This weekend I started 732 and let it warm up, then I tested compression again. Worst cylinder was 125 #'s, best was 140#. For some reason the cold test showed one of the 140# cylinders at 70# back when it wouldn't start. Could there have been a valve hanging up? Does anyone think I should try some Sea Foam to clean out crud in engine? Or try something else. Maybe I should just leave alone? Greg
You should test copression when the engine is indeed warm.
One test you can do to check if it is bottom end (rings) or top end (valves) is to check the compression cold or warm, it doesn't matter. Write these figures down, get an oil can and squirt oil into the cylinder through the spark plug hole. This will create a better seal between the piston and the bore. If the compression gets better its your bottom end, if it doesn't it will be your head/valves. Just don't pour masses of oil in, being a petrol engine there is pleanty of room for a little oil, just don't empty the can in 1 cylinder.
This is the test procedure outlined in my car's service manual, it will work on any engine and it does indeed work.
I honestly don't think compression isnt an issue with starting, even really really low compression petrol engines will start, as they don't rely on the heat generated by compression to ignite the fuel. I would be looking at fuel system or ignition. I would take the air cleaner off and give it a really good spray of engine start, if it kicks its your feul system. If not, it will be your ignition system. I don't know what you have changed, but i would do plugs/leads, points, coil, maybee the distributor cap if its really corroded and the rotor button. Take out a plug and attach it to a lead and earth the boddy of the plug, crank the engine, the spark should be blue not ornage.
Have a look at the spark and the compression readings you get with a squirt of oil and then see where you are at.