Start with the exhaust, a cracked manifold will sound like sh*t. I believe early A body headers will fit. Yes, the rocker arms wear and pivots break occasionally. I just pulling down my 403, I thought the cam lost lobes, nope. I have other issues, metal fillings. I followed the stupid 1970 thrust bearing setting with a piece of wood. I have feeling the thrust bearing is cooked. I had lower oil pressure. What is your hot oil pressure at idle and cruising? If it is 20 at idle and 40 at cruising with 10W30, that is fine. Try a stethoscope to pin point the noise.