Yes it is common for them to fail. I would check the timing to make sure it is correct. As far as the cats, if they were glowing red, chances are they melted down, so they may need replaced when you get the thing going again.
As far as the compression, there shouldn't more than a 10% variation between cylinders. Yes, you could have a burnt valve, sticking valve. That may explain why you have compression one time and not the next. Start by checking timing. It could do the same thing. If it is good and correct, then you will need to start looking into the engine for possible causes.
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 AT 7:47 PM