Most of the following buying guide information is relevant to what you might want to know before purchasing a 4×4 snorkel. The information provided below is solely to conduct market research for our customers’ benefit. Installing a snorkel in your 4×4 can be an excellent investment and one of the more inexpensive modifications you can make to your vehicle to extend its life. In particular, those who go off-road and do much long-distance driving, in general, will benefit from this information. Apart from that, a snorkel can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to your diving rigs.
Why? Because if you make an incorrect cut in your guard to accommodate a snorkel, it could quickly become an extremely inconvenient situation to rectify. As a result, if you’re considering installing a snorkel on your car, you’ll want to ensure that it’s done correctly (ideally by a professional) and for the right reasons.
Benefits of installing a snorkel?
Snorkels have the function of elevating the air intake, which accomplishes two goals:
- To reduce the negative impact of dust and water on the engine’s performance.
- Take advantage of the cooler and more refreshing air passing over the vehicle.
- Minimising dust particles:
Dust plumes generated by off-roading or travelling on unpaved roads will be the most detrimental to your air intake system’s performance. In addition to elevating your air intake, a snorkel will move it further away from dense dust clouds and heavier dirt particles whipped up by your wheels or anyone in front of you. However, the dust will not be as thick and will still get into the snorkel’s mouth. Different snorkel heads work in slightly different ways regarding dust expulsion.
Growing the air filter’s effectiveness means reducing the wear on critical components, which will aid in developing the life and reliability of the engine. Engine filters will catch any excess dust that makes its way through. Also benefiting from using a snorkel are the filters. It extends the filter’s life because it will not have to collect nearly as much as otherwise.
Do not allow your vehicle to take in any water.
Raising the air intake level will also reduce the likelihood of water entering the engine when fording water crossings, which will benefit. Suppose you’re driving through flooded areas or creeks without a snorkel. In that case, water will likely enter the air intake and filter, causing your engine to seize and your vehicle to come to a complete stop.
Hydraulic lock-up can occur if water enters your engine. Water doesn’t compress as well as air, causing cylinder blockage and severe engine damage.
A snorkel alone will not provide a completely waterproof solution for your engine, but it is an excellent first step. The entry points for water into your engine are numerous. While there are multiple preventative measures you can take, there is no guarantee that water will not enter your engine.
Cooler air intake becomes essential for better vehicle performance because it contains higher oxygen levels, necessary for more efficient combustion or how well the fuel burns off. Most air intakes come designed to be forward-facing and as close to the grille as possible. Cooler (cleaner) air is drawn from the windscreen or roof level to benefit your engine through a snorkel. However, even though this location is cooler when compared to the rest of the engine bay, the air is still hot and laden with dust particles at this level.
LLDPE Plastic Snorkel Material: LLDPE Plastic Snorkel Type: Snorkel
Commercially available snorkels often come made of UV resistant Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) — a type of plastic. In general, LLDPE is a solid and durable plastic that is impact resistant depending on the thickness of the material used. When manufacturing snorkels using LLDPE, it is usually combined with a carbon black natural additive to give the snorkels a nice black finish.
While some DIYers will choose polythene plastic pipes over PVC when building their custom snorkel, others will opt for neither. Snorkels purchased aftermarket are also roto-moulded to fit specific vehicle models, ensuring they hug the body and have maximum strength. A further advantage of roto-moulded snorkels is that they are typically manufactured as a single piece, eliminating the need for joins and sealers on the snorkel itself. Given vehicle-specific snorkels’ specific shape, they are generally flow-tested to ensure that airflow is not restricted.
Snorkel made of PVC piping is often used to construct DIY snorkels. PVC is a low-cost material; it is not well-regarded for its long-term durability. There are different grades of PVC; its durability may vary from one product to the next. Some 4WD forums have reported that PVC is susceptible to becoming brittle after being exposed to the sun for an extended period. PVC can also become brittle at shallow temperatures instead of LLDPE, which is more resistant to cold temperatures.
Given that a PVC snorkel doesn’t come constructed in a single piece, it is also essential to consider the joints. Consider that, as a result of the presence of joints, there will be a greater likelihood of leaks developing. Some do-it-yourselfers will use solid joints and seals, but these tend to break frequently and may need repair consistently. Rubber joints provide flexibility, but they must be made of the proper type of rubber to avoid becoming brittle when exposed to the sun.
PVC is a low-cost material that is simple and inexpensive to repair. However, depending on how frequently you may need to fix a PVC snorkel, the costs can quickly add up. Check that the inside of the PVC piping is not corrugated, as this can obstruct adequate airflow and make it a noisy experience as the air rushes through it.
A stainless steel snorkel
Another popular material among snorkel DIYers and custom welders is stainless steel. Thus, which is popular primarily because of its sleek and attractive appearance. Many people also prefer stainless steel because it is exceptionally durable—it can be badly scuffed, reducing its sex appeal. Still, it is otherwise excellent at maintaining its structural integrity.
