The greatest fear of anyone lurking around barns or junkyards looking to rescue an abandoned car is finding one with a dead engine. Most times, it means finding a swap, and depending on how old or rare the vehicle in question is, getting a perfect match is a whole new ball game.
Well, this goofy old 1964 Ford Ranchero fits the category of bad apples. Turned into the perfect jacked-up truck, it was dumped into a junkyard in 1992, where it’s been hibernating ever since.
Apart from hiding an engine shredded to pieces, this 64’ Ranchero was running a Chevy small-block 350 engine.
The Ford Ranchero debuted in December 1956. Unlike the standard pickup truck, it was based on a two-door station wagon platform with a cargo bed. A little over a quarter of a million units were developed and sold in 22 years.
The folks at Budget Buildz YouTube channel picked up this abandoned 4×4 Ford Ranchero in a Junkyard. After a thorough inspection, Michael noticed the Chevy V8 engine had several issues.
“We definitely did not notice that originally, but we now see it. Well, that makes this more interesting, for sure. You can see right here it had a spun rod bearing,” Michael Wagner of Budget Buildz said, inspecting the bottom-end of the small-block Chevy V8 engine.
Apart from a spun rod bearing, the oil pan wasn’t attached to the bottom-end, which cracked the puzzle of why the truck was abandoned in the first place. Since it had been sitting for a while, Michael was sure the cylinders were also stuck.
It also had a faulty distributor, and after getting it fixed, replacing the spun road bearing, and fitting a new oil pan, they stumbled upon yet another issue. The engine turned but couldn’t fire.
“Well, with a major lack of compression, and we get out pops and fires when it tries to run, you can see it coming out of the water pump and stuff, and that is just telling me, with all those head bolts loose and everything, we definitely, probably don’t have any head gaskets,” Michael said.
Sure enough, there weren’t any gaskets after lifting the heads or intake manifold (none).
They replaced the gaskets, but the Chevy 350 wouldn’t fire, and Michael discovered the timing was off. Fortunately, it ran after that fix (not without a little fiddling).
Michael admits this is one of the weird revivals he’s ever done. Still, it says a lot about how these small-block Chevys are built. We recommend watching the video below for full details of the revival journey.