The Ginetta factory never issued a service manual as such with the car, especially considering the car was a mixture of Land Rover and Ford running gear. With very low mileages service intervals can seem a long way apart on mileage so timed service intervals are a better bet.
Check tyre pressures and tyre condition (note for uneven wear - suspension alignment can be knocked out). Tyre pressures 23psi front and rear seems the optimum.
Check the fluid levels in the hydraulic systems
Check the engine oil level
Check water level in the header tank
Check battery Level
Run injector cleaner in the fuel tank
Check fan belt tension and radiator hoses condition
Check chassis for corrosion, clean and repaint where necessary
Check for any wiring burning around the fuse box and relays
Tighten every nut and bolt you can find in the glass fiber body
Check for play in suspension rose joint joints and track rod ends. Replace as nessasary
Change the engine oil, even if the mileage is low. Oil technology has changed a lot in the twenty years since the car was made, and certain additives have been removed for environmental reasons. The Rover V8 is inclined to wear its cam badly, specifically where a high lift cam has been used. To counteract this an engine oil with a high zinc content is a good idea, but this is not sold as a "street" oil due to the fact that the zinc will contaminate any catalysts fitted. An oil that comes is commonly recommended for the engine is the Vavoline race VR1 multigrade mineral oil. This is a thicker 20-50 grade compared to the modern fully synthetic oils and helps maintain a better oil pressure as these engines start to wear.
Engine capacity is 5.1 ltrs, or add another 500ml or so with a new oil filter.
The K&N filter unit is much larger than the OEM filters for improved flow and will fit the G33 OK. Costs about £12.
The K&N filters are deigned to be washed only once the dirt layer becomes visible on the filter elements. You can get specific filter cleaning fluid, although I find that ordinary detergent and hot water do the job just as well. You need to dip the filter in a shallow tray to allow the cleaner to soak into the element, but do not allow any cleaner to enter via the filter mouth. Then clean the filter element with a soft paint brush, and rinse with fresh water from the inside the filter- so the dirt flows outward from the filter element. Then leave to dry, before re oiling. You can get K&N oil, or any light grade oil seems to work OK. The K&N oil is highly coloured so it can be seen when each pleat in the element has enough oil. The element should not be soaked, just lightly oiled.
This is located in the top of the rocker cover, and is a peice of foam. so it can be cleaned and washed.
Modern plugs will run at least 12000 miles between changes, but the TVR world is starting to use the NGK BPR6EIX, iridium plugs on the RV8 the idea being they give an improved burn due to the projected tip, plus a longer life. HT components generally. This will need changing if they show sighs of breakdown, although its a good idea to change HT leads say every 5 years as the insulation can start to break down. You don’t need fancy leads, just good quality ones like Bosch. Watch out for some really nasty replica Rotor arms and caps on the market, try and always use O.E.M parts.
The G33 system is a nasty mix of steel tube and aluminium, and it’s important that coolant is changed based on the recommended period of the antifreeze use - typically 2 years for blue, or 5 years for red. This is important as the anti-corrosive agents stop working after a period although this is not mileage affected. Any sign of rust or sludge means the coolant has been left in the system too long, so the system should be flushed and refilled with fresh. Recommended quantity 50% antifreeze. Too much antifreeze will cause poor cooling and chemical residue build up, and too little will cause increased corrosion. I’d strongly recommend that additional "coolant improvers" are NOT used, as I think this can upset the carefully designed chemical balance of the antifreeze and water mix. Use distilled water in hard water areas. or lime scale build-up will reduce the water flow.
The cooling system is 11.3 ltrs, so you will need around 5-6 ltrs of antifreeze.
Rover recommends thin AFT fluid for the LT77 gearbox, due to its poor syncromesh, but this can lead to premature bearing failure. You can run conventional 80 grade EP gearbox oil, but the gearshifts are poor when the gearbox is cold, and only suitable for summer use. As a compromise some people are successfully using Mobile 1 engine oil with its low viscosity, with a dose of Molyslip gearbox additive to cope with the high shear loads on the gear teeth. The gearbox box can be drained from below the car, but refilling is awkward due to the position of the filler plug on the side of the gearbox. The easiest way to do this is to feed a bit of clean garden hose down past the bell housing in the engine bay to the filler hole on the side of the Gearbox, and then fill it from above until it runs from the filler hole. Messy job! The gearbox takes 2.7 ltrs from empty.
