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IMHO, either you "learn to turn" or you dig into those deep pockets and send it to one of those "three major" restorations houses..... With those stated miles, you need an engine. 'Cause any professional(?) using RTV on a fuel system, like as mentioned and can't diagnose 8 Cylinders that don't have compression is seriously lacking somewhere. Too many fundamentals that are being overlooked. Good Luck!
 

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No need. I am in Rockville, Maryland. There are three major classic car restoration places within 5 miles of me. I know where they are. I've been taking my car to that Exxon station for the past 15 years. Last year it was a cracked heater core and leaking power steering lines. The repair of both took time, but went well. This year I found my mechanic had retired but the manager said he had capable staff. Apparently not.

The car is unrestored and has nearly 882,000 miles on it. I got my drivers license in this car. It is probably time to bite the bullet and hand it over for restoration.
View attachment 809884
That car looks awesome for the amount of miles on it. I've got a '58 Bug with over a million miles, but I have no idea how many engines or various other parts it has had in it. I did a full body off pan restoration to it (it was one step from scrap metal), I'm really jealous of the condition of your high mileage car.
I'm wondering how it "almost started" after they found no compression in any cylinder.
 

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You'd know if it had "no compression" as it would sound really, really strange when cranking over. The problem, now, is that you really don't know exactly WHAT the guy did to it so you need to go back to the beginning to find out.

Step 1. Pull all 8 plugs. Block throttle wide open. Pull coil wire from distributor cap and ground the end. Fully charged battery. Do cranking compression test on all 8 cylinders. Acceptable is 130-170 psi with no more than 20 psi difference between highest and lowest cylinders.

Step 2. Assuming Step 1 is okay, locate TDC (Top Dead Center). Rotate engine by hand, clockwise from in front facing rearward, until line on crankshaft balancer aligns with 0* mark on timing pointer. Note location of #1 spark plug (front driver's cylinder) wire on distributor cap. Remove distributor cap. Ignition rotor should be pointing either directly TOWARD or directly AWAY from #1 tower in cap. If pointing directly AWAY, place finger over #1 spark plug hole and have someone rotate engine by hand, again clockwise, 1 full turn. As they finish, you should feel a substantial pressure on your finger, indicating the piston is coming up and the valves are both closed.

Step 3. Check breaker point gap. Remove distributor cap and rotor. Turn engine, by hand, until one of the 8 lobes on the distributor cam is aligned with the rubbing block on the breaker points, opening them wide. Check the point gap with a feeler gauge. It should be .017".

Step 4. Check breaker point continuity. Set multimeter to ohms scale. Place RED lead on ignition coil- post and BLACK lead on distributor housing with points open or insulated with something like a popsicle stick or the boxtop of a cereal box. You should have NO continuity. Continuity would indicate the points or condenser are shorted to ground. Disconnect the condenser lead from the points and check again. If now NO continuity, replace condenser.

Step 5. Check coil resistance. Set multimeter to ohms. RED lead on Coil+, BLACK lead on Coil-. Should be approximately 1.5 ohms. Remove coil wire and place BLACK lead on contact inside high tension tower. Meter should read between 7.5k and 15k ohms.

Step 6. Check coil feed. Set multimeter to DC volts. Place BLACK lead on battery positive post. Turn ignition key "ON". Place RED lead on Ignition Coil+ post. Meter should read no more than 6.6 vDC. If meter reads zero, power is not reaching the ignition coil. If meter reads more than 6.6vDC, high resistance exists indicating a poor connection, defective switch or defective resistance wire.

Step 7. Verify fuel supply to carburetor. Remove fuel line from carburetor and attach a length of hose into a quart or larger container. Crank the engine. In 20 seconds of cranking a minimum of 1 pint of fuel should be present. If no fuel is being pumped, check for fuel supply at fuel pump by removing rubber hose from pump and applying suction. Fuel should flow easily.

Step 8. Reconnect everything, pour half a medicine cup's worth of fresh gas down the carburetor throat and crank the engine. If you have compression, fuel and spark, the engine should run.
 

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65 GT 4 speed/69 SCJ 4 speed
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Well it seems certain the fella only ran an amateurish compression test on one cylinder. No way to get a zero on all eight. Brian
 

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Removed carburetor to check for vacuum?

They should give you all your money back. They have no idea what they're doing. Based on what they wrote on that invoice, I honestly can't believe they managed to get the hood open.

I'm reading between the lines here, but it sounds like you have owned this car forever but have never worked on it yourself. That's totally OK but clearly can result in a situation like this. I hope you are able to find a capable local shop. I bet there's someone here that can help you do just that.

Your car looks great. I sure am curious as to what is wrong and how they got so lost in the weeds.
 

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Now, I'm thinking this car died on the operating table!
 

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1966 Mustang GT Coupe Auto
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The OP says that there is spark at the spark plugs. Have you looked yourself? If spraying starting fluid doesn't cause combustion, the comments here are correct - there ain't no spark.

Put on some exam gloves. Pull the closest spark plug wire/boot. Remove the spark plug with a socket. Push the boot back on to the spark plug, you'll hear it snap into place. Hold the boot in hour hand while someone tries to start the engine for a few seconds. Do you see a bright spark in the spark plug?
 

