OK, time for a little update. I had a few minutes to grab my jack and run out to the Rover and spin the wheels. My 2WD problem is in the front axle - I'm thinking the CV.
I can spin either front wheel freely with just one jacked up and the other 3 firmly on the ground. The RF wheel I hear a faint rattling in the hub with my stethoscope and nothing at the diff. This is the wheel that has the leaking swivel ball as well. When I spin the LF wheel, everything at the hub is pretty quiet but I can definitely hear the diff turning. In fact, I could hear the diff turning more than I'd like even without the stethoscope so I'm inclined to look into replacing it.
So, conclusion is that something between the wheel and the front diff is amiss. My money is on CV but could be half shaft or stub axle. I did also get a good condition BW TC with a known good VC since I don't know if that may have been the cause of the issue up front. Probably won't have much time to dig into her for a few weeks though.
Also, at the June MORG I picked up some diff guards, second spare wheel, and other bits from Graeme. And, I'm borrowing his AC manifold gauges so we can get some cold air back in here. Tires will be going on all 4 wheels plus 2 spares once I get this sorted.
I'm hoping to pick up the rear bumper from Jeremy and then really need a roof rack and some sliders. Onward!
Edited by E36 Phantom, 28 June 2015 - 10:17 PM.