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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a shop say that this lower ball joint needs to be replaced along with both lower control arms. The rubber is a little damaged, but not badly, and the wheel is not loose. There is no play in the ball joint when rocking the wheel up and down. Thoughts? (the control arms are admittedly quite rusty)

 

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98 gmc k1500 5.7
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What are the Symptoms of a Bad Control Arm?
Symptoms
A “bad control arm” really means there’s a bad ball joint or worn control arm bushings. When these components fail you can experience symptoms ranging from clunking noises to steering wander. This article will highlight the symptoms along with the reasons for control arm failure and what to do about it.
Ball joints and bushings on the lower control arm are especially susceptible to wear since, in most suspension setups, the lower arm is actually supporting the weight of the vehicle. Hard driving, offroading, environmental factors, or random damage can compromise these components so recognizing the symptoms early can save you from dealing with a failed part on the side of the road.
 

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Along with what Brian posted, ball joints are not tested by moving the wheels, you need to pry up on the ball joint and look for excessive movement.
And today, changing a ball joint sometimes means changing the control arm because of the design
 
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