Some background:

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My college roommate inherited a 1986 Ford Ranger upon his Grandfather’s death. The grandfather had owned a body shop near his house, and the truck had only ever made runs to the paint store and grocery. Upon receiving the truck, just a couple years ago, it had 36,xxx miles on it.

My buddy has driven the truck around town quite a bit over the last few years, as a second vehicle mostly. It’s ran well for the most part in that time. A few months ago, it started having intermittent low oil pressure (you know, since malaise era vehicles have that gauge). Upon researching this, he found out some Rangers of that vintage had oil pickup tube issues... and he wasn’t wrong.

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Cut to last weekend; I help him pull the engine and transmission out of the truck. He plans on removing the pan, changing the oil pickup, and doing some minor maintenance while out of the vehicle. I go home, he says he’s got this.

Two days later I get this text message.

No wonder it’s not making good oil pressure.
Three minutes later, another message, and a lot of expletives.

For those of you unfamiliar, this is where the oil pickup mounts to the block on the inlet to the pump. The pump has apparently been sucking air... forever.

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And... another...

Pretty well confirms it has always been this way. Thousands of miles and 30 years worth of not actually oiling.

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While in there, went ahead and pulled the crank bearing caps off... yeah... new motor time.

Well, at this point he decided he could just get a short block, and swap his head onto it to save a few dollars. Two days later I get this picture.

That’s a head bolt... just laying there under the valve cover...

Spent some time like this.
For reference, with a whole head bolt.
Honestly, the best picture of the whole group.

So, mid 80's Ford quality was not too great... or maybe it was great, this thing worked for 30 years.

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It’s really just incredible all around.