Chevy 350 Firing Order | The Ultimate Guide

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betti holt`

This article will explore the Chevy 350 firing order. In order to do so, a deep dive into Chevy during order has been taken, breaking it and its mechanism down to its fundamental blocks for your easy understanding. 

We have additionally taken a look at the small block Chevy firing order and how it differs from the big block firing order for Chevy 350.

So, ‘What is the firing order for Chevy 350?’

What is the firing order for small block Chevy? How is it different from the big Chevy firing order? What are the other types of Chevy firing orders?

Let us find out!

Chevy 350 Firing Order | SBC Firing Order

The Chevy 350 firing order can be best understood as the sequence of the operation of spark plugs meaning the order in which the multiple cylinders inside the internal combustion engine are sparked and then fired to bring the car to life. 

Comprehending a vehicle can appear intimidating and nearly insurmountable due to the multitude of components, intricate details, and potential complications involved. However, it is justifiable to aspire to understand the vehicle one is operating.

Those who possess a thorough understanding of their automobile are better equipped to handle unexpected car troubles and drive more safely because they are knowledgeable about necessary maintenance and quick repairs.

You too can be such a person! Even if you lack expertise in cars, it is possible to grasp the fundamentals of your engine to ensure you can perform rudimentary damage control if necessary. This can be accomplished by focusing on one mechanism or part of the engine at a time.

This article explores the firing order on a Chevy 350. Firing order is one of the most fundamental mechanisms. Without the proper functioning of which, a car will fail to even start!

Let’s dive into the firing order for Chevy 350 without any further ado.

Chevy 350 Firing Order: Defining 

‘Firing order on a 350 Chevy 350’ sounds complicated enough, however compared to Ford 4.6 Firing Order . In order to break down the Chevy firing order to its first brick, let us define this term.

The sequence in which the engine’s cylinders are fired in a Chevy 350 is defined as the ‘Firing order on a 350 Chevy 350’. Let us break that down even further.

The internal combustion engine has various cylinders which need to be fired for the car to start.

Now, is it really important to know this Chevy firing order? The answer to that is yes, as it clearly and completely affects the running of your car. 

Now, what is the firing order on a Chevy 350?

In a typical engine, the firing order is 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3. It should be noted that this is subject to change corresponding to the engine of your car. Let us now break down this Chevy firing order.

The sequence of power strokes during the compression stroke and power stroke in the internal combustion engine of your car. This firing order on a Chevy 350 is what determines and regulates the fuel intake in the cylinders in your engine’s ignition cycles.

The firing order for Chevy 350 has been stated above to be 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3; this means that the fuel goes in, sparks, and is ignited first in cylinder 1, then cylinder 8, and so on and so forth,

The 350 is typically a V8 engine, meaning it has four cylinders per bank, making it a host of eight. How can one break down one’s Chevy 350 firing order?

The easiest way to do this would be to follow the movement of the first cylinder in a clockwise direction. It should be followed until you reach the front of your engine. While counting through your way, note the number written beside it to find out your chevy firing order.

The easiest way to find out your SBC firing order is by having a mechanic look at it or referring to your car’s manual.

If you know the firing order on a 350 Chevy, it will be infinitely easier to make repairs and troubleshoot if necessary.

Chevy 350 Firing Order: History

Having explored and comprehended the firing order of the 350 Chevy, let’s now rewind and delve into the history of the Chevy 350 engine.

Tracing back to the origins, Chevrolet introduced the small block V8 in 1955, featuring a 256 cubic inch, 4.3-liter engine. By 1967, this engine evolved into a more powerful 350 cubic-inch powerhouse.

The 1985 Corvettes were equipped with a fuel-injected variant of the Chevy 350, which was later followed by other vehicles using a 350 engine fitted with a four-barrel carburetor. In the early 1980s, computer-controlled emissions became a crucial component of all Chevy 350 engines.

Subsequently, by 1988, throttle body fuel injection emerged as the standard for engines.

Chevy 350 Firing Order: Wiring a 350 Engine

Now that we have discussed the basics of the firing order on a 350 Chevy let us move on to how you can wire a 350 engine. Following is a detailed step-by-step process to wire a Chevy 350 engine.

