You are sure right about checking anything suspicious before it's too late;
I've had a few close calls myself. You're very lucky the oil didn't catch
Now to your spark plug gap question. It all depends on what one means by
"electronic ignition". The Pertronics unit has no effect whatsoever on the
voltage/energy of the spark; it only affects the reliability versus
mechanical points. As for the "Flamethrower" coil, I gather by its name that
it is a higher performance - by some measure - coil than "stock". It may
allow you to open up the spark gap somewhat, which has a good effect,
especially at lower rpms. You will know when you have too much gap; either
you get missing at higher rpms (5,000+) or possibly arcing at weak points in
your wiring. In general, I'm not too keen on "hot" coils. They are only
marginally effective. What really works is a good capacitive discharge
ignition like, for example, the MSD 6A that I use. MSD has a chart of
recommended spark gap versus engine compression and I believe 0.055" is what
they recommend for about a 10-11:1 compression ratio. I don't think this big
a gap will work with just a hot coil by itself. BTW, don't use a hot coil
with any capacitive type of system.
If you don't want to spring the $150 or so it costs for an MSD, which at
this point I'm sure you don't, then I'd try setting the spark plug gaps at
0.045" and see how that works. If your engine still pulls strong to the
highest rpm you run it, then I'd call it good. If you detect some misfiring,
then drop back to 0.040".
I hope this helps.