Lower control arm and Ball Joint replacement with pictures

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2001 - 2007 V70
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2004 - 2007 V70 R

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Lower control arm and Ball Joint replacement with pictures

Post by Blacklab467 »

I just finished installing my Lower Control Arms and did new Ball Joints at the same time. I've read on several post of people taking several days to do this job so I thought I would provide some tips to make the job more doable and easy for those contemplating it. A little history: I replaced these parts with cheap aftermarket parts in the spring of this year and have had to do them again today because of poor quality parts so I am not dealing with rusty and difficult fasteners. I am replacing these with genuine Volvo parts. Total time for this job was 3:15 with hand tools.

- I loosened the lugs and axle 13mm bolt, then jacked front of car up and installed jack stands.
- remove wheels, rotor, backing plate, ABS wire, and caliper, wire tie the caliper to the strut spring out of the way. Loosen the tie rod end nut.
- Loosen the 21mm strut to knuckle nuts, then remove the Ball Joint nut. Then remove the strut bolts, push the axle through the knuckle, and push down on the hub/ knuckle assembly to move the strut out of the way. Remove the knuckle with the ball joint attached.
New BJ.jpg
New BJ.jpg (109.8 KiB) Viewed 380 times
- On the bench, remove the two ball joint bolts and use a brass drift and chisel to gently remove the ball joint from the knuckle. Clean the mounting area and bore with a wire brush.
- Install the new ball joint, I've done this twice and don't believe you need the special tool or a press. Just start the bolts and slowly allow them to move the ball joint into place.
- Removing and installing the control arms is pretty obvious, access to the front two bolts is possible with a box end wrench without having to lift the engine.
CA old.jpg
CA old.jpg (118.51 KiB) Viewed 380 times

- After the control arm is in place and tight, put the knuckle and ball joint assembly in place and start the ball joint nut. Now you can use the knuckle and hub as a lever to push down on while you insert the axle and line up the strut bolts, you don't need any strapping devices or prybars when you do it this way.
- Reattach the rest of the parts in order they were removed, torquing along the way.

The first time I did this job I smashed my thumb when the pryer slipped, trying to push the control arm down to get the ball joint spindle in its hole. If you use the above method, there's no danger and you will not need to find a helper. You can change both the ball joints and control arms without removing the caliper and spindle but this method is much easier and safer.
BJ 3.jpg
BJ 3.jpg (125.79 KiB) Viewed 380 times
The other reason I elected to remove the spindle is because my last cheap set of balljoints has poor quality fasteners that stripped when I put them in. The nut had rounded such that the spindle and control arm couldn't be separated........yes those are pipe wrench teethmarks on the nut!
Assembled.jpg (115.82 KiB) Viewed 381 times
- Double check all your fasteners and torques before putting the wheels back on, torque the wheels and axle bolt as the final step.
BJ 1.jpg
BJ 1.jpg (136.09 KiB) Viewed 380 times
A final note about quality parts; the old balljoints lasted less than 6 months and cost $17. The control arms lasted less than 6 months before they gave trouble, The picture shows where they were banging on the subframe, the rubber bushing material was soft like a pencil eraser! This is too big of a job to want to do it twice.
2003 XC 70, 2007 Duramax LBZ.

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Post by oragex »

Good moment to also check the wheel bearing with the spindle out (spin by hand for smoothness)
I remember once installed on a Honda a cheap bj. At some point, I was braking on ice and hit a dry surface. That little impact bent the bj (not broken) The steering would have a weird feeling, just like it was disconnected. Three places wanted to replace my steering rack. Finally found the issue with the cheap bj, put a genuine one. Was also the last time I went to a garage

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Post by jonesg »

$ 17 is a very low price, I recall paying over $60 for one ball joint 3 years ago.

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