Disclaimer: I'm not a 3RS guy (although I did partially build a P&D Hobbies F-unit once )
I'm *mostly* a steam guy. One of the things that bothers me about 3-rail diesels, is the "swinging pilots," which swivel with the truck, and leave an unsightly gap between the body and pilot. For hood units that might be used for head-end switching, I'm willing to concede realism to achieve operation on non-prototypical sharp curves. But I have a harder time accepting the look of a swinging pilot on cab units.
I have a Lionel Legacy F3 circa 2010, and I would like to improve the front end to the standards of a 2-rail model. Fixed pilot, small coupler opening, and either a scale coupler or a "dummy" coupler. I'm not planning to do any head-end switching, or climb any Lionel trestle sets with abrupt transition to a 5% grade. But I would still expect the loco to navigate O42 (21" radius) curves.
So I'm asking all of you 3RS'ers who have done it: What parts do I need for this conversion? Where can I get them, and what are the modeling steps to achieve this outcome? Thanks in advance for sharing your tips and experience!