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The Volvo 240 wiper linkage is one of the least documented and difficult
repair tasks in the car, especially if you've never taken note of what a
properly assembled unit looks like. This article is designed to give you
some hints as to the causes of failure, and methods and technique of
repair - without removing the dash!

Basic locations of critical components:




The wiper control relay ocated under driver's side (LHD) left foot dead pedal, part number 6849780 for the front windscreen relay. Black, rectangular, or white / yellow rectangular for the rear wagon hatch wiper (6849781 or 3523611).


Remove driver's door sill plate. Pops off with a strong tug. Reattached by
firmly pressing down on the unit and clips.



Partially remove rubber threshold from forward face of door, and pull off the metal clips holding kick panel using pliers or a screw driver.



Pull off panel. You will have to remove the fuse cover. If you have a kick
panel vent, you will need to remove the vent knob.


Unscrew the metal panel (photo)
Behold relay! (photo)

**Wiring chart and relay labels.
Part number

Wiper switch:

Right hand of steering wheel.

Remove column cover top and bottom.
Unit attached with two, number 2 Phillips head screws.

**Wiring chart photo and labels of wires.
part number

Wiper motor:

Located on RHS of car, under hood at firewall.



Connects with 3, 10mm bolts, and connects to linkage (vehicle interior,
firewall) interior with spring-loaded clip and washer



Wire diagram and labels
part number(s)



Disconnect the car battery first.
If you need to put the linkage back together, you will need to first remove
the wiper arms. This will allow you to rotate the linkage easily to access
bolts, bench test, etc manipulate the unit.

Pull off the arm nut covers.

Using a (??)mm socket or wrench, remove the wiper arm nuts.
Pull the arms off the shaft using a rocking motion.
Re-connect the nuts to the shaft so you don't lose them.

Access to the linkage is difficult. first, start by removing the felt
under-dash covers. These come off by twisting the large round black plastic
trim fasteners (part number) a half turn. Remove the felt covers on both
driver's and passenger’s sides.


Next, on the passenger side, it is recommended you remove the glove box.
Open the door of the glove box, revealing the Phillips head screws which
fasten it to the dash.

Remove the screws and store them safely. Pull the glove box in its entirety
out of the dash. If you have an electric trunk opener switch, be mindful of
the switch and wiring harness.

If you have a manual car with M46, this will expose the blue overdrive relay
(1259750 M46, automatic AW70/71 it's1307793 and another color, some white, some red I have seen) and it's a good idea to check that out while in there if you’re experiencing electrical overdrive problems.


Your dash should now look like this:

You will also notice that one vent is in the way. Remove this vent. It'll push forward out of the dash once disconnect from the ductwork.

To access the linkage, it is suggested you remove of the top-mount radio /
compartment, depending on what you have installed there. Removal requires
the prizing-off off the two gauge blanks (or removal of gauge facia) with a
plastic bone tool or carefully with a screwdriver.



Remove the screws holding the compartment (or radio facia) and the vent.


Pull out the compartment (or radio) and pull out the vent.




Pull out the inner vent duct which splits to both outlets.

This will grant access to half of the total linkage.

If you need access to the driver's side (LHD) portion of the linkage, it is
advised that you remove the instrument cluster and the ducts behind.

Pull off the knob for the headlights.
Pull of the knob for the interior light rheostat.

Prize-out the facia trim carefully with a plastic bone tool or screwdriver.



If equipped with rear fog lights, remove the plug to the switch and label
with tape what it goes to. You’re going to have several plugs about and it's
best not to confuse them.

As you have already removed the center compartment, all the screws on both
sides of the cluster should be exposed. Remove the screws which hold the
backing plate the to headlight switch trim.


Remove the backing plate
Remove the screws which hold the cluster
Clusters vary somewhat - be sure to note the locations of the terminals and
connectors and where they go. Remember, the red and white wire, or sometimes
gray wire, is the tachometer output lead from the coil - connected where 12V
should go, this can cause serious damage!

Assuming the cluster is now out, remove the vent pipe, just as you did on
the passenger side.

Now, take a moment before the fun begins to sit back, have a beverage and
collect your thoughts. Be satisfied at this point that you have a car that
formerly could not be driven in the rain, and at this point you now have a
car which cannot be driven in the rain and which now will also be very
difficult to drive now under any condition!

