05 GC Lifter Noise, Oil Starvation
I'm posting here to see if anyone has any insight to my problem. I have a 2005 Grand Caravan, 59K miles on the 3.8. I had a 3/36K warranty so I'm well past that. Just last week it reached it's mileage for an oil change and it began to make what sounded like a loud lifter tick (above the "normal" lifter ticking it's been making for years). The tick is louder when the engine warms up and is loudest under acceleration.
After much searching on the internet and finding many others with similar problems, I tore into the top end and pulled off the heads. I found one pushrod with abnormal wear at the rocker seat. So I replaced all the lifters, pushrods and the bad rocker and put back together. The lifter noise is LOUDER now, although the engine purrs like new. I was really disappointed.
I checked the oil pressure at the sending unit and got as-expected pressure for all conditions, looked great. The oil is still nice and clear after a week of driving. The tick seemed to be coming from the front head using a stethescope. I pulled the cover and checked oiling when running. Lots of oil from shaft over rockers but the pushrods look bone dry. I can't put a feeler gauge under any of the rockers/stems. When the cover is off the noise seems deeper than the heads, like the lifters are skipping on the camshaft lobes due to lack of oil in the lifter plungers.
Anyone have any suggestions? Any help is greatly appreciated! I'd like to try and fix this problem before everything seizes up and the engine is shot.