Wear and Tear on M-9/M-19 Idler Pulley Components
Jeremy Winkworth

Over the past few years Iíve worked on restoring some Fairmont M-9 and M-19 cars that were built in the '50's . Two components on which I usually find excessive wear are part of the idler pulley setup. Specifically these are the pull rod (Fairmont Part# 38830, 38783 or 49802) and the strap that the pull rod goes through (Fairmont Part# M33435). Wear on idler pulley components removed recently from an MR-19 is shown in the two photos below:


On the rod in the left photo, note the visible wear in four places, the most excessive being at the end that attaches to the idler pulley center shaft. On the strap, the pull rod has elongated the hole there. Unfortunately this wear is not easily noticed unless you are really looking for it. While not a safety issue, eventually one of the components above would have failed during an excursion and I would have to be towed for the rest of the day. 

Fabrication of replacement parts is not difficult, particularly if you have a friend with a torch and a good set of dies. When you assemble the new components on your car, ensure that their geometry is correct. The way that the railroad last assembled them may not have been correct. If this was the case, it was undoubtedly the greatest contributor to excessive wear. So if you have never checked these components on your car you might want to take a look at them. Checking now could save you from needing a tow later!

A few words on the exhaust system.

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Last Edited 20 December, 2002