What would cause clicking or lifter noise in a 98 Ford Explorer?
Incorrect weight oil. Cheap or defective filter. Change the oil
and use a Motorcraft or Purolator filter and the correct weight as
described in your owner's manual. If this does not help, then
purchase a can of Seafoam Motor Treatment. Pour it into the
crankcase per the instructions on the container. If you have
clogged or partially stuck lifters, this will clean them. This is
an excellent product sold at Advance and many other auto parts
stores. Read about it at www.seafoamsales.com I have seen 20W50 oil
make the lifters go nuts; I use 10W30. The 2.3 rangers have a
problem with high mileage lifter noise because the oil pickups clog
from the oil pan gasket coming apart. My Ranger did that and I
thought the engine was damaged, I changed the oil pickup, the noise
went away and the oil pressure was a lot better, and I had no
damage to the bearings.