I can't tell everyone how many times I see this asked, or how many times this is done wrong. What I want to do is make this a very simple, step by step guide to getting your car running after removal of the distributor.
Step #1 - Remove the Serpentine Belt
Step #2 - Remove the #1 Spark Plug
Step #3 - Ensure the car is in Neutral
Step #4 - Get a 15/16" Socket and Ratchet
Step #5 - Put Ratchet on Crank and being to turn over the engine while holding thumb over the #1 spark plug hole, eventually when you come around to the compression stroke, the air in the cylinder will start to push your thumb off the spark plug hole
Step #6 - STOP, look down at your balance, note where the timing pointer is on the harmonic balancer, it should be coming around towards -0- TDC.
Step #7 - Continue to slowly crank the engine over passing -0- TDC, and stopping on 10* BTDC.
Step #8 - STOP - we will now look at the distributor cap
Step #9 - Identify where the #1 Spark Plug Wire is or will be, and using a marker run a line down the side of the cap so with the cap off you will know where the #1 contact would be.
Step #10 - Remove the cap, and see where the rotor is pointed. It needs to be dead center on this line you drew, this would mean that the timing is at 10* BTDC (approx. only way to do it 100% is with a light, but this will get you well within reason).
Step #11 - Turn it until you get it dead center as shown in the pic.
Now just to take this a bit further, that will help if you already re-installed the distributor. If you have not yet put it back in, then do so. You need to keep in mind a few things:
#1 - The TFI module needs to be positioned so that you can turn the dizzy a bit to the left and a bit to the right.
#2 - If you can not get the rotor and the line you drew lined up, you are a tooth or more off, and need to pull out the distributor, move the rotor a tad, and try again. Eventually it will line up.