I assume you are talking about my thread that is linked in my signature.
The method to check the drag link and tie rod ends ends is with a large channel pliers to check for up and down play in the ends. It is not uncommon for the stock drag link ends to fail on the stock drag link. Mine failed, and instead of replacing the ends, I just upgraded to the Currie drag link.
There should not be a clunk felt in the drag link. It is an indication of failing ends, a damaged sector shaft in the steering box, or other steering box problems.
You wouldn't be the first one who needed to replace the stock steering box.
The problem with DW is that even one episode can take out other components.
So a complete inspection of everything needs to be done in once sitting:
Remove steering stabilizer until the source(s) are diagnosed and fixed, then:
- trackbar bushings
- trackbar bracket bolt holes
- trackbar bracket welds or flexing of brackets--particularly the frame side bracket
- trackbar threads and jam nut on adjustables
- swaybar links and ends
- drag link ends
- tie rod ends
- sector shaft and steering box
- ball joints--lowers for up and down play, and uppers for side to side play
- unit bearings
- control arm bushings--particularly the front uppers in the axle housing
- control arm bracket bolt holes and bracket welds
- remove front driveshaft to see if vibration there makes a difference
- try a different set of tires/wheels
- toe-in at around 1/16"
- caster closer to the mid 4 degrees
Often, poor camber specs are an indication of failing lower ball joints more than bent Cs. The stock ball joints are weaker than the stock Cs. So, they would typically fail before the Cs bend.
Even if shimmies and/or DW gets fixed, the damage to the tires can cause ongoing problems.
Tire compounds are generally not consistent all the way through. As tires wear, the compound gets stiffer. This is why tires get louder as the wear down. Tires that are feathered or cupped due to poor alignment or wobbles will have very poor driving/vibration characteristics even if they have been correctly balanced because of the variation/combination of harder/softer rubber compounds due to the uneven wear.
Don't know if this helps, but I would suspect that with proper inspection, your out of camber spec is due to a bad lower ball joint, and the clunk in the drag link is due to a failing end and/or steering box.
By the way, love your wanderingtrail.com website.