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How do I install my distributor and set my timing on my chevy 305?

How do I install my distributor and set my timing on my chevy 305?
I recently rebuilt my chevy 305 tbi in my silverado. I made the mistake of not marking the distributor before i pulled it and now i don’t know how it should be put back in. I know i have to have the 1st cylinder at tdc (atleast that’s what i’ve been told) but i can’t seem to find any markings on the distributor or the intake manifold to help me reinstall it. Also, I realize I’m going to need to use a timing light to get it adjusted right, but doesn’t the engine have to be somewhat running to do this? Last question: In the very likely event that I can’t get the distributor in right and it’s a lost cause, do you know what it will cost (roundabout #) to have this done for me? Any help would be great. The more details the better!

Answer: Ouch. You will need to take the timing cover off, which takes some work, pulling the hamonic balancer and water pump. The cam gear and the crank gear will have a mark on it. Bump the engine until the cam and crank marks are together (crank mark up and cam mark down). Then install the distributor so that the rotor is pointing to fire plug #1. This will be TDC. You may have to put a long screwdriver down the distributor hole to line up the slot on the oil pump rod with the pin in the bottom of the distributor. I don’t know of an easier way of doing it.

Addition: After you have the distributor back in, the water pump and timing cover sealed up, put the balancer back on. Then yes you will have to fire the engine to set the timing. It’s few hours worth of work to do this, but it’s the only way I know.

Addition 2: If you haven’t moved the oil pump shaft and feel that it’s in the same position, try Jesse’s answer before you rip the engine apart. If the shaft hasn’t moved, you can luck out that way, which I hope you do, because my way is a fall back pain in the ass method. Most likely that method will work.

store.boxwrench.net Click here for the “Basic Engine Building” DVD Basic Engine Building DVD – Chapter 53: Ignition This section of “Final Assembly” covers installing your distributor. This can be tricky. The distributor gear has to meet the cam gear and connect with the oil pump drive shaft. Take your time and you’ll get it.BoxWrench.net is a community and resource designed for automotive enthusiasts. The Basic Engine Building DVD is over three hours of engine building that covers everything from removal and disassembly to final assembly and engine start-up. This is the ultimate DVD for any home mechanic or engine enthusiast that wants to see a complete rebuild from Teardown to Start-Up. This video can be used to learn how to work on almost any type of internal combustion engine including V8, V6, Straight 8, in-line 6 and even 4 cylinder engines. All of the interactive features and menus will not work over YouTube. This video is great for people interested in car repair, car care, and restoration. As well as hot rods, muscle cars, performance parts, and boosting horsepower. It can also help you to gain knowledge for increasing fuel economy, how to lower your emissions, and covers preventative maintenance to avoid little things like overheating. Get the full DVD with all of the interactive menus, Tools section and engine Glossary terms here… store.boxwrench.net Don’t forget our Holley Installation & Tuning DVD. Sample clips on our youtube page and at our store here
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