were all the cylinders the exact same number? that's the important thing. if the engine actually is dying and losing compression, all cylinders aren't going to lose the exact same amount at the same rate.
if they're all exactly 90, you're engine's probably fine and you're either A: doing the test wrong, or B: have an inaccurate compression tester.
I just did a compression test on my 92 EGT with around 180k miles on it, when I had the head off I noticed #2 cylinder didn't come all the way up to TDC like all the other ones so I got it back together and did a compression test today, keep in mind this engine runs great! gets 34ish mpg, but cylinder 2 has 90 PSI of compression where all the others are above 150, all dry testing, and I held the starter with all the plugs out for at least 4 compression cycles each test. figure that one out. I think the number 2 rod got slightly bent, but it runs and will continue to run, if/when it goes out it'll be pull a part time! because bent rods take cylinder walls and all out with em don't they? I have rebuild like 3 full engines before but when it comes to catastrophic failure I'm a n00b, but I know how to turn wrenches.
yeah I saw that when I took the motor apart when I did my clutch and trans. the #2 didn't come all the way up with #3 all the way to the top of the deck. but it still runs and drives just fine! so I guess it's good right? ha ha I aint worried about it. it runs fine and will continue to run fine. like I said if worst comes to worse I'll go to PAP and get a number 2 connecting rod and piston and put my bearing on the junkyard part with my rings so it's all even
I have a hard time believing you have a bent rod and its not either: making noise, running off balance and shaking all over the place, or running rough....I think its more likely you have a problem with the valve seats or guides.
I know I'm baffled too! but I took the head off and #2 piston doesn't come up to TDC with #3 it was about 1/8th of an inch short of hitting TDC when #3 was at TDC. I'm at a loss how it still runs good and has power, it's not badly bent just a slight bend or something, it's been like that since I got the car over 4 months ago, it does idle a bit rough but that's because it's got semi hot cams in it stock. it does shake a little from 45 to 55 in 5th gear, when it's below 2500 rpm in 5th. but she'll cruise right up to 70 at 3300ish rpm.
we will find out soon if it's really bent I'll start a photo forum of the tearing apart again, then you can just see pics for yourselves but I've had the head off and all valves look good none bent or burnt and I run it on the lean side of a narrow band A/F gauge. with that and a few other small mods I get 34 mpg and I'm only tweaking more! kinda nice a fast car that breaks the 30 mpg barrier!