Are you saying that I don't need to run the front driveshaft to keep the rear bearings lubed. I have been putting it in 4wd Hi every few days to distribute lube to the rear bearings based upon some of the earlier comments. That's not a big deal in stop and go driving locally, and when I get it off road it goes into 4wd anyway. However if I'm driving 2000 miles in a couple of days without stopping, is getting lube to the rear transfer case bearings important. I'm guessing from your pictures that it is. In that case will running it in 2 wd with the front hubs locked to spin the internal parts keep the rear bearings lubed, or is it better to run it in 4wd with the front hubs unlocked. When I run it in 4wd with the hubs unlocked. I can hear the shock imparted to the unloaded front drive train when the transmission shifts, more so in the 1-2 shift than the 2-3 shift, and I'd expect some amount of play to add up there. As I understand it, it's not a good idea to drive on pavement with the hubs locked and the transfer case in 4 wd because of the wind-up problem. Am I incorrect in my understanding?
For what it's worth, the truck is not lifted, and the tires are 245-75R16's. I'd really hate to get a few hundred miles down the road and have my transfer case end up looking like your pictures.