Here’s the current state of the lunchbox.
The pickle fork worked great for initially separating things, but it looks very much like I need to buy proper tools for removing the ball joint from the control arm, and the tie rod.
Speaking of the control arm, this stud was an absolute nightmare to remove. It took forever just to break it after days of basting in penetrating oil and numerous attempts with a cheater bar. Then I had to pry the damn thing and pull on the loosened stud with all my might and patience. Much cursing was done.
What this revealed is that my sway bar link... uh... where the sway bar connects the control arm... has excessive play. That on top of the ball joint looking rather sad along with the tie rod. However, the current bump in the road (suspension joke!) is the damn bolt above. No give at all after two weeks. On top of that, one of the studs for the sway bar is partially stripped. Feh.
I also found some cracks in the CV boot. The other side is already torn and leaking grease. So now I will be replacing both.
Feeling less and less likely that I’ll have it ready for camping this summer. But it’s alright. At least I’m trying.