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I have been trying to install the MP electronic dist. on my dart for a while now but was having some wiring issues. Well those are gone, I finally got it to fire some sparks. The problem now is the car still doesn't start, it sounds like it wants to but doesn't. I made sure it was on TDC and that the rotor was pointing towards cylnder #1, but nothing. What else can I check for?
 

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Got another good story about stabing in a distributer 180* out.........Take the valve cover off, pull the plug in #1 and rotate your engine untill both the valves are closed and 0* on your balancer and your plug at the TOP of the cylinder, you will FOR SURE be TDC. Then stab the distributer in with the rotor pointing at #1......So the story....I had a '59 Fairlane with a 390 out of a 69 torino...Junk Yard jewel. I was living in an apartment with strict no work on cars in parking lot....well I had a exaust leak at the manifold, figuerd I would fix it...after braking 3 bolts off in the head I had no choice but take it down....I get the head off take it to work and drill out the busted exaust bolts, clean up the head and put it all back together.....with a few visits from apartment managment of course....luckily I was.....involved with the Managers niece, she got me off the hook cause there was a MESS under that car....anyway, I get the thing back together and it wont run....Im trying and trying and trying.....back fire through the carb a couple times and that was it. Early next morning, like 7 am on a sunday, I go out and decide to do somemore work...I need this car....I am cranking and cranking and cranking.....about this time a lady was walking her dog RIGHT behind my car when I try it again and BOOOOM.....It blew one of my mufflers right in half. She screams, dog takes off and my car was on fire.......I threw a rag over the carb, it caught on fire cause of course it was covered with gas, lady is screaming at me cause I made her dog run away....I eventualy save my car, find the dog and thank god for some old guy who happened to drive an old Plymouth who told me what I needed to do to get my old ford running......
 

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After not messing with cars for quite a while I farted around for 4 hours trying to start a 440 I had in the garage. It would cough and sputter but that's it. Then as I stared at a picture in a Chiltons I realized that the distributor rotated counter-clockwise. Switched the wires and it fired immediately.
 

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The most foolproof way to check is remove # 1 spark plug and put your thumb over the spark plug hole. Turn the engine until you feel air being forced past your thumb. then turn it slowly to TDC. That will be TDC compression stroke. Put the plug back in, put the distributor in pointing at terminal #1 and make smoke.
 

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I've also had good success with a compression tester and a timing light.

Point the light at the gauge while cranking... the flash of the light and the "kick" of the pressure gauge should be pretty much simultaneous. If they're out of step then reposition the distributor.

-Charles
 
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