Lower ball joint is a real pain... but rarely ever go bad... very unlike
american cars. You need to accumulate like 250,000+ miles for you to have
Upper control arm ball joint goes at about 150,000 miles. Cause clunking
when going over bumps or potholes or railroad tracks.
Thrust arm bushings definitely goes at every 100,000 miles... This will
cause thud thud thud noise when turning or hitting bumps.
Steering is easy to check... have someone hold one wheel still... the other
person rock the other wheel and see which component is bad. In steering for
this age, the idle control arm bushing is usuallly the one that goes bad and
gives whole steering loose. Will hear and feel through steering wheel
clunking when going over bump or turning.