An often neglected point that needs a squirt of grease- there are two grease nipples to lubricate the bearings.
There is no drain plug, so you have to remove the luggage tray, and tank panel from inside the boot. You then undo the tank straps, and rock the tank backwards in the boot (carefully as there is a return fuel tank pipe you might have to undo to get enough clearance to move the tank back). You can remove the tank fairly easily if you wish, just clamp off the rubber feed hose to the fuel pump under the tank to stop any fuel draining out when you disconnect the fuel pump hose, and the rear hose already mentioned, and it will lift out once the straps are removed. Be warned however, if you have not already replaced the fuel hoses, now would be a good time, as they will be highly perished and wont reseal reliably. This will allow access to the rear filler plug in the diff. Now the fun bit - you need a pump and flexible pipe to drain the old oil out - I’ve various old Ginetta fuel pumps laying around that do the job well enough and you need to feed the hose in to the bottom of the diff casing. There are also various pumps on the market to do this. Fresh oil should then be filled until it reaches the filler plug.
This should be changed on a 3 yearly basis. It’s a pain of a job due to the split front/rear setup so one system is always pressurised when you try and bleed the other. It can be done using two brake bleed pipes, one on the front brakes and one on the rear, so you can get full brake travel to push the brake fluid through the system. Start with the longest brake runs (i.e. the near side rear wheel and nearside front, and pump the brake pedal until the fluid runs clean, and be very careful the reservoir does not run low - if you get air into the system its very difficult to clear due to the fact that the rear calipers where mounted horizontally on the original Ford fitment, and are now vertical on the Ginetta, so the bleed valve is not at the optimum point to clear the trapped air.
Another way to force fresh fluid through is to use a product like an Easy bleed, that puts pressure on the fluid in the reservoir to force it through the system when the bleed nipples are opened. The problem with this is the caps supplied don't fit the Ginetta reservoir very well, so you end up with hydraulic fluid all over the place if you are not careful. Not nice.
The best option is to use a professional vacuum tool that sucks the fluid from the brake nipple, including any trapped air in the caliper. If have any doubts about doing it yourself take it to a garage with such a tool. There are 6 bleed nipples in the system in total (two rear and four in the front), so make sure all 6 are bled.
Careful storage can minimise the damage from storing the car over the UK winter months, so here's a few ideas to help.
Make sure the last run the car has is sufficient to get the car to full working temperature. Less than this can lead to condensation in the cylinders and exhaust system, leading to internal corrosion.
Change the engine oil (even if low mileage) as acids from the combustion process remain in the oil, and corrode the engine internal components. Replace with fresh (cheap will do) oil and turn the engine over on the starter having disconnected the primary of the coil to run the fresh oil through the bearings. If the engine is started to do this, ensure the engine reaches full temperature before turning off. Use fresh oil in the spring.
If you wash and wax the car, leave it outside to dry for several days before storage, trapped water can do lots of damage over the winter. Pressure washing is NOT recommended, as it can force water into screw threads and electrical connections.
Spray all the alloy engine parts with liberal amounts of water repellent like WD40.
The chassis metal components will benefit from a coat of a product like Waxoyl, but avoid the disk brakes!
You will need to decide either to start the engine on a regular basis throughout the winter or if you want to "winterise" the engine fully. See the notes about the clutch below first.
Some people recommend the plugs are removed and thin oil put into the cylinder liners. The problem here is dirt surrounding the plug can get into the cylinders, that will do as much damage as any possible corrosion. If you do this use an air line to blow around the plugs before and as you remove them to remove any dirt. Only use a thin spay lubricant in the bores, as thicker oils can goo things up over time. Don't use too much, and the engine can be restarted in the spring and simply burn the lubricant away.
