X..the steps you are taking are in the right direction. Although 104'* are a bit cold for the mods. I'd think 605'* should work well for you.
I had a "chipped" piston in a Regal I picked up. Ran decent, but blowing smoke etc. I went to test compression, #4 had 0psi.
The plugs 2, 4, 6
The chipped piston. (I stood there laughing when I pulled the head off)
The piston rod and pushrod
Found the chip that came off the piston.
There was nothing but a wrist pin left in the cylinder. Which is odd because they should be free floating once the retaining ring is out of the piston ....or the piston is totally missing lol
On a side note.. if you take a little off a spare engine lift bracket, you can bolt it up for the win on connecting the leveler to the fourth corner.