There is no difference between one of these tinkertoys and any other engine. 34 years should had told you that, now we hear how 'different' it is. Give me a break.
We had an AMC, that's right a RAMBLER, 370 inch motor that made 750 hp and ran in the eights. The 700 inch fat block made over 1500 hp. So much for your little motor. We ran several 500-600 inchers back in the 70s.
And you're talking about a 150-200 hp motor. I've dealt with plenty of bikes that make that much and 2/3 the size.
Does not have lifters???? A lifter, bucket, tappet, all the same part.
They do NOT have 50 psi at idle unless stone cold, hot it drops. Ford spec is 20-30 psi @ 800-850 rpm.
You never go by plastigauge reading alone if possible. I bet you use vernier calipers, even more of an error. I never even mentioned plastigauge, you did, but in a pinch I can build a 10000 rpm motor that will stay together all day long using it. Apparently you can't because you think it sucks. Gotta wonder what the evidence for that is.
The old school flat tappet cams were actually machined so that the lobe is NOT FLAT, there is a very slight angle that wears in, the high edge makes the lifter spin. On initial start the tappet is actually edge-riding the cam lobe. It quickly wears in to flat unless something goes wrong making dead lobe. If you idled flat tappet and no damage then you did not run a big cam. Apparently you are even better than the cam manufacturers, you should contact them, they will be wanting to talk to you about a job. In other words I don't buy it.
You're trying to scare people. You still haven't said why you can't go to 2500 rpm, maybe you're scared to rev yours outright. It won't hurt a properly built motor at all.
2500 rpm/20 minutes was indeed what they textbook taught. In hindsight, I've looked at it closer and decided we probably didn't take that long. Probably closer to 5 minutes on a race car (which had a high speed idle anyway) and 10-15 on a stocker. We never lost any motors, the horror stories came from other people when they brought in their junk asking you to rebuild it after they'd torn it all up. The only engine I ever had trouble with was 455 Olds, and later found out why that guy was tearing up his stuff. It was preventable once the
was pried loose from his way of thinking.
Look here, you put the idea out there that these motors are somehow different, that old school knowledge is not valuable. Yet in same breath you parade 34 years of YOUR old school experience like it IS valuable. Which is it??? That somehow makes you look less, uh, convincing shall we say. I hope your engine building skills are better than your logic structuring.
I've got 3 zetec cars. I do all the work on them, yes, one of them came apart for a rebuild several years ago. I do all my cam timing and all 3 don't shred belt and just run and run. I don't even loosen sprockets, in fact I recommend against it unlike Mr. Ford. I've never paid a cent my entire life for someone else to fix anything on a car. I rebuild everything, motor, ATX, MTX, front end, rear end, you name it. I rebuilt so many motorcycles I can't count, so many domestic cars the same. Ford, Mopar, GM, AMC. We had a garage/hi-perf shop across the street from the local GM dealership. They constantly tried to get their in house BBC drag cars to outrun our AMC smallblocks, they couldn't. We ended up rebuilding all those BBCs too and they ran even faster. Cigarette boats with twin BBC so multiple car dealership owners could race each other from Florida to the Bahamas. Lots of fun there. Them boys sure knew how to party.
I've done car stuff for 46 years, somewhere in there I spent a bunch of years on big newspaper web presses too, I rebuilt those too and they ran like gangbusters. You should try timing like 15-20 gears to each other, it makes me laugh when I hear complaints about variable cam timing units on these cars causing timing troubles.