Automatic gearbox

My e-type S3 (1971) has an automatic gearbox, but wants to drive only in first and second gear; not in third.
What could be the problem and how to solve it?

Michael Melis

In my SII E-type, if you don’t select ‘D1’, and instead use ‘D2’, you only get the top 2 gears. I use D1, so that it starts out in first, and I get all 3 gears. It will take off like a slug if you are starting in second gear. (I’m not sure if your selector or gearshift quadrant positions are the same as mine though)

Not much use for the Netherlands, but if anyone stateside wants a BW gearbox free (to fit a six cylinder E or a sedan) just come a get it for free. It will go to the dump otherwise.

Never had an automatic Jag but based on kassaq’s description the first thing I’d be checking was the cable/selector to make sure its getting all the way into D1

Hi Michael…has this only just started to happen…was it ok previously…check oil level…and change oil and filter…Steve

It is a series 3 not a series 2 - no D2 etc - in a series 3 when it is in D you get all gears changing automatically - select second gear(2) and you have second gear, select 1 and you have first gear. Its all covered in the handbook.

As suggested I would check the cable as a first action but I suspect there is more involved.


No cable on the Series 3, it uses a vacuum modulator. If the vacuum line comes loose, it will rev up a lot before shifting gears kind of like giving it full throttle.

There is the cable between the gear lever and the gearbox - if this is not adjusted correctly manual gear selection may be off.

Peter , Where is the BW box located ? Thanks John

Hi Michael. What you need to do is go for a testdrive, following the fault finding methods in the workshop manual. Don’t have that? Here’s one: When you look through the table there are a lot of reasons why your gearbox won’t upshift. That is why you need to do the road test.

On mine (BW8, very similar to BW12), it appeared a stuck shift valve, which had happened because something had hit the gerabox from below and damaged the valve body. I got a new valve body from GW Auto (UK based).

Report back the results from the roadtest. Then we’ll help you further.

Cheers, Andrys (Where in Holland are you based? Maybe I can come and take a look with you).

Gaithersburg, Maryland (20-ish miles northwest of DC

Hi Peter, Thanks for responding. I’m in NJ so not that far and was planning a trip to Nottingham MD to see an old Army Vet friend in the near future. Anyway can you tell me if this is a M 12 or the M8 BW Box and does it work? I have a 1969 2+2 and my box (a 12j ) has no 1st. I was going to pull it out and overhaul it this winter but having a replacement would same me a lot of time. Thanks


Thank you all for your kind response. Now I can continue investigating this gearbox problem. I will keep you posted.

Kind regards

Andrys: very kind of you to propose a visit!. I live near the Hague.

Don’t know the difference. If you tell me what to look for? It came with a mid 70s XJ6 engine that a mechanic bought to stick in a different Jag, so I assume he wouldn’t buy a heap of junk? I didn’t drive the car.a

Address is 9435 Watkins Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20882::

Hi Peter just look at tag on the left side of the box and send me the numbers. Probably start with WG xxxx . I appreciate your patience. John

Get Outlook for Android

Cast-in number WG DIV N1

Tag: WG DIV AS2 12J

Perfect match !! It’s a 12j and exactly what was installed in my car by the previous owner. I’m very interested and will get back to you very soon. just to help me plan my trip can you tell me when it would be convenient for the pick up . I’m retired so during the week is ideal. I live in Jackson NJ . My Email. If you will email me I’ll give you my phone number and make further plans. Thanks John