The joints of a stainless steel snorkel can be rubber or TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welded, depending on who is doing the work. Many people prefer the sturdiness of a TIG-welded elbow because of its strength.
A stainless steel snorkel will also produce more induction sound than a carbon steel snorkel, which is positive or negative when comparing different materials. While some people have complained that this is an annoyance, others have stated that they enjoy their snorkelling equipment’s audible “breathing”.
It is essential to consider the placement of a stainless steel snorkel, even though it is not often considered, depending on how shiny it is. It is possible that driving while the sun is reflecting off the windshield, if it is too shiny and angled in a certain way, will be dangerous.
Mild Steel Snorkel is an excellent choice.
The Mild Steel Snorkel is an excellent choice for those who like the idea of having a custom-made steel snorkel but do not want to spend the extra money on stainless steel. While mild steel is less expensive than stainless steel, the quality of mild steel is significantly lower. Mild steel is more malleable and ductile than stainless steel. On the other hand, it has a lower tensile strength and is more prone to rusting than other materials.
Regarding joints, mild welding steel presents fewer challenges than welding stainless steel, which is more complicated. It would be necessary to paint the inside and outside of a mild steel snorkel or galvanise it with hot-dip zinc to keep it from rusting. After rust-proofing, the appearance may differ slightly in stainless steel — choosing to powder-coat it in black to give it an attractive finish instead of painting it.
Consider the following factors when deciding on the construction material :
The construction material will not affect the temperature of your airflow. I.e. a black snorkel or stainless steel snorkel will not necessarily make the airflow hot.
All snorkels will generate induction sound. Many people do not appear to be aware of this before having a snorkel installed and are disappointed by the excessive noise produced, while others are delighted by it. Those who have had a snorkel professionally installed may believe that the “sucking” sound is the fault of the mechanic or panel beater. Still, it is normal for a snorkel to make this sound. Securely fastened to prevent vibrations may be the key, which can cause unwanted noise and a choking sensation.
There are two types of snorkel heads that you can use:
- air ram heads and
- vortex heads (Also referred to as a Cyclone Head)
They are both intended to separate dust particles and water from the air. Still, they do so in a slightly different manner than one another.
- Uni Filter Snorkel Ram Pre Cleaner – 3 Inch Black
- Uni Filter Snorkel Ram Pre Cleaner – 3.5 Inch
- Tuff Terrain 3 Inch Snorkel Ram Head
- Uni Filter Stainless Snorkel Filter – 4 Inch
- Uni Filter Snorkel Ram Pre Cleaner – 3.5 Inch Black x3
- Snorkel Head Vortex Square Mushroom 3.0 Inch 85mm Safari Airflow Replacement
- 3 Inch 77mm Vortex Snorkel Head Pre Cleaner 4WD Air Intake 3 Safari”
Head of the Air Rams:
With this technique, the air is rammed into the snorkel while the vehicle moves, as the name suggests. Larger dust and water particles are pushed against the internal walls of the snorkel body (primarily the back) and located around the top of the snorkel body. Where they drop down and expel through the vents, free of harmful dirt and moisture, the “filtered” air rushes in the snorkel body to the engine. The engine’s air filters will cover any dust passing the snorkel and into the machine.
It removes rain/moisture and larger dust particles from the rear of the snorkel head by ramming the air into the head. According to popular belief, the ramming action causes more air to be forced into the engine, increasing performance. A naturally aspirated engine cannot accept more air than it requires for fuel combustion in a single burst of acceleration. It is typically necessary to force more air into a combustion chamber and electronically programme the supercharger or turbocharger to increase efficiency and power output.
The primary benefit of using a snorkel is the elevation of your air intake, which allows you to breathe cooler, cleaner air. There will be no benefit from the installation unless there is an improvement in fuel efficiency.
Impact the performance of a car
Some believe that the direction of the snorkel head can impact the performance of a car. Driving through mud or low-hanging vegetation in harsh conditions, such as heavy dust, snowfall, or going through mud, requires drivers to turn their snorkel heads so that they face the rear to
- Reduce dust build-up in the filters;
- Prevent the snorkel from becoming clogged;
- Avoids the head from being knocked off by branches.
The vacuum effect that occurs when the snorkel head is reversed makes it possible to change the snorkel head ideal for vehicles travelling at lower speeds. With the engine facing forwards, it is harder to draw air into the vehicle. Thus, the natural flow of air being forced into the snorkel when the vehicle meets the rear. Generally, the results are inconclusive, with a relatively even distribution. For those who attempted to test the difference reporting a range of influences ranging from reduced power to no difference to improved performance.
Often, stainless steel or PVC custom jobs will not even include snorkel heads where the positioning of the snorkel intake will be to the rear.
Ram’s heads sit forwards because of their shape, but turning them around in extreme conditions shouldn’t be harmful. It is unlikely that it will make a difference in which direction you point your snorkel head. Instead, a vortex head may be a better option in highly dusty environments.
