Having an '81 turbo myself, I can't help but wonder why the need to "change out" the distributor, since there is nothing in the distributor but the rotor. Obviously you did not reassemble the distributor and/or wires correctly. Setting the timing mark on the front pulley on TDC does not necessarily mean it is TDC on the combustion stroke where it needs to fire. You may need to rotate the engine 360 more degrees (and back to TDC) and then set the distributor back in with the rotor pointed to the number one cylinder wire. You are getting fire from the coil wire, aren't you? If not, then the problem is probably not with the distributor location, but with the coil wiring or the coil itself.
thanks for your input turbo.checked the coil it has no spark but is getting power. will replace this in the am.think i may have fried it while the key was left on and i was moving the distributer. keep you all posted
Rob-Are ya sure the wire to the module on the bottom (single spade terminal) of the distributor is connected and passing juice? Or perhaps the power transistor is disconnected or not working. It would be unusual for the coil to suddenly quit working, more likely a wiring issue.