440 Firing Order: RB Mopar Cylinder and Distributor Location

Knowing the firing order of a big block Mopar engine is important when tuning an engine. Therefore, let’s answer, what is the firing order of a Mopar 440?

The big block Plymouth or Dodge 440 firing order is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.

This article will inform you of all the cylinder number locations on the engine. Also, where the numbers are on the intake manifold, distributor cap, its rotation and how to install it.

440 Firing Order

Plymouth or Dodge 440 Firing Order.
Plymouth or Dodge 440 Firing Order

The numbers in the firing order represent the 8 cylinder numbers of the engine. Knowing the firing order is only half the battle.

Learning the 440 firing order is one of the first things I did after buying my ‘Cuda in 1984.

If you have the original intake manifold, 1970 and later, they have the distributor rotation, engine firing order and cylinder numbers on them.

To set up the correct firing order, knowing where each numbered cylinder is located is a must. Let’s take a look.

Cylinder Number Firing Order Locations

440 firing order, cylinder location and distributor rotation.
440 firing order cylinder location and distributor rotation

The photo above shows the exact location of each cylinder number on the 440.

The left side (driver’s side) cylinders, front to rear, are 1,3,5,7. The right side (passenger side), front to rear, are 2,4,6,8.

The most notable cylinder in the firing order is #1 because it starts the firing order sequence. On a big block Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth 440, it’s on the left front.

Distributor Rotation and Cylinder Plug Wire Location: Big Block

The 440 rotor and distributor rotation is counter-clockwise.

It’s always good practice to locate the #1 cylinder on the distributor cap and start there. After locating the number one cylinder, rotate around the cap counter-clockwise following the firing order.

The photo below indicates the distributor rotation and the location of the cylinders on the cap.

440 dsitributor cap cylinder location and rotation.
440 distributor cap cylinder location and rotation

If your distributor is not yet installed or if you think it may be incorrect, the Mopar service manual provides the following instructions when installing the 440 distributor.

440 Distributor Timing and Installation

Before installing the distributor and oil pump drive shaft, rotate the crankshaft until NO. 1 cylinder is at top dead center on the firing stroke (compression stroke).

The straight line on the vibration damper should be under “0” on the timing indicator.

Coat shaft and drive gear with engine oil. Install the shaft so that after the gear spirals into place, it will index with the oil pump shaft, so the slot in top of drive gear will be parallel with the center line of the crankshaft.

440 distributor drive gear installation.
440 distributor drive gear installation
  • Hold the distributor over the mounting pad on the cylinder block with the vacuum chamber (vacuum hose) pointing toward the center of the engine.
  • Turn the rotor until it points forward and to the approximate location of the NO. 1 tower terminal in the distributor cap.
  • Place the distributor gasket in position.
  • Lower the distributor and engage the shaft in the slot of the distributor drive shaft gear.
  • Turn the distributor clockwise until breaker contacts are just separating, install bolt and tighten hold down clamp.

Install the spark plugs and plug wire starting with number 1 cylinder following the firing order.

This video explains the firing order and how to set up the distributor properly.

Check out more firing order articles:

If you have any 440 firing, ignition systems or big block engine questions or about the article, you may send us an email found on our contact page.

I learned about Mopar firing orders by tuning my own 440 engine 38 years ago. In addition, reading Mopar books, articles, magazines, seminars and watching videos for approximately 40 years.

Read More 440 Articles!

440 Idle Speed

440 Rod Journal Size

440 Main Bearing Size

The Deck Height of a Mopar 440

Mopar 440 Compression Ratio

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