i tried doing the test when you pull the spark plug out and touch it to the engine block and look for a spark when cranking, but there is none. but when i do the same test on the coil (put spark plug in boot from coil to distributor) i get a orange spark. so i feel like it is something towards the distributor side or something i set up wrong.
Bring the engine up to TDC on #1 compression stroke
Remove cap and insure the rotor is under the #1 tower. Rotate distributor or move the wires if you need to to get it aligned.
Insure the rotor isn't damaged (tip burned off, center tang gone, etc). Replace if necessary
Insure the cap isn't damaged (towers intact, no corrosion, etc). replace if necessary
Inspect and test all spark plug wires. replace if necessary.
Re adjust the timing if you disturbed the distributor.
I'm betting the problem is with the cap/rotor.