If it gets worse when the engine heats up its likely to be the camchain. take the cambox cover off and check the camchain top guide fitted in the cover. If this is worn thru it will give this type of noise also.
im not too familar w/ the saabs but, where is the "cambox" cover?
The noise it makes dosn't sound deep in the motor thought right at the top middle of the valve cover... I was thinking one of the lifters too and a friend told me it sounds like rod knock but, wouldn't that be deeper in the motor? also, if I took the valve cover off, would I be able to see where it was hitting? therefore which one is bad? id does actually hit the valve cover right?
Ok, to be clear, is it a very very regular ticking or more of a hollow knocking?
If it's a ticking then it's likely to be a lifter, if it's a hollow knocking that's not always regular then yes chain slapping on to the guide at the top.
I had this when i'd installed all new timing gear and tensioner. I was gutted when it made the hollow knocking. Trouble is when you take the cam cover off (the big black bit ) you can't really see anything with it all static and it's no good just feeling the chain because the tensioner keeps it taught.
In my case, what was happening was that the ratchet on the new tensioner was being overcome when the chain was pulled tight, giving way and then the chain would go loose and slop and knock on the top slipper under the cam cover. As soon as the engine was stopped, there was little tension on the chain and the ratchet would pop out again making the chain taught. Caused me a bit of a puzzle that one but in the end I threw the new tensioner away and put my working old one back in and job done.