things i have checked so far:
engine code doesn't appear to be a "normal" code. the light comes on for one second off for two seconds, on for three seconds then off for one and repeats that cycle. I was expecting to see pulses instead of a steady light for varying amounts of time. I have cleared the codes and get the 1444 which means no codes stored, then after failed starting attempts, the code described above reappears.
i have measured the resistance accross two terminals of the crankshaft sensor, and noted half of the resistance the bentley claims as normal( bentley - 1.2k ohms my sensor - 500 ohms. i did yank a spark plug and ground it to the head and it definitely sparks...so i kind of ruled out a faulty sensor since i see spark.
usually if you have spark then fuel is missing from the equation, but i smell fuel at the tail pipe, so it seems like i am getting gas.
went through the troubleshooting of the ignition system... checked voltage at each ignition module/coil at each plug, checked coil resistance at each module, can see the servo moving the air valve directly after air flow sensor on throttle body.
car turns over just fine, coughs and sputters like it wants to start but never does or dies right away if it gets close to starting.