1999 Ford Escort Making Noise - Engine

Question: This noise seems to be comming from the valvetrain, I took the valve cover off, pulled the rockers - checked trunions and rockers for wear and cracks, no problems found. Pulled the lifters, checked for wear and "flat" spots on the rollers. Nothing seemed bad. None of the valve springs were broken. But under a no load condition (car sitting in park) or going into passing gear it makes a terrible clatter/rattle that seems to be comming from the top end mostly between #3 and #4. It's getting progressively worse and I can't seem to figure out what it could be. The car runs perfectly fine except for this problem and I don't want it to get any worse. Any ideas on what could cause this noise without any broken or worn parts?

Technican: Have you checked to verify that you are getting oil up to those valves and rockers?
Owner: Plenty of oil in the top end, I started it with the valve cover off.
Technican: Did it make the noise when you had the valve cover removed?
Owner: Yes, it made the noise with it off. It ended up being the cracked flywheel. I have pics of it, I'm supprised the car ran at all with it being broken the way it was.
Technican: How did you find it? Noises can telegraph through and location can be very misleading.
Owner: The final clue was that the starter started hanging up. So I went ahead and dropped the tranny and sure enough, when I pulled the flywheel it was cracked all the way around the bolt pattern. The flywheel had been hitting the rear main seal housing. The thing that got me was that it didn't run any different with the cracked one. I figured that with the miss-alignment of the teeth from the crank that the camshaft pickup would have been thrown off and made it "miss" like the timing was off. It runs just fine now, only problem is that I wish I'd had gone ahead and replaced the rear main seal. I did the tranny front seal, but not the rear main and it's got a little leak now. That and the lower back mount is getting bad and causing it to vibrate some.

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