Thanks for the information
on the 3.0 in 96 they rarely had a lifter problom as their was in the earlier 3.0
I would first do a oil presser test with a mechanical gage.
some times oil sludge and or a weak oil pump will cause noisy lifters
,Then If you have been using the same type of oil filter, a different brand.
even try a oem type, On the 3.0 i have seen where a oil filter cause low oil presser
and will give you a top end rattle.
if we have good oil presser
example with motor at operating temp. 20 lbs at 600 rpms (idle) and 40 lbs at 2500 rpms, this will be your low minim examples if were lower then that id look at oil pump main bearings and thrust plate
If we have to go into replacing the lifters ill give you my email address and ill send you a pdf file in the steps.
Let me know if i can help more!