If you’re relatively new to engine work and have ever pulled, or need to pull, the distributor or damper from your engine, finding Top Dead Center on piston #1 becomes an instant priority. Finding Top Dead Center is an essential skill for assembling and tuning engines, and is even a necessity for performing some engine diagnostic tests, such as a leakdown test.

Today, we go back to the basics—the basics of locating TDC on standard V8 engines.

Watch this Summit Racing Quick Flicks video and see how to find Top Dead Center with a standard socket, a piston stop tool and a marker pen. We’ve also included this guide to cylinder numbers/firing orders to help identify cylinder #1 in your engine.