Your modification of the 2-rail pilot looks fantastic. I’ve been wrestling with this exact issue in connection with a pair of 2-rail MTH F7’s I recently acquired, and I’m very interested in learning exactly how you did the mod.
Did you first measure the amount of the pilot skirt-corner you wanted to trim in order to get the angle you desired? If so, I’d like to know exactly how much of the skirt-corner you measured to trim off.
Also, did you use a rotary tool grinder to do the trimming, or did you use another method?
The hoses/cables you added to the pilot front look terrific. Whose did you use and how did you attached them? Simply with adhesive, or did you actually drill into the pilot to mount them?
And thanks for sharing your always excellent and expert modeling work with the rest of us!
Thanks. I did use the larger dremel rotary grinder to trim the sides. I did not measure and did it by eye. I used THIS PAGE as my guide. I used the square foot step as my reference point and tried to run the angle through the diagonal of the square step opening. I trimmed the top side a little to keep a straight line. I kept the rotary grinder mostly inside the pilot when grinding to create a sharper edge making the pilot look thinner from back side.
I stole those hoses from the back pilot of my newer Lionel SD40s. You can also buy the pilots for about $15 from Lionel and just use the hoses. They were the thinnest and longest ones I've seen. The middle one is a peco brass hose. The 3 hose assembly has two rectangular tabs in the back, so I did drill an elongated hole in the pilot and used glue. They are firmly attached. I mounted the fourth hose separately and nudge it in toward the middle because I thought I may have mounted the hoses too far out. Its not just good, "It's good enough".
I removed the coupler bars, or whatever they are called, and replaced the mounts with smaller wire eye loops which I bent from brass wire. The original mounts which were black are over sized and bulky. I reused the orignal bars on the outside (with yellow paint on the ends) and I used piano wire to for the new longer bar under the coupler. Although both bars share the same mount on the real F7, I just drilled another hole and added a mount for the large bar.
The hose strap or holder (in yellow) I cut from a brass strip. I bent and tapered the ends to make a small point to mount into new holes I drilled. You can tell from the closeup photo. I used Gorillia glue for everthing. Lastly, that is a real brass chain holding the middle hose. I think I found that super fine chain at Scale University. I also filed down that ridge on the bottom which also roughed it up a little like the real one.
A question for you guys. I have MTH Santa Fe passenger cars that have three rail wheels. It looks like I may be able to replace these with isolated 2-rail wheels I've seen on the MTH website. Has anyone done this?