unfortunately there is no UNIVERSAL solution here. Each type of engine is a bit different based on how the pilot is mounted in the first place. How big is the gap between the frame and the pilot? How big are your curves? there are several variables. The biggest being the spacer needed to fill that gap. I started doing mine long before 3D printing and all these guys with more skills and knowledge than me, so I just cut them out from sheets of styrene. That was part of the fun for me, tear the engine apart and figure it out step by step.

These were my first major conversions and you can see the spacer I made from styrene between the frame and pilot. I changed a lot on these two besides just fixing the pilots only because I wanted them a little more modern.

It doesn't really matter whether it's Lionel, MTH, Atlas, or 3rd Rail, the concept and process is the same. 

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Doug is the master when it comes to fixing pilots and installing kadees.  In terms of diesel engines, I have done mostly F and E units and Geeps.  I have only fixed pilots on 2 modern diesels, a Lionel ES44AC and most recently this SD70ACE.  No one job has ever been the same, that is for sure.  Doug takes it to a level beyond that which I do.  I remove the shell and unplug the couplers.  Remove the trucks and cut off the tabs with the electro coupler mounting bracket.  Make sure you tape off or cover the kingpin for the drive mechanism to keep metal fragment out of it.  I bolt the kadee draft gear box to the pilot, using a shim that I make out of styrene to ensure proper coupler height.  Then I bolt that assembly to the chassis.  It sounds so easy but it is a time consuming job.  Make sure you have fresh drill bits and good tap.  I do not make shims to lower the pilot closer to the rails, but I do buy them from Mario if he has them available.  I have not used styrene to close up the gap around the draft gear box yet either.  I also don't fabricate handrails that go down to the bottom step.  Maybe someday I will take my conversions to the next level, but for now this is good for me.  Here is my latest conversion a made KCS de Mexico engine...
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Here is the last two I did. MTH RS11's.    Did the old way cut my spacer out of styrene, and new Kadee mounts. The hardest part is taking this locomotive apart and putting it back together.Had to drill four mounting holes in the die cast frame and the front was different than the rear. 8011 was finished yesterday.

Clem 

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E7560C68-E7D0-46B6-8EE3-627CE01BE80EI recently added Kadees to an mth diesel, and the process was quite easy, but I think I will have more trouble with this Lionel Es44ac. I will have to fabricate styrene in order for the coupler height to be right. I will post pictures of the Lionel Kadee conversion when my broken thumb heals.

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Thank you for the replay. I am new to this. Taking a engine apart to replace couplers is a little scary to me. Have been replacing couplers on my stock and have been having fun doing that. I will read all the replays that have came in and see if i can figure this out. i am trying to install Kadees on my switch engines . one is a legacy PW2 and the other a lion chief switcher. I thought i would tackle the lion chief first less money involved. 

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