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how do i know if the ball joints are bad in the old girl? is there a test i can do? like take the load off of the front end and .................?
 

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Jack up, place hands at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock, push and pull. If there is play or movement, you might have a bad ball joint.
 

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Most of the time there are a few tell tell signs. Like a popping noise when turning under load or to full lock. Another sign is to look at the boot on the joint. Usually they are torn or ruptured when the joint is bad.
 

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Jack up, place hands at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock, push and pull. If there is play or movement, you might have a bad ball joint.
If you have movement when you do this, you need to look behind the wheel to see what's moving. It could also be worn wheel bearings. Helps to have 2 people so one can wiggle the wheel while the other looks behind it.
 
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