Originally Posted by crgildart
It is the reason why it is best to change out your spark plug wires one at a time when performing a DIY tune up..
When the distributor remains in the engine, that works. When the distributor is out, it's a whole new ball game. Factory manifolds might have the firing order stamped on them, but if it's an aftermarket one, which it was for me, it might not be.
There are two ways to put a distributor into a Chevy small block - correctly, plus or minus a tooth, and 180° out, plus or minus a tooth. I was always lucky enough to get mine in straight, the first time.
I went to a Buick dealer once to ask for some advice on getting the distributor back into a Buick V-6 after replacing a timing gear. No one in the entire shop had a clue. They only knew how to work on computerized electronic ignition systems. I flew that one by the seat of my pants also, and got it in straight on the first try.