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Model 8 Tranny

Borg Warner model 8 automatic transmission rebuild.


The transmission was working just fine before I removed it except I had lost the ability to stomp on the pedal and have it downshift to a lower gear, about 25 years ago.  At that time I put a new set of asbestos spacers in between the carbs and intake manifold. The new ones were a little thicker but the shop manager at the Jaguar dealership said it wouldn’t be a problem. I think the thicker spacers changed the setting on the “kick down” cable. I tried to readjust it by turning the cable, but could never get it right.


The Jaguar manual tells you hook up a pressure gauge on the tranny, run it to 1200 rpm and set the pressure to 77 pounds by adjusting the cable right or left.

borg warner model 8 transmission rebuild

The arrow points to the spot to hook up a pressure gauge.

Sounds simple to me so I pulled off the metal cover on the transmission tunnel and went to look for this spot to hook up a gauge.  To my surprise there was no spot to hook up to!


Jaguar model 8 pressure gauge hookup problem

Can you see a spot to hook up the pressure gauge! It’s not there!


So I drove the car around for the past 25 years manually using the gear shift to downshift, mostly when I wanted to pass somebody.


I had no idea who to take this transmission to for a rebuild. It worked ok but leaked a lot of oil. Might as well have it rebuilt because I don’t want to pull it out in a year or two if something goes wrong with it. Time to have it checked out and put new seals in it. I couldn’t imagine taking it to Aamco transmission, they would probably give it to some 19 year old kid thats never seen anything like it before. I asked around with my Jaguar club friends and didn’t get any recommendations. Ended up searching on the internet and found Michigan Driveline Products in Westland Michigan. The two owners have a background with Ford drive line division. After researching the model 8 they found out its very similar to the old Fordamatics and they have rebuilt 100’s of them over the years.


Dropped it off and asked about the pressure hookup spot. They said a lot of times they would change those spots and it wouldn’t be in the manual. Sure enough, we took a look at it and in the back is a little bolt, its the spot to hook up your pressure gauge.


Borg Warner model 8 pressure setting

See that little bolt on the bottom right? Thats the spot!


BW model 8 new bands and old

New bands on the left, old on the right.

bw model 8 transmission

Looking into the tranny


So the tranny is all rebuilt and ready to go. The engine is currently being worked on, I may have it back in a week or two. Then I still have to reinstall everything and put it back together. Hopefully I can get it on the road this spring in 2017. Then we will see if I can get my kickdown gear to work again.

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