hey Mike, welcome to the addiction.
good call on returning the steering damper, as it isnt the problem. not sure how people can still recommend this band-aid
i wonder if the PO installed a drop pitman arm, very common on some lifts and a horrible idea that causes DW.
the sway bar links can have some play, thats not a big deal. the tie-rod, on the other hand should have zero play and all bolts should be torqued down
post some pics of the loose bolt in the tie rod and of your pitman arm
if the tie rod is as you claim, id start by replacing it with a ZJ tie rod
ZJ Tie Rod Conversion