Well, gave her a try today, but had no battery. I used my 400amp starter/charger, but I guess the starter needs the hard battery as a basis, and the other just helps, as it would not even turn... As the engine turned by hand ok, I built a handcrank(out of an old tractor one...) and tried that way. No joy. So I checked spark, and spark is ok, so I checked fuel. I manually primed all four cylinders, and hand cranked it. All I go was a puff of smoke from each cylinder as I hand cranked it, but no noise, or even an attempt to start. Kinda annoying. SO I figured I'd check the intake, and so pulled the carb off, and removed the manifold. There were no blockages. I manually flow tested the carb by blowing compressed air through the inlet, with the choke open(carb in hand) and got a fuel spray from it, so the carb seems to be ok...
Next step- check the valve train. Pulled the side cover, and turned the crank. All valves moved ok. Drained the coolant, and removed the head. Pistons had an appreciable carbon build up, but nothing out of the ordinary. As I moved the pistons the top of the cylinders, I scraped the carbon, and got them cleaned up. I removed the valve retainer pins(very easy compared with the usual keys, and I FINALLY found a use for the valve compressor I have that is squeeze operated! Anything with a real valve spring is too strong for it!) and valves. I put my hand over each cylinder in turn, as I rotated the engine with the crank, and checked the vacuum/pressure as the piston travelled- all four seemed to have good vacuum & good pressure, so I figure a good valve cleanup/lapping should help with the overall compression- which seemed to be low when I checked with the head on.(I used the thumb method, and was not happy... The compression gauge was out of order at that point, so I did not get a reading. The needle had FALLEN OFF! I had to unscrew the face, and put it back on. I found an easy way to calibrate it: I put a double quick-connect into the gauge in place of the hose, and then hooked up the compressor hose- I set the regulator & then just aligned the needle to match! Seemed to work...)
Tomorrow I'l lap the valves, and reassemble it, and see how she goes!