Noisy Ball Joints?
I think my ball joints in the front suspension are going out (if not already). I know the easy test is to jack it up and give the tires a good wiggle but I left my jack and stands at my parents place a while back and I have yet to retrieve them so I need a little help with my trouble shooting. When I'm driving, every time I turn the steering wheel (doesn't matter the direction) there is a loud creaking coming from under the front of the truck. Same thing happens when I go over a hump/dip/hill in the road and flex the suspension. The springs and the shocks appear old but to be in good shape and the steering linkage appears to be in good working order (boots intact, no visibly bent tie rods, no wet/leaky spots). I'm thinking the issue is in the steering knuckles where the tires are connected. Also when I drive at highway speeds (60-70) the whole truck starts to vibrate. Not a lot but it is noticeable and, if it is the ball joints, it will get worse (and quickly eat at my tires). I was under the truck changing the oil over the weekend and there was a lot of dirt and grime caked around them and they looked pretty worn.
Is it pretty reasonable to assume it would be the ball joints? I'm just looking for some affirmation on my diagnosis or some direction on other places to look for the noise.
'99 XLT Auto
3.0 V6 RWD