Originally Posted by Antiburn
Sounds like as if a lifter has collapased and not filling with hydraulic oil pressure. The cams have to be removed to change them out so you might want to get a professional opinion in person before spending alot of money.
From the pictures your timming gears look fine, if the engine timming was messed up it wouldnt run smooth or even at all.
I do my own work, so I only worry about part prices. I looked at how to change/test lifters and it looks fairly easy.
Thanks for your input.