Below are pictures of suspension components from a 1997 ford crown victoria with around 150k miles on it. The car handled really nasty and made loud creaking noises too.

Here's the upper balljoint.

This joint appears to be in serviceable condition, and the cause of being unable to maintain proper front suspension geometry appeared to be the lower control arm bushings rather than the balljoints.

Normally, these joints would be covered in a thick chassis grease. But for the photos this grease was removed by soaking the components in wd40.

Here's one of the tierods. This peice made loud creaking sounds when installed on a vehicle. The grease inside dried up, and then moisture corroded the joint.

This tierod was quiet, but it felt somewhat loose and had no preload. No noticeable corrosion inside, but the grease had dried up and felt sort of like silly putty.

Here's the tierod ball stud inside the polymer cap

And the tierod assemblies with the ball studs and cap removed

Here's the lower balljoint

When removing this balljoint from the steering knuckle, a hammer was used in hopes of popping the stud out. This was unproductive and enlarged the stud end so that the balljoint wouldn't come out when a pickle fork was later pounded in. A little grinding got everything apart in the end though.

This balljoint was really stuck in the knuckle. Ended up using a pickle fork, and a 10 pound sledge hammer with a 3 foot handle on it to seperate things. The large amount of force generated by the process cracked the balljoint cup.

Prior to purchasing the car, the seller had replaced this tierod with an aftermarket one to quiet noises. The other joints were in a little better condition at the time, but not by much.

There's supposed to be a preload spring somewhere in here, but it went flying off to places unknown when the tierod assembly was opened up.