With all this time at home I finally got around to fixing the pilots on this SD40-2. I always buy the fixed pilot versions and avoid all this work, but in this case, I really like this engine and the sounds. I know its flawed and not 100% accurate, but now that its done it looks great and I'll just pretend it matches the prototype.
The pilots are from the newer Lionel SD40. The height was perfect but the stairs were a little too narrow but once the full length handrails where installed its hard to notice. This was a much better option than filling gaps with the MTH pilot that came with it, and much less work. Also, the Lionel snow plow and hoses are much better. Another option would have been to use the fixed pilot from an MTH 2-rail Chessie GP40-2. I have the engine and removed the pilot to test fit. It fit perfectly and looked great, but unfortunately they are not available from MTH.
To mount I had to cut some braces and use spacers to mount to the steel frame plate. The spacers where some extra Kadee mount spacers. The also filled the air gaps left by the more narrow pilot. Another spacer was cut and used to get the Kadee to the correct height. I used the existing mounting rings on the Lionel pilot to attach the other ends. The photos are attached.
In addition, I did my usual mods including moving in the trucks. Not easy on this model because I had to build a brace on one mount. I also added plastic strips to fill the gaps above the wheels. And of course I had to add the full length handrails. Finally, I weathered it using Joes weathering dyes and powders.
I very happy with it. It runs and sounds great and is ready for my future 2-rail layout!