Distributor install and wiring

Malcolm Vallier

Low Mileage
This may appear to be a newbie question for most of you but hopefully someone can help out. Dad's out right now and he left me here to install the distributor and put the wires on. I've researched our manuals and I'm not understanding how to go about it. Wondering if anyone can offer help with a step by step instruction of how to do it. Id like to have it completed before dad gets home later this evening. It is for our 1500 SOHC that we are about to install in our X. I've unfortunately had the mishap of a broken transmission and want to get the car back up and running with the new engine we built.


True Classic
Why type of distributor do you have? Is it a points set up or pointless? What year of X1/9 again?

One trick people do is include X1/9 build info in their signature. It eases conversations as well as can be a place to brag if you want. Some brag with quantity, others with quality.


True Classic
Sound like the engine is out of the car? If so I would wait to install it. It's rather fragile and getting banged around when installing the engine not good.

But in case you are determined to install it. Ensure the engine is at top dead center (number one piston at top of compression cycle). Drop the distributor in the block it will turn slightly as the teeth engage the drive gear.
The hardest part (and it's not that hard) is to ensure when it's all together that the rotor is set to send spark to #4 spark plug. Be sure to check the cap to know where the contact inside it for #4. The top wire caps are pretty straight forward, but the side wire caps can trick you up.

That should get you where the car will start and run (assuming everything else is correct). Using a timing light set the timing to 10 degrees and get ready for a test drive!
#1 and #4 hit tdc at the same time but you also want to make sure the cam is set to fire #4 so check the cam timing mark too.


True Classic
Yes, 1 & 4 pistons at TDC, cam lobes down (holding both exhaust and intake valves open) on the # 1 cylinder (cam lobes will be up on 4 so it's ready to fire).
It's easy to verify that the cam lobes are holding both the exhaust and intake valves open (in split overlap) on the # 1 cylinder by looking through the oil fill cap. If they are not down, they will be pointing up (valves closed), then it's ready to fire on # 1.

Malcolm Vallier

Low Mileage
Thank you everyone for the responses and helpful information. I have gotten it installed just awaiting putting the new engine in to see if it all works out!


Michael Motorcycle
From what I have learned from everyone here is the flywheel mark is more accurate and that is what I used to set my cam to the crank was the flywheel mark.
I hope that this makes sense.