Much appreciation guys.
Solid pushrods, so I was thinking the other top had to go. While turning the engine to TDC for the rear, I pulled the cam gear towards me. Check endplay again and the .0015 went, and .003 would just kinda catch. If that's the way the factory does it now, so be it. The engine still spins easy by hand.
When taking off the nose again, that cam was TIGHT! Came close to pulling it out with the cover.
F St.M and Pan thanks!