Replacing ball joints on 96 Ranger

I've been told that my ball joints are bad on m 4x4 1996 ford ranger (4.0). First, how can I tell if they are bad or which ones are bad. Second, is it something a backyard mechanic can do?
Thanks much
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T Mac opined in

Uh, Yeah.. I COULD do it. That's doesnt mean I would And I've done so on several cars :) While I'm not familiar with that particular vehicle...It takes a number of HEFTY tools, not in the normal tool box. It's ALSO something that's hard for the average guy to determine degree of wear.
The customary method is to jack up vehicle and lift wheel with a pry and watch for amount of movement in joint... How Much - Who knows?
Warning sign... creaking of the joint on low speed turn,
Note: Steering not returning to neutral until a bump is hit is a sign the vehicle should be parked immediately. A friend found that out when his car fell on its nose.. fortunately in a parking lot and not on the freeway
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