Well I finally figured it out... I should have listened to zukiru.
We tried everything, checked every connection, read through the manual more than a few times. Still couldn't get spark.
I thought it was the signal generator from the dizzy because we had power to everything but no signal. Finally, it dawned on me, I asked my dad to watch the dizzy rotor as I bumped over the car.... nothing, not even a budge.
So I pop off the timing belt cover. The belt is still intact but pretty nasty. So I ask my dad to watch that as I bump it again... nothing, he says the belt shimmies a little. So I'm thinking, bad timing sprocket or something ... I dunno.
So we call the guy over to show him whats up. After explaining why he lost spark I tell him straight up, "This is a much more serious problem then I thought, It's gonna cost me a lot more to repair than I was hoping for." My dad asked him, "How much is it worth to you now, knowing this is the problem?" so the guy says "I still think $350 is a fair price, anyways I could trade it in and get $1000 from CASH FOR CLUNKERS"
Seriously! Cash for Clunkers screwed me out of a cheap supra!
I mean, the car probably is worth $350. I could probably part it and make a little money, but as a daily driver I would need to get it for around $250 to make it worthwhile. For the cost of parts, towing and possibly labor if I get stumped, I could find a better daily.
The thing is, acorrding to http://www.cars.gov/
the official information site of the now renamed "Cash for clunkers" bill, his car doesn't even qualify!
Taken directly from the site
How do I know if my car or truck is an eligible trade-in vehicle?
There are several requirements (but you also have to meet certain conditions for the car or truck you wish to buy). Your dealer can help you determine whether you have an eligible trade in vehicle.
Your trade-in vehicle must
* have been manufactured less than 25 years before the date you trade it in
* have a "new" combined city/highway fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less
* be in drivable condition
* be continuously insured and registered to the same owner for the full year preceding the trade-in
* The trade-in vehicle must have been manufactured not earlier than 25 years before the date of trade in and, in the case of a category 3 vehicle, must also have been manufactured not later than model year 2001
Note that work trucks (i.e., very large pickup trucks and cargo vans) have different requirements.
So the supra definatly will not quailfy, but what I'm afraid of is the dealers. Cars sales have been mega slow everywhere and many of the local dealers are running with this "Cash for Clunkers" ploy. I'm afraid the dealers might start taking cars that aren't even eligible, scrapping them, and taking the hit in order to sell new cars.
I'm hoping the owner will call me back when he figures out his master plan will not work. If I was in his position, I would be happier selling the car to someone who could fix it and use it for years to come. It's not like this guy needs the money, he's a NASA engineer and drives a nice, older but nice, Lexus LS.