Okay I have been playing with parts on hand until my brick link and Kadee orders show up.
The 3 wide truck is okay but not great. There is about an 1/8" or more gap when the wheels are all the way to on side. Fortunately I can leave more of that pipe portion on the donor wheels.
That will work for now but only until I run out of donors.
The 2x1 offset tiles were just for mockup until my bricklink orders come arrive. The whole thing is currently too high. The new parts will allow me to come down 1 plate. ( For those who don't speak lego, 3 plates =the height of one brick. )
I was able to mock up the lowered arrangement with a 3×4, 4 stud tile that comes with minifigure packages.
Another height check now shows the top of the couplers lined up.
This might be good enough.
I can show the height of the coupler box mounted directly to the minifigure tile, and it looks better.
The Kadee arm can be bent up if needed. The problem I see is that center of the assembly is now below the top of the wheels.
I think this is about as far as I can go without the 800 series kadee couplers and the rest of the lego parts.
I think I will stick with the inside the wheels 3 wide truck assy for now, but I am not ruling out using outside bearings and more readily available toy train axles for future assemblies.