Etype Series 3; Auto Gear Selector Shaft Seal/Bushing Change

My 1974 Etype Series 3 with auto transmission, requires the Gear Selector Shaft Seal and bushing to be changed. Can this be done without taking out the transmission from the side access on the transmission tunnel? Any tips and/or suggestions on getting this done will be very helpful


Hi Sandy,
Since no one has replied I’ll take a shot at it.
I was going to try to do it in situ but a deal on a 4 speed ‘kit’ came along and I never got around to trying. When I looked at doing this task,(make sure it’s not coming from the drop down switch wire plug because that can be changed with the transmission in the car), it really looked like it was going to have to be a tranny out repair.IMG_6548 IMG_6547
As you can see from the picture it’s up fairly high on the side of the box and I think it will be a real challenge to get to it without cutting the tunnel which I was reluctant to consider.
Good luck,

Hi Llynn…thanks for the response, and the heads up on the leak coming from the drop down switch. I will get that looked into. i was hoping the answer for changing the selector seal will be through the side panel on the tunnel…will let you know how it goes. sandy

On a BW8, which is similar or identical to a BW12, there are a few issues

  • the shifter shaft requires +4" side clearance from the trans, as it needs to be retracted
    (seal is between shaft outer flange & outer body

  • there is a plunger ball & spring setup at the top of the trans.
    I did eventually work out a way to do this, but it isnt easy to work out first time, and upside down instead of on a bench would be harder)

  • 99% sure the valve body, regulator and associated piping has to be removed

I had to take my trans out as there was no side access,(420G), was doing an engine swap at that time.

Also do the speedo o-ring

verify it is the shifter seal, by wiping the area perfectly clean, then a strong light

Great info…thanks for the input…will look into this


Got a similar problem I think…
The Jaguar name plate beside the selector…
Is that an access plate or just a name plate
If it is an access plate could that be where the leak is coming from??

Hi Nick,
I’ll go out and look after lunch (BW12), but I don’t think so.
Give me 10-15 min.

Sorry but the plate (BW12) is just riveted on, doubt it’s you source.

Thanks for that. One less place to check.
Is the thread on the shaft where the lever connects a normal clockwise thread. ie turn clockwise to put the nut on .

I’ve just had this very job done on my S1 XJ, which uses the same BW12 'box. The seal hardens with age and leaks out of the selector shaft and onto the exhaust in an XJ. It can be done in situ, involves removal of the oil pan and valve body, but is replaced from inside the gearbox not outside, I believe. I’m not sure about clearance issues with an E Type, but the experienced guy that did mine only took a couple of hours, although he did other work on it as well.

Hi Kevin

Thanks for that info.
I had never thought of that.
Didn’t think it was possible to get to it from the inside

Will look into this in more detail.

One more question.
When you remove the nut holding the gear selector onto the shaft, is it a normal clockwise ‘on’ thread or a reverse thread.
I don’t want to put too much pressure on the thread.



Hi Again

Still not removed the Auto gear selector because I am not sure which way to remove the nut that holds it to the shaft. Normal clockwise on or reverse thread. I don’t want to put too much pressure on the selector shaft with an extension bar on the socket.

Anybody out there done this please


Hi Nick, I didn’t do this job myself, but just checked with the guy who did it. Normal thread.

No problem
Thanks for the info.
I will report back when l get around to trying to fix it


Hi everyone,

I’ve been looking for a solution for this for many, many years but I still do not have an answer . I managed to get rid of many oil leaks, including gearbox kick down switch solved with gearbox in place and working from the inside of the gearbox , as I reported in another thread , but no hints found on how to change the gearbox selector o-rings with the gearbox in place or what has to be renoved to access it .

I think I recall @Dick_Maury (?) saying it was possible , but how it is a mistery to me and I do not have a lift or pit to try out a few steps without knowing it works .

Very frustrating to see that pool of oil on the floor mostly when the cat is not used for some time. …

Any pointers would be so welcome .


PS: meanwhile waiting for the high torque stater to replace the dad original stater.

The autobox on the V12 is a Borg Warner 12. The shift selector uses a lip seal, not an o-ring. It has to be removed to the outside. It is to long to remove with the transmission in place as the tunnel is in the way. It would be nice to find a better seal than what comes in the rebuild kit as it has no spring to keep it tight and sealed over time as the rubber relaxes. Don’t forget to polish the shaft when it is out so it will not leak.

The guy who did my S1 XJ seal did it with the ’ box in situ. Obviously there’s a lot more clearance in an XJ, but I got the impression it was replaced from inside the trans after the valve body was removed. I presume you have done them yourself, so I will defer to you, and perhaps he replaced it from outside, but needed to remove the valve body to remove the selector shaft. Unbelievably, my trans no longer leaks, new seal, filter and pan gasket.

Check VERY carefully for an access plate in the transmission tunnel

I found that many Jags have them for the BW8, but they are not obvious

I believe the BW12 is the same arrangement

The seal is on the outside of the box, and the selector shaft must come out the side of the box, and needs about 3" clearance

There is no other way to replace the seal, its the same basic design as other autos I have worked on

Its not easy to do the job underneath the car, even if you can get the shaft out, but it is possible if you know a few tricks

Many thanks Dick and Tony,

There is an inspection trap in the transmission tunnel (@awg Tony) , which I let open to put ´absorption pads´ not to get the garage with polls of oil (photo). It is big enough to let the shaft come out, would i manage to disengage the actuating link, the question is what would i do from the inside, working under the car, would that be easy or do I risk not being able to put all back but with the transmission off ?

The red tissue is how the abosption pad looks like after one month of the car standing in the garage ( I just installed a new stater, weill report in another thread).

Looking forward to read how @Baliniere Nick will sort this out !


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Looks like you have plenty of room on your car to slide the shaft out. Take the nut off that is holding the shift bracket onto the shaft and remove the shift bracket off of the shaft. Under the car, it is necessary to remover the valve body. Then there is a large nut holding the shift lever and notched plate to select the gears. There is a strong spring and ball bearing in the transmission housing that will need to be put back on reassembly. Pay attention how it goes. Once the plate, nut, spring and ball bearing are out, you can slide the shaft out of the transmission. Seal is now accessable to change out. Polish the shaft and apply grease and install.

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