Re: Transfer case slop and noise
There is no chain tensioner in the T-case. The chain can stretch a lot and will then touch the bottom of the housing. You can change the chain, but will need to split the T-case. I believe that you can split it on the jeep, eventhough i would prefer to have it on a bench, to prevent any dirt coming in.
That there is a lot of play on the pinion/ring gear in the differential also doesn't seem to be good. I would first open up the diff cover and see how it looks inside. There could eventually be play on one or both Drive shaft CV joints, allowing the ring gear to rotate.