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The build of Dottie Blue

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So I started this build about 2 and a half years ago. My then new wife and I thought it would be a good idea to buy a project car after we got home from our honey moon in 2008. I had raced dimes in the past, and I always thought they were good looking cool little cars. After a quick search on craigslist, I found her, a 1970 2 door 510, just an hour or so away from our house. We loaded up and made the trip with the borrowed trailer and $700 bucks cash. Got to the house, its dark by now of course. Checked the car out, I knew there was crash damage from the add. Checked for rust, best I could in the dark. Didn't see any in the floor boards, but did see some in the trunk where most of the crash damage was. I though at this time, we can handle this. Popped the hood, pulled the dipstick. Umm gray sludge. Not a big surprise, the lady told me it ran fine until all the gaskets blew and water went everywhere when she was driving one day. We decide to go for it, since we were looking for a project after all. THe good news, the car had a weber, and a 280zx 5-speed installed.


Where we found her



Moved out of the whole



Headed home




Heres the rust that used to be in the floor boards, all surface



Some rust treatment



The old engine



At this time, I though we would pull the engine, replace the gaskets and put it back in.



Was planning on pulling the engine and leaving the trans in. That wasn't working, so went ahead and pulled them as a unit. Oops, didn't drain the trans. Good thing there was a bag of kitty litter near by.







While the engine was out, one of my buddies found a KA24E for sale on craigslist. The catch, it was in a couple boxes of pieces, the block had been line bored and had new forged pistons to be installed. I picked the engine up for two much money, but here it is




So we got this far, then we decided we should buy a house. That kinda put a stop to things for awhile.


Theres more to write and show, but thats enough for one night.

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Continuing on with this build, we bought a house and moved everything, including the dime into the shop/garage. Sad to say, she sat there for awhile.


Oh a note on the name of the car. My wife came up with it, Dotti because its a Datsun, and Blue came when she learned that the other name for the 510 is the Bluebird, hence DottiBlue.


So back to Dotti. Eventually I got to slowly working on putting the engine back together with some help from my Pops, who used to own a machine shop.




Bottom end went together nicely


Unfortunately, when we started with the head, I learned the rocker bars were galled.



After some research, I learned it was cheaper to buy a whole rebuilt head than it was to buy just the parts I needed to fix the head I had. So got the head, and put the engine the rest of the rest of the engine togeather.



Since I bought the engine in pieces, and the car came with a 280ZX 5 speed. I decided to see what it would take to run that trans. With some help from guys on Ratsun, I learned I could run my trans if I got the bell housing from a NapZ engine. Back to pick and pull! With some help from a buddy, I pulled one from a old Pathfinder. Of course this one had the bigger hole for the bigger secondary shaft bearing. Alot of money later at the local Nissan parts store, I got the new bearing and bearing cover. Sorry no Oics of this part.


Alot more time went by and I got back to it. I had spent time at pick and pull and craigslist getting various parts during this time.


Cut the battery tray out and welded the holes up



I flipped the cross member awhile back, and decided it was time to test fit the engine and trans.






It went in with plenty of room behind to still run the heater and fit the radiator. Electric fan might be a bit tight though. Had to remake the goofy trans cross member that was made for the original 280ZX 5 speed swap. Also needed to slot the holes on the stock KA adapter plates so that the rubber mounts weren't binding.





Made a throttle cable mount out of a combo of the stock dime and the stock 240 mount.



Made an adapter plate to mount the 240 gas pedal in place



In place





Thought it would be a good time to start the repair on the crash damage on the back of the car. I found a guy on craigslist selling the back part of a dime. Picked it up pretty cheap



Somehow, I didn't get any pictures of the damage to the back of the car before we cut it all of. This is the best I got, doesn't show much though



Cut all the damage off







First test fit. Much more work to do before welding it back on



After hours and hours of work. Tacked in place.





While this was going on, also decided to strip all the paint out of the engine bay and seam weld the shock towers to the fender.









More to come, but Im not allowed to add more pictures in this post.

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Thanks Rustina. I've had alot of help. Luckly I have a friend who is good with body work who has been a huge help with the rear repair. You on the other hand seem to have body work down pretty good. Or so it seems from your current build.

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Thanks Rustina. I've had alot of help. Luckly I have a friend who is good with body work who has been a huge help with the rear repair. You on the other hand seem to have body work down pretty good. Or so it seems from your current build.


Thx a million dude, it's hard to go wrong when all I ever do is cut and grind rust, the real fun will come when I actually get to body work.


Then we will see if I'm really any good or not, I've been doing body work with my uncle sense I was a kid so I'm pretty confident I'll make it all look perfect bit I appreciate the good words.

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  • 6 months later...

Thanks for the heads up. The back panel is still attached to the rear section I bought. I have made some slow progress since my last post but have not gotten around to updating the build thread. Maybe do some updating after work tomorrow. I plan on getting a good day of work in on her on wednesday.


I did get the engine in and got her to fire up. Just need to finish the welding on the tail and get the front suspension and steering figured out. Also need to get on the interior.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So it's been a while since I updated. Engine is in and wired and it has started. Long ways from being on the road. Here are some pictures



Here's the engine dropped in in running condition, Well sorta, need to get an intake tube setup and put it in. I just did that so I could hear it run.





My welding buddy made this swirl pot for me since the VW radiator did not have a fill on it. I need to get some different hoses so I can feed the radiator from the bottom outlet.







KA-24e brains



Can't see too much of it from here



Can-Am box. Need to clean up the wiring and make a protection shield for it.



Cleaned up the PO's hack job cuts for the 280zx 5-speed



This is how they covered the over sized hole. Fail.



Much better.


My buddy made some progress attaching the new tail piece back to Dotti to make her a whole car again. SLOW going when your counting on someone else who is busy. Here's some photos:








I also started to figure out the the front steering. Need to order new tie road ends and ball joints. Also need to get my coil over setup so I can install all of it.


Hoping to get to the interior so I can get some por15 laid down and get headed in the right direction in there. Anyone know of a shift boot with a 4.5 in opening? I think the roadster might? or an early 510?

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  • 1 month later...

So....it's been awhile since I've posted any updates, but that because i haven't had to much time to work on Dotti. Did get most of the tail section welded back on, at least on the outside. Gotta figure out exactly what I need to do for the area around the trunk pan. Also need to remove some hidden rust behind the right rear wheel.






Also removed all of the factory sound deadening from the rear floor pan. Found some more surface rust there, but no big deal. I got it all cleaned out for por-15. Hopefully get that down today or tomorrow. I need to do a deep scrub clean first.










Also got my tax return, so I'm going to order tie-rod and ball joints today. Also front coil-over and caster camber plates for my 280zx struts. I need to figure out what struts I want to use. I'm not sure which ones to get. I obviously want to lower it, but I want to be able to drive it on the street. I don't need Indy low HAHA. I am planning on ordering the Datsun Part llc coil over kit. Any suggestions in this area would be appreciated.


Also, I was supposed to meet a guy last night to pick up some 15 x 7 Konig rewinds, but he bailed on me last minute. Decided he wanted to keep the wheels. So back on the hunt for either another set of those, or Rotta RB's.

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Super nice build; and you got a Range Rover(one of my dream cars)??!! Sweeet!!!!

Well had one. It was an awsome car till the trans started to go at the tube of 6 grand to rebuild. I traded it in on a new tahoe before anyone knew! Plus, I needed the extra space for the baby and the dogs. Now I got another on the way. I think I need a Suburban now haha.

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