lifting the vehicle will absolutely affect both the drag link length and the toe- You have changed the relative distance between the pitman arm and the steering knuckle, which effects both toe, and drag link length- and if you change one, the other changes.
Wrong. You're obviously not familiar with CJ steering linkage. The drag link distance does change. It is only connected between the pitman arm and the passenger knuckle. The tie-rod on a CJ goes from knuckle to knuckle, not from drag link to knuckle and the distance between knuckles remains fixed regardless of what length the drag link is at. It's not like TJ linkage, which you would be absolutely correct in making this statement.
Look at the differences. CJ is two separate rods (drag link assembly is #21 and tie rod is #20)not connected at all to each other. TJ has the tie-rod and drag link connected (inverted Y). Look at the CJ Dana 30 picture and the two holes on the passenger knuckle. Drag link goes in one hole, tie-rod in the other.
TJ drag link/tie-rod assembly:
A CJ should have an adjusting sleeve- why would you disconnect the drag link to turn it?
You're not following the procedure I'm listing. The idea with it disconnected is to center the tires (point them straight ahead), center the steering box, and then by default adjusting the drag link to fit between the two it is therefore at the correct length. Sure you could leave it connected. There's more than one way to kill this cat but I personally find it easier to adjust the drag link with it disconnected and that's why I recommended this method.
And, I really, really, really promise that changing the drag link angle will affect toe- when you move the drag link, the knuckle that it is attached to will move in or out, depending on which way you turn it. How can you move the knuckle without affecting toe?
And I really promise you that it won't. If you shorten the drag link and pull the passenger knuckle in, the drivers side knuckle is pointed outward, keeping toe the same. If the passenger side moves inward, the drives side moves outward and vise versa. Toe only changes if the distance between knuckles changes. The drag link doesn't change this distance. This is only accomplished by changing the length of the tie-rod. Again, reference the above diagram.
Even if you remove the drag link, shorten/lengthen it and put it back, the relative distance between the steering knuckle and the pitman arm will have changed, and when that changes toe changes as well.
The lift kit has already changed the distance and that's why the steering box and steering wheel aren't centered. The idea is to center them and again, toe remains fixed unless you adjust the tie-rod.