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1- The timing chain tensioner could be causing this issue and making chain loose and making that rattle noise
2- does the rattle sound gets any louder when you rev up engine on idle ?
3- now we do also have a drive belt tensioner outside driving the drive belt ?
4- is the noise coming from behind timing cover ?
Please let me know
ASE Certified Technician
did you replace timing tensioner or drive belt tensioner ?
did you get a timing chain kit with guides and gears or just tensioner?
does the oil pressure light comes on interment ly or have you noticed ?
do you have oil pressure gauge to test oil pressure ?these are your specs
2004 Toyota MR2 Spyder L4-1.8L (1ZZ-FE)
Oil pressure switch x Bearing cap sub-assembly . 13 Nm (130 kgf-cm, 9 ft. lbs.) Oil pressure at idle speed ......................... 29 kPa (0.3 kgf/cm2, 43 psi) or more at 3,000 rpm ................. 294 - 539 kPa (3.0 - 5.5 kgf/cm2, 43 - 78 psi)
have you dropped the oil and ran thru a funnel with a screen on it to see if there any metal shavings in the oil
what is the mileage on it now ?
if it is coming from behind the cover and all above is good like you said and not losing oil or smoking all fluid levels are good ,it has to be a timing components , unless we have camshaft , crank shaft out of balance I doubt it on 98 k mile car only driven on weekend
this one is hard know since i can not hear it , make video , put it on you tube and send me the link let me hear it and i can probably give you an answer on what I think