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Check Alternator Voltage regulator if it fails it can send up to 18volts to the battery and make sure your battery is not too old usually most batterys will fail after around 2-3years causing the alternator to work harder . Also check your fuses someone may have put a wrong fuse somewhere. Don't buy a used alternator. Good luck.Student Mechanic LWIT Kirkland
The Transfer Case Control Module (TCCM) in this model year have been known to hang up, try pulling fuse #48 (4WD) in the rear fuse panel located under the left rear seat. Reinstall fuse and see if everything works OK, if not, you probably need to replace the TCCM.
Sounds to me like you may need a new rectifier put in the alternator,a shorted diode in the alternator could be powering up things that should go dead with the key in the off position.To prove this,instead of pulling the fuse,take the plug out of the alternator and if all is well,you have your answer.
just normal wear, i am like you, they should last longer, and some do, and others don't, thats the nature of the beast. back in the day, they put grease serts in so you could grease them, and very seldom they went out. you did not do any damage to them from the snow or by rocking back and forth. hope this shead some light on your delima. OLD SCHOOL.