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Caught this one in the nick of time. Friend's 97 with about 130,000 miles developed ticking.
Dealer mechanic told him it was the
lifters not pumping up and that was why the noise would go away when the engine
was rev'd up. I had been telling him for months to get the cams welded. When he
told me what the Ford mechanic had told him, I told him this was BS and he
needed to get this taken care of ASAP. So I pulled the cams out and sure
enough, the rear exhaust cam had a loose sprocket that had not yet slipped. He
sent cams to Don at FPS, welded them, and I replaced them with valve lash
adjustment. Don't think this engine would have lasted much longer before
becoming a statistic. He was a very lucky owner.
I will get the details on car for database.