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At one time MTH offered a fixed pilot for its F3 and F7 locomotives.Do they offer that option anymore?Also they mention the F3 and F7 locomotives have Kadee coupler capability, does that apply to the front end on the A unit also. Their locomotives are nice but that front lobster claw coupler sticks out like a sore thumb

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I changed out most of my F and E units with the P&D Hobby Shop fixed pilots. They make both passenger and freight. These are NOT a simple "screw to the frame" replacement. But if you have basic modeling skills, they are easy to attach with a little cutting here and there and are really nice.

The attached photos shows an F3 and an E7 that I did.

Another thing you can do to help disguise a lobster claw coupler is to paint it. In my case, the Burlington E7 is a dummy and therefore does not run forward. If I left it black, it would be a real eye sore even running behind any of my powered E7's or E8's.



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  • CB&Q F3 (9)
  • CB&Q E7 9924 (2)
  • CB&Q E7 9921 (2)
  • CB&Q E7 9921 (6)

My experience is that you can attach the original pilot to the body of some locomotives, but, then the pilot is obviously too high above the rail. Usually in stock form the loco rides too high off the trucks.

So I trim the body mounts inside the shell to level everything out resulting in proper height from the rails.

Thai is probably too intense for many. However the results are good and eliminates that high water pants look.



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I know they offered the SD9, SD45 and Trainmaster with fixed pilots as I had the first two and still have the Trainmaster.  Those pilots were taller than the 3 rail ones so you didn't get the high water look.  I recently bought some 2 rail F unit pilots off their parts page but haven't mounted them yet.  The have the screws in a different location so I thought they mounted to the body.  I've seen pictures of MTH F units with fixed pilots that I thought were stock but they may have been modified like Ray of Sunshine did.

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