well I changed a wheel bearing today as it was pretty bad and noticed the 2 lower ball joints have slight play in them... do they need to be replaced soon? reason I ask is that I need an alignment
if you had "slight play" in a wheel bearing the wheel would rock back and forth slighty when lifted off the ground and grabbed by both hands and shaked... the ball joints move up and down slightly when lifted off the ground and a jack is placed under each lower control arm when there is play in them and they are starting to wear out....... you start to hear clunking when driving.Hard to imagine what you mean by "slight play"
same idea as mine more less... I went and bought 2 new lowers, going to change them tmrw and get an alignment done after wards, truck should ride like brand new after this!I usually check ball joints by lifting the vehicle so that there is about 2" of clearance between the ground and the bottom of the tire. Take a tire iron and shove it under the tire and use it as a lever to pull up on the tire. The wheel/tire should not move up and down much if at all. If it does then the ball joints are wearing. It's sort of up to you though to judge if they are worn.