All 1970 Ford 302 and 351 Windsor V-8s are easy to perform the basic tune-up.
The firing order of the 302 is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. The 351 is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8.
Both engines take the same spark plugs, points, and condenser if equipped with the original single point distributor. Because of the state of current engines, the distributor with points and a condenser has become somewhat of a lost art to many. There isn't any magic to it. The equipment needed, other than tools, are:
1. Timing light.
2. Dwell meter.
3. Spark Plug gapper. The most common is the round metal disk with gradient measurements, sort of like a round single feeler gauge.
4. Remote starter switch. This is a device that connects between where the positive battery cable connects to the starter solenoid and the s lead boot terminal of the solenoid. (See picture) The remote starter switch basically shorts across these two connections and that initiates the starter thus cranking the engine. This can also be accomplished by using a screwdriver to short across the two terminals.
Now before you start, make sure the vehicle is in Park, if automatic transmission equipped, or, if standard transmission equipped, in Neutral with the wheels blocked to keep the vehicle from moving. Leave the ignition key in the ignition switch and in the OFF position. Next, go to the distributor shaft housing and make a pencil mark on the housing and the block to show the position of the distributor where it is now. (See picture)
Performing the Tune Up
Assuming the engine you are dealing with is near stock configuration, here is a basic rundown of a tune-up.
1. Spark plugs. Here is an easy task. Simply remove 8 old plugs and replace them with 8 new ones. The spark plug gap is .035. Now when removing the plug wires, it's recommended that you change each plug one at a time, slowly twisting the boot at the plug to remove it, and reconnect the plug wire to that plug before going to the next one. If you are changing the plug wires also and removing them all, just mark the distributor cap number one post and replace the wires in the firing order of the engine you are working on. The firing order is followed at the cap from number one and going counter-clockwise. Number 1 cylinder or plug is at the front of the engine on the passenger side. Plugs 1-2-3-4 are on the passenger side and plugs 5-6-7-8 are on the driver's side.
2. Points and condenser. First disconnect the vacuum line from the distributor diagphragm and plug it with a small screw. Use a flat blade screwdriver and unhook the two metal clips holding the distributor cap in place. Move the cap out of the way, remove the rotor from the top of the center shaft, and observe the inside of the distributor. The condenser is the long cylinder with the wire exiting the end and attaching to the small shaft and nut of the points. It is held in place with the one flat blade screw. The points are held in by two flat head screws. Notice that at one end of the points there is a small slot cut into the end and that is over a triangular depression at the distributor base. (See Arrow) This is how you adjust the points. Find a flat blade screwdriver that will fit snugly in the slot of the points and the other side of the triangular area. The points are adjusted by twisting the screwdriver and moving the points to one direction or the other. To remove the points and condenser, simply loosen the small nut where the wire of the condenser goes and remove the two wires. Then remove the two points screws and condenser screw and pull the points and condenser out.
To install the new points and condenser, install the condenser first, noting the small tab that aligns with the small hole at the distributor plate to keep the condenser from moving. Now install the new points and leave the two mounting screws just tight enough that you can still move the points with the flat blade screwdriver in that slot at the end. Reattach the two wires to the shaft and nut of the points and tighten. Turn the ignition key to the ON position. Connect your dwell meter and place it so you have both hands free. Crank the engine and slightly move the points with the flat blade screwdriver until you get the dwell meter reading to between 24 and 26 degrees. When you have them correct, you can then tighten the points screws all the way. Recheck the dwell to make sure tightening the points didn't change the setting. Replace the distributor rotor and the distributor cap.
Remove the dwell meter and connect your timing light. The timing light connects to positive and negative battery posts and the number one spark plug. No 1 plug is the front plug on the passenger side of the engine. Slightly loosen the distributor housing holddown clamp just enough to be able to move the distributor and be sure the distributor is lined up with the pencil mark you made before you started. Next you need to make sure 6 degrees BTDC is marked on the crankshaft damper. It is best to use something like silver model paint that will show up well with the timing light and won't rub off easily. Note which side of the 0 degrees is ATDC and BTDC. BTDC is to the right of 0.

Now start the engine and let it run a few seconds. The engine timing is checked by shining the timing light onto the crankshaft damper where the metal pointer is just above it. The shiny mark for 6 degrees will move as you slightly spin the distributor. The factory specs for the ignition timing is 6 degrees BTDC however with today's fuel you may find better performance with 8 degrees BTDC. While watching the timing mark, slowly twist the distributor housing until you get the timing mark lined up with the timing pointer. When you have the mark where you want it, use a distributor wrench or a short 1/2 inch box end wrench and tighten the distributor holddown clamp. Be careful of the spinning fan blades. Recheck the timing with the timing light and then shut off the ignition. Disconnect the timing light, reconnect the vacuum line to the distributor, and you are done.

Some things to remember:

1. The points are adjusted first because as the points settings change, so does the engine timing.

2. The factory specs for the dwell angle is between 24 and 28 degrees. As the points wear, the point gap will decrease thus increasing dwell angle.

3. For Ford small block dual point distributors, the points sets are set one at a time with a thin piece of cardboard, such as a match book cover, to block the gap on the set you are ignoring. Each set individually should be set to a dwell angle of about 26 degrees. When the two sets are set, the total dwell angle should be between 30 and 33 degrees.

4. Setting points with a feeler gauge will give you a good start but won't get it as accurate as a dwell meter. If your points wear or slip while driving and the engine quits, a matchbook cover will give you a close enough gap setting to get you home.

5. If you are checking your coil by pulling the coil wire from the center of the cap and seeing if there is spark when cranking, remember that the points are what complete the circuit to ground. If the points are bad, they won't ground and the coil won't spark, possibly leading you to believe it's bad. (been there, done that.) To properly check your coil, pull the center wire from the cap but look for spark to ground at a place such as the shock tower bracket or frame while cranking.

6. Cars with tachometers - The tachometer is installed in series with the ignition system originally. This means power flows through the tachometer as the system is powered. If the tachometer should fail, the car will not run. If you have a run or starting problem and the tach is suspected, you need to unplug the tachometer connector and jump from one wire to the other in the harness thus removing the tachometer from the system. You will know then if the tach is the culprit. If you would like a schematic of how to bypass the tachometer and still have a tach, click