Question about "speed hold" .... specifically, do you actually use it?

Hello folks -

So I understand the idea behind the DG250 automatic “speed hold” function - drops the trasns into 2nd gear, or allows advance to 2nd, but in either case, no third gear. Idea, or so I hear, is that it helps going up hills or in slow moving traffic.

For various reasons, I’ve not driven my MKII yet, and so I can’t comment on how useful or not the speed hold function is, or in fact if it even works, though I suspect it will work fine based on the rest of the car and the new wiring to the switch. So my key question is: DO you actually use the speed hold function when you drive? Is it a quirky thing you mostly forget about, or a necessary thing you use all the time?

Here is why I’m asking: I need to switch the “choke” over to a manual switch - for all the reasons you all already know about, and I was thinking that the speed hold switch would make a convenient choke switch, if you really don’t use it for its intended purpose. I also thought using the brake warning light as the “choke on” light would be good too (my car doesn’t have connections to the brake fluid level switch anyway). I don’t want to repurpose the switch however, if you actually use the “speed hold” function - I’ve just never had an automatic with the feature - no matter how old the car.



typically you would want 2nd for overtaking, or maintaining an engine braked speed in traffic. down hills etc etc

If that function can be accomplished on the DG250 by manually shifting the gear lever,
cant see why you would need it…if not, I would retain it

its a good idea to have a choke switch that is lit when on, so you remember to turn it off

A long time ago, when my Mk2 was an automatic with a DG250, I certainly did use the intermediate speed hold. I think you want to keep it.

SO, @awg the transmission can be shifted down to “L” but I am not sure if that’s 2nd or first - I’d imagine its 2nd. I am not sure if its doable on the fly however.

@Ron_Smith Well that’s good feedback. I thought it would be nice to use existing switches and lights to do the job, but no sense removing a feature that’s needed.

I suppose what I could do is repurpose the washer switch - car doesn’t actually have a windshield washer anyway - will need to change the switch to an On / Off, but I guess that would work.

It’s quite simple to put a small toggle switch in the aluminum underdash cover. It’s out of sight, but easily accessible. You can get a lighted switch, but I don’t bother. I’ll snap a photo for you when I’m out in the storage barn.

My BW8 will shift as I describe, you can only but test it on the road (and or read the FSM description of operation)

I am with Ron, the normal spot to mount is where he said

If anyone else but yourself drives it, worth labelling it,

if properly tuned, they are very hard to start without choke

My 150 OTS has the DG250. The speed hold will prevent shifting into 3rd gear. While driving in 3rd gear, when the switch is activated, it will downshift into 2nd gear. I use it all the time.
Pat H

I do use the speedhold function, mainly when bimbling through low speed areas towns / villages etc, to stop the into top / back to intermediate / back to top that occurs at light throttle around 25mph.

Hello Allan,

I use the speed hold feature in our 3.8 MK2. The throttle kick-down in our car works but it doesn’t hold second gear for very long. For slow speeds (~25 mph and under), the speed hold feature will stop the gearbox from upshifting/downshifting between 2nd and 3rd gears.

I mounted a manually controllable enrichment switch beneath the dash per the following photo. I used a Lucas switch that matches those located on the central panel.


Ok that makes sense. I’m unfortunately missing the underdash panels on both sides - three MKII cars in my history and not a one of them had these panels… but I’m sure I can find a good spot.

No need to send that photo as Brian has his in the identical spot. I would think that under-dash panel would not be too hard to find. As it’s aluminum, a used one shouldn’t be corroded.

Well, you all convinced me to keep the speed hold switch, but not having the panels, and frankly preferring a switch on the dash and some sort of indicator light, this is what I’ve gone with. Not to everyone’s taste I 'd guess, but its really not that noticeable a change in terms of looks.

The switch is slightly smaller than the stock switches, but otherwise looks ok, and has a small red LED in the tip that turns on when powered. My car does not have any of the equipment for a window washer, and I don’t plan to add one, and so this switch location was a perfect “free spot”.

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I always found ISH useful, but it does not assist with engine braking. Kickdown can sometimes be jerky, and as soon as you ease off the throttle, it will change back into top. But with L and ISH, you can effectively have manual control, engine braking works in low. I had occassion to use it back in the 70’s when my MK1 3.4’s front brake blew a wheel cylinder when a milk tanker pulled out in front of me. Into low at 70mph! Rev counter hit the peg, but crisis avoided, and I’m still here.I think I calculated it must have pulled over 7000 rpm momentarily. Drove 20 miles to home with no brakes, slowed using low, and then to a stop using reverse.Of course, handbrake never worked, even though it was drum braked car.

talk about lucky. I do wish these cars had dual circuit brakes

well, now, that’s cool…

Hi Allan,
I’m a little late to the party on this question, but I have two MK 9’s with DG250 trannys with functioning intermediate speed hold. I use the ISH function while I am in traffic on mountain roads or in situations where third gear is just not appropriate. It works quite well and provides an easy way to get into second gear, rather than mashing the gas pedal to the floor to activate the kick down function. Plus you have total control as to when you want to shift into third gear, which also works very well.

Tom Brady


On our 1975 XJ6C I did exactly that as my wife and oldest daughter sometimes drive the car. When not switched on it’s pretty much invisible.