Between being out of school and actually feeling fit enough to remain on my feet for extended periods of time, I've pulled into the engine on my Ford Ranger. It is the 3.0L V6 from 1999 with about 160,000 miles on it. When I stopped driving the truck, it was because combustion gases were being pushed into the coolant and forcing the coolant out the overflow tank. Perhaps a year before I started having issues, the engine was suddenly a quart low on oil one day, but there never seemed to be any other issues in the oil department. Probably 6 months after the oil disappeared, I noticed the overflow tank was "mucky" and changed the coolant, which I think now is where the oil disappeared to, though it could have been mucky due to already having combustion gases being blown into it.
Right now I've pulled the engine down to the block and the heads hold pressure, but the machine shop guy says that there is an issue with the exhaust valve seats. It sounds like it is going to run up to $400 to do it right for both heads. So, just to put the engine back together I'm looking at between 500 and 600 dollars and the bottom end is still untouched. Further history with the bottom end, at around 60,000 miles the oil pan gasket squeezed out from between the block and the pan, and I think the rear main seal may be leaking.
Remanufactured engines will run around 1700 for this truck.
Has anyone traveled down this road before? What did you do, what do you wish you had done? I can say, I had someone else rebuild an existing engine for me many years ago and I wasn't overly happy with the workmanship, though the engine ran strong the rest of the time I had the truck, and since I sold it locally, I still see it going strong after 15 years total on the rebuild.