Thanks for posting the video for him Dave, I have to agree with Gus though, if he is new to working on a car, and never done any kind of soldiering, then this repair may be a bit tough to do, I'd suggest at least getting one from a salvage yard, and then you can try to do the repair mentioned, that way if you screw it up you can just put the used one from the salvage yard in.
Here is a good site to sue to try to find the cluster from a local salvage yard.
Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
You may want to try to fix a few of the things that you already know need fixing, as some like the window not going up or down will cause you to get a rejection sticker.
As for testing the window switch, I am sure somebody will post something helpful to allow you to test to see if the switch, or motor is bad, I'd try to help but I do not have any diagrams on hand.
As for the ball joints, if you are able to raise the front end up a bit, you can use a pry-bar, or tug on the wheel at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions, and if there is any play in the joint then it needs to be replaced, I am not sure I'd suggest trying to replace them yourself, as I am pretty sure yours are held on with rivets, and without the right tools you are going to have a hard time replacing them.
While it is jacked up you can get an idea of how bad the tie rods are by tugging on the wheel from the 3 and 9 o'clock positions.
I tried to find you a good video on how to get an idea if the ball joints are bad, but I could not find any good videos, I did find one that will at least give you an idea of how to test the joint for play, which it should not have if it is good.
As Art said they can scan the car for codes for you when you take it in, or you could stop by your local auto parts store, like autozone, or advance auto, and usually they will scan it for codes for you, it is free..
I have a feeling the shaky feeling is from your bad tie rods, and possible bad ball joints, but have it scanned for codes to be sure it is not a misfire.