Thanks for all the replies! I have gone over all the gears and really the only damage i can find is the bearing for the front shaft that was ripped out, so I don't understand what could have been damaged when the rear shaft snapped....
My pressing question is: Should I order a rebuilt upgraded 231 (~$900) and toss mine, or buy a used one and a rebuild kit and re-use my slip-yolk kit? I don't want to unknowingly use a damaged part and have this exact thing happen again! Also my slip-yolk eliminator kit is a 2 part version i have never seen a picture of anywhere before.
I am planning on getting a tom woods front drive-shaft either way and a anti-spring-wrap bar for the rear.
The front drive shaft is 1.25inch and i think .120 wall tube. (i cut it open)
More to ponder: I have been inspecting the damage and i noticed that the bell-housing has a FAT crack/dent in the buttom and also the oil pan. There is a ring of thrown grease on the engine and frame and oil pan from the front slip yolk.... does this indicate that the drive shaft did take some time to pop out and spin around throwing grease everywhere? If the transfer case had seized i would imagine the drive shaft stopping immediately and no grease spinning off. Also, wouldn't a sudden event like a bearing being caught in the chain break the chain?
No major vibes before it broke loose? From the looks of the driveshaft it was doing a great impression of a wobble-stick before things let go.
Busted my rear driveshaft before I put in an anti-wrap bar (just installed SOA and weak factory springs), had to drive home on the highway and around town for a few days before I could have a new rear driveshaft made (already had an SYE). Detroit locker in front, major torque-steer for sure, but certainly nothing vibration-wise that woud have caused my t-case to commit hari-kari like that.
You have to start somewhere to get to the middle of nowhere.
Drive shaft thickness and diameter is based on rotational speed and load requirements. A solid small diameter will function like a larger thin wall, but be heaver. On production vehicles speed limiters are added to keep the drive shafts below the speed at which they will start to bend and cause problems.
1993 Jeep YJ 4.6L Stroker (jeep.wawii.com)
1946 & 49 Dodge Power Wagon, 1953 Dodge M37
UPDATE: I have the new clutch housing and transfer case in and I have a picture of my estimated front shaft clearance with the front jacked up and axle hanging. I don't really think the front shaft hit the cross-member BEFORE this incident causing it to warp later.
I am not sure if i will have enough clearance when i get a 2 inch diameter shaft though.... what do people do about this? Drop the cross-member an inch?
I'm no pro but to me it looks like the shaft was either not strong enough or.. already bent. Highway speeds took either possibility and exaggerated it and the xfer case was the weak point in the vibration storm going on.