Need the groups input please potential 1985 240 purchase

Hi, I'd like to ping the group for some input on a potential 240 purchase. I'm considering buying an 1985 240 DL with 169K. This would
be a first car for my teenage daughter that she would learn to drive in. The seller is willing to accept $1100 for the car
My questions are ,
The car has rust in both rear wheel wells in the trunk (on the passenger side you can see the road below). There is corresponding rust outside the car on the fenders. Is rust in this location dangerous i.e. structural (the strut towers looked solid), is it repairable, would it kill the deal for you if you were buying the car?
Also the AC is non functional, the guy selling it says it's the compressor that's shot. Is that easy and cheap to repair by the shadetree mechanic?
Finally the 4 headlights at the front of the car have mositure in them. The car has the cheap type of headlamps ($5 each) so I'm not bothered about the cost of replacing them but recent news items have warned about Katrina flood cars 'flooding' the market and water in the headlamps was one of the things to look for. Has anyone else with the same headlamp setup suffered moisture in the lens?
The car is a 4 speed stick with OD, I did drive it and it drives fine, doesn't wander, brakes are good and the OD works. I really want a stick for my daughter to learn in and they are very hard to find, at least here in Colorado.
thanks any feedback gratefully received
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: Hi, I'd like to ping the group for some input on a potential 240 : purchase. I'm considering buying an 1985 240 DL with 169K. This would : be a first car for my teenage daughter that she would learn to drive : in. The seller is willing to accept $1100 for the car i sold mine '86 w 350K+ smiles for $750, it was reliable, rusted, & good. ok, i never caught *any* money cause i wanted it to keep going... 1 mo later it dropped the clutch... so, i felt happy, at that age, the Volvo is an antique, really *no* $ value. my newer '90 245 has 80K and i'm very happy with it...
: My questions are ,
: The car has rust in both rear wheel wells in the trunk (on the : passenger side you can see the road below). There is corresponding rust : outside the car on the fenders. Is rust in this location dangerous i.e. : structural (the strut towers looked solid), is it repairable, would it : kill the deal for you if you were buying the car? no problem, just don't keep heavy things in the wheel well...
: Also the AC is non functional, the guy selling it says it's the : compressor that's shot. Is that easy and cheap to repair by the : shadetree mechanic? no way, unless you're in FL or NM, forget about AC...
: Finally the 4 headlights at the front of the car have mositure in them. : The car has the cheap type of headlamps ($5 each) so I'm not bothered : about the cost of replacing them but recent news items have warned : about Katrina flood cars 'flooding' the market and water in the : headlamps was one of the things to look for. Has anyone else with the : same headlamp setup suffered moisture in the lens? those are easy to replace... forget about Katrina!
: The car is a 4 speed stick with OD, I did drive it and it drives fine, : doesn't wander, brakes are good and the OD works. I really want a stick : for my daughter to learn in and they are very hard to find, at least : here in Colorado. CO is cool, it sounds good, don't pay more than $750 for it! it's a great and *safe* car for your daughter... be prepared to pay for brake pads (DIY) clutch ($350), struts @ $50 ea (Sears, not Midas)... electrical problems solved by junkyard bottom feeding... it sounds very good!
i've been driving volvos since 1963... will drive nothing else the 240 series is the best they ever made, and at <150 it sounds great!
: thanks any feedback gratefully received
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I'd pass.
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I got a 1985 stick for my kids when they started driving. Had significant rust in 1998 but ran strong. I paid $500 at that time. They both learned to drive sticks used it for 6 years and now I am using it regularly. Started at 180K miles and now 270K miles. Still runs strong, 25mpg almost nothing to register and insure. GE silicon for water intrusion through the rust and regular oil changes along with other regular service intervals. Still will run steady 75mph for hours on the freeway.
Great kids car. Stick, heavy, underpowered and most maintainance can be DIY.
Howard
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The car is overpriced for its condition, at least out here in PDX.
Old Volvos are commonly available, e.g. on craigslist, and rust-free examples are the norm here in the Pacific NW at that price level.
Perhaps you are in the rust-belt (your post didn't give your location)?
roll dem bones
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Sure he did, he's in Colorado.
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Thanks to all who replied, much appreciated. I decided to pass on the '85 and keep looking and as luck would have it an '88 turned up today on Craig'sList with manual transmission. This one has no rust that I could see, pristine interior and was clear of dings and scratches outside.
It did have a strange electrical quirk though, every couple of weeks a fuse would blow and take out the instrument panel lights and both front and rear parking lights on the drivers side. The AC doesn't work, seems to be a common problem, and the radio doesn't work. Otherwise it drives ok apart from what feels like sloppiness when shifting gear. According to Carfax, which is clear, the car has been in AZ since 1998 at least. Seller is asking $1200 but would accept $1000. I'm thinking about tis one.
Blair
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BlairG wrote:

For the fuse issue, check the wiring under the seats going to the seat belt buckle. Quite common to cause the problem you're mentioning.
--
Mike F.
Thornhill (near Toronto), Ont.
  Click to see the full signature.
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BlairG wrote:

Loose sloppy shifter is usually a broken or missing nylon bushing in the shift linkage.
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thanks James, is this an easy fix or does it need to go to the shop?
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thanks James, is this an easy fix or does it need to go to the shop?
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My personal view on rust is that any rust hole in the unibody is a deal killer, the car will just never be right, no way to ever really fix it. That said, depending on where you live it might be impossible to find an old car with no rust.

The actual compressor replacement isn't too difficult, but you'll also have to replace all the rubber hoses, the receiver/dryer and the expansion valve. You'll need refrigeration solvent (available at most autoparts stores,) 3 cans of R-134a and a vacuum pump if you plan to charge it yourself. I use an rotary compressor made for window AC units I got surplus, makes a dandy vacuum pump.

It's really common if they get a rock chip, otherwise they're sealed glass and could sit on the bottom of the ocean for a year and not get water in them. If the car had been in a flood deep enough to be up over the headlights, the interior would be completely shot and nobody would bother making the effort to cover that up on such a cheap car.

A fair number of pre-'86 240s were sticks, the later ones were made, but are much harder to find.
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