Re: Why does my diesel not rev when in gear?
That is an unbelievable amount of cranking.
Since you are not jumping at the idea of hiring a mechanic, I assume that you are cost sensitive. If this is the case, start with the stuff that you can easily do yourself for very little in parts costs. Check the throttle linkage and shutdown linkage again. Change your fuel filter and cut the old one open. Check your air filter. Check your exhaust hose visually by simply taking it off. I would also recommend cracking your fuel bleeder while cranking and seeing whether you get solid fuel or air and fuel.
Once you get through all of the visual checks, you want to make sure to start by doing tests that will tell you the most about the most likely culprits. Since you are not seeing blue smoke, a compression test would not be the first thing that I tried. The first thing that I would do is to check your fuel pressure. You can do this easily yourself with a gauge or you can get a mechanic to do it. If your fuel pressure is low (meaning <15psig), then you need to fix it before you do anything else. Low fuel pressure will cause many of the symptoms that you describe because the injectors fail to pop off. Next, I would check compression, again you either need a gauge or a mechanic. After that, I would think about pulling the injectors and testing them.