RE: Worn Timing Symptoms
You took the words right outa my mouth!
Fram is the worst on the market and that is not just my opinion. Do a search on the net regarding oil filters, you'll see what I mean. Also, yeah, flush the oil if you think you have gunk in there. I use mineral spirits each oil change just before draining. Diesel is also good. Ya might want to do it a few times in succession. Keep in mind though, 174K...things wear out. A little noise is gotta be expected. I'd blame Fram! You could also try re-seating the plug for the sending switch, but that's not making you start-up noise, only the light (but I doubt it, as it would be more constant).
If I can find some research I saved somewhere on oil flitters, I'll send that along.