IlDuce:scuwp: You don't say what year/model car? That said the manufacturers specifications from memory allowed a certain amount of play up and down but nil sideways.
Late 80s, early 90s, late 90s. They are failing on up and down play, by using pinch bar between wheel and bottom of ball joint, giving it big push until it moves a matter of millimetres.
Yep, definitely had some issues around that era, and any movement under that test will be an automatic fail. IMO get the manufacturers spec's for the car, if it shows some play up and down is permitted, then talk to the inspector, he has no choice but to accept manufacturers specs. I doubt it will make any difference if you take it somewhere else, as soon as they feel that play, then its failed. If you do manage to get them to accept it, then go armed with the spec's for future.