Okay, reaching back out here. I finally got through to TomTop and they are not being helpful. I've been offered a $10 credit to keep it the way it is or I can ship the whole thing back at my expense for a refund of the original purchase price. So I'm either keeping it the way it is and having it rattle around and eat cheap bearings like candy, or I'm out the cost of shipping it back for the whole experience. If the rod wasn't center drilled and tapped for threads, I would just order a generic one and cut it to length.
I'm really beginning to wish I had purchased this from Banggood now. It doesn't look like there have been any issues getting replacements from them.