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It sounds a like a fuel starvation problem if it run with easy starts it's obviously firing and got compression without any of these it won't start. I would check to make sure there's no restriction in the fuel line from fuel tank to carburettor. If not there should be w screw at the bottom of the carb unscrew and let it drain. Replace screw and see if it starts sometimes the floAt in carb gets stuck.
And you know the fuel filter is good? Could be injector problem: just as a check, spray some starting fluid into the intake and see if engine runs a few seconds. If it does, it is a fuel problem. Check injector fuse, as a start. Check fuel pressure. Check injector circuit. If engine won't start with starting fluid, check if you are getting spark. Problem may be in the ignition system.
watch your oil pressure when cranking, you have to have some oil pressure to get the fuel system to start. you may have to find the hot wire at the relay and energize it to see if it is indeed the fuel pump going out. if its been sitting and its a 97 the fuel pump just might have went, you can also try hitting the gas tank from the outside in the middle to see if that works too. have a water hose or fire extinguisher around when your working on fuel system and leave one of your battery cable a little loose..
IF you can keep it running with starting fluid my friend, but wont keep running otherwise, it's evident now that you have a fuel delivery problem. Like your out of gas in the tank. Well, you know there's gas in the tank, so apparently the fuel pump is malfunctioning and not pumping the gas from the tank. First check ALL fuses. Fuel pump fuse may not be marked as that and could be on the same fuse as the wipers or something else. That's why you check all fuses with a test light. It may not be blown, just not making good contact. Or it could be the ground connection on the tank is corroded and not making good enough contact.
It sure could be. But, first...by "won't turn over" you do mean it cranks at normal speed but won't start? A simple test of the fuel pump is to stand by tank and listen as someone turns key to on. When first turned to on, your pump will activate for 2 or 3 seconds, pressurizing the fuel system, and then shut off if the engine computer doesn't get a cranking signal. Do you hear it come on? If not, then something's not turning your pump on. If you can hear it buzz on briefly, then maybe it's your filter. Another test: Spray a little starting fluid into your intake manifold (remove the big hose going into intake manifold) while someone tries starting it.If it doesn't fire and try to stay running, then it's probably an ignition problem. But if it does fire off, then you know it's a fuel problem-likely your pump or filter. good luck.