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Knackered Transfer Box?

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So about a month ago, I had to lock my diff to cross a small river (roads in Ghana). After coming out the other side, I shifted the lever over to unlock and reversed for a bit to let it drop out. A couple of weeks later, I was at my mechanic and pointed out a rattle from the ?transfer box? When coasting from 4th or 5th gear. He lifted one tire on the front and the DIFF WAS STILL LOCKED!!

This week I had to drive about 500 km from home. On the trip, the rattle seems to have gotten a little worse. I'm driving back home in a few days where I have a spare transfer box from an engine swap a while ago and intend to change it. I just want to know what is the probable problem in the transfer box and whether it will be able to make the 500 km journey home. (I drive at about 80 kmh as the roads a bit rough)

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Thanks! We managed to get the diff lock to disengage, but there's still a slight rattling in the box. I was actually running on different size tires front/back 7.5x16's on the front, 265/16's on the back (I live in a very rural area where 7.5's were'nt readily available. As I'm in the capital city now, I changed them all yesterday... 7.5x16's all around, also a re-alignment, and the noise seems to have reduced, but still there. Maybe the tire size difference was overworking the center diff?

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