Clunking noise in transfer case? 2001 Jeep Cherokee

My 2001 jeep cherokee sport had a transfer case boot replaced a few months ago where the “oil spinner?” is near the rear portion. Before that went out i had periodic noise that i narrowed down to the transfer case using a mechanics stethoscope. Now i have a cluncking noise with gear grinding sounds periodically between 15-35 mph. I have annecdotal evidence from another forum that it may be the oil pump in the transfere case related to a TSB, yet i cannot find this TSB. Am i on the right track? It appears that i can get an oil pump for $60 but i have to consider dropping the case myself and pulling it apart.

Is the front output loose? With one front wheel off the ground grab the U-joint at the transfer case and push pull and twist it. If there is any slack the output bearing has failed.

Thanks for your time Rod. I can only turn the shaft. The u-joints do not give me any slack and i cannot wiggle that assembly in anyway, only rotate the shaft.

I decided to check the fluid levels in the transfer case, even though i did that back before the seal/boot blew. As of today there is no discernible fluid level from the fill plug but i did get some leakage when i loosed the drain plug to check for any fluid presence. I’m wondering if low fluid is the issue and if those louts at the dealership didn’t check the fluid levels after i lost some fluid in the boot leak.

Anyway, does that shed any more light on my issue?

P.S> I’m having a terrible time finding anyone in town to change the fluid out. I assume the dealership could but they won’t return my messages.

For now fill it and note how much oil was needed. Then drive and listen for any change in the noise.