Procedure for inspecing Ball Joints on 190e (1986)

I am wondering what the best procedure is for testing the ball joints on the my 1986 201?
When I go over a bump and the chassis is moving upward I hear a slight clunk.
Also, how much should an independent garage charge me to replace these (estimate obviously). I presume that in this design the lower ball joints are the ones that sustain the most wear?
Thanks for any help/ideas/tips on this.
Marty
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With one wheel slightly off the ground insert a crowbar under the wheel and lift up. You should be able to detect any looseness in the up and down direction or side play.
Peter

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I guess you mean "should NOT be able to detect any play". If there is any play, the ball joint should be replaced. On W201, the ball joint can be pressed out/in with proper (i.e. high quality, expensive) tool. Any competent MB shop should be able to do it. My estimation is 1 to 1.5 hours labor for each wheel.
I have seen a neighbor got the ball joint separated while doing parking (a Ford Mustang). That was not a good sight. He was very luck that did not happen at other time.
Peter W Peternouschek wrote:

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I think that the control arm in that model can have a new ball joint pressed into it. If so, then you could save some major $$$ as the later models are one piece. Otherwise parts might run you $500 or more. Don't forget to check your sway bar links while you're poking around down there. They can cause a "clunk" too, but there a whole heck of a lot cheaper to replace than ball joints.
Also, try injecting lubricant into the ball joints. This might quiet them down a little bit (it helped some on my '95 E320).
Josh
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