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I just bought a 83 Monte Carlo a month ago or so, it ran pretty strong but as soon as I started noticing the motor miss, I realized the distributor could turn halfway in either direction. I don't exactly know how it happened or how it got that way, I'm assuming sometime while the guy had it it got stripped, but I ended up ordering an ACCEL HEI distributor and was planning on installing it myself with some help. I started looking at some automotive tech. textbooks I had from some classes I took, and looked up some info on the internet and all the examples are of motors taken out of the car. As far as getting the motor TDC (Top Dead Center) in order to install the distributor I don't see how I could do it myself without taking the motor out. Any thoughts on this, am I going to have pay a mechanic to end up doing this or what. Any comment would help at this point.
 

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take a timing gun you can rent one from autozone. mark the harmonic balancer with white out paint. find your timing marks. see if your motor timing is good as for the distributer easy to swap. if you have not taken the distibuter shaft out your timing should be ok.


also check your firing order and find the bolt to the shaft it might just be missing or loose
 

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Finding top dead center on the #1 piston can be done with the engine in the car. Remove #1 spark plug, then you can either remove the starter and use a pry bar to turn the flywheel until you get to TDC or with a ratchet on the crank pulley's center bolt. Either way, just turn the engine over until you get to tdc. Use a long straw or something that's long enough not to fall into the cylinder chamber to tell where the piston is at.
 

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Finding top dead center on the #1 piston can be done with the engine in the car. Remove #1 spark plug, then you can either remove the starter and use a pry bar to turn the flywheel until you get to TDC or with a ratchet on the crank pulley's center bolt. Either way, just turn the engine over until you get to tdc. Use a long straw or something that's long enough not to fall into the cylinder chamber to tell where the piston is at.
ALSO TAKE VALVE COVER OFF AND SEE WHEN THE INTAKE VALVE CLOSES, TDC AT COMPRESSION STROKE NOT EXAUST
 

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I use vise grips to grab the flexplate and turn it, it doesnt touch the teeth of the flexplate

then put your finger over the spark plug hole on #1 and feel when it starts pushing out air and thats the compression stroke, then use a coat hanger or long thin screwdriver and feel when the piston stops, the balancer should be at tdc
 
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