Limb Risers
Limb Risers

Limb Risers are the steel cables that run from the brush bar up to the roof rack. Their purpose is to keep tree limbs from hitting your windshield (at least from the sides) when you're driving somewhere other than the mall parking lot. Take a look at some hard-core offroaders (like any of the Camel Trophy trucks), and you'll see just what I mean.
I've heard rumors they can also be used to hang wet laundry, but I've not seen that myself. I understand that practice is more common in Australia than here in the US, but I'm keeping my eyes open...
Limb risers are commercially available for Defenders. These could theoretically work on the P38, but the factory brush bar on the Range Rover is a bizarre trapezoidal shape. Additionally, retail price seems to be close to US $200. I really didn't want to spend that much, so I went to the hardware store.

Here's what I bought:
  • (2) 8-foot long pieces of vinyl-covered 1/8" wire rope
  • (2) turnbuckles
  • (2) 3/4" double swivels
  • (4) small shackles
  • (8) 1/8" saddle clamps
  • (4) 1/8" thimbles
  • (2) U-bolts, 1.5" across
  • (2) P-shaped clamps, with rubber cover
Total price was just under US $40... so far, so good.
This is the pile of parts for 1 of the 2 risers.
7 feet of wire rope would have been plenty.

Time to start building!
My general thoughts for the riser would be to have the turnbuckles at the top, just for appearances sake, and the swivel hook at the bottom. I figured that the tree limbs would hit the wire low and close to the front and slide up, so putting the turnbuckles at the top seemed to make sense. Also, I wanted to use the tiny shackles to make installation & removal a tool-free experience.
My first step was to make a loop in the end of the wire rope through 1 of the turnbuckle ends. Use the thimble to shape the loop, then use 2 saddle clamps to secure the loop. Remember, never saddle a dead horse! Yes, I know, its a stupid expression. Here's what it means: when you have a loop of rope, 1 side is "live", the other side is "dead". The "live" side is the side where the rope continues out of the loop, and on to the load-bearing part of its job.
The "saddle" part of the clamp goes on the "live" side, the U-bolt part of the clamp goes on the "dead" side. For this application, it probably doesn't make a bit of difference. If you are rigging up something overhead, you want to do it right, so you might as well do it the right way every time, so its easier to remember.

Tighten the nuts evenly on the clamps, starting from the clamp furthest from the thimble. Take up the slack as you go, so the rope stays parallel between the clamps. Make sure the rope is properly seated into the thimble.
Insert 1 of the small shackles through the other end of the turnbuckle. The shackle pin will go through the P-clamp on the roof rack rail. Make sure your turnbuckle loops are large enough for the shackle ends to pass through them.
Mine required a bit of persuasion; at first I tried speaking in a stern voice.
When that didn't work, I used a hammer.
Don't hit your thumb.

To connect the bottom point, I was initally going to drill through the brush bar, and put an eye-bolt in it. Bearing in mind the wise words of my friend, Scott, I decided not to make this permanent until I was sure I really liked it. More on this later.
At the front end would be a U-bolt on the brush bar, a small shackle to connect the U-bolt to the swivel clip, then a wire rope loop using the thimble and saddle clips as at the top.
The U-bolt is a nice snug fit on the factory brush bar, with the curve of the U-bolt making just enough space above the brush bar for the shackle to fit.
The shackle will connect to 1 end of the swivel clip. The other end of the swivel clip will have the loop of wire rope; again using the thimble and 2 saddle clamps.
Don't forget that horse thing we learned earlier.
This is how the P-clamp goes around the roof rack rail. No rocket science here.
Here you can see I need to cut the excess wire rope. When you get to this step, run the turnbuckle out to almost its full length. Install the saddle clips down at the swivel once the assembly is on the truck so you get the length correct. The wire will stretch, especially if you actually hit any tree branches with it. You can tighten it up with the turnbuckle.

While at the hardware store, I also purchased some of the "tool dip" paint. This is some rubbery stuff into which you can stick the handles of your pliers to give them a nice insulated grip.
I'm going to coat the U-bolts in this stuff so they aren't so obvious. When the risers are removed using the shackles, the U-bolts will stay in place on the brush bar, so I'd prefer not to have these shiny silver things on the front of my truck. It IS a Range Rover, after all.

Overall, I don't think this project turned out too badly. I'm not sure how effective these cables will be in real life. As you can see above, with the length of the Rangie's hood, and the rake of the windscreen, the cables ascend at a fairly leisurely angle. Compare this to the angle of the risers on a Defender with its shorter hood and nearly vertical windscreen.
But, since I didn't drill any holes in my brush bar, I can remove the whole contraption and no one will be the wiser.
The vinyl-covered wire rope is probably overkill. Actually, if you're going to use covered rope, you can go to a smaller diameter. Remember, this rope isn't actually load-bearing, and the breaking strength of the assembly is the weakest link; in this case that is probably the swivel clip at the bottom or the P-clamp at the top.
Comments and suggestions go here.
Irritating whining and useless crap goes here.
Back to Main Page