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Can you supply more information? year and model of vehicle, does it have an actual shifter lever or buttons? and what are all the available options to shift into?
If you have a honest mechanical manual 4x4 that you reach down to the floor and shift into 4x4 with a lever, and 4x4 doesnt work you got problems with your transfer case or you got some bent or missing linkages.
if you have a push button system for 4x4, then you could have a number of problems, bad actuator motor, bad wiring, etc.
You need to adjust the 4x4 shifter itself. That's your only problem. Moving the shifter isn't putting the transfer case into gear and speedo will move, whirring sound is just the bearings spinning. Re-set the 4x4 shifter linkage to proper specs.
under the dash if you look, press the brake with your hand, you will see a button that the brake petal pushes against, that unlocks the shifter, either that switch needs replaced, or you linkage is froze up.
You can try several things. You can stop the vehicle as if you are going into low range and shift the high range 2h, 4h, etc.. Ford advertises the Electric button type as "shift on the fly" but does not say the gears are synchronized to do that with manual engagement.
Change the lube this time to see if the lube is Milky. There have been floods, otherwise the case is sealed whether you park it or drive it. You still could have rust on the shift linkage. You need to move the linkage as you spray it. Then the offbeat chance something was bent from offroading. A Salvage Yard is a wonderful place to learn how a car is built. You may see their part looks different than yours.
It seems to be stuck in 4x4 still. There could be damaged done to the powertrain by the towing company. Therefore they should be held accountable for the damage and repair that will be needed. You never tow a vehicle in 4x4 it should be carried on a flat-back. Same with AWD vehicles. The towing companies are well aware of this, is their business to know. Make sure to disengage the 4x4, put the 4x4 shifter on the floor in neutral while in park or not moving. If you continue to have problems contact the towing company and hold them accountable for it. See what you can work out with them. If they tell you they are not responsible then contact a lawyer and make them responsible for it.
start the vehicle, shift transmission to nuetral. then move the 4x4 shifter to the 2wd position. then shift the transmission into reverse and back up a few feet straight, then drive forwards. it should be out of 4x4.