your help!
 

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What I need to know is- when I adjust the timing, where does most of the turning of the dist housing go? More clockwise or counter clockwise from TDC. If I know that I can place the housing in a way so that the adjustment doesn't hit the intake.
Whoops, I thought the diagram above included the dizzy rotation, but here's one that does...
http://fs.christonium.com/fs_files/12496120426372_firiingorder.png

So if I'm figuring right (which might be a big if...have to think of this kinda backwards, plus I've been messing mostly with my I6 the last couple years which rotates opposite of V8 cause dizzy is on opposite side of cam IIRC...anyway, back to your question)...

V8 distributor rotor rotates Couner Clockwise, so when clamp is loose the dizzy housing would rotate Clockwise to advance timing, and Counter Clockwise to retard timing...so if you stab close to TDC then you'll 'most likely' be moving the distributor Clockwise to advance timing...that's where you'll want your degree's of freedom. You'll want to have the ability/clearance to rotate dizzy Clockwise to advance timing, but may want to have some minimal clearance each way just in case.

Hopefully the V8 guys here will correct me if I've got this completely backwards...50/50 shot of getting it right:shrug: All kidding aside I'm pretty sure that's it, but again I'm sure someone else can correct me if wrong.
___________________

EDIT: Dang! Still screwed it up above...believe it's correct now...think of advancing as moving any post toward the rotor to meet it sooner...(i.e. opposite of dizzy rotation)
 

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The arrow on the rotor is supposed to line up with the arrow on the photo cell for initial startup. The arrow on the rotor points to where there is a gap in the rotor. The placement of #1 is up to you. I remember when I first stabbed mine, I didnt have enough room to turn the dizzy to time it correctly, so I had to re-stab it moving it one more tooth and also changing where I put #1.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Doesn't matter where the rotor points on the rotor. As long as the plug used where the rotor points is #1. Per Mallory.
 

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Doesn't matter where the rotor points on the rotor. As long as the plug used where the rotor points is #1. Per Mallory.
That's true. But it could be off far enough timing wise that it wont start. That gap in the shutter wheel needs to be lined up with the LED when that rotor is pointed at post for the plug. I guess Mallory changed the instructions, been a while since I've installed a new unit. But at least lining up the arrows ensured alignment with the LED. If you look at the picture in the link several posts above you can see the rotor has an arrow on it. It just made it easier when it was that way, IMO of course.
 
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