Before it rained I had gotten the brake caliper off the passenger side. I continued my work by removing the cotter pin and the funky nut-shaped castle washer thing that keeps the axle nut from even thinking about loosening.
The axle nut on the Jeep is 36mm. I have a 32mm axle socket, and I don't have $20 to spend on one that's the right size. Whoopee. Therefore, getting a gander at the front end bearings is going to have to wait a while longer.
In the wake of the storm that passed through, the wind has died completely, and it's incredibly sticky outside. No wind, high humidity--even with a fan, I was sweating my ass off. It was cooler and more pleasant before it rained, damn it.
Anyway, I tried a trick I saw on YouTube: I put a lever under the tire and lifted, to see if there was any play in the suspension. The tire did move more than it should. It moved in a narrow arc. The driver's side did not, which leads me to believe that there is something going on with that passenger side wheel. I just need another pair of eyes on it, because I couldn't really tell where the movement was coming from. It looked like the wheel's axis was where it was pivoting, which would mean bearings almost certainly, but I'm not entirely sure. I could be sure if I could disassemble the dang thing and check the bearings, but I can't do that. Argh etc.
Good thing: I can get a new hub for about $40-ish from Rockauto. Shipping will probably be pretendous. *sigh*
I haven't even started looking at the instrument cluster, either. *sigh*