Just because a vehicle is free doesn't mean it wont cost you. I know I need new tires as they are starting to crack from age. I found the receipt and the tires are 5 years old with 60k miles. Based on tread I still have another year left however the age is the factor this time. I hate buying truck tires because they are spendy, especially E rated tires.
The ball joints are acceptable however they will need to be replaced sooner than later. Thankfully my father's-in-law cousin's son (a family member) is a mechanic so hopefully he can do the work while we are at a family reunion this June. He charges dirt cheap and cheaper when you bring along a case of Busch beer.
The truck does have 200k miles on him (not sure if a diesel can be considered a "her") so not to be unexpected that some wear items will need to be replaced. Sure beats buying new.
Well June turned into December for getting some work completed. We dropped the truck off after Christmas, the truck is done however we wont be able to pick it up until March. The cost to replace ball joints, pinion seals, and a few other stuff was half the price that was quoted from a local mechanic to do just the ball joints.