Holy COW!!! Carl, I'm looking at galling caused by wrist pins that floated out. Not good.
Let's back up and set things in proper perspective...
Your connecting rods have a 'squirt hole'. Every time the crank rotates, this hole sends a squirt of oil to the opposite piston (on the opposing bank). So, these con rod holes on each bank need to face each other (toward the cam).
Your con rods should be a press-fit. Other Ford engines use this method quite successfully including Mustang engines. We do NOT press them in place but rather, we heat the top of the con rod to 600 degrees F, right when the color goes from straw (400) to blue (600). If you get to cherry red, that's too hot. Engine machine shops have a 'special' oven that is set for 600 degrees. They simply throw all the con rod small ends in and wait for the heat to soak in. When up to temp, the wrist pin slides in with no interference for about 10 seconds, which is plenty of time to adjust the pin, left-to-right. Then, the con rod shrinks and holds the wrist pin solid. Real solid.
Since there is no wear between the wrist pin and the con rod (they are solid), the dimensions should always be the same unless someone honed your rods.
FE rods are free-floating. The piston has end-circlips, the wrist pin freely floats in both piston bearings and in the rod bushing. Your rods do not have a rod bushing and your pistons have no circlips.
If this were my 430, I would get new rods (or good used rods). The numbers stamped on the rods and caps should be readable with the engine upside down. In other words, the numbers face down.
You have already discussed piston orientation. They are a set of four RH and four LH and the arrows should face forward. If the Shop Manual isn't clear, this is what they are trying to illustrate.
So, set aside the rods and their caps for one bank along with their pistons. Heat the rods and push the wrist pins in, using no tools. Stuff the assemblies in their cylinders. Now do the other bank. - Dave