I have been fighting a death wobble issue for a couple weeks now. It mainly reared its ugly head after hitting a bump or pothole. After checking everything from control arms to trackbars to wheel balance I did the ol' ball joint test. I found significant play and decided after only 12k miles it was time to get new ones. Replacing ball joints isn't very fun and this was a first for me. I'll admit the driver said was completed in about 1/3 of the time but I had the complete ball joint press kit ... I'll explain.
First, save yourself the headache and go rent or buy a ball joint press kit. I went to Advanced Auto and got mine there. Now, do yourself ANOTHER favor and ask to rent the accessory kit for the ball joint press kit. This includes some much needed adapters and pieces that will save you time and effort. They look something like this (ball joint press kit first, accessory kit second):
Ok, begin taking things apart. Be sure you have a breaker bar because the bolts you run into will be very tight. Also, make sure you have a 3LB mini sledge. Anything smaller just won't cut it when you start hammering to separate the wheel bearing.
You can cheat and use a good impact but will most likely need a joint socket to get it to fit in there. There are plenty of good videos on Youtube on how to deconstruct everything so I won't go over that in detail. Most Youtube videos show disassembling the brake and I am not sure why go through those extra steps. Simple remove the entire brake assembly and place it somewhere elevated. No need to remove the pads and press the rotor piston down etc ... Like this:
Someone correct me if there is something wrong doing this but I had no problems. Remove your axle shaft with care and make sure its clean before you shove it back in there. I also greased the ball joint before beginning to press. Anything that can help get that sucker in there, do it!
Also, I had enough clearance and did the top ball joint first on one side and then the bottom ball joint first on the other side. Either way is fine and if you have all the accessories for the ball joint press you have options when it comes to pressing those suckers into the Cs.
Oh and don't remove the knuckles from the drag link and/or tie rod. Just set it aside on a jack like the picture below. You will also note in the picture below that the press is close to the spring and spring enclosure. I found it much easier on the other side to put the jack stand on the body and allow the axle to droop lower so that angle is easier. Don't droop too far or you might have diff fluid pouring out.
Once they are replaced simply put everything back together and torque everything to spec. I followed Teraflex's suggestions and used some loc-tite where needed along with some grease on the axle shaft.