Moss 4 speed stuck in first - solved

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#1 Moss 4 speed stuck in first - solved

Post by valley7 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:29 am

Hey all,

I just wanted to consolidate the conversation from the previous thread and post it here for anyone who finds themselves in this situation in the future.

I'm glad to report that my car is now in neutral and shifts fine as long as I don't push it all the way forward in 1st gear. More on that later.

Problem description:

4 speed Moss on 64 XKE is stuck in 1st gear. No amount of rocking car, wiggling, or use of reasonable force will get it to budge out of gear.

Heuer posted this link which had a pretty good description of the problem and solution: ... eilly.html

Christopher storey posted this on getting access to the transmission:

Left Hand Seat out ( at a minimum - it is often easier in the long run to take both seats out)
Carpet off both sides of transmission tunnel - just pulls out
Undo radio / ashtray console - 4 nuts , 2 on either side in the footwell at front edge of radio console
Remove radio console
Unscrew gear lever knob
Unscrew seatbelt anchorage ( if fitted ) one on either side of trans tunnel
Raise handbrake lever as far as it will go ( you may need to release the cable either at the lever or at the rear end
The console should now be capable of being lifted. It is then a matter of manouevring it partly or wholly sideways to get it off the handbrake lever. It's not an easy job, so take your time until you find the best angle to get the lever down through the slit in the console

Once the console is removed, it looks like this:


Then I switched to the article posted by Heuer:

1. Shift lever attached to top of transmission with 4x 13mm nuts and split washers. Lift off and first gear engaged looks like this


2. Remove 10 14mm bolts with split washers and reverse light wiring. Short bolts on sides, 2 medium bolts in front (engine) and 2 long bolts in rear (axel).

The shifter mechanism allows 1st gear to move much farther than any of the other gears. Apparently some type of pin on the main shaft / 1st gear is supposed to prevent over travel.

3. Use something to pry synchro gear towards rear while hammering 1st gear toward neutral. I used a clean (no dust / splinters) piece of wood and a hammer in one hand while holding the pry bar in the other hand. It didn't take much force at all and it went right into neutral. The arrow points to the pry bar.


Sounds like the temporary solution is to add a spacer to the shift linkage for 1st gear so that over travel is limited in the linkage itself. The most correct solution would be to repair the pin in the drive gears which involves pulling the transmission.

Thanks all for the help.............

64 XKE S1 3.8L LHD roadster
Parked since 1973 with 20k miles

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