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Have you tried spraying some ether or WD40 or anything like that in the carb? Even brake cleaner from that aerosol can is good to help fire something up. Those seem to have a lower combustion point than gas and thus can start an engine with less spark
 

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1969 Ford Mustang Convertible
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.....you need to go back to the beginning to find out.

Step 1. Pull all 8 plugs. Block throttle wide open. Pull coil wire from distributor cap and ground the end. Fully charged battery. Do cranking compression test on all 8 cylinders. Acceptable is 130-170 psi with no more than 20 psi difference between highest and lowest cylinders.

Step 2. Assuming Step 1 is okay, locate TDC (Top Dead Center)........
I just printed this, punched three holes in it, and placed it in my shop binder. These are the kind of basics that the OP (or his mechanic) can use to figure this out. Part of finding out what it is, is finding out what it isn't......Information like this is gold. Thanks!
 

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Step 4. Check breaker point continuity. Set multimeter to ohms scale. Place RED lead on ignition coil- post and BLACK lead on distributor housing with points open or insulated with something like a popsicle stick or the boxtop of a cereal box. You should have NO continuity. Continuity would indicate the points or condenser are shorted to ground. Disconnect the condenser lead from the points and check again. If now NO continuity, replace condenser.
Good basic instructions Woodchuck, but- "Disconnect the condenser lead from the points and check again. If now NO continuity, replace condenser."
If the cardboard/popsicle stick is still in there there should be no continuity. Did you forget to tell us to take it out?
 

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Good basic instructions Woodchuck, but- "Disconnect the condenser lead from the points and check again. If now NO continuity, replace condenser."
If the cardboard/popsicle stick is still in there there should be no continuity. Did you forget to tell us to take it out?
No, if the condenser was shorted to ground (continuity between distributor lead and the distributor housing) and you pulled the condenser lead you should now have "no continuity".
 

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OK gotcha. All of that was to test the condenser, not the points. I've never had a bad condenser but read about the problem with the contemporary sources all the time.
 

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You'd know if it had "no compression" as it would sound really, really strange when cranking over. The problem, now, is that you really don't know exactly WHAT the guy did to it so you need to go back to the beginning to find out.

Step 1. Pull all 8 plugs. Block throttle wide open. Pull coil wire from distributor cap and ground the end. Fully charged battery. Do cranking compression test on all 8 cylinders. Acceptable is 130-170 psi with no more than 20 psi difference between highest and lowest cylinders.

Step 2. Assuming Step 1 is okay, locate TDC (Top Dead Center). Rotate engine by hand, clockwise from in front facing rearward, until line on crankshaft balancer aligns with 0* mark on timing pointer. Note location of #1 spark plug (front driver's cylinder) wire on distributor cap. Remove distributor cap. Ignition rotor should be pointing either directly TOWARD or directly AWAY from #1 tower in cap. If pointing directly AWAY, place finger over #1 spark plug hole and have someone rotate engine by hand, again clockwise, 1 full turn. As they finish, you should feel a substantial pressure on your finger, indicating the piston is coming up and the valves are both closed.

Step 3. Check breaker point gap. Remove distributor cap and rotor. Turn engine, by hand, until one of the 8 lobes on the distributor cam is aligned with the rubbing block on the breaker points, opening them wide. Check the point gap with a feeler gauge. It should be .017".

Step 4. Check breaker point continuity. Set multimeter to ohms scale. Place RED lead on ignition coil- post and BLACK lead on distributor housing with points open or insulated with something like a popsicle stick or the boxtop of a cereal box. You should have NO continuity. Continuity would indicate the points or condenser are shorted to ground. Disconnect the condenser lead from the points and check again. If now NO continuity, replace condenser.

Step 5. Check coil resistance. Set multimeter to ohms. RED lead on Coil+, BLACK lead on Coil-. Should be approximately 1.5 ohms. Remove coil wire and place BLACK lead on contact inside high tension tower. Meter should read between 7.5k and 15k ohms.

Step 6. Check coil feed. Set multimeter to DC volts. Place BLACK lead on battery positive post. Turn ignition key "ON". Place RED lead on Ignition Coil+ post. Meter should read no more than 6.6 vDC. If meter reads zero, power is not reaching the ignition coil. If meter reads more than 6.6vDC, high resistance exists indicating a poor connection, defective switch or defective resistance wire.

Step 7. Verify fuel supply to carburetor. Remove fuel line from carburetor and attach a length of hose into a quart or larger container. Crank the engine. In 20 seconds of cranking a minimum of 1 pint of fuel should be present. If no fuel is being pumped, check for fuel supply at fuel pump by removing rubber hose from pump and applying suction. Fuel should flow easily.

Step 8. Reconnect everything, pour half a medicine cup's worth of fresh gas down the carburetor throat and crank the engine. If you have compression, fuel and spark, the engine should run.
I stopped reading everyone else’s suggestions after i read Barts....do exactly as he says as he is all over it! If you have any questions as to “why” you might be performing a certain step as he’s described, then im sure he can explain it better than any of the other replies.
As he stated in his last sentence....an engine only needs spark (at the right time), fuel (right mixture), and compression (piston in the correct location with regard to top dead center)....
 
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