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I have the 96 hardbody, and the rattling in the rocker cover is driving me nuts. I tried lucas, different oils, oem filter, and nothing stops it. It rattles right at start up, and once the oil has heated (thinned) out it does it all the time.
I started it at the cornerstore the other day, and a whole group of people turned around to look at us.
I read here somewhere that over reving causes the buttons in the rockers to go bad, which causes the deep rattle. I know there is no way to take them apart, and you have to replace them.
I've already repaired the timing rattle, and threw in a new oil pump, adjusted timing, and when it's out of timing it's alot louder.
Has anyone replaced these, and what are my options.
Thanks in advance.

Performance wise it doesn't hurt anything, but it sure is annoying.
 

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sounds like you need to replace the offending lifters, there are 4 different styles in that engine so pay attention when you take it apart
 

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drive it by a mechanic to get a 2nd opinion before you take anything apart. It's hard to diagnose a rattle over the internet.
 

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change your oil filter brand....You know it's been a long time but I do remember when I got my truck back in 1988 that there was some rattling during warm up and it sounded like loose rod bolts until it warmed up.... That was when I used Fram oil filters and when I switched to WIX the problem went away...
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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You actually can take the lifters apart and clean them out, but it's time consuming and a PITA. These engines typically had some tapping, even when they were new. When they get annoyingly bad, your best bet is to replace the rocker arm assys., which come with the lifters installed (Nissan doesn't sell the lifters seperate). As mentioned, there are four differant part numbers for the rocker arms as you have 12 rocker arms...4 of one number, four of another number and 2 and 2. Pay attention to them when replacing!Of course, check the oil pressure, first.

It's also important to use 5W30 oil and not to overfill, as this may lead to the oil being whipped by the crankshaft, which aerates the oil and causes it to foam, sending air bubbles in the oil going up to the lifters. Many people put 4 qts. of oil during oil changes, but it usually only take about 3-1/2 qts. to reach the "full" line on the dipstick.

There are some occassional cases when the oil channel that goes through the block and head to the lifters gets restricted or clogged with debris, which will starve the lifters of oil. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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