  1. The initial step in wiring your engine is disconnecting the negative battery cable. This precautionary measure is essential to ensure all power is cut off from the vehicle.
  2. The following step involves accessing the wiring harness in the engine compartment. To obtain clearance for the necessary work, the air cleaner vehicle should be either tipped up or fully removed from one end.
  3. The subsequent step is to completely uncover the bare wire for cutting. To accomplish this, it is necessary to pull back any tape that may be present on the wiring.
  4. This is where things become a bit tricky. It is necessary to cut the wiring about an inch from the alternator, and the cut should be made from the rear end.
  5. This step is of utmost importance and should be performed with the previous one to achieve optimal results. It is recommended to use a circuit tester to examine the tested wire and determine which is hot and which is ground at this stage.
  6. During this test, if you are working with a three-wired system and testing for continuity for 12 volts on the generator between the blade or ground, both blades of the probe should light up.
  7. If you are working with a two-wire system, only one blade is expected to light up in the same scenario on the alternator.
  8. The wire that carries power is known as the hot wire. It is necessary to cut it one inch from the rear end and then push back all insulation. This step should be followed by attaching an in-line crimp connector.
  9. Another noteworthy point for a two-wire system is that the ground connection always features a green wire, which inherently designates the other wire as the hot side.
  10. The subsequent step involves attaching a separate in-line crimp connector to the remaining wire, corresponding to your Chevy firing order.
  11. Attach another in-line crimp connector to each wire at the coil pack. Make sure they are the ones with heat shrink tubing. You must cut the wire from the back of the coils. Cut about three inches and then push back the insulation. Then, attach a connector further down the harness. It should be connected one inch further,
  12. Attach another in-line crimp connector before cutting off any and all existing tape that could be covering these wires. It would be best if you cut them approximately an inch from where they come from inside the distributor cap.
  13. The next step is to push the insulation again back. Then, attach connectors one inch beyond this point.
  14. While working on wiring your Chevy firing order, ensure that you never touch any bare metal with your circuit tester while wiring the coils.
  15. If your engine has electronic ignition, the process is slightly different. In such a case, you will be required to tape the required bare wire connection at the coil before you proceed to connect the battery cable. Why is this step necessary? This step ensures that there are no shorts or sparks while you start the vehicle; they can cause graver damage to the vehicle.
  16. After attaching the positive battery cable, the subsequent step is to turn on the ignition coil. Then, reach underneath and attach the positive battery cable.
  17. The next step involves turning the key, but it is crucial to wait for several seconds before doing so. This pause allows the voltage regulator enough time to function correctly.

SBC Firing Order: Small Block vs Big Block Chevys

We have discussed in depth the firing order on a 350 Chevy. We have been focussing on the first portion of the ‘firing order for Chevy 350’ till now. Let us take a look at the latter.

Chevy engines can be small or big block ones. What makes the small block Chevy firing order different from the big block one? 

Let us start by addressing the firing order for small block Chevy, which is generally a 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 as the big one. So, what makes the two different? The most obvious and noticeable one is size. 

As the name suggests, small blocks Chevys are comparatively smaller than the big block ones. This also means that the small block Chevys are expected to have less power. On the other hand, they are fuel-efficient. 

The big block Chevy firing order will have more power. Corresponding to its need, it also requires more fuel.

The other significant difference between the firing order for the small block Chevy and the big one is the distributor’s location. In the case of small block Chevy firing order, the distributor is situated in the front of the engine, while on the other hand, the big block Chevy distributor is located in the back.

Another major difference between the small block firing order against the big one is the number of cylinders in them. While talking about the firing order for the small block Chevy the fact that the small block Chevy has two fewer cylinders. 

This brings us to the next point of difference between the two. The small block Chevy fires every other cylinder in its engine, while all of its cylinders are fired in the case of a big block Chevy engine.

Does the lack of the same amount of cylinders in the firing order for small block Chevy affect its performance? 

Surprisingly, no. Even though the small block Chevy has two fewer cylinders, it is capable of producing just the same amount of power as every other big block Chevy!

But how so? Let us look into it. There is a smaller displacement in the small block Chevy compared to the big block one. What does this displacement mean? This displacement refers to the amount of air and fuel mixture that the engine of a vehicle is able to take in and then, in turn, change into horsepower.

SBC Firing Order: Small Block Chevy Firing Order

Let us take an individual look at the firing order for small block Chevy to ensure the proper understanding of its functioning. Let us not forget the popularity that these small block Chevy firing order cars hold in the market, especially in the car racing arena.

Why is the firing order for the small block Chevy so popular? Essentially, it is a downsized version of the big block Chevy with shorter strokes, smaller bores, and valves. The firing order for the small block Chevy is noteworthy because it can generate a torque of up to 5800 RPM.

So, what exactly is the small block Chevy firing order? As previously mentioned, it typically follows the sequence 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2, which indicates the order in which the cylinders are ignited. This is known as an even firing order because the firing occurs in pairs with a two-unit gap between each pair.

It’s worth noting that an even firing order is a defining characteristic of the firing order for the small block Chevy, and while there are other firing orders used, none of them are as prevalent as this one.

