Don't worry about the lifter tapping if it's very intermittent. Mine has done that when it's cold for the 80,000 miles that I've owned it. My jeep had been pulled behind a motorhome, so like yours, it had essentially sat, but with time the lifter tapping has gotten much less frequent. I'll have to think about that carb question--maybe the float adjustment? Another possibility could be that the oxygen sensor isn't working and the computer is therefore screwing with the mixture erroneously. Your readings on an oxygen sensor should be between 100 and 1000 mV, with 400 mV being the optimum 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio. My computer has been bypassed and the oxygen sensor is therefore useless, so I can't say much more about troubleshooting it.
Currently an '86 CJ-7---following a string of '01 Sahara, '90 Sahara, and '85 CJ-7. Finally got back to how it all began....