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Which way does a SBC distributor turn?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Stevie Nash, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,994

    Stevie Nash

    Clockwise or counter clockwise? I would assume clockwise.

    The reason I ask is that I took the distributor out and had it marked so I could just drop it back in. While rewiring the Nash, I accidentally hit the starter and the engine turned for a brief second, so I'm going to try and compensate by moving off the mark a little bit. Just need to know which direction.
  2. ThompsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 4, 2011
    Posts: 116


    Clockwise. Good luck!
  3. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,895

    Larry T

    All distributors turn the opposite direction the vacuum advance points. In the case of Chevy, it is clockwise.

    You'll save yourself some trouble and grief by setting the engine on TDC/compression stroke and installing the distributor.
  4. What Larry said. I just did the same thing on my 40 when we had to turn the motor over with the distributer out.
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  5. hopped up
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 401

    hopped up
    from So Cal

    Good advise from Larry T.
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 21,341


    Larry nailed it. If you wrap your thumb around the vacuum advance and your index finger around the distributor your index finger will be pointing in the direction of rotation.

    Don't be surprised if you have to bring the engine up on compression and drop the distributor in more than once to get it right and in the right spot. Anyone who says he gets it perfect the first time every time is lying to himself if no one else.
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,320

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Everyone is giving you good advise, you have no way of knowing how far it moved when you hit the starter so the only way to get it right is to start from scratch. Bring number one up on compression stroke (put your thumb over the number one spark plug hole while someone bumps the starter (or better yet, use a breaker bar to turn the crank) and when you start feeling compression look at the timing mark on the damper and bring it around until the marks line up. Now you can drop the distributor back in and pointing to number one.

    If you do it the way you are thinking about you risk being way off on your timing.

  8. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,994

    Stevie Nash

    Yah, I know.... But I thought I would give it a shot and see if I could get lucky. If that doesn't work I'll start from scratch.
  9. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 3,864


    If you're going to try the "get lucky" deal, make sure you have an air cleaner on the carb to arrest the fire that may well belch out. Whatever you do, don' have anyone, including yourself, hanging your upper body into the engine compartment where the fireball can get to your hair.

    Don't ask me how I know this........
  10. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 790


    Next time, look at the way the plug wires are on the cap..18436....
    Start over, like the ohters said. Its a good thing to know how to do.
    Good Luck
  11. Actually good practice to do one up from scratch.. and a discipline as well. Nothing worse than being one stinkin' tooth off and have it drive you nuts for a while.

  12. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 38,674


    Not to be an ass or rain on your parade or whatever the proper things to say about what I am going to ask is but, how ya going to guess how many degrees the engine turned?
  13. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,455


    If it wasn't on TDC when you pulled the distributor and you turn the crank to get it to TDC, remember that the oil pump drive may need to be turned with a long screwdriver to get it lined up. Then the distributor will drop right in place.
  14. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 38,674


    That works but it is actually the hard way. Drop the distributer where you want it then bump the motor over. When the oil pump drive lines up the distributer will drop into place.
  15. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,857


    The easy way.
  16. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,088


    what side of the boat is it mounted?
  17. 36DodgeRam
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 485


    Better do it the right way, otherwise it will backfire so hard it pulls rocker studs right out of the head! Ask me how I know...

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