What caused you to want to check the front end? That may better help us isolate the issue and possible additional things to check.
Replacing ball joints can be a big job, but a ball joint that is about to fail can be very dangerous and cause damage to other components.
Here is a more detailed method of checking your ball jointys. Grasping the top and bottom of each wheel, pull on the bottom and push on the top to feel for play. Then pull on the top while pushing on the bottom. You are rocking from the side of the vehicle to the center of it to test for clearance between the ball and the socket. You really need to but your back into it. If you feel ANY play you have a bad ball joint or the it may be loose wheel bearings (but you may be able to 'feel' where the clearance is). Replace both sides even if only one side feels loose.
Shade-tree style is to try to rock the top of the tire while it on the ground but that can only test the top ball joint.
2001 Bonneville SSEi, 219,000 miles.
Whats in my driveway:
1998 Chevy S10 4x4 ZR2, 1999 Olds Bravada, 2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi, 2007 Ford F-350 regular cab 2WD, 2008 BMW 335i coupe (Wife'* replacement for her Bonneville). The Bonneville is my favorite of all the cars in the driveway.