I have found if you do not run 5-20W oil the lifters will tick.
This has happened to me in both my 88Ranger/5.0L and my 95 Ranger 2.3L.
I am now running a 3.0L and run Synthetic Oil, 5-20W, all is good.
Now to replace the noisy idler.
Oh ya, double gaskets, I do not think they cause the oil pressure to drop… AND I do not believe that your engine would blow up is you had ⅛” more oil in the filter area.