Job completed - what a world of difference in the way it sounds and drives. Just got back from the alignment shop and it drives like a new car - except for the "play" in the steering but I would not have it any other way. Ended up taking the steering knuckles and new lower ball joints to an independent in Macon, Ga. (Clarence Potts ******** - pretty personable type of guy) to press the new ball joints in. Also I replaced the tie rods because they were totally worn out. Replacing the rear 1/2 shafts has moved up another notch on the "to-do" list. I will wait till things cool off though - probably around October or later before I start on that.
Thanks for the help everyone.