My current question is general - not about a specific vehicle or problem of the moment. (I currently have 3 vehicles, all with FWD, struts in front, and lower ball joints only. 2 are bolt on, one is press in. I'm asking just b/c I periodically check things).
I have frequently seen people say that in order to check ball joints they must be unloaded by jacking under the control arm as close as possible to the ball joint.
But I also recently came across this: http://www...f80316.htm
In that article it says: "With MacPherson struts, the strut supports the load, so the lower ball joints are unloaded. To measure play, simply raise the vehicle and allow the suspension to hang free. Then push on or pry against the wheel to measure vertical and horizontal play in the lower ball joints."
Obviously there are different ball joint & suspension set-ups, so I'm wondering if the general "jack under the control arm" advice is just a method that works for everything and is easier than explaining all of the different set ups and different ways of checking.
Or, perhaps this article is screwy.
If I just check for ball joint play anytime I have my front wheels up off the ground, does that work if I have struts in the front?