The engine will need starting and running to full working temperature about every 6 weeks. (I usually wait for the fans to come on) Once started, turn the tick over up to around 2000 - 2500 rpm using the plastic screw adjuster on the end of the throttle cable in the engine bay. A normal rate tick over may not provide enough oil splash from the crank to lubricate the cylinder bores and does more harm than good. You may upset the neighbours however! Once the engine is hot and running depress the clutch and try putting the car into 5th gear slowly to check the clutch is still free. If it has seized on you will be notified by the sound of crunching gears!
Most of us don't have the benefit for a dehumidified garage, so some items will corrode. The worse case is normally the flywheel surface into the clutch friction plate, so after 6 months of storage the clutch will no longer disengage. This can be a night mare to free if the car has been stood some time. If this has happened, either the engine will need removing to get at the clutch or try this, its worth a go.
This is a dangerous procedure is the car should come off the axle stands. It also loads the clutch, handbrake and rear suspension very heavily.
Jack up the rear of the car securely on axle stands to get the wheels of the ground and rear wheels should be removed. Run the engine to operating temperature in neutral. Stop the engine and put into 5th gear and restart. Using 5th will maximise the load on the clutch, and minimise the load on the brakes and suspension. DO NOT USE LOWER GEARS. The rear drive shafts are now spinning. Now depress the clutch, and gently apply the hand brake. As the engine rev's start to drop, give the engine enough throttle to stop it stalling. Increase the hand brake/throttle until the clutch frees (frequently with a bang!)
Ideally the cars weight should be removed from the tyres, to stop them deforming over time. This must be done correctly to prevent damage to the cars suspension. If the car is simply jacked up on the chassis rails, the suspension will drop. This will cause the springs to relax and extend, and the metalastic suspension bushes will become distorted from their natural resting position. When the car is returned to use the ride height will have altered and altered the camber angles accordingly ruining the handling for several months until things resettle. To prevent this the wheels need removing, and axle stands placed under the alloy uprights all round. This will put an equivalent load onto the suspension as having the wheels fitted on the ground. If you jack on the wishbones the loading will be reduced accordingly and is not recommended. You obviously need not worry about this procedure if you are going to replace the tyres in the spring.
Great stuff glassfibre, all it needs is a cotton cover to keep off the dirt. Keep the roof on, and leave a window out to ventilate the interior.
Keep the battery charged up once a month or so. Don't leave an unregulated battery charger permanently as this will make the battery gas and loose its acid. Only regulated battery chargers with a permanent float option should be left connected. This does not quite fully charge the battery so no gassing takes place.
Leave the handbrake off, so it cannot stick on.
The disks will have rusted, calipers may seize, hydraulic fluid will absorb water, engine cooling fluid may loose its corrosion inhibiting abilities, the battery may be low on its acid level. Any remaining fuel may have oxidised.
Replace the Brake and Hydraulic fluid if its over three years old. Don't think that low mileage means no deterioration, hydraulic fluid in particular absorbs large amount of water from the atmosphere.
Check the diff oil, and gearbox levels (mine drains slowly over time).
Check tyre pressures and condition.
Pass an eye over the rubber cooling hoses for perishing.
Replace the engine coolant if its over three years old.
Disconnect the coil primary and remove the plugs, put in a small squirt of WD40 or like into each bore and crank the engine until the oil pressure rises. Replace the plugs and reconnect the coil leads. Put in fresh fuel. Cycle the ignition until the fuel pump slows as the fuel pressure rises in the system. With a good battery the engine should now start. Raise the tick over up slowly to around 2500 rpm, and hold there until the engine is warm. Drain and replace the oil.
Try the brakes carefully on the first road test. The disks will sound horrible until the surface rust has cleared. Stuck calipers will show as the car pulling to one side.
Unseen corrosion in the tank can slowly block fuel filters that may not be apparent. There is a large Range Rover fuel filter located on the upper rear chassis that should be replaced periodically. A good check for rust in the system is to check the colour of the semi transparent pipes that feed fuel to and from the engine on the offside engine bulk head. These become visibly rusty brown if corrosion has taken place.