Align timing pointer with top dead center (TDC) on crankshaft vibration damper.
Mark position of No. 1 cylinder wire tower on distributor base. Mark will provide an alignment reference when reinstalling the distributor.
Lift distributor cap with attached wire set straight off distributor to prevent damage to rotor blade and spring. On V-8 engines, remove attaching screws and base adapter.
Position distributor cap and attached wire set aside so as not to interfere with removal.
Check if distributor rotor blade is pointing toward the marked position on the distributor base adapter. If distributor rotor blade is pointing one-half a revolution off, rotate crankshaft one full revolution and realign timing pointer with TDC on crankshaft vibration damper.
Disconnect wiring harness at distributor.
Remove distributor rotor by pulling upward on distributor rotor from distributor shaft.
Remove distributor hold-down bolt and clamp.
Remove distributor from cylinder block by pulling upward with a slight side-to-side twist.
Cover distributor opening in cylinder block with a clean shop towel to prevent the entry of foreign material into engine.
NOTE: When installing distributor, No. 1 piston must be at TDC of the compression stroke.
Visually inspect distributor. O-ring should fit tightly onto housing free of cuts. Drive gear should be free of nicks, cracks or excessive wear. The distributor shaft should rotate freely, without any binding.
Lubricate distributor gear teeth with a coating of Engine Assembly Lubricant D9AZ-19579-D or equivalent fresh motor oil meeting Ford specification ESR-M99C80-A.
Align locating boss and fully seat distributor rotor on distributor shaft.
Rotate distributor shaft so that distributor rotor blade is pointing toward marked position on distributor base adapter.
Install distributor into cylinder block with a slight side-to-side twist.
NOTE: If the vane and vane switch assembly can not be kept on the leading edge after installation, remove the distributor from cylinder block by pulling upward enough for the distributor gear to disengage from the camshaft gear. Rotate distributor rotor enough so the gear will align on the next tooth of the camshaft gear.
Rotate distributor in engine to align leading edge of armature vane to vane switch assembly. Verify that distributor rotor blade is pointing toward marked position on distributor base adapter.
Install distributor hold-down clamp and bolt.
On all V-8 engines, position adapter base and install attaching screws.
Position distributor cap with attached wire set straight on distributor to prevent damage to rotor blade and spring.
On a 4.9L engine, tighten distributor cap hold-down screws to 2.0-2.6 Nm. On all V-8 engines, secure distributor cap using spring clips.
Connect distributor to wiring harness.
Set initial timing according to procedures in Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual OBDI or OBDII.
Without moving timing adjustment, tighten distributor hold-down bolt and clamp to 23-34 Nm.