This thread is a basic step by step installation of an electric distributor. in this case installing a controversial but highly affordable and effective HEI electric distributor.... in an old engine.(289ci)
many on our forum members are far past this step. but i hope it will be a good basic reference.
i also did a valve cover change.
Here is the HEI distributor. its made by Mallory via the model #s
take many pics before during installation, these will be referred to as 'notes' in this tech thread.
1. set timing to top dead center. (cylinder 1)
2. remove cap from stock distributor, but DO NOT remove the plug wires from the cap just yet. (you will need it for reference later)
3. note the direction the rotor is facing (to cylinder 1) and also note the direction the vacuum advance is facing ( if applicable)
4. disconnect battery (probably should be at step 1) and disconnect the distributor from the coil.
5. remove distributor hold down clamp.
6. after clearing the surface around the distributor of all grime that could fall down in the distributor shaft.
7. lift distributor up firmly, it may require some... persuasion to shimmy it out.
8. after removal be sure to inspect shaft, and make sure it is thoroughly clean. also look for metal grindings and look for ware and tare on the old distributor. ( cause its just a good idea)
9. prepping new distributor: follow any direction not entailed in this tech thread. and also do as follows
9a. locate where cylinder 1 will be on your new distributor, and point the rotor to cylinder 1.
9b. one easy way (if applicable) to indicate which is cylinder 1 on your new distributor is to refer back to the note u made of the direction the vacuum advance is facing.
10. instal new distributor carefully by slightly turning it right to left. while not allowing the direction of the rotor to deviate from where the cylinder 1 plug will be. (as previously noted)
10a. in most cases the distributor will slide in easily with little effort. and make sure the distributor base is flush with the block, so that the o-ring can do its job. if it isn't u may need to push firmly on top of distributor (with cap on) and it should pop right in.
11. (re)install the new or used hold down clamp. connect all the wiring and place the (most likely new) spark plugs to the appropriate firing orders. and continue with timing your engine.
note: in my case, i got lucky and because of my.... well 'notering' of cylinder 1. location my car fired right up and needed almost no timing.
my engine had a noticeable difference in performance. best decision i ever made.