If you have a fixture or can borrow one, use it, if you don't, no need to worry.
Having rebuilt hundreds of 32-48 distributors for exchange stock & performed as many on-car tune-ups over the years I can safely recommend the human eye & hands, [which enable us to see & feel to surprisingly fine tolerances] as your very own Timing Fixture!.
Although we, Dad & I, had at our disposal two Timing Fixtures, we virtually never used them. [Falkner's Garage Ltd, 1956-1993, Ford specialists, Wellington, New Zealand]
The main function of the FIXTURE is to tell you when the points are wide
open for setting, & FIX [hold] them in that position [point gap also
Example; In the seventies I was involved with a 331 Chrysler Hemi slingshot dragster, I set the mallory by eye & hand & then had it checked on a machine, it was bang on, which proved what I suspected.
Ok so here`s how. Assuming you have a good dizzy with new points etc, hold it carefully in a vice if poss, make sure the points are squarely aligned & adjust the fixed contact if necessary by bending with sidecutters [I found them the best]. Advance the plate clockwise to the 3rd to last calibration & tighten screw, [not too tight!]. If this screw is not pinched tight BEFORE adjusting points the gaps will be altered when you tighten it later, one set will open up the other close as the point plate moves accross. Lubricate the cam with a recommended grease, [very important!] & make sure there is a 1/16" to 1/8" of lube on either side of the rubbing blocks or the points will probably close up within 100 miles.
Adjust vacuum brake thus, screw it all the way out by finger & back in one turn, [this will also help to hold the cam in position while adjusting].
Ford say's set point gap 14-16 thou, set em at .016", you`ll get more miles to the tune up & performance is fine. Always finish adjustment in a clockwise rotation as the plate tends to move when tightening if the adjuster is not firmly up against it. Check gaps again after tightening the mounting screws & check gaps at different positions on the cam to make sure. Dont settle for less than a nice smooth 16 thou.
Thats the basics & the settings that work for me here in N.Z on our fuel, for best performance & economy. Obviously higher compression ratios affect the vacuum brake & advance settings. IF-- you can get your motor to [only just] pink under load in top gear at say 20-30 mph, then back the advance off a tad or screw the brake down one turn or two, that should be perfect.
The point plate screw's should have thin narrow section flat washers with spring [lock] washers to prevent plate movement whilst tightening. The point pivot post should have VERY thin washers on top to prevent verticle movement of the moving contact. These should be held in place by a split-pin or more modern spring pin.
Original washers were brass & used to be supplied in genuine point replacement sets with the split pins.
Make, or buy if you can all gaskets & seals for the cap or caps to the dizzy, a properly set up 32-40 [divers helmet type] is almost water proof and in my opinion the best of all.
On Crab & Rabbit-Ear 41-48 dizzies a bit of paper will help to hold the rotor firmly in place on the shaft, [as many are loose] & a light smear of silicone sealer around the cap to dizzy contact area will seal out dust & water, originally there was a gasket but now it seems caps aren't made with a gasket groove. A smear of silicone grease between & around each cap electrode will prevent cross firing/arcing.
Hope you like all my writings on the Flathead Forum, I really enjoy all this and eagerly await the next problem or controversy to read or get involved.
Wellington, New Zealand