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BJ8 Gear Shifting


Obi Wan
Country flag
64 BJ8

Little history. Always had some difficulty going into 2 gear. Clutch in, going from 1st to 2nd, most times it slides right in other times I need to pull and hold it till it slides in, which may take 5-10 seconds as I coast down the street till it goes in gear. This is when tranny oil is cold and when hot. A friend recommended a British mechanic he's heard of. The mechanic drove it thinks the 2 gear synchro needs to be replaced. Should take a week. I give him the tranny, he has it over a month, says he's having difficulty getting the OD back on. (Now I'm uncomfortable with his knowledge and skill). I finally get the tranny back, install to find I don't have a working OD now. Another mechanic tells me OD doesn't work because there's no pressure. The new mechanic (Super Nice Guy!) and I replace the pump which we find the prior mechanic damaged, most likely trying to get the OD on.

Engine was rebuilt including new clutch same time as the tranny was worked on. Now cars back together and I'm driving it with about 100 miles.

Shifting from 1st into 2nd is better... but now I have a new issue. Clutch is fully depressed, going from 1st to 2nd I hear the gears grind, it's not going in. I've had this happen 3rd to 2nd also. I'm making sure the clutch is fully depressed and I'm at the appropriate speed. It's an intermittent problem. Why the big concern? I don't want to damage 2nd gear, because I'm told replacement 2nd gears are not available.

Is it the synchro or the clutch?

Could the 1st mechanic (who evidently is not experienced with working on these transmissions) have damaged the synchro, or damaged something related to shifting into 2nd?

1st, 3rd, 4th and the OD have always worked problem free.

Last edited:


Obi Wan
Country flag
Hi Bob, I appreciate your help with all these issues I'm having with the tranny/OD.
I believe the synchro came from Moss. Where do they get theirs?
The layshaft was not replaced. I asked the first guy who replaced the synchro to replace anything that needs replacement. He didn't comment on the condition of parts in the tranny when I picked it up, and therefore assumed only thing that was needed was the synchro. The second mechanic helped me R/R the OD pump, we didn't open up the tranny, we removed the pump from the bottom of the OD.

I can remove the top plate on the tranny and have look inside. Any benefit to that?


Country flag
Only something obviously broken; in which case you'd have more than a synchro problem. Layshafts do wear, but if yours was OK or replaced at restoration yours should be OK. It really sounds like a synchro problem since 1st doesn't have a synchro and 3rd and 4th use the same one.

You could start by draining the oil, O/D too, and see if there's any chunks in it. A BJ8 has iron synchros and, of course, they'll be magnetic.
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