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Dana 44 question????

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ZooMad75, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Last week I took the family up in the K5 to the great sand dunes near Alamosa CO. We went wheeling up the Medano pass trail. The pass is not extreme or difficult, but there is a lot of deep sand on the dune side of the trail to plow through. Keep in mind I broke nothing on the trail, but on the road back to the campground outside of the dunes I broke something. How ironic is that?

    We heard a slight bang and then a noise like something was rubbing a driveshaft or a wheel as the noise went away as we slowed down. I crawled undereath and found nothing but more oil leaking from the valve covers (chrome who would have guessed???) but nothing stuck to the frame or rubbing on any moving part.

    I drove it home with the noise about 100 or so mile and looked again. To my surprise I find the right backing plate to the front axle is loose and riding on the rim. It can't come out without me removing the wheel, claiper and hub/rotor. But it did drop down to rest on the rim. Funny thing is, the backing plate itself is just tin, no more than 1/8th of an inch thick or less. I talked to my buddy thats got a 78 with a D44 and he wondered how my claiper was still in place since his mounts to the backing plate (but he converted it to 8 lug). That got me wondering as mine has a separate bracket for the caliper. I also looked at a bunch in a Boneyard out in Greeley while I was making my rounds. I only came accross one D44 and the rest were 10bolts, but they all had the heavy backing plates that the claipers mounted too.

    Now I've been out of town all week so I have not pulled mine apart yet. My question are the earlier (mine is a 75) Dana 44's set up like mine with tin (light) backing plates and they changed them on the later versions? Am I going to play like hell to find this earlier backing plate?
     
  2. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Not sure what years they used them, but there is a caliper mount out there that it a heavier material for the caliper mounting and it has a "tin" guard around the bottom for the rotor. If the piece you are referring to is on the lower part and is really think, then it is just a shield and can be removed. The other style that are a full thick plate are around 3/16" thick.
     
  3. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Thats what I was thinking, was to just remove the tin part. I gues at least until I can find another one that is not tore up where the bolts go through.

    Looks like I got to keep my eye out for a early Dana 44 at the boneyard. The local one I frequent does have some older stuff (at least 2-3 full convertibles like mine) that I'll have to go check out tomorrow. off to the boneyard!
     
  4. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Most people I know remove them and leave them off. It's all presonal preference. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Any GM D44 or 10 bolt 1/2 ton front backing plate would work!
     
  5. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I just pulled mine off and tossed them...haven't missed them.
     
  6. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Well I yanked the tin backing plate off saturday. I did as a just in case kinda deal go down to the local boneyard and snag another one though. I might have put it back on but I found I was lacking an allen socket to pull the caliper. Oh well. I just end up converting to 8 lug anyway and have to swap it out anyway!

    I did at least score a new domelight lens and two good fiberglass caps for the doors on a 2nd gen full convertible like mine though. By the way, does anybody else get harassed at the junkyards when dealing with anything on a front axle??? Two yards in the last week said I can't touch the axle assemblies. Including the one I got the backing plate from. At least the local yard I went to knows me from when I used to work for a another junkyard in town and said if I found one with the hub/rotor off I could pull what I need from it. I got lucky and found one of 3 73-75's with precisely the right rotor and hub removed. I had the clean hands to prove it too. No one takes a Spicer locking hub off an axle in the 'yard without getting grease on his hands! That is at least not me!
     

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