Nope she didn't put it in 4x4.
More details, my friend came over and added these notes:
There is a loud "bang" sound when you step on the accelerator not really stepping on it, just a normal start, but the harder you punch it, the louder the bang sound (I limped it home). It happens in both drive and second gear, not in reverse. Then the whole Jeep vibrates, so it wasn't just the front end.
His guess is it's the rear transfer case since it would still be in 2 wheel drive since 4x4 isn't engaged. He checked out the front suspension, everything is at least hand tight, nothing loose that he can shake. I know that when I had the Jeep checked out by my mechanic when I bought it, he said he couldn't align the rear right wheel, because the axle was "probably bent slightly" (so he said, "don't worry about it right now, just enjoy it") I haven't even had the chance to go off roading with it yet! I'm wondering if the trip from California moving out here and the total of about 1000 miles total I've put on the Jeep since I've owned it has caused that possible issue to make something go awry?
Now I have three questions for you guys
1. Does anything now conclude what it may be to you guys/gals?
2. How much could I be looking at in repairs?
3. Anyone know a reputable mechanic near Queen Creek, AZ to work on it?
P.S. I'm sorry I'm not mechanically more savy I haven't worked on a car since high school, and don't even own a good set of tools.