First, mucho thanks to Charles for the help getting my truck back up and running. His youtube videos were nothing short of brilliant. It made what would have been a long and probably a frustrating job into a very doable one. If only mother nature had decided not to roast me while I worked. I must have gone through a few gallons of ice water.
My truck's issue started with the usual-tapping lifter, engine misfire-cylinder 1, service stabilitrak warning during a recent trip, running like hot garbage. I ordered the handy-dandy lifter freeing tool and VLOM block, and followed along with the intake manifold removal video. The front four bolts on the VLOM were barely finger tight. A few on the back were synched down, but the front ones really shocked me. I pulled the valve cover and found that the intake lifter was not moving the rocker. I tried tapping on it with the tool, but I couldn't seem to free it. After a few hours and some choice curse words, I gave up and decided to pull the head. I pulled out the lifter guide and found that the tiny hole in the lifter where I believe oil goes into the lifter was completely blocked with a small piece of something that resembled soft pencil graphite. I went ahead and replaced both lifters for cylinder one, reinstalled the head on new gaskets, thoroughly cleaned the inside of the valve pan, reinstalled it with new gaskets and then I modified the VLOM by knocking out the gasket material for the towers. I installed the plug in the oil sensor port-removed that pesky plastic shroud from the back of the intake, put everything back together, plugged in the OBD2 DOD Disabler and fired it up. The engine shuddered for a few seconds and then, the oil pressure gauge settled down, the idle smoothed right out and everything seemed hunky dory. I took it for a nice drive and wow-the shifts were smoother and I had a lot more get up and go from a stopped position. I will monitor my MPG, but honestly, I'll give up a few MPG if it means the truck will run like this.
My only issue was completely my fault, I missed a vacuum line connection and the engine sounded like it was making popcorn when it reached temp.. Easily located and fixed.
It took me a few days work, but saved me thousands. Thanks Charles, you really did me a solid.
Folks, if you are having this same issue as my truck did and you can tell one end of a wrench from the other, you can do this. Just take your time, LISTEN to Charles and WATCH his youtube videos. You won't regret it. Charles-YOU 'DA MAN!