Had the same thing ... kept driving for a while. Turned out to be the front left wheel bearing causing the problem but I waited too long ... I was driving on the highway when it failed ... ended up blowing the front diff seal and damaged the diff gears ... .. the damage was mainly caused by the high rate of speed ... Suggest you get the wheel bearing checked ASAP ... My bill ended up being $1200 fro all the repairs ...
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The end of the drive axle that goes into the diff is in splined into the side gear of the diff and will be dry as there would be no way to stop the oil coming out of the diff past the splines. The diff seal runs on the outside of the side gear and seals the oil in the diff. The drive axle slides in and out of the splined section to compensate for the changing lengths of the axle on turns. Grease on the splines would be a big help as it would allow the splines to move when under drive load.. Check the hub bearings for condition and adjustment and check the hub itself for wear indicators.
It is actually very easy. Lift the vehicle and support it properly remove the 5 lug nuts retaining the wheel. Remove the wheel. If it is a 4 wheel drive remove the spindle nut locking the c.v. axle to the hub. Remove the washer. Push the axle through the splined hub. using a 13 mm or 15mm depending on the hub remove the three bolts reatining the hub assemble to the steering knuckle. assemble in reverse order.
i'll bet this is a front wheel drive or four wheel drive. when the front wheels are tied to the drive train. the front axle shafts bearings can go kaput. jack up the vehicle and turn the steering wheel all the way to one side and spin one tire at a time by hand. you are bound to hear snaping and cracking coming from the axle shafts.
Did you support the vehicle on a lift and run it, with wheels engaged? Since you have changed all the usual suspects, Have you checked the hub bearings? It could be that, or, something stupid like a backing plate hitting a rotor. Regarding the cat/o2 sensor thing. Cats do go bad, so do o2 sensors but, generally a code for an o2 sensor indicates a problem elsewhere, causing a lean or rich condition in the exhaust pipe, beyond the parameters of the o2 sensor. PS: check warranty on cat. generally it runs longer than many other components.