Notes on 240 Volvo Ball Joint Failure

Choosing Replacement Parts

These notes generally apply to 1979 through 1993 240s except Bertone Coupe, taken from my family fleet experiences with the following:
79 244DL, 83 244DL, 83 242Ti, 83 244Ti, 84 244DL, 89 245GL, 89 244 GL, 90 244, 91 244DL, 91 244GL

We keep cars until rust makes them unsafe to drive. In November 2014 I replaced the left ball joint on the 91 244DL. The replacement of a ball joint is not normally a noteworthy task in our garage, nor is it unexpected at 305,000 miles. The job went normally, and if you're reading this because you want to know how this proceeds, check this 240 Volvo Ball Joint Replacement .

Two things piqued my curiosity. One, I realized I had not, until this day, in at least a dozen such replacements, ever replaced a ball joint I had installed. No one else works on our cars. And two, at every brake pad replacement, I check for play in the ball joints, wheel bearing adjustment, and steering linkage, and when the ball joints exhibit wear every time it is significant, not slight. The play is either zero or (estimating) about 60 thousandths - a sixteenth inch.

Now the first puzzle goes to selecting a replacement part from the variety being offered for sale. The usual concerns are quality vs. price, and the discussion boards and forums are stuffed with opinions on part brands and advice to buy from the dealer. Very little science supports the quality claims so I wanted to see what breaks and why.

The ball joint here has almost 110,000 miles service and over 8 years

A look inside

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