I recently put a 94 Ford Exporer 4.0 engine in my 92 Explorer. Where the distributor used to go into the old cars is a gear and a cap (for the 92)The 94 has the same only with wires or some kind of sensing device. I swaped the two out not wanting to rewire the whole car. It won't start because it is grossly out of time. Do I have to set the distributor gear the same way (#1 piston up) and then drop in like the old style cars of the 70"s and 80's?
Engine electrical distributor on 1994 Ford Explorer
All other things being equal I would say you are on the right track. If there are NO other issues with sensors or connections try setting up the distributor as you did in the old style cars. Piston on #1 top dead center and distributor pointed to #1 cylinder. If that does not work there maybe some hidden differences between the two engines that will require more research.