Man that really sucks. Have you checked to see if anyone on here lives close enough to you that they could look at it for you. It's got to be something simple and as frustrated as you probably are you could very easily be overlooking a very simple problem that they might see right off the bat. I don't mean any disrespect but another set of eyes might help.
1989 YJ WITH 4.2 AND AUTO TRANS
as far as other eyes goes...at this point im game..but dont really know anyone that doesnt own a shop that works on em...most people come see me when something is up with their car...i havent pulled the plugs and looked at them ..just changed em...i have noticed looking down throttle body that gas is pooling inside..flooding..
thats a good ?....ill research in here to figure out which is which....years ago i was able to get it running ONLY if i held pedal to floor but it would just chug and spudder and idle low....so i have always thought it was a timing issue....but couldnt figure out..so i quit working on it...so the 1st thing i tackled this time was timing chain...but maybe i did it wrong. but i followed book to the t...
Rotate it to TDC with your finger over the spark plug hole. If you feel the compression pushing your finger, you will be at TDC of the compression stroke. Then set your distributor to fire according to that. I think you may have stated that you have a compression gauge, so that will also help you determine that you are at TDC on the Compression stroke
no backfire from exhaust....just from intake ever so often....i havent had a chance to work on it in a few days...it actually has been raining here in texas...cant complain cause were in stage 4 drought right now....
If you have fuel pooling the backfiring from intake could be from the excess fuel. Have you done anything to address a possible fuel delivery issue, I.e. bad carburetor/ fuel injection. I have had plenty of vehicles backfire out the carb and it was nothing to do with timing, simply air/fuel mixture problem.
look down the throttle body to the bottom - see if there is a puddle of fuel in there. if there is, dry it up with a rag.
If there is a puddle of fuel in there it will not start. have someone turn the key on while you look down the throttle body at the bottom of the injector to make sure the fuel is misting out, not dribbling or running out.
One more thing and I can't remember if you told us but is the fuel new. This has out of commission a while right? If the fuel is old that's probably what gummed up the injector causing the fuel pooling. Make sure you have fresh gas and fuel filter too.
If my ex got awarded my jeep you can bet your a$$ it would take years and tons of coin for next husband to figure out why it won't run to! You might want to check those break lines pretty good if the last guy was anything like myself.