Take off distibuter cap tke out number 1 plug turn engine til piston at tdc top dead centre look at rotor arm it should be at number 1 in the cap note which way rotor turns and fit leads to suit good luck
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5.0 HO and 351 Windsor share 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8 firing order
When looking into the engine bay the number one cylinder should be on
your left hand side (left bank) at the front of the engine. The number
eight cylinder is on the rear right (right bank) up against the
distributer turns counter clockwize (#1 should be labelled on cap)
Sounds like you could have an aux air regulator valve, that is not
working when it will not work; there is no fast idle cold. Should be around 1500 rpm cold, the car will stall out and pop through the intake when bad. You have a digital volt meter to do some testing with to make sure the mass air flow is working correctly. Also, check the plugs for how they're burning, check the air filter for good flow, do a compression test and judge from there. Intake backfire is usually caused by running lean or improper timing.
For the 79 model zx, ignition timing was 10 degrees BTDC @ 700rpm For 80 and up zx, non turbo - 8 degrees BTDC +- 2 degrees @ 700rpm turbo - 20 degrees BTDC +- 3 degrees @ 700 rpm
Also done with distributor vacuum advance hose removed and plugged. NOTE: * BTDC = Before Top Dead Center * + - = Plus or minus
Hope thos helps; keep us updated.
The firing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4 counter-clockwise, and here is a firing order diagram to help assist you, and let me know if you need any help understanding this diagram, or if you require any further assistance.
Sounds like you have the firing order right but your off on the #1 on the distributer. Every time you get an explosion coming from the carb its misfiring. Find the #1 on dist and continue with firing order