Geez, I wish you'd found us before you tore your motor down. The fact of life is that pretty much all of these motors knock to a certain extent, our 1998 3.8 is no exception. This issue has been discussed a time or three around here and if I remember correctly the popular consensus is that the noise ie eminating from the timing chain and or the oil pump assemblies.
Originally Posted by tommcmullen
FWIW, I replaced the head gaskets on our 1998 last summer as well (incorrectly thinking that I had a coolant leak from one of the gaskets), so I'm pretty familiar with the job you've just taken on.
Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
Sold: 2003 DGC ES 3.8 (Final odo: 172,000 miles)
1999 Chrysler T&C Limited 3.8 (Current odo: 200,000+ miles)
2001 Honda Accord EX-L V6 (4-Speed automatic)
2012 VW GTI (6-Speed manual)