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Lifters and wheel alignment
Some comments on topics recently raised on the list:
Someone mentioned about his collapsed lifter, when he forced to rotate
the camshaft on a turbo engine at TDC. That could have squeezed the oil
out of the lifter. When the pressure was off the lifter, it could have
sucked in air in place of the oil, and hence the tapping noise.
Older VW manuals suggest to disassemble and clean the lifter, and then
assemble it under engine oil. The Audi manual suggests to replace it,
but both lifters have the same design. It might solve your problem.
I would also check the compression in the cylinder, even a slightly
bent valve might eventually hammer loose the valve seat.
The other comment is wrt wheel alignment. When measuring your initial
values, I would mark a point on the rim, measure it, then move the car
such that the second measurement would be at the same point, now at
180 degrees away. If your wheel is not running true, and don't measure
at the same point, you could introduce error in your measurement. 1 mm
(40 thou) would introduce about 0.3 degrees of error on a 14" wheel.
I found the "sliding pads" though intriguing.
National Research Council of Canada