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that has been giving me anxiety attacks seems to not be what I thought it was. I believe that the popcorn sounding sporadic tick is coming from my pipes warming up. It was said in other posts that bad lifters sound like popcorn popping, my tick's were just probably not as loud as the poster was talking about... Also, I tried some cheap low octane gas and didn't make a whole lotta difference. I did find that it smells worse to me, and also that my pipes seemed to backfire a little more when letting off the gas. I don't know if this is the consensus with others, but more than likely I will be going back to the 92 oct. There was some concern of negative effects of 92 in this forum, but I will have to study this hypothesis more...
 

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I found my idle was to low when I got the popping noise, So I turned it up according to Roman and that fixed that problem
 

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Ok! You have you sewing machine tick which you should ignore and then back-fire pops which can be addressed with marbling and/or making idle higher.

The marbling fixed mine! It took 23 secs to do with an orange wire twisty stuck in the hose and reconnected.

The only 'ticking' as you describe that I hear is after a ride when pipes begin cooling.
 

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The only ticking I hear these days is from the fuel injectors. It became more pronounced when I installed my intake system (less blockage to muffle the sound). Backfire only occurs if I leave the throttle cracked open on decel (if closed completely does not occur. I also did the marble mod.
 
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