Limb risers are necessary for off-roading through woodsy terrain. Here’s how to make a set for your Jeep Wrangler JK.By Gabriella Massari – November 25, 2015
Contributors: Northern Wrangler

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

If you regularly trek through wooded areas in your Jeep Wrangler JK, then you’ve probably thought of purchasing limb risers. Limb risers are thick wires that attach to the mounts on the hood and lead up to the roof rack. They essentially push tree branches up and out of the way as you pass through areas of dense foliage that would otherwise scrape your windshield and limit visibility. If you want to make your off-roading experience all the more enjoyable, then consider making your own set of limb risers. This DIY job is inexpensive and can be done in about an hour.

Materials Needed

  • 12 feet of nylon coated 1/8″ aircraft wire
  • 2 turn buckles
  • 4 1/8″ saddle clamps
  • 2 shackles (3/4″)
  • 4 1/8″ thimbles
  • 1 4×4″ brace/bracket
  • A 25′ package of 3/4″ galvanized strapping
  • Electrical tape
  • Alcohol (for cleaning)
  • Razor blade (optional)
  • 10mm wrench
  • Dremel and cutting disc
  • Clamp vice
  • Sharpie pen
  • Center punch
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • 15/64″ bit

Limb risers cost from $75 and up, so making your own will save you a considerable amount of money. The materials needed can be found at an auto parts store, Home Depot or online.

Figure 1. Nylon-coated cable.

Figure 2. 4×4″ bracket.

  • Figure 3. Galvanized strapping.

Step 1 – Remove top latch from hood

There are two 10mm bolts you need to remove from under the hood that secure the latch.

Figure 4. 10mm bolts.

Figure 5. Top latch removed.

Step 2 – Cut the bracket and drill pilot holes

Clamp the 4×4″ bracket in the vice and, using a Dremel and cutting disc, cut the two sides of the bracket off.

Figure 6. Cutting bracket.

When the sides are off, you’ll need to determine where the two hood latch bolts need to be. Put the bottom flat part of the pieces flush with the lip of the hood and use a Sharpie to mark the holes through the hood. Then, use a center punch to mark the holes. Using a 1/8″ drill bit, drill the pilot holes, and then use a 15/64″ bit to finish the holes for a tight fit with the bolts (Figure 8).

Figure 7. Bracket cut into pieces.

Figure 8. 64″ holes.

After the drilling is finished, it’s recommended to clean the pieces with alcohol and dry them. Then, wrap the bottom half (which would be beneath the hood latch) with electrical tape. Next, punch holes through the tape to expose the holes you just finished drilling (Figure 9). Finally, mount the latch to the bracket (Figure 10).

Figure 9. Holes punched and taped.

Figure 10. Bracket assembled.

Pro Tip

Wrapping the pieces with electrical tape may help to reduce friction on the hood paint.

Step 3 – Attach the latch to the hood

Put the latch back on the hood and, using a 10mm wrench, tighten the nuts back on the bolts under the hood.

Figure 11. Latch installed.

Figure 12. Side view of latch.

Pro Tip

Although not required, you may opt to trace around the edges of the latch with a razor blade to cut away the electrical tape that’s exposed before attaching the latch to the hood.

Step 4 – Cut the galvanized strapping to fit

Take the galvanized strapping and calculate how long of a piece is needed to wrap around the rack; double it, then cut the piece. If you have a light bar installed, the same instructions apply. Next, take the cut piece and fold over the end tab (Figure 14). Then fold in the remaining piece to meet the tab (Figure 15). Folding it will make the strap twice as thick and ensure both ends have a finished look.

Figure 13. Cut piece of strapping.

Figure 14. Bent end.

Figure 15. Finish bending.

  • Figure 16. Strapping fit over a light bar.

Step 5 – Install strapping and shackle

Next, wrap the folded piece of strapping in electrical tape to protect it from scratching off any paint at the attachment point.

Figure 17. Tape the strapping.

Figure 18. Strapping and shackle.

Leave the end tabs exposed and use a shackle to connect the two tabs on the roof rack. This is where the riser cable will connect and run down to the brackets.

Figure 19. Strapping attached with shackle.

Step 6 – Finish installing

After you’ve installed the hood latch brackets, the strapping brackets and shackles, run the nylon-coated 1/8″ aircraft cable over the thimbles and add the saddle clamps. With one end complete, loosen the turn buckles and connect the two. Run the cable to the shackles to figure out how much cable is necessary. Lastly, add the thimbles and clamps, recheck the length and cut the cable. Complete this action for both sides, tighten the turn buckles, and you are finished!

Figure 20. Saddle clamp in place.

Figure 21. Finished link.

Figure 22. Passenger’s side complete.

  • Figure 23. Driver’s side complete.

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