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I wonder if they did the valves when the engine was cold? IIRC there are two sets of measurements, one cold and one for a hot engine. If they did it hot and used the cold measurements, It may be that when warm the gap is closing when hot.
I'm a little suspicious as it was a Mazda/Honda stealers that did mine. And I had it back within a day, dropped it off at 9 and it was done by 4. From guides I've read that's barely enough time for the car to cool and the glue on the cover to dry... I might have a go myself next Spring as it doesn't seem that hard, just time consuming.
Try and get a video of your cold start rattle, it would help us determine if it is a chain noise.
Will do in a few days when I'm back at work! Lockdown means I'm probably not driving it until then :D
 

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No idea if I'm going mad or not but the engine oil had dropped 250ml since the last oil change and I've topped it up to the top of the dipstick (cross stitch pattern bit!) and the rattle has decreased...
 

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Oil quantity and particularly grade makes a lot of difference to noise from my experience, with 0w my 1.8 was a lot noisier than it is with 5w - don't forget the 0w or 5w rating is ONLY relevant at startup from cold... which from what you say seems to tie in with your issue 100%
 

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Oh I filled up with 0w-30 Magnatec and topped up 250ml of Mannol same grade... I don't rate Magnatec but got it as it was cheap!

I might stick 4l of Castrol Edge 5w-30 next time as it's cheaper at that grade and is one of the better oils. Edge runs well in an old Golf I put it into anyway.
 

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Smith & Allan for me all the way - top quality oils without getting fleeced for a "top" brand - oil is oil if it meets the required specs....
 
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