This problem is most likely the result of following the wrong advice, or not having all the needed instructions. Please just follow the steps listed here:
The cylinders on this motor are numbered from front to back; with the cylinders on the driver's side numbered 1-3-5-7; and the cylinders on the passengers side numbered 2-4-6-8.
Please click on this link, and look at the photo of the distributor cap. (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinf
o...) Note the number on each wire terminal in the picture: These are the numbers of the cylinders which the plug wire from each of those terminals should go to. Now look at the engine in your car, and make sure each wire from your distributor cap goes to the correct cylinder.
With the distributor out, put the cap on, lightly tighten the cap screws, and then make a chalk or paint line on the outside of the distributor body; directly below the point where the raised track from the # 1 plug wire terminal ends and turns down into the inside of the cap. (at the 10 O'clock position in this photo). Do not use the position of the end of the tube where the plug wire atatches; use the other end of the track from that tube (which in the photo is upward and to the right of the # 1 mark). This will be the reference mark you later use to align the tip of the rotor, after the distributor is installed.
When you turn the crankshaft to the position where the timing marks line up with the TDC position on the timing scale; the piston in the # 1 cylinder will be at TDC; but it could either be at TDC on the compression stroke, or it could be at TDC on the exhaust stroke. You need to move the crankshaft to where the # 1 cylinder is at TDC on compression stroke; in order to install the distributor in the correct orientation.
To find out which stroke the # 1 cylinder is on; remove the valve cover from the cylinder bank on the driver's side, and find the rocker arms and valve springs. The first valve (closest to the radiator) is the exhaust valve for # 1 cylinder. The second valve is the intake valve for # 1 cylinder.
Now turn the crankshaft in the normal (clockwise) direction until the intake valve for # 1 cylinder moves down and then starts coming up. At this point, start watching the timing marks on the crank pulley, and stop turning the crank the next time the pulley mark lines up with the TDC line on the timing scale. The # 1 cylinder is now at TDC on the compression stroke; which is the correct position at which to install the distributor.
With the distributor cap off, turn the distributor rotor until the tip of the rotor blade lines up with the mark you made on the outside of the distrubutor body. Now hold the distributor over the opening in the block, with it turned so that the mark you made on the distributor body is facing one of the middle cylinders on the driver's side when the distributor is above the opening in the block.
Lift the distributor up, and note the position of the screwdriver type blade in the center of the bottom end of the distributor drive gear. Insert a long screwdriver into the opening in the block, and turn the oil pump drive shaft so that the slot in that shaft is in the same position as the blade on the distributor shaft.
Now turn the rotor about 1/8 turn counterclockwise from the mark you made on the distributor body. This is necessary because the rotor will turn about 1/8 turn clockwise when the gear meshes with the gear in the engine.
Holding the distributor so that the mark you made points to the middle cylinders on the driver's side, insert the distributor into the block, and press it so that it moves all the way down. If it will not slide all the way down; pick it back up and turn the oil pump drive shaft a little to one side or the other, than try inserting the distributor into the block once again.
After the distributor is seated in the engine; turn the distributor body so that the mark you made lines up with the rotor tip. At that position; the distributor cap should be located with the outside edges of the two rows of wire terminals more or less parallel with the sides of the engine. If this position of the distributor is too far off from the desired position of the cap; take the distributor back out; turn the rotor a little further in the direction it should be moved, and try it again. The final position of the distributor should have the mark you made lined up with the rotor tip, while the cap terminal ends are close to being parallel with the sides of the engine.