I think I got it figured out.
So I pulled the Ranger up to the garage today, and started looking it over some more. Looked at what parts were out, and then thought about it some.
I think what happened was a bad lifter got stuck with the valve all the way down, and the piston came up and hit it, causing it to bend. I had been having a lifter tick a while back, but it went away, so I assumed the problem was fixed.
I won't know for sure until I tear down the engine (which I started today). I took all the wires and hoses off the intake, and tomorrow, I will be removing the radiator, fan, and possibly the intake.
I am thinking that if I do keep the motor I have, I need to replace all the lifters and valves, not to mention getting the heads either resurfaced (or however you say it) or replaced, and possibly replacing pistons. OR, finding where I can get a crate engine, and swap that in. OR, find me a 5.0, and swap that in. I haven't decided yet, and money is really what I would like to save on this little "project".
1992 Ford Ranger XLT 4X4
Stock tires, blown engine, aesthetic accessories.
2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 ex cab 4X4 Auto
4.8 V8, No options, other than AC, Four Door
Kenwood CD/MP3/WMA/USB and Sattelite Radio Ready Head Unit, AEM Brute Force CAI with a K&N cone filter, 33X12.50/17's