Memorizing the small block Chevy V8 firing order should be your first step before opening the hood of your car to start a new project.
You could say that the firing order is the heartbeat of your engine. If you get the spark plug wires out of order on the distributor cap your engine will not run properly.
The firing order is the specific sequence each cylinder receives spark in order to ignite the gas and air mixture at the exact right time.
Engines are designed with a carefully coordinated firing order to help maximize performance, balance the engine and reduce vibration. However, there is no universal firing order. Each manufacturer has their own unique firing orders depending on the size and specifications of the engine.
Chevy Small (SBC) and Big Block (BBC) V8 Firing Order
The Chevy V8 firing order for small and big blocks is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. That means cylinder number 1 fires first, then cylinder number 8, next cylinder number 4, and so on.
So how do you know which cylinder is number one? Good question.
The cylinders are ordered from the front of the engine to the rear, starting on the drivers side.
That means the front left cylinder (when facing forward) is the number one position. Then the numbers alternate from left to right. If you guessed the front right cylinder will be the number two position, you’d be correct.
The remaining cylinders follow this order with all of the odd numbered cylinders (1, 3, 5, 7) on the left side/driver’s side of the engine and the even numbered cylinders (2, 4, 6, 8) on the right/passenger side.
Based on our research, this firing order applies to 267, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, 400, 366, 396, 402, 427, 454, and 502 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 engines, excluding LS engines. However, you should always check your owners manual to confirm the specifications of your engine.
Video Showing Firing Order
HEI Distributor Cap Firing Order
The distributor is the mechanism that sends voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. Most small block Chevy’s use a HEI distributor which stands for “High Energy Ignition.”
On a small block Chevy V8 engine, the distributor cap firing order is in a clockwise rotation. In most cases it doesn’t matter where the number one position is on your distributor cap, as long as the plug wires are in the correct firing order.
The most important thing to remember is that the firing order must follow the same pattern as the engine. The Chevy 350 firing order is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.
That means next to the number one spark plug wire will be the number 8 spark plug wire, the number 4 and so on in a clockwise rotation.
The firing order is the same for the Chevy 350 as well as many other small block and big block Chevrolet V8 engines. Thankfully Chevy engineers has made it easy for us Chevy fans to figure out the firing order fairly easily.
However, before you pull your spark plug wires, it is a good idea to label the ends of the spark plug wires and distributor cap with the corresponding cylinder number. This will help give you confidence that your spark plug wires will go back in the correct order before you crank the engine over.