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Engine starts easily, with a couple of seconds of tapping before it runs quietly once oil pressure has risen to 45 PSI (by an SW gauge I've connected to the port next to the oil filter). After a couple of miles the oil pressure has decreased to single digits and the tapping sound returns, becoming intense. After shut off and cooling this thermodynamic cycle repeats. The spark plug at front left, under the tube to the air intake, was oil-fouled. I believe there is a faulty engine component which expands with heat, releasing oil through a cracked metal part. It sounds like in the top of the engine. Where should I begin to look?
 

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More likely you have worn main bearings.

You have the idea about "thermodynamics", but not correctly. It is the oil that gets thinner as it heats up.

Another probability is a faulty fuel injector, if it stays open, it would leak gasoline into the crankcase thinning the oil.

See if oil looks abnormality thin and if it smell like gasoline.

Good luck.
 
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