To be clear regarding the battery polarity, I don't know if this starter has field coils or permanent magnets. If the latter, reversed polarity would make the starter spin backwards. Upon further reflection, it would also cause the gear not to engage the flywheel, so that's a moot point. So I know that I have it connected correctly whether it makes a difference or not. At any rate, the engine is making compression, the firing order is 1-3-4-2, the distributor is going counter clockwise, the wires are on the correct plugs, and there is no filter in the fuel line. That's sort of a moot point as well, considering the gasoline that was placed directly into the cylinders. Anyway, it's a brand new carburetor, new fuel line, and a clean 1-quart tank I pulled off a lawnmower.
Here's something I noticed today. I primed the #1 cylinder and replaced the spark plug, then I cranked the engine. It went around maybe 1 revolution and then the starter disengaged from the flywheel and spun by itself. Maybe it got just a little pop out of one cylinder and threw the gear out because it's worn. I thought I smelled just a tiny bit of exhaust.
When my wife and kids get home from their road trip this weekend I'm going to have them help me pull this tractor with the other tractor and see if it will start.