X2 on the stuck lifter. I am guessing that they are hydraulic and you either have a bad one or may not have pumped them up before installation.
To answer your other question on what can be done when pulling the motor:
You can pull the engine, drain it well, flip it and pull the pan. You most likely will not be able to pull the crank with the pistons still in the engine as the rods will fight you.
I, however, have seen people loosen everything up on the bottom end and were able to slide new bearings in and remove the old ones.
To locate the source of your tick, you should take a long screwdriver and touch it in different areas on the motor while it is running and press the handle up to your ear.
You'll find the noise quickly.