VORTEX HEAD, CYCLONE HEAD, AND PRE-FILTER TECHNOLOGY:
A vortex head is a device that works by using centrifugal force. An angled set of blades located at the base of the head propels air upward and outward. The angle of the blades encourages air to move in an upward circular motion, which reduces the need for a compressor. In addition, the heavy dirt and water have the rushing air push them out.
The internal chamber where the centrifugal action takes gets narrow, and the particles separate as they collect in an outer section. Once the swirling air has peaked at the chamber’s top, it is pushed down, and directed below into the snorkel.
More effective at capturing excess dust
Vortex heads are the most effective solution conditions where dust is particularly thick. And abundant or for navigating through swarms of flying insects. Their use is prefered over the use of a reversed ram head because they are more effective at capturing excess dust.
Some drivers experienced a slight loss of power when driving at higher speeds. Still, there will always be the prefered snorkel head for driving in highly dusty conditions. Vortex heads may also slightly increase induction noise, but this is usually not a significant issue when considering the dust separating benefits they provide.
Bird Feeder and Mushroom Head design:
They are designed to operate similarly to a vortex head. They are more enclosed than a ram head, making them a good choice. Still, instead of collecting dust to be disposed of later, it has holes that allow water and dust to quickly escape from the mushroom head.
Rain is not typically a problem for snorkels. Still, it can be a legitimate source of concern for some, and this design may alleviate any worries about water getting into the air intake system.
Which is better, petrol or diesel?
A snorkel always serves a purpose and can be beneficial to the air intake filters in any vehicle. Snorkels are more useful for diesel engines than gasoline engines. Diesel engines pose a greater risk than petrol engines, as air filters become clogged with dirt—a smooth and clean air stream in the combustion chamber. Suppose there is not enough air to mix with the fuel. A richer mixture of diesel will spark due to the lack of air. A hotter burn occurs in the combustion chamber, which is not ideal for any engine and results in fuel wastage.
Diesel engines operate through compression ignition instead of petrol engines, which run through spark ignition, yet another point of contention. Because a much higher pressure is required for the fuel mixture to burn, the compression ignition requires a more excellent air-to-fuel ratio. As a result, more air must compress to ignite the fuel mixture. Some people believe an air ram snorkel is ideal for pushing more air into the engine. As discussed under Air Ram Heads, it is not necessarily how a snorkel works.
Diesel engines are more susceptible to hydro lock than petrol.
The fact that diesel engines are more susceptible to hydro lock than petrol engines may also explain the greater emphasis on using a snorkel with diesel engines. Moreover, This is because their combustion chamber is smaller when compared to gasoline. The exact amount of water that might get into a petrol engine and cause little or no damage could have a disastrous effect on a diesel engine. Using a snorkel to raise the air intake will reduce the likelihood of water entering the engine and damaging it.
While these are generally valid reasons why a diesel engine should have a snorkel. They are not ruling out the need for a snorkel on a petrol engine. Four-wheel drive vehicles requiring a snorkel spend time driving through dusty terrain or water. To extend the life of the air intake and, as a result, protect the engine. A snorkel is necessary for any 4×4 intended for touring or off-roading.
What kind of spending money should I set aside for snorkelling?
Ask a diverse group of 4WD enthusiasts about the best snorkel brands on the market, and you’ll get a mixed response as to which brands are the best. While many four-wheel drivers appear to be firm believers that you get what you pay for. Surprisingly, many are also confident in the inexpensive aftermarket options tried and tested.
The cost of purchasing and installing a snorkel will range from $100 to $700. Whether you choose to do it yourself, buy a lesser-known brand and install it yourself. Or go the whole hog, purchase an expensive brand, and have it professionally installed.
Hiring a professional to install snorkels is a wise decision:
The countless forums that praise and criticise both established and lesser-known brands demonstrate that a more expensive snorkel does not necessarily imply a better snorkel. It is tightening all critical and essential components. Helping prevent vibrations and unwanted foreign materials from getting under your hood, or worse, into your engine, causing damage. Hiring a professional with a great deal of experience installing snorkels is a wise decision and an investment.
These are primarily for airflow and aesthetics. A professionally installed snorkel is more likely to be better fitted and thoroughly sealed, allowing it to deal with water crossings effectively. Many people believe that establishing a genuine vehicle-branded snorkel from your dealer’s accessories department is not the best option. These are typically not as well-sealed to the vehicle as possible, rendering them useless when driving through water.
As a result, in conclusion.
A snorkel will always be an excellent little addition to your 4WD. It determines whether you’re looking to improve the appearance or the functionality. For a snorkel to be a helpful accessory, you must first consider the conditions you will be using your rig after the addition. Suppose you’ll only be driving within the confines of the city and its surrounding suburbs. A licence isn’t essential (unless, of course, you want it for looks).
On the other hand, a snorkel is a necessary accessory for off-roading, rural driving, and crossing the shallow water. Once you complete all of your research and make your decisions. It’s ideal to ensure that your snorkel is installed by a reputable and experienced professional. Soon, you will be able to enjoy the freedom of venturing off the beaten path while keeping the engine’s longevity in mind.