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8837M4 idler adjustment.

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  • Adrian Harris
    Apr 5, 2010
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      I'm detailing some idler parts for a 1/6th Sherman project and wondered if anyone can confirm if I have the idler adjustment right ?
      My understanding is that the lower portion of the idler bracket is split, with three bolts acting to clamp the two parts of the bracket together, to keep the shaft from rotating.
      To change the idler position, and hence track tension, you loosen the three bolts in the idler bracket, lift the spring catch from the top of the plate which locates on the splined end of the idler shaft and slide the plate off to release the idler shaft.
      You then use the huge ring spanner, acting on the hexagonal portion at the end of the idler shaft, to rotate the idler shaft to the required position.
      Next slide the plate back over the splined portion of the shaft to temporarily hold it in that position, then tighten the three bolts in the idler bracket to clamp the shaft in the new postion.
      Is this correct ?
      What I don't understand is that, in a lot of the M4's that I've seen in museums, the three bolts in the idler bracket are rarely done up tightly against the bracket itself, which seems to imply that the whole track tension is being retained by just the splines on the end of the idler shaft ?
      On the Saumur M4A2, the plate that fits over the splined section is missing entirely from one idler, as is one of the bolts due to damage to the corner of the bracket. Heaven only knows how they adjust the tension on that track !

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