03 MPV cranks but no start after head gasket replacement
A little history: I bought this van from a car lot last year. 12 days later it would not start when I got off work. Cranked over strong, just wouldn't start. Never really decided what the culprit was as when I returned a few hours later we noticed it was low on coolant, filled it up and it started right away. Not long after that we started getting the misfire and shutter a lot of others have complained about and we were still noticing a loss of coolant, with no detectable leak. We changed the spark plugs and coils as that is what was suggested for the misfire. At the same time that we did that we changed the Idle Air Control Valve (the spring popped out when it was removed - definitely bad) and cleaned the Mass Air Flow sensor. Ran better for a while but was still losing coolant. We could never see it leaking so we wondered if it was warming up and being pushed out of the overflow. Occasionally it would act like it was flooding the engine so I would hold the pedal to the floor and it would start up. Five months after purchase we got ready to go for a drive and checked the oil like normal except this morning it appears there is water in the oil. Van never overheated, but since we were losing coolant we had been keeping an eye on the oil (which had been changed right after purchase and at 3 months; since we don't go far it hadn't been 3,000 miles). Now that water has shown up in the oil we must have a blown head gasket. Van started up like a champ and ran strong to move it to the shop behind the house for us to tear into. Winter was upon us so changing the head gasket was a slow process. Purchased the entire gasket set and worked out way through it. Also replaced the thermostat, plugs (again - why not), and crankshaft position sensor. Now that the van is back together it cranks but will not start. The first time my husband put it all together he thought he may have put one of the timing chains on out of time/sync so he pulled them back off and did it over again. This time he is fairly sure that he has it timed correctly but it still wont start. Sounds normal when cranking, or no different than it ever did anyway. Do any of you experienced MPV owners have suggestions? We are considering replacing the camshaft position sensor since that could also be a cause, and the battery goes low while cranking but we have a charger and ensure it is 100% when we turn it over. I hate to throw money at it without having an idea of what it could be. I appreciate any help you can give us. Thanks!
2003 Mazda MPV ES 3.0L