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?