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Ball Joint Squeal
I just noticed a high pitched squeal when I turn the wheel in my 2001 Excursion. After sticking my head under the front end while someone else did the steering, I have taken my guess that the squeal is coming from the driver side lower ball joint. It is hard to pinpoint by the sound alone, but that ball joint and the area around it looks as though some fine powder "rust dust" has layered the immediate surrounding area and the boot on the top of the ball joint looks like it has had a small blowout.
I personally know the risks of a severely damaged ball joint, but wonder if anyone out there has any educated opinions or experience with how much more abuse a ball joint can take when it is just squealing. We are about to take off for a couple weeks with the travel trailer to a nearby lake and I am really in no mood to take apart the front assembly right now.
When I jack it up and try to shake the wheel from top and bottom and from side to side, it is as solid as a rock, no "play" at all. This leads me to feel that it can take some more abuse for a few weeks at least.
Have any of you out there had it any worse?