Hope you don't have a headgasket that didn't seal... that could also cause your ticking and make it run at an elevated temperature. You'd likely see other symptoms though.
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You are the eternal optimist! Doing the front seals is rewarding. I have very good experience with the slightly oversized boots from rockwelloffroad.com as well as their modified inner front axle seals with the "sock tube" type of seal that seals better than the lip seal. Not affiliated, no kickbacks, just a satisfied product user.... has oil in the brakes so o gotta reseal it, plus the front end boots and leaking axle seals. After that I can finish up test driving it with confidence and hopefully not have to deal with any more issues.