Can't get into Reverse

Finally got my project car - 68 2+2 - to where I am trying transmission. To my great disappoint, I cant get the car into reverse.
I have read all the previous posts on this issue and note problem typically either due to shifting mechanism or clutch. I dont believe it is clutch related for couple of reasons.
In my case, I can’t get the gear lever further to the left than when I am trying 1st or 2nd gear
So I conclude that problem in the shifting mechanism
However, before I remove the console and tranny top, I want to ask for confirmation that is either shifting mechanism or maybe something else.

Is this problem with engine both on and off?
If both, I would take cover off transmission and check for physical stopping of the gear lever

Please ignore this post. I just found that it would go into reverse if I slapped the gear lever very hard. I am satisfed with that

Yes, you must give it a good initial slap to engage.

Also, if you can’t get it into reverse, put the shifter into first and then go back into reverse. I think this is all a product of no- synchro in reverse. Three years ago, I had shifting problems in all gears including reverse. I shipped the gearbox to Vintage Jag Works in Blackfoot ID for a rebuild. I installed it back in the car a few weeks ago. It works fine.

It’s stiff because of the dedent adjustment ( which stops you slipping into reverse at 15 mph) ….slapping it is the correct approach

Hello Phillip,
You shouldn’t have to slap the gear lever extraordinarily hard, If this is the case, the amount of force required can be adjusted via the bolt that compresses the spring for the Indent Ball associated with the sideways movement of the gear lever when selecting Reverse,

This adjustment can be made by removing the Console Trim and Gearbox Tunnel Top Cover. The procedure for adjustment is detailed in the Workshop Manual,



This may have been overcompensation by the factory about complaints regarding accidently selecting reverse instead of first in the old Moss 'box.

It should be near impossible to pull, but easy to slap into reverse. To me it feels very satisfying. Some BMWs are the same way.

Yes, a slap is the way to go. Since your car has been unused for quite some time, you’ll probably also find that the resistance to go into reverse will reduce with usage. When my car arrived on the transporter, the delivery driver and I had the same problem and couldn’t get it into reverse to back it out of the trailer. A hard slap finally succeeded, and after further usage it has eased up quite a bit where it is now just a little slap to the left, just enough to make it feel like you’re not going to get there accidentally but not so much that it feels like you’re about to break something.

I’d suggest just living with it for a while to see if it gets better like mine did; if not, then further investigation is in order.


I would remove the transmission cover to see if rust has formed in areas preventing ease of movement. No one knows where the previous owner had the car stored, perhaps in a high moisture area where the under carriage is subjected to moisture etc or the lack of proper lubrication I believe is suspect…