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All,
I have a 2020 Can Am Defender HD10 that will engage in 4wd while in the air on my lift. However if I put the bike on the ground the 4wd will not engage as the front tires want spin on gravel in 4wd in low gear. I was pulling a bike out of a hole and heard a loud pop and that is when this started. So I pulled the transmission and found what I thought was the issue. On the output shaft of the transmission that the shifting sleeve rides on the the large nut had backed completely off. This basically opened the backlash up on the gears driving the output shaft. My theory was the shaft was moving far enough backwards (towards the rear of the bike) to disengage the shifting sleeve on the transmission side. So I inspected the transmission carefully and found no other damage. I applied loctite to the large nut and reinstalled. I put the transmission back in the bike and now I hear a grinding noise from the shifting sleeve when 4wd is engaged and the front wheels are not pulling. However you can get under the bike with 4wd disengaged and the prop shaft spins, engage 4wd and it is locked as expected. 4wd also works on the lift with the tires off the ground. There is no visco-lok on this bike. Is it possible the drive shaft that connects to the 4wd output shaft via the shifting sleeve my have pushed forward and is causing this issue? The transmission is in good shape the 4wd actuator works as expected. The only thing I can't verify is the engagement depth of the shifting sleeve on the 4wd output shaft and the drive shaft that connects to the prop shaft. Any input is appreciated. Also the front end has been disassembled and all is well in the front chunk. Also all the splines on the prop shaft, drive shaft and 4wd output shaft are good.
 

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First off, I'd just like to say that I've never worked on a Defender.
Going by the parts diagram, it looks to me if the transmission nut were to be backed off like you found, the backlash wouldn't increase due to the bearing location etc. So, although it was not right, I don't think that was the cause of your issue and you seem to have found that to be the case.
It sounds like you've confirmed that forward of the engine case is all ok, so that only leaves the "through shaft" in the engine case.
This shaft breaking is not unheard of in the quads and I found a couple of cases in the Defender when I did a Google search.
I wonder if the shaft is broken a certain way that allows you to think it's engaged on the lift, but put load on it????
Try removing the 4wd actuator and manually engaging the sliding sleeve. Confirm that you have "front drive" with the wheels off the ground. Lower the vehicle onto the ground and place a trolley jack under the rear wheels only. Try driving on the front wheels only and see what happens in regards to the driveshafts that connect to the front diff.
 
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