I have a 2016 JK with stock tie rod and drag link. 48k miles. All ball joints are still in good enough shape to not warrant replacement just yet. However, my tie can easily be moved up and down, feeling the "clunk" when it bangs against the internal ball joint assemblies. I can move this by hand, reproducing the clunk, as well as having strapped a camera under the vehicle to watch the tie rod slam up and down over bumps. Synergy offers the TRE dust caps to help eliminate this with their tie rod. Yeti/Steersmarts has some type of "Reverse Pin" ball joint to eliminate this. Teraflex has adjustable pre-load on their ball joints to address this. Any of the options is a $300 - $400+ investment (for just the tie rod). Any experts on "JK Tie Rod Flop" that could argue why one of the above mentioned solutions would be better than another?
In searching this forum, I did also see a photo from PIG showing a Synergy TRE that was slotted, preventing it from rotating front to back.
I've been searching for a solution for months, with no definitive results that are recent that can be confirmed by any of the above mentioned manufacturers. I've clocked my stock TRE's with some success, yet, over time, the clunkiness comes back. I tried mounting a Rough Country dual steering stabilizer to the stock tie rod, to see if I could affect the tie rod flop at all with the additional support of dual overhead stabilizers. I tried multiple angles of the mounts (both on the axle and the ends of the tie rod). This did not help at all. Actually made it worse. It simply added more mass to "flop" around when going over bumps. Needless to say, that came off with about 50 miles of trying it out. I'm back to a fully stock steering setup, including the stock stabilizer at its factory mounts.
I am prepared to upgrade both the tie rod and drag link with one of the above mentioned aftermarket solutions. And while I will appreciate the extra strength gained for offroad performance, I am more interested in a solid feeling front end when driving over the wash board-like streets of South Louisiana. When the flop is gone (from careful clocking), the suspension feels nice and solid (smooth). When the tie rod flops and clunks, it degrades the ride down to that of an old truck with 100k+ miles on the ball joints and suspension bushings.
Looking for those who have experience with tie rod clunk and with the products listed above. Who does addresses tie rod flop (which manufacturer)?