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Jaguar Repair/E type Series 3 reverse gear



  Last week I bought my dream car, a 1973 e type.  I've had it out a few times but today after a drive, I couldn't get it into reverse gear.  I've only used reverse a few times, pushing the lever to the left towards me and then rearward.  I don't think I have to push or pull up on the shift lever, but it won't slide sideways to the left of the 'H' pattern.  I even tried with the engine off, is there a trick to it or is something broken ? My TR7 requires pulling up but the previous owner said there is no push or pull required on the lever of the e type.



ANSWER: Hi Steve,

As I remmeber the reverse is to put the shift lever in Neutral and had bump the lever to the left and then pull back to engage reverse. Sometimes the spring detent can get stuck so that it is difficult to depress so try just setting the shift lever in Neutral and then remove your hand from the lever and slap your hand toward the left and then pull back.


Sorry for the delay in responce as my PC has been having problems.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


   No need to apologize Howard, your response is always worth the wait !  I went to a local Jaguar specialty shop and they told me the same thing so I tried it and it worked !  I've ordered a manual for the car but speaking on transmissions what oil do you recommend ?  Gear oil or a lighter engine oil ?  If I shift too fast into 2nd I can hear a bit of a grind so the synchros are worn a bit.

  Thanks again,


Hi Steve,

At the dealerships I worked in back then, the factory called for gear oil but the syncros in the gearbox didn't work well as soon as they got a little worn, so we often put engine oil in and it helped a lot. You just need to keep close watch on the level as it is more difficult to keep engine oil in due to leaks. If the seals are good, engine oil worked well and allowed the syncros to work much better and longer. Gear clash on shifts is very distructive to the gears and sliding hub assemblies, as the splines engaging are what you hear grinding as they try to engage.

Learning the art of down shifting was important to the life of a gearbox. Never speed shift up or down if you want to extend the life of the gearbox, even race drivers learn that smooth shifting is more important. The old 3.8 E-type it was necessary to learn to shift as their syncros were not much good even when new. On down shifting a quik blip of the throttle between shifts will extend the life of the box extensively and a smooth easy up shift. Read my tech tip on extending the life of a gearbox on my web site.



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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


Jaguar from the XK 120 to XJ-6 ser. 3 1987


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

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