Chevy 350 Firing Order: Big Block Chevy Firing Order

After discussing the small block Chevy firing order in-depth, it is only fair to take a deep look into the big block one too. What makes big block chevy firing order special, and where is it used?

Let us start by stating that the outstanding power production through the big block Chevy firing order can be credited to its bigger valves, ports, strokes, and bores. They have been developed in this way to provide extra power to heavy vehicles! They can produce up to 5500 RMPs today, which has made it a c=fan favorite for motor enthusiasts.

What is the major difference between a small block Chevy firing order and the big one? Let us recall the fact that the big block Chevy firing order has an extra cylinder which then changes the firing order to:

1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 (1, 8, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, and 2). 

The major difference in this big firing order on a 350 Chevy is the number three cylinder. In a small block Chevy firing order, it would be cylinder number two; this means that cylinder number one gets fired after number three here.

Many people believe this big firing order on the Chevy 350 leads to an imbalance in torque and horsepower but do not worry; this is just a misconception.

Chevy 350 Firing Order: Other Firing Order For a Small Block Chevy

Now that we have taken a good look at the Chevy small block firing order, let us take a look at other firing orders which are common, including the Chevy Big Block V8 firing order, 327 Chevy firing order, and Chevy 454 firing order HEI.

Let us take a deeper look into every Chevy firing order stated above now:

 5.3 Chevy Engine

The 5.3 Chevy firing order can be stated as 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3.  This particular Chevy firing order ensures that the pistons move in an organized manner, ensuring minimum wear and tear on the engine.

Chevy Big Block V8 Firing Order

This particular Chevy firing order is a big block V8 will be 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. What about this particular Chevy firing order makes it special? It ensures that there are minimal vibrations.

327 Chevy Firing Order

The firing order on a 350 Chevy is hugely different from the 327 one. The Chevy firing order for this one is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. 

Chevy 454 Firing Order HEI

Finally, we discuss the Chevy firing order for the Chevy 454 HEI engine. It is  1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.  

It is important to remember that this Chevy firing order only applies to distributor systems, and it will vary depending on the engine’s ignition system.

This sequence ensures that each plug in your ignition system is fired and that the spark plugs are properly spaced around the combustion chamber.

Chevy 350 Firing Order: Things to Keep in Mind

Knowing your Chevy firing order is important because any problem will lead to bigger problems with your engine. The major issues caused by it are crossed spark plugs. What damage can that do? If your spark plugs are not connected properly, it will mess up your Chevy firing order. This leads to further problems, which include engine misfiring, hesitation, surfing, etc.

It can also lead to rough idling. Keep a lookout for your check engine light on your dashboard, as it is the first sign that something could be wrong.

While working on your engine, ensure you do not directly contact the surface. If you are not confident in your automobile skills, do not mess around with the engine, which can lead to more damage. It is best advised to have a local mechanic look at it.


Below are the frequently asked questions for the SBC firing order. Let’s dig deep to know more.

What is the number one cylinder on a Chevy 350?

In the Chevy 350, the frontmost cylinder is usually number 1, placed closest to the timing order. But there are two approaches – Numbering the cylinders in each back sequentially (for instance, 1-2-3-4 in the right bank and 5-6-7-8- with the left bank).

Which way does the distributor turn on a Chevy 350?

Chevy distributors rotate clockwise, so you must turn the distributor counterclockwise to advance the timings.

How do you find the top dead center on a small-block Chevy?

You might wonder why it is necessary to find the top dead center in piston #1, especially when the engine is assembled. You might need to do so for a few reasons, such as if you have pulled your distributor, if something has caused damage to the engine, or if you need to align it properly.

Another reason could be that you accidentally removed your pointer to the dampener and must re-mark everything correctly.

To begin this process, you will need a standard socket to rotate the engine, a piston stop tool (which can be found at your local AutoZone for less than $10), and a marker.

First, remove the spark plug from cylinder number 1 and install the piston stop tool. Then, slightly rotate the engine by hand and mark the dampener at the single fixed point where the piston makes contact with the stop tool using your marker.

Next, slowly rotate the engine in the opposite direction until it makes contact with the piston stop tool again, and make a second mark. The top dead center is halfway between these two marks.

What would cause a misfire on cylinder 1?

Misfire in cylinder #1 is usually generated due to a lack of fuel or spark. On rare occasions, constant misfiring comes as a result of insufficient compression.


This article has broken down the Chevy 350 firing order in complete detail. The Chevy firing order is entirely responsible for the smooth running of your engine. Being acquainted with it is extremely important as it helps you understand your engine on a whole new level.

It should be noted that having your car manual is always a plus, as being briefly acquainted with the engine which powers your vehicle. If anything is wrong with your engine, the chances of fixing it and avoiding further issues are significantly better if you are well-read about it in advance. 

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