2012 Ford F-150 - Engine issues

Houston, we have a problem. A week or so ago 5.0 v8 p/u with 150k miles struggled to start; from the normal 1 to 2 seconds to maybe 4 or 5 seconds to start. Though it does start everytime. I’ve searched the internet but can find nothing which matches my symptoms completely. I wish there was a matrix to click all possible symptoms and get possible problems, kind of like this cocktail app I had where you list the spirits and mixers you have and it gives you a drink list LOL. My symptoms are:
Double the starting time,
Making the diesel like sound, like the lifters or something, most noticeable when slightly accelerating at about any speed,
Slightly reduced power I think though not 100%, but definitely runs a little rough,
The “Check Engine” indicator came on a few times for a few minutes but is pretty much off all the time,
All the symptoms went away on two separate days when it was warmer, >70F, (I’m pretty sure), it does that in December in Houston :),
correct oil, 5w-20, and oil level, changed about a month ago,
Had the throttle body cleaned about six months ago,
I haven’t checked my gas milage and haven’t noticed it smoking (but I’m always in the cab, I’m not a stunt man haha),
That’s about all I can think of. I hate to buy a half dozen parts before I stumble on the correct one. Any suggestions would be grateful.
Take care,
P.S. I love the show!

Check for codes, or pending codes…

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First step is to determine if the problem is no gas, or no spark during cranking. Besides the good idea above …

Your shop might try spraying some starter fluid into the air intake as a test. If it starts quickly like before, pretty good chance you have a fuel problem. A fuel rail pressure test would be next.

If no fuel system problem is found, the ignition system could be the culprit, producing no or weak spark. For how to test the ignition system, ask your shop. In days of yore you’d remove a spark plug lead, attach a spare spark plug, ground the outer case, and watch for a robust bluish/white colored spark at the tip while a helper cranked the engine. These are not days of yore, but a good shop knows how. You could always google it.

You might also ask a dealership (or google the tsb number) if the symptom could be related to the following service bulletin.

TSB 15-0137