Couple of questions about distributor timing, rotation and TDC

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Dec 17, 2004
Boise, Idaho
I am reassembling my 1FZ after replacing the head gasket. I am installing my distributor. When I am standing on the drivers side looking at the distributor head on, which way does it rotate?

Also, when the #1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke, should the rotor be pointing directly at the #1 lead in the cap? Or should it be on one side or the other (presuming it is going to fire BTDC, something like 14deg.

Many thanks.
Someone will need to confirm with the 1FZ-FE, but it likely turns clockwise. Finding the firing order should be pretty easy, and it should be stamped on the cap. I would not get hung up on it pointing exactly to cyl #1 when installing, you will be advancing or retarding by turning the entire distributor when doing the timing. I would attempt to seat it where it is pointing to cyl #1, while in the middle of the adjustment channel. If it is too far to one side or the other, you might run out of adjustment when you do the base timing, often referred to as being "one tooth off..". I used a sharpie to mark a line in the distributor where cylinder #1 is, so I could easily see with the cap off.

You will be setting TDC when pointing at 0 degrees, make make sure you are on the correct stroke. I was on the exhaust stroke my first attempt, which was really frustrating to do it again. Good luck, just dug into this myself; I felt like a learned a bunch more about my engine.
OK, thanks for the tips. I am on the compression stroke, and think that I am one tooth off, based on where the rotor is with the adjustment slot at the middle. I had to turn the dist shaft slightly on installation to mesh the teeth, and think I turned it the wrong way. Will pull it out and reset one tooth the other direction and see where that lands.....

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