Put some soap on the cleat contact points to lubricate it.
Be careful not to get it everywhere, just in case it becomes too floaty!
This assumes you have covered a bunch of other options (of course!)
The cleats are actually the same and you didn't mix-n-match (some other manufacturers make compatible cleats which might be slightly different)
The black ...
Should my pedal be this shape or is it bent?
Yes, your pedal is bent.
I drew some straight lines on your photo to illustrate the places I see bends.
"Side A" is bowed in toward the pedal axle.
"Side B" - the ends are bent toward the crank arm.
In a more direct top down picture I think it would be clearer that your pedal is no longer a ...
If I am viewing this correctly, the backplate is bent inward, which would pull the other parts of the pedal out of alignment.
You could try to straighten things out. I don't think that would make the situation worse. But this is not an expensive pedal, and replacing it would be a faster, easier, and complete solution.
I had the same problem with an XT SPD pedal.
Using your magnet idea, I used my magnetized parts dish to hold the
adjuster bolt in place on the bracket.
I then set the springs in place and everything just sits in place through the magic of magnets.
I removed the body cover plate to prevent any spring tension on the bracket so I could slide the long bolt ...
By the time you have driven around town looking for a suitable sized dust cap, new Pedals might even work out cheaper.
One option could be use the pedal itself as a mold to make one from a silicon sealer.
Local hardware store will have a range of plastic end caps for things like curtain rods chair legs along with other and general hardware purposes. You ...
I had the same increasing clicking when pedaling slightly harder and changed the bearings, changed the chainring change the chain, changed everything!! Still clicking and worse after the repair....i started to panic about the carbon frame on my top specs Trek mtb until....i read your post...jumped on the torque wrench and waked 200kgm at it, went on a test ...