Your dash should now look like this:


The wiper linkage attaches to the wiper motor like this:


Lifting the spring-loaded portion of the clip, pull it off the shaft. Remove
the washer under it between the clip and linkage. Pull the linkage arm off
the wiper motor shaft, place the washer and the clip back on the shaft for
safe keeping.

Each wiper spindle oblong pulley is a compression-fit onto the wiper spindle
shaft. Volvo did not use any lock-tight or similar compounds on this. If
your mechanism has failed due to an oblong pulley falling off, check first
that if you have a snow cap installed, that is not interfering with the
wiper arm. If so, remove the wiper arm nut cover and LEAVE IT OFF - this
will usually prevent this from happening again.

Assuming a pulley is off the spindle, remove the spindle assembly unbolting
the 10 mm bolts seen on the inside of the firewall. Outside the car, pull
off the wiper spindle grommet. Return inside the car and pull the spindle
towards you. It's attached with sealing putty like plumber's putty - and
if you want to keep your car dry, you'll replace that waterproofing measure
when you reassemble. The stuff is really sticky, so you might need a lot of
muscle to pull it free.


Re-fitting the spindles to the pulley is the same both passenger and driver side. Clean the parts very well. Smear JB weld into the hole in the pulley for the spindle. Hammer in (using a brass hammer, block of wood, etc on the nut on the spindle to protect the threads) the two back together. Let the unit cure for 48 hours. It’ll probably never fall off again after that.

The linkage described:


Here is a complete, intact, 240 wiper linkage across the back of my 1967 1800S trailer. I did it this way because you’ll never get decent photos with it installed in the car.



In this photo, the passenger side is at left (where the wiper motor attaches) and the driver’s side at right. Note that the driver’s side has only one pulley and the passenger side has two.



This is the driver’s side pulley. Note how the cable attaches far up the linkage arm.


Driver’s side. This is what you’ll see when you bend your neck in an uncomfortable position under the dash. The cable goes from the end of the linkage, under the pulley, and if you are looking at the bottom of the pulley, the cable goes CLOCKWISE following the pulley grooves. If you are putting the cable back on the pulley, remove the nut on the end of the cable. Either side is OK, I prefer in this case the one at the end of the linkage. You’ll need a small screw driver to hold the cable still (there is a slot in the end where the nut screws on). It must have a blade which is small enough to let the nut still turn on the cable end!!!!!!! Wrap the cable around, and locate the ferrule in the groove. Wrap it further around and insert  it into the other end of the linkage. Tighten it a lot. I have no spec as to how much, but it needs to be darn tight and lubricated afterwards. Use something very sticky. I prefer silicone lubricant.



Passenger side mechanism (Right side). Note the two pulleys, largest at the bottom in case yours fell off and is rolling about under the seat. Both pulleys are joined together and are one unit.



Passenger side, different angle. Nut clearly shown at the lower end of the linkage. Just as before, for the lower pulley, looking up from the bottom, it is wrapped clockwise. For the upper pulley, it’s wrapped counter clockwise into the pulley grooves. To service this unit, you’ll be reaching through the upper center console / radio position, glove box position, etc. Use the screw driver and small wrench just as you did the driver’s side. Make sure the linkage is installed tightly, with ferrules in the right spot and cables in the groove. With it all together, move the linkage by hand (wiper motor still disconnected, wiper blades and arms still removed. It should flow smoothly. Move the linkage arms a few times by hand and then give a final tightening. Move them again. It should move smoothly and not bind anywhere.


At the risk of sounding like a repair manual, re-installation is the reverse of removal. 

A common problem is where the wipers try to wipe the hood after repair. This means you have the linkage flip/flopped. Study the photos again and you'll get it right! As of yet, I know of no way for the wiper motor to rotate backwards.


This webpage updated January 5, 2009. Questions, comments and additional info welcome [email protected]. Copyright 2009, Jim Morris. Not to be reused without permission, but please link to this site for the common good! As always, users use this information at their own risk with no warrantees of any kind implied or expressed by the author. Recommended that qualified mechanics perform this work on your vehicle.

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