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Certainly also possibilities... with an unknown history anything's possible, but I'd first check that the engine is within proper mechanical tolerances. Dig deeper from there.
 

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Welcome to the site!

Good luck with the problem. I'm a single cylinder Kohler guy that just got my first diesel.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Start motor and put a infrared thermo on exhaust pipes and see if big diff. Can have fire but have a valve lift problem with no compression. Also you can spray water on pipes to see if same temp.
I like this one. I'll try this too. Still trying to find time for this. Lots of fires in the world today that need putting out.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I just bought an infra-red thermometer on a lark the other day, so - awesome. The front left cylinder is much cooler than the right. When I spun it up to full throttle and removed the spark plug wire ( getting a fun little tingle at the same time ) the engine pitch didn't change.

EDIT: When I removed the other one the engine died.

The left cylinder isn't firing. Explains why it smells "rich", the fuel/air is getting pumped right out the exhaust. I put an inline spark testor in and am getting a spark on the new plug.

So next thing is to pull the head and check the valve clearance and function, yes?

Hey, one quick thing - this community is awesome. I feel really welcome here. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
K - Valve clearances were fine ( ish ). I put the compression tester on the cylinder - 150 PSI on the functioning one, Zero ( 0 ) on the non-functioning one. I guess I'm tearing it down.

Good opportunity to teach my 12 year old how an engine works. Can't let her get too much taller without some basic understanding.
 
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