BW66 - how to move out of Park to N without engine running

JLF Team - I appreciate the continued discussion, suggestions and potential conclusions prior to additional diagnosic steps on the actual car. Unfortunately, I am a couple weeks away from following those diagnostic steps since 600 miles away. So please do not get frustrated when I do not report on actions, results etc. The plan is to contract with a reputable towing/transport company but several of the brokers are pretty clear that their subcontractors will not put on a dolly to extract from garage or onto the trailer ramps. If I cannot release the pawl, I will disconnect the driveshaft.

Just worried on difficulty of breaking those drive shaft (from transmission) bolts free in the limited space. Any expectations on difficulty?

Thanks for all your help and expertise. Fred

If you are not satisfied that the transmission has not come out of park disconnect the driveshaft at the differential end. There is better access there. Good luck.

It would be preferable for you to be present to undo the propeller shaft yourself, Fred - or whatever…

Odds are that the ‘subcontractors’ otherwise might simply hook up the winch and strongarm the car onto the trailer on stiff wheels. Something will likely give - but the car will wind up loaded on…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

Most tow service would but, only if they are aware of the issue,. An old hoist wrecker, aye, dollies aboard. The usual nowadays “roll back” no…

And, the transport rigs, no, It must roll…

I lean toward planning a drive shaft disconnect.


Fred, Carl,
Removing those four propeller shaft to dfferential bolts “ain’t no walk in the park”. I have done that a bunch of times and the problem will be getting access to all four bolts if the propeller shaft/differential doesn’t turn. Even if it does rotate removing those bolts can be a challenge.


Some of my You Tube entertainment is Tow truck channels. Aye, at times, they just double up the winch line and drag the car aboard the roll back… Snatch block multiplication…

They term it “drag” !!! One admits extra care to the high dollar cars… MBZ, etc.


Only once on my Jaguar ! One out, another in!! Other critters, oh yeah… Walk in the park, no
As you say, but if it has to be…

I do recall using one of the two Whitworth
“spanners” on the bolts…


Team- I have finally made it back to garage to retrieve XJ6. I need a bit of clarification on BW66 lever position. I have verified that the car is in Park, and the shift selector in the car/ cable does NOT move the lever on the transmission. The lever on the transmission appears to be almost vertical. Which way should I move the lever get out of Park? Clockwise or counter clockwise?

I have already lifted rear wheels free and verified the right wheel when turned will turn the central drive shaft so is not frozen by parking brake or the inboard disc brake… But the gear selector does not change the position of the transmission lever.

I cannot answer that without looking at it. However any position that the shift lever on the transmission is in other than park will allow the car to be rolled without damage to the transmission. You can just leave the lever in any position other than either of the extreme ends and you should be fine.

Have you actually disconnected the selector cable from the lever, Fred?

If the cable then moves in step with the gear lever, it will give a fair indication on which gear the box is actually in - which may be clue of some sort. You will then know which way to turn the lever for respective gear selection.

However, from there it gets a bit iffy. It’s not given that brute force on the lever is advisable - not is it clear in your original post if the gear stick can be moved to either position? In which case; moving the gear stick without any response at the box’s lever, means the cable is disconnected at the gear stick - or broken…

If the gear stick will not move; applying brute force on the box lever is somewhat fraught - and require some thinking. It implies something is wrong inside the box…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

Disconnect the selector cable from the transmission. Push the cable all the way in. See where the selector ends up. Now, move the lever at the transmission in the direction that is not P and as said before, it doesn’t matter what position it ends up in.

If the lever is seized you will need to disconnect the driveshaft and later pull the transmission cover off to see what the trouble is.

Thanks to all - it appears that the cable is either disconnected or stuck. the selector lever is somewhat stiff as moves between P and N and D and 2, so dont expect it to be disconnected. My wife informed me the car has not moved since 2008 (12 years! yikes) . I will try to disconnect cable at transmission lever, and then move cable to verify direction. If no movement of cable (if stuck/frozen) then will carefully try to move lever on transmission case to any other position. I will try clockwise, looking at case from driver’s side.

Do you hear and feel detents?
They are in the transmission but the parking pawl might still be stuck!

…did we establish that it is not the brakes or anything - is there a bit of movement in the driveshaft?

I would check the ball joint on the selector actuating cable near the transmission casing. The symptoms you describe suggest this may be seized. I had a similar issue a while back.


Geoff, thank you for prompt reply. My question is the lever under the car. It is pointed up to about 1230 position. Do i move towards 2 o’clock or 10? Can i move without disconnecting the cable. Very difficult to get to that nut since exhaust pipe right there. Thanks!

Oh. If you cannot get to it have a friend move the selector and you will see the cable moving, hopefully

I can’t answer that for you. It has been 20 years since I did any work on my xj6 transmission. If you can see it move when someone in the car moves the shifter then just make sure that it is situated somewhere except for at either end of the arc. If it does not move when the shifter is moved then you need to disconnect the lever and move it manually, once again situating it somewhere in the centre of the arc. The lever on the transmission should be easy to move if disconnected. If it will not move then you have a problem and as suggested need to disconnect the driveshaft before towing the car out.

If you have an assistant to move the in cabin selector, that would make things greatly easier.

If not, it may be stiff to move the selector lever with the cable attached.

If you have no assistant, you will need to raise the rear wheels and enough to get at the lever, operate the cable, get back under and check, get out and move it etc etc.

grasp the tailshaft, it should turn in any position but park with rear wheels raised, if not, establish why

if the cable is not frozen, or other mechanical fault, it should be possible to move the lever by hand, or a little persuasion with tools, if your fingers are weak

This is crucial , Fred - if the box lever does not move when the stick is moved; you can also move the box lever with the cable connected, but don’t do it! Something may be seriously wrong if the box lever does not move with the stick…

Don’t force the issue; disconnect lever at the box and check cable movement - or at least verify with a friend if the box lever moves with the stick…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

I add?

  1. Pushing the shift lever forward rotates the lever on the box CCW!

  2. Thusly, pulling the shift lever toward the back of the car moves the box lever CW.

  3. To get “N” you want the box lever two clicks CW.

  4. I still suspect the cable housing is displaced at the crimp. Making it useless in transferng shifter movement to the lever on the box… Been there, luckily in my drive during the lump process… r


I have SUCCESS in moving '84 XJ6 Series III out of Park ! Thanks to all for tech advice and support.

Summary: Cutting connecting bolt from selector cable to box lever allowed me to move the box lever on transmission to another position (counter clockwise). This moved transmission out of Park and was able to move car out of garage with come-along and straps.

I determined that the cable selector was completely frozen or crimped by raising rear wheels, and watching cable and box lever while 2nd person moved selector lever in car from Park to all other positions - NO movement at all with box lever. After failing to disconnect the cable connector bolts (very tight space with rusted frozen10MM nuts I think) I cut the small bolt connected to the box lever with a small hacksaw with diamond rod blade. Then was able to move the box lever easily Counter Clock Wise two clicks up which was only about 10 degrees each click. So this moved the box lever from about 12:30 to 12:00 to 11:30 as look from driver’s side of transmission box. Perhaps 5 ft-lbs torque max as gripped loosely with vise grip pliers. Then with rear wheels lifted off the ground, verified that out of Park with passenger rear wheel moving freely. The driver rear wheel disc brake was apparently rusted XJ6 July 25 2020 stuck but freed easily with first come-along tug. Car is now ready for transport to new home in South Carolina where have garage space and time to get the XJ road worthy and re-started after a 12 year nap.

Have a great Day and I look forward to using all the great information on the Jag-Lover’s forum.