Re: LCA carnage
I had to take a grinder to the clevis bolt. I removed the LCA and used a 3' length of pipe to get leverage on the clevis fork. This allowed me to get in-between the front part of the fork (the bolt head end) and the LCA. I ground through the sleeve and the bolt and freed the head side. There's not enough clearance to get the fork off, nor would any amount of pounding free up the remaining shaft piece. So I had to grid off the other side too. There's enough room to get a 4" diamond blade in there, especially if you move the fork out for the way. Once I cut them the fork came off cleanly with no signs of damage. I put the LCA onto a bench vise, to get a solid contact for the sleeve, and no amount of wailing away with hand maul would affect it. It's STUCK. I'd imagine the only way to get it out of there would involve drilling all the way around the rubber in the bushing in order to free it. But then you'd still have to get the old one out, which may be part of the reason the factory doesn't consider them replaceable.
I got the mevotech LCA today (after rockauto screwed me by not actually shipping it the day I ordered it overnight...) and it is indeed complete. It comes with all the bushings and the lower ball joint. So it's ready to reinstall, tomorrow hopefully.
Once I get a new ball joint for the passenger side, damned hex stud sheared off and so I can't reinstall the current UCA upper ball joint into the spindle.
I shudder to think how much I'd have been gouged by a shop to have them go through the same nonsense here... If not for the crappy materials used this would have been a very easy job. Instead it's a clusterf*k. Gee, thanks Damn-near-Chrysler...