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Lower control arm life

Are lower front control arms designed to be maintainence items? They seem
like it from their short life. I changed my right front after being hit by
another car last year. Two weeks go by and the left starts acting up. A
couple of months later, the right seems to be acting up once again. Is the
lower ball joint suspended by a plastic bearing or something? Any good
cheap alternatives to a junker?

'84  5ksT 1.6-2.0 bar

Disclaimer:"Any information contained herein is based purely on my own
personal experience and may not necessarily reflect yours. Use caution as
your results may vary from mine."