Help! S10 2.2 round one. thumbs down

I got my 96 S10 apart finally that i posted about before. It was turning over funny after it flat died, so i thought i had timing chain problems.
The front of the motor came apart OK until i go to the crank
pulley holder. It took a LONG time with help to get it to creep off. i don't know if it needed a special puller, or just bad luck. Then i could not get the studs out of the bottom of the timing chain cover. WE managed to get it off with the studs still on.
Well, my original theory was right. I had a timing problem. Part of the plastic tensioner broke off and was imbedded into the cam gear. Got a Factory GM tensioner as Ian suggested and put a new chain and cam sprocket on it. We timed the gear by what we thought the factory manual told us. There are marks on the tensioner. That was clear. There was a single mark on the crank gear. That was clear. But the cam gear there was NO mark like the crank gear had. Only a large drilled hole between two teeth. That's what we used to time it. Then we put the timing cover back on for a test
We Tried to start it and it spun fast, did not sound right. It would not fire normally, heard maybe a put in the exhaust Like it had little or no compression. So we tore the timing cover back off. The hole in the cam sprocket was lined up with the tensioner, as was the notch on the crank gear. Just as we had set it before. But we could spin the crank too easy like there was little or no compression.
So, i thought i had a timing chain problem. I did. But now either i am missing the boat on how to time it, or i have other problems. If i try to turn the cam by hand with a wrench, i can feel tension in spots like the valve springs are there and working. So I assume the cam is not broke. But why the lack of compression? Either i did not get it timed right, or the valves or pistons are bent or have holes in them.
Short of taking the head off (which seems to be next), what else can i try on this? Is it possible to time it 180 degrees off somehow? I thought the 2.2 was NOT an interference motor. SO it confuses me how i could have had valve or piston damage. I did not have a compression gage handy at the time so no readings were taken.
Any help appreciated. Things are not gong well for me now and this is the last thing i need to have happen.
Bob
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Go back to the cam gear, clean (& hunt, HUNT FOR ITS MARK) & find the mark, however dim, and time it correctly. s
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Looks like the hole in the cam sprocket points to the notch or mark on the tensioner, between the cam and crank sprockets. The crank sprocket should have a mark on a tooth, that will point toward the cam sprocket at the notch or mark on the tensioner. The hole in the cam sprocket and the mark on the crank sprocket tooth point to each other.
wrote:

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