Just to clear up one thing for you - switching to manual hubs won't solve the problem as the genII system engages at the front diff. Central axle disconnect I think it's called. The hubs don't disconnect like they do in the gen1. Your front wheels are always turning the front axles, even when in 2WD.
As long as your t-case lever is in 2hi, and it doesn't 'feel' like you're in 4WD, and you don't hear any horrible grinding noises, it should be fine to drive at speed. That's been my experience at least.
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