OK, done. I ordered the Beck Arnley LCAs and got them for a good price. The model numbers for the parts I got have been superseded by newer ones, so maybe these NOS parts have a better chance of being relabeled OEM since BA did that more in the past than now. (Hey, a guy can dream...) Picked up a four-piece pry bar set from Harbor Freight this weekend as I've always wanted some of those.I replaced my LCA's with Beck Arnley LCA's.
They have been fine for years and come with a really heavy duty ball joint boot.
My problem was installing them.
There is a bolt that installs vertically through the one bushing, and I couldn't get it to line up without compressing the suspension by lifting it at the knuckle and loosening the bracket bolts a bit to give me some wobble room.
I put a pinch bar in between the LCA's and the knuckle, beside the ball joint and found movement in the ball joint, so I knew they had to be replaced.
The bushings were still in good enough shape. They are solid rubber (unlike the engine mounts) and didn't show and movement that I noticed.
I suppose the rubber bushings could weaken and get soft over time, but it was nothing that I could notice.
After the improvement I saw from replacing the end links (no more clicks!), I am keen to keep replacing my 18-year-old suspension parts and will procure tie rod ends next. Is there any reason to ever replace the six arms in the rear if they're not making noise?
I tried to make my engine ping this weekend, even lugging it a bit going up a hill. Nope, nothing. The 93 octane seems to have fixed the pings with my JDM FS-DE, and I won't need to replace the knock sensor for now. Premium is expensive, but I can make up the difference by hypermiling.