I checked my tie rods tods today. The boots on the outer ends are torn. The inner ends look okay. There is no axial play that I can tell. It takes a little effort to tiwst the tie rods. Once the break torque is overcome, the tie rods twist easily -- I mean the ends are firmly bolted to the rod, but the balljoint part of the ends don't seem that tight. How tight should the ball and socket part of tie rod ends be?
By comparison, hard as I tried, I couldn't twist the drag link.
I also tested the steering damper. It takes some effort to extend and compress the steering damper. There are no dead spots except for the first half inch of compression from maximum extension. The fluid moving through the chambers is quite audible. I don't know how old it is. Do the results of the test warrant replacement of the steering damper?