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Avensis D4D 2.0 T3X 53 Plate - Rhythmic Clatter Above 2000 Rev

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Car has 157K miles on the clock, never had a major problem with the engine only couple of years back changed the EGR which was clogged. it was regularly serviced at each 6K (fuel filter, fuel cleaner, air filter, Oil and Oil filter). At around 130K (2.5 years ago) cam belt was changed second time (first time at ~68K) and after that it developed a similar noise to what I am experiencing now only that intensity was much lower and that disappeared in time and more recently through out this summer after I put a 5W40 Mobil1 Super 3000 fully synthetic Oil it was smoother as new.

Story now gets complicated, in May this year I've got the engine light on and reading the code it came out Glow Plugs needed replaced (second time in car history), so after reading through this forum decided to do the job myself and picked up Bosch (part 0250202125) ones (Duratherm technology), all fitted nice and run through the summer, except that when cold started engine became difficult to start, taking quite few seconds (up to 10s) till it finally fired and once done a lot of white smoke in the back of the car and also strange smell.

After going through forum for similar problems and thinking that glow plugs are out of problems as just being changed (done only 6k since then) thought I need to get it to Mr T for a diagnose but in last minute decided to do the easy glow plug check and to my full surprise two of them lighten up (12V bulb) and two didn't. I decided to get the two malfunctioned ones out and replace with old ones that were still ok, just to check if my cold start problem will disappear and realised that I can't get the plugs out and when one finally did the tip was left inside the cylinder head.

I took the car to my usual garage and they removed the cylinder head as all of the plugs split when they tried to get them out and after quite an expensive specialist removing of the tips they fitted new ones and they also told me that apparently only NGK brand is approved for this engine. They also changed the water pump as it seems there was a leakage around the old one.

After all this expensive job (1K), engine started fine but a huge noise is now coming clearly above 2000 rev. Took it back for a check thinking that maybe they fitted something wrong but they said it's nothing related to that and the sound comes from somewhere deep inside the engine. Engine accelerates properly up to the max 5000 rev (didn't try the red zone yet) and there is slightly loss of power compared with before this job was done but car is still starting almost same difficult (5-10sec) with same white smoke when temperature is less than 4C and after the start the noise is even louder till engine warms up. After warm up you can only notice this rhythmic clattering above 2000 revs but its increasing in rhythm as the rev goes up, to get an idea of the sound is like something that hits a moving fan and the higher the rev the faster the pitch, it's quite annoying at 2500 revs and at 3000 revs and up is really hurting my ears.

I've read about what can potentially be wrong and I eliminated the fuel pump, EGR and the turbo based on the fact that power is still there all along and there is no hesitation on idling once engine starts or even after like an intermittent up down power. I only noticed the up and down revs post start once and was accompanied by a strong vibration but it was only for few seconds and then it didn't appeared again.

There is a certain vibration which I didn't notice before that comes along with the noise but it's not strong and it's also intermittent.

Garage mentioned that maybe valves are clogged, I've added Wynnes Valve Cleaner Oil treatment but apart from Oil now getting dark in colour I haven't notice any other improvement. Oils was changed to 10w40 fully synthetic in an attempt to minimize any pistons wear and also flushed some fuel cleaner through the fuel line and new fuel filter. Only used quality fuel all along (Ultimate, VPower, Texaco).

I now suspect maybe some injectors are not working properly or the injector seat is damaged but still can't explain why I have power all along and no hesitation.

I pressed the clutch and rev the engine and noise is still there, so it's not related to a flywheel crack.

I also checked cam belt and pulleys and all seems fine and no noise is coming from that end.

A/C is also working fine, no difference on the noise with it being on or off.

Battery is charging properly, so I guess alternator works ok, and guess if noise will be from there it will be from lower rev also and not only above 2000.

Car has done 350 miles since the issue appeared and there is no smoke (except the white one only when it starts on cold).

Any suggestions more than welcomed, thanks.

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