Interesting post, and great photos and information. I used to have the "death rattle" at start up on my 07 V6. I now have 164000 miles and it barely ever happens anymore. I have used Mobil 1 synthetic oil since the beginning. Not sure if that has anything to do with it. I also live in Florida, so never any super cold starts. I just don't worry about it anymore. Maybe the parts "wore in?" At any rate, I am keeping this vehicle until it dies. Not much out there I like right now.