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565 265 engine distributor install questions

152 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  f.i.57chevynut
I am re-assembling my 265 engine in my 56 BelAir. I am trying to find out how to correctly install the distributor and spark plug wires. I have the distributor and never removed the wires from the cap when I removed the engine, and labeled the wires at the time, but most of the labels have fallen off so I only had a couple that I thought I could read correctly. I have read about how to install the distributor, with the #1 piston at TDC, and the distributor rotor pointing at #1 plug wire. But when I did that, and dropped the distributor into the manifold, I had to rotate it till the vacuum advance module was pointed toward the rear of the engine to get it to engage the rotor driver slot at the bottom of the shaft. This is not the way it was originally, and not how the vac advance module is supposed to be pointing toward the front right of the engine, as I have seen/read online - see attached pics of a nice 265, and mine when I started.

It looks like when I rotate the distributor as in the pics, the #1 rotor position would line up with the small notch in the distributor ( it engages a small bump in the cover to orient the cover correctly) , but that would mean I have all the plug wires incorrectly labeled. Can anyone tell me: with the rotor in the #1 position, is it supposed to line up with that little notch on the side of the distributor? See pic of how it is installed now, but the plug wires will not line up correctly if I leave it as is:

I was very careful in installing the cam timing chain that the timing mark on the cam gear lined up at 6 o'clock with the mark on the crank at 12 o'clock, and I have checked that I have #1 cylinder at TDC on compression stroke, so I don't think I could have assembled the motor incorrectly. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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You just have to figure where the vacuum advance wants to be and also figure out the lead you need to have the rotor end up when installed . If the distributor doesn't bottom out the oil pump shaft needs to be rotated so that when the distributor is lowered in place, as it rotates it aligns with the driven bar inside the gear. You will need a long screw driver and flash light and look down the hole and rotate the oil pump shaft until it seem like it will align with the distributor, or do the screwdriver by braille(feel when it aligns with the oil pump shaft). You might miss it the first time but you can realign until it drops in all the way.
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