for the record, Synergy responded today with the following:
The gap you experienced on the one side was normal. If anything, it is an inconsistency on Jeepís part in reaming the knuckles. Small inconsistencies can produce noticeable differences when dealing with tapers. The difference in major and minor diameters may be thousandths of an inch, but there will be a visual difference in how deep that allows the TRE to seat. If you would like them to seat the same depth, that taper only has to be opened up a very small amount.
Grease is hydrophobic. If you are going to be doing any type of submersion, you should make sure anything you donít want water in to be packed with grease. It is common practice to grease joints afterwards as well to expel any water/debri that may have been able to creep in. This is very common with open joints such as Johnny Joints since they have no boots to help keep water out. There are several similar joints out there that all experience the same issue.
There should not be any damage to your tie rod ends. We built these to take this kind of abuse. When we were testing the first prototypes, we ran them for a year without boots all over the country including Petersonís Ultimate Adventure in the muddy pacific Northwest. After a year they were still tight with no slop. The metal on metal design is a much more durable solution than the stock and standard replacement joints with plastic internals.
Now, these boots are specifically designed for hydro assist applications. There really is no reason to run them if you do not have hydro assist. They donít offer any improvements over the standard TRE boots, and due to the harder compound, may end up sealing more poorly, especially if they are not fitting flush to the knuckle. They fix a problem with hydro assist where you will develop a large dead spot in your steering when changing directions due to the tie rod flopping over before the cylinder engages. This can also be remedied by proper cylinder alignment, but in many situations it is difficult to do this depending on mounting brackets and cylinder used. If you do not have this problem, you really donít need these boots.
If you are looking for Tie Rod ground clearance from these boots, it does not exist. The only solutions to improve ground clearance are Reid knuckles, larger tires, or a different axle altogether. If the Tie Rod is rotating down so the bend is no longer pointing forward, it is simply due to how the TREís are clocked on the bar. They can be re-clocked so that when the bar is rotated forward, the bend is pointed forward, not down. If you need clarification on this, let me know and Iíll try to better explain it.