Working on your four-cylinder car may have been very easy, but dealing with a V8 can overwhelm you very quickly. The Chevy 350 is an intimidating small-block engine if you’ve never worked on it before. To make sure the engine runs as expected, you need to know the Chevy 350 firing order.
In this article, we discuss the importance of firing orders. We also cover Chevy’s small-block firing order, along with a few other setups, for good measure.
Chevy 350 firing order
The firing order for the Chevy 350 small block is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. This command indicates that cylinder #1 will fire first. Once the first is finished, cylinder #8 takes over, and so on until cylinder #2 completes the ignition pattern.
This small-block engine is known as an SBC because it is smaller than the big-block variants. That’s just 262 with 400 cubic inches, compared to the big block’s 348 with 582 cubic inches.
However, the firing orders for small- and big-block Chevy engines remain the same. With either one, the firing order is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.
So, how do you know where each of these cylinders is? Each manufacturer arranges the cylinders in a way that is easy to determine. On Chevy 350 models, the cylinders are numbered starting at the front of the engine, moving to the rear and working from the driver’s side. The front left cylinder will be number 1. You can reverse the engine from left to right. All odd numbers are located on the left side of the engine, while even numbers are on the right side.
RELATED: Short Block vs. Long Block Engine (What’s the Difference?)
What is the firing order?
The engine firing order is the predetermined sequence in which each cylinder receives a spark from the ignition system. This spark is responsible for igniting the air-gas mixture. For the Chevy 350 to function properly, ignition must occur in a specific pattern.
Considering the 350 is a V8 engine, you don’t want all eight cylinders firing at the same time. This is where timing and proper setup come into play. While one cylinder fires, the others are on a different stroke, working in sync.
The more cylinders involved in an engine, such as the V8, the more coordinated this firing order becomes. It is precisely calibrated to ensure smooth operation, minimized vibrations, and a balanced motor. Additionally, the correct firing order allows the engine to last as long as possible.
If the shooting order is wrong, the ride is more like a wild horse. It can’t be smooth unless you just time it. It will also create lifelong engine damage, especially if left unchecked.
Not all V8 engines have the same firing order. Each manufacturer designs their engine for a particular order, so knowing what your engine needs is essential. Fortunately, it’s just eight cylinders arranged in a pattern, so it’s easy to remember for any future work you do.
Related: How much does a car engine weigh? (Small or large engines)
Chevy Firing Order
It’s easy to figure out what the Chevy firing order is because many of them stay the same. We already know that Chevy’s small-block V8 runs at 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. The small block includes 265, 283, 302, 327, 350, and 400.
We also covered that Chevy’s big block V8 also runs at 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. These engines include the 396, 406, 427, and 454. What is different is the firing order of the Chevy LS engine. The LS1 through LS7 engines do not operate in the same firing order as the small and big block Chevrolets. Instead, it runs in 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3.
If you are unsure of the firing order of your Chevy engine, consult your service manual. You don’t want to make any changes to the activation order or you could end up with serious performance issues.