Background: Bought my '93 4.0L Jeep a year and a half ago for 1600, so as you can imagine it had a lot of issues. The rear axle had been on the way out and finally went (totally destoyed carrier). So, i am saving cash to swap in a Ford 8.8. In the meantime i decided to rig up the broken vacuum pump in the split axle so i can have a front wheel drive Jeep (anyone know of a reason why this would not work?)
Problem: After pulling the vacuum pump, i noticed that the axle had a bunch of play in it, investigating i found bits of rubber and metal inside the pump housing and axle housing (where the pump goes in). Also, a piece of metal that i am assuming was the seal for the part of the axle that goes to the wheel moves freely on the axle inside the housing.
1. Will the collar that slides over the exterior axle be strong enough to hold the axle without braking for around 500 miles if i dont replace the seal or at least will it hold long enough without doing damage to drive it the 10 miles to my house.
2. Is this a common failure point or is this a sign that there is likely further damage to the axle? (when i bought it the ball Joints and hubs were completely shot and the front tires were at a large angle in at the top this seems like it could have destroyed the seal)
3. How involved is changing the seal, do i have to pull the outer axle, or do they sell a split seal that does not require pulling the axle?
4. Is there supposed to be a seal on the interior half axle in this housing as well?
I know that Jeeps are money pits, but i have been holding this together on a shoestring budget this long as i am a student with a wife and newborn. Being in NW Florida, 2 wheel drive and a come along is all i need to do just about any of the off roading around here. Any suggestions that involve more work than money would be greatly appreciated.