You can use plastic tube, but it's a little bulky to hid behind the front bumper. Here is a shot of the tilted hood:
Engine (prior to radiator brace being added):
As to the build, it's just smooth application of rattle can paint & some aftermarket decals from a guy who is now out of business. PM me your address, and I'll send you the articles for detailing to hood & brake lines (didn't do that on this one). Here is the article I used to detail the Caterpillar 3208: http://public.fotki.com/modeltrucks25thscale/model_magazine_articles/car_modeller/cm09_sept_1991_cate/
What type of modeler am I? Well, I'm just a kit assembler who's imagination & own ideas of his skill level tend to get beaten back down when reality sets in. I have dreams that I can do things detail wise, but I'm usually just amazed at the end of a modeling session that all the parts are there, the frame is straight-ish, and most of the wheels touch the ground.
I built the LN8000 Short Hauler a couple of years ago. No real problems that I remember, but I did shorten the frame a bit to get the box to sit closer to the cab as I wasn't using the exhaust stack. Also, the hoods on the AMT Ford LN/LNT8000 kits are not hinged. they can be hinged pretty easily though with some brass tubing & rod. Here is my LN8000:
Fantastic details! Very well done. You should know that you need to extend the frame about 5ft from behind the rear duals in order to make the log trailer actually work. It's kind of late in the project, I know, but with all the detail you're putting into your project, I thought you'd want to know. I'll see if I can dig up some of the pics I have to show you what I'm talking about.
Thanks, Michael. The interior is just the decals from the kit over Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black. The kit has the same "fabric" decals for the side panels as well. I'll probably clear coat them before final assembly, though. Thanks, Dirk. Like I mentioned, I don't know if it is 100% accurate; but it sure is colorful! It's really a very nice kit, and I'm enjoying the build.