Horrible noise from '98 Frod Contour

This night, I was driving my car on the highway when it started making a HORRIFIC noise upon braking. (Like going over the world’s loudest rumble strips.) Suspecting a blowout, I pull over–all tires fine.

So, I manage to limp it 2mi home. The nature of the problem:

1. Only when vehicle is in motion.

2. Much louder on braking–horrible metallic noise, car shakes. Does not happen when downshifting to decel.

3. Doesn’t matter if in gear or not, or if clutch in or out.

So, from this, I’m suspecting a bad (psgr side) half shaft. Fortunately, this is a farily cheap part; even so, I don’t want to replace parts needlessly. Can anyone think of anything else it might be?

(My big fear, of course, is something within the MT. I suspect I could test for that by draining a bit of fluid…with all the noise, it’d surely have metal in it if failure interior to MT, right?)

I don't think it is the transmission.  How many miles on the car?  

Drive the car slowly with someone walking along beside it to identify what wheel(s) are involved.  Then start looking for damaged parts at that wheel.  Brake parts, bearings or CV joints of applicable.

The car has 112K on it.

The wheel bearing was replaced ~6K mi ago, along with brake pads. I’m guessing if it was brake-related, there’d have to be damage when I do a visual inspection. I’m hoping I can just get the car up, rotate the wheel, and determine the location of noise.

The thing that gets me is the sudden onset. I’ve had CV joints go, and they generally start complaining a long time before getting this bad. Also, turning didn’t seem to have a major effect on noise.

Could be a broken / missing caliper bolt letting the caliper make contact with the wheel or other moving part when the brakes are applied.

I’m bumping this because I (finally!) got a chance to work on it and have add’l info.

First, I jacked both front wheels off the ground. Then, I got in and started the engine and attempted to put it in gear. The first two times, car makes a metallic noise and stalls. The third time, I give it some gas to avoid stalling, and now…no noise, and the (left only) front wheel spins just fine.

The right wheel, however, don’t do nuttin’, and can be rotated by hand while the left wheel is happily spinning at idle.

Is this sufficient info to just go get the rt-side axle and quit worrying about the MTrans?