I used the following code to apply a page template to my custom post (with all files in the plugin).

add_filter('template_include', 'my_custom_template');

function my_custom_template($single) {

      global $post;

     /* Checks for single template by post type */

     if ( $post->post_type == 'simulators' ) {
        add_post_meta($post->ID, '_wp_page_template', 'admin/single-simulators.php');;

     return $single;

Everything seems to be flowing ... until ... I changed some ACF field in the post ... immediately the page template changed to default (So for every post that changed), what is the reason?

editing: I notice it's not related to a change in the post, even just saving the save button again, and the post will open in the default page template.

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