For those of you who have never installed a new distributor or perhaps tried and ended up with disastrous results, we'll share some tips that we discovered work quite well. The first thing we learned was it worked best to install the DUI distributor as if it was going into an engine that had never been fired. This means we started at zero and set the initial timing. To make sure we weren't 180 degrees out, we removed the valve cover and made sure the intake and exhaust valves were closed. The next step was to ensure the pre-fitted Live Wires would all reach their corresponding spark plug. This meant we had to locate where we were going to position the number 1 spark plug terminal on the DUI distributor cap. With the initial timing established, we then had to make sure there were 12 volts to the distributor's hot wire. With the initial timing set and the DUI's installation completed, the 302 fired right up. The final steps were to set the timing at 12 degrees BTDC (bottom top dead center) with the vacuum advance disconnected, and then to where we could run as much advance as possible without pinging.
In addition to eliminating the externally mounted coil, ballast resistor, and ignition points with condenser, Performance Distributors' one-piece DUI with its one-wire hookup is designed with more dwell time, producing a hotter spark. As are all DUIs, ours was curved on a distributor machine specifically for our engine.
With a super smooth curve, our 302 had instant throttle response and ran like a champ-right up until the added power blew the transmission, that is. CCT