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Gentlemen. I am not a moderator, but while your reminiscences are interesting, they are off topic and seem to have hi-jacked @Mrbxx s thread.
Sounds like you have had some fun.
The Stag was the original 3 litre with chain drive cams and shims for the valve clearances, I recall measuring them all up after rebuilding the engine, then going over to the Triumph Dealers with a micrometer and ferreting through all their spare shims. The hardest part was getting the heads off in the first place as they corroded to the studs, did that part with engine in place, sounds brutal but had to knock wedges into the gasket area to prize the head up enough to them use a pair of molegrips holding a broken hacksaw blade to saw off the old studs to allow head removal. I believe it took several tonnes on a hydraulic press to get the studs out of the heads to skim them, but it all went together well in the end. As you say gorgeous looking car with the roll bar built in etc. I just thought it was a shame when people just put in an old Rover auto in place of original in so many.
I had a Mk 2 Granada 2 litre Estate (Pinto engine) I put a 1800 Sherpa engine and gearbox in it, don't ask why. It would have been fine as it was a rebuilt engine but for the fact the machine shop who fitted dry liners neglected to skim the block, it resembled a rain gutter and blew the head gasket very quickly.
I used used to be in a rowing club (cheap beer) when hang gliders first started to become popular and a couple of people there took it up, next thing one was all in plaster for months, so it didn't appeal to me.
I suspect the "smoke" was really gas in the Swallow project, my dad died at 48 so it may not have done him any good.
My last boat was only 21ft, but a good strong Dannish build Botved Boats Coronet of around 1970 .
Have you noticed , we seem to have hijacked this thread . Dunno what happened to the @Mrbxx , but he seems to have disappeared . I'm pretty confident , i've solved his problem , albeit at a price . The latest link i posted seems to cover all the requirement hes needs , but i also suspect i may have found the answer for synchromesh rings he was hoping for . It does involve 2 kits , but despite this the repair would cost considerably less . Though the cost of such a repair will probably be significant in itself .

Oh i can't complain , i have to admit , but then you seem to have had a whale of a time yourself .

Yeah i do agree , i do like to try and keep things original where i can , but sometimes you do have to go off piste , to finish a job or even to improve the outcome . I've done this on my duke where some parts are not even available . I have been lucky mechanically , 98% of the parts , are still available , though with the vehicle being an import , i've had to look abroad for much of it . But trim and a few other bit's will prove to be impossible to source , and this is where you need to think outside the box . The cooling system was probably the worst with parts coming from as far a field , as Poland and Italy . Spent many an hour , on the internet searching for bits , but the result was completely successful . The only original parts are the cooling fans , and the engine itself . But even here , i've modified the system by adding a manual override to the cooling fans . I think the record distance is probably the fuse block . I found the original melted shortly after i brought the van , i knew it was unlikely to be held in stock anywhere . Eventually , i found a second hand one in Lithuania at a breakers , mind you , it still took three years . It's original , and now fitted . Another job i did a while back was the wiper relay , never seen anything like it . Then i discovered the same relay was fitted to early Range Rovers , and after that it became much easier to source . What i have discovered is simple job , can very quickly become much bigger , perhaps the best example of this was the rear wheel bearings . Removing the near side drum , i discovered a wet patch on the hub . Yep you guessed it , wheel cylinder leaking . That one simple job led to the entire system being replaced , except for the back plates , and diverter mounted on the rear axle . Fiat had used some kind of alloy which basically welded itself to everything , and i couldn't get joints apart without damage . I was lucky with the diverter , though i needed a vice and a good ring spanner to separate them . Over here , a normal brass version is 3 quid , the Fiat part worked out at 130 , because you have to buy a pack of 5 , at 20 odd quid each plus vat , and i needed 1 . I'm currently engaged with a complete power system overhaul , and it's here , i've had my first no show . I can't locate a low pressure return hose anywhere , home or abroad , despite having the original part number . Got everything else , and it's all original , but the last pipe , i'm gonna have to make .
I've also had to replace huge chunks of wiring , mainly in the Hymer coversion , but also some of the original Fiat wire . It was here , i found a condition i call black , wire by accident , basically the wire core is corroding . Water has penetrated the sheathing and the core turns black . You can't solder it , and crimps just fall off , until eventually it won't carry current . To all intents , the wire is rotting , funny thing though , i've only ever found it on indicator circuits , and also yet to see it on any positive wire . I first came across it on my mother's Rover Mini , strangely indicators as well , but that was in a far worse state .
Done loads of other jobs , all of varying sizes , tons under the bonnet , welded the front bumper , painting bodywork , you name it , i've probably done it .

So i was right , Navy huh , good guess . It appears to be some kind of experimental weapons dept , but from what i understand mainly with rockets . So basically your dad played with rockets , wow i bet that was interesting . Interesting you mention smoke though , there is no mention of this work . Of course smoke can give off a gas , and gases were being experimented with , of that i have no doubt , but i think it more likely , that the propellant produced a noxious substance . Early rocket propellant used some quite dodgy substances .

Yes , i'll be honest , hang gliders are dangerous , but in relative terms , no more so , than any other form of aerial activity . Accidents will happen if you take liberties , and that is so often the cause . One example is a student we trained , who broke his back after spinning in . It turns out he was flying with a different harness not actually meant for hang gliding , which altered the gliders performance . A well meaning coach altered the glider to try and improve the performance , which ended up with the glider stalling twice , ultimately spinning in at low level . Now lets not forget , this was a low air time student , so why was he flying with such a harness . Another student , would frequently have an accident , on average once a year . His last effort resulted in a broken wrist , and that was the turning point , he quit shortly after . Now this one was due to him stalling on take off , while flying a powered harness . It turns out , in his own words , the wing started to turn , which he began to correct , while he was dealing with something else that was of far less importance . In other words he didn't fly the plane , by the time he started to do what he should be , the ending was already sealed . At low level , with one wing stalled , the turn continued , until he came back to earth , fracturing his wrist . Now when i quizzed him on this , it's clear the wing was already beginning to stall before he had even left the ground . I know it's brutal , but can you see the common denominators here ?