Why is my drag link popping?


NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
Vehicle: 1996 XJ SE

Lift: 4 inch

Last year I installed a Rugged Ridge heavy duty crossover steering conversion kit. A few days ago I noticed a popping sound when turning the wheel in either direction. I went under and noticed that the ball joint at the pittman arm / drag link was totally shot (see photo attached).

The other ball joints in the kit are fine. I also filmed the entire assembly twisting and popping when I turn the wheel (see gif attached)

Question 1: Even with my lowered pittman arm, is the angle of the drag link too severe still and is that the cause of the premature failure of this relatively new part?

Question 2: Is a high steer kit from terra flex the only fix for this problem and are they worth the cost?

Question 3: Assuming the other ball joints are fine (visual inspection shows them to be fine and they don't feel loose) what else could have caused this?