Noisy front end jeep

My kid has 08 grand Cherokee. Says front end making a click/snap sound at full turn/slow speed. He had it looked at and shop said control arm bushing was worn. Changed it, noise remains. Now they said it is from rack and pinion. Cv axle is ok. What would cause noise from rack? Suv is quiet otherwise.

Now he says shop looked at u-joint coupler for steering column and he said the pinch bolt D shaft has play. The steering column rotates and rack stub is loose? I don’t really believe that. But it is a Jeep. So who knows?

If the Jeep is 4 wheel drive and not all wheel drive I would suggest removing the front drive shaft. If the noise disappears look closely at the u-joint yoke at the transfer case looking for play in the bearing. If it’s all wheel drive you can inspect for play but I’m not familiar with the system at it may not be advisable to operate with the front shaft out.

edit; let me add that even when the 4-WDs are sifted to rear axle only the internal friction often turns the front drive shaft.

They removed rack. For inspection? My kid likes to spend money. The D slot was now circular. Like the shaft was spinning in the bore? So, I assume rack has been replaced. The whole issue of the steering column somehow being loose from the rack smells fishy. As in, it don’t happen very often.

That really does sound fishy?

The shaft has a machined flat. The coupler has a mating profile that somehow is completely rounded out now so the stub shaft rotates? How does that happen? That’s a common failure mode?