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I'm in the market for my first 240 and I've came across an automatic 89 hatchback. Body and interior are in great shape and the seller is letting it go pretty cheap. I just need help diagnosing a problem the car has before i decide on purchasing it. He tells me when he got the car about a year ago it smoked really bad. Here is what he says from our email.

"truly don't know what is the problem with the smoking but its not constant like an oil leak and it gets worse as it heats up. Its a water leak thats coming through the exhaust. I didnt drive the car much but below like 50 miles an hour its ok but on the high way the front end shimmies. I dont know what thats about. could need a balance, alingment, I really dont know."

He also says he took it to a shop and they wanted to replace the head gasket. I assumed the same thing but i have no experience with these cars yet so i figured i would ask the pros.

If anyone could help me out on this it would be greatly appreciated. The body and interior on this car is way nicer than anything else I've found and if its just a head gasket then thats a $35 fix.
 

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When you say suspension problems what exactly do you mean? Worn out front struts, or worn out bushings?

if its just a head gasket problem with the motor i feel like i can have a nice 240 for cheap. Plus i can peace together a 5 speed swap locally for dirt cheap as well.
 

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Well the car has a real clean body and interior. I can replace head gasket bushings or whatnot myself. Do you guys think this would be a good buy?

Thanks for all the help so far!
 

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My car would shake really horrible around 55mph. I took it in for a balance to find out that all 4 wheels were out of balance and that my front lower ball joints were about gone. So it could be some simple suspension probs or something bigger. How much is the guy wanting to sell the car for?
 
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