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What kind of car is it?

With part time 4WD (Transfer Case) you want the tires to be the same diameter since the front and back tires are rigidly locked together at the transfer case. Having them different diameters strains the transfer case, because if the fronts are rotating slightly faster than the rears, something has to give. This also happens when going around corners, so you never want part time 4WD on dry pavement. Snow, mud, and dirt only.

With all wheel drive the transfer case slips, so it should not be that big of a deal. But I imagine compensating for the front and rear different RPMs all the time could cause things to heat up a bit to much.

I would replace all 4. Cheaper then fixing the tranny, transfer case, or both.
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