When Is A Snorkel Not A Snorkel????

Submitted: Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 12:18
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I have a 2017 76 Series Landcruiser Workmate station wagon. I comes standard with a "snorkel", with corrugations at the back of it next to the body. I was talking to someone on the weekend who said it should be removed and I should put a "proper" snorkel on it. Now Toyota, in their infinite wisdom have this "snorkel" in two parts, split in the middle.

Is there any advantage to be gained from having a new Safari snorkel fitted, or does this "snorkel" do the same job?

Thank you in advance for your responses.

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Reply By: Athol W1 - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 12:32

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 12:32
The answer to your question is dependant on what you consider is the purpose of the snorkel.

Is the snorkel fitted so that you can do extra deep water crossings, if so then it must be completely sealed from the opening above the windscreen all the way to the engine. This includes any dust/water drains that may be fitted to the air filter body,


Is the snorkel there so that you are getting cooler and cleaner air into the engine, then the presence of some joints and/or drain points within the system is not going to have much effect even if they leak, and may even be beneficial.

If you intend to drive through water exceeding about 500mm in depth then there are other things that you need to consider, and at about 600mm I would be very much considering the necessity to proceed.

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Reply By: RMD - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 12:37

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 12:37
I wonder what constitutes a "proper" snorkel, and believing a "someone" can create doubts, costly doubts too sometimes, all because of "someone".
What qualifications does the "someone" have to judge definitively the operation of the snorkel?
SO it has two parts, might be good if the top section gets damaged as it may be ripped off and leave the lower part to still be able to be used while fording streams.
If damaged on a "proper" snorkel the whole thing has to be removed.
As long as the snorkel seals in all joins to prevent ingress of dust and water to the intake then I wouldn't worry about corrugations in the inner surface. It may be there to stop drumming and transmitted intake air frequencies which are common in many vehicles.
Maybe "someone " doesn't think too deeply into anything at all and gets their jollies from casting doubts within one who owns the vehicle.
AnswerID: 625226

Follow Up By: OBJ - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 14:34

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 14:34
Correct RMD.

Some of them seem to find work in these "noted" 4WD shops. I have made comment on these folk in a previous thread relating to suspension upgrades.

But when someone (??) mentions it and I don't know definitively, I always get the best info from t his website. Such is the case here again.

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 07:04

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 07:04
70 series snorkels.Fact is many of them leak and always have done.
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Reply By: Kenell - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:01

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:01
The 76 Series doesn't actually come with a "snorkel". I believe it is only considered to be an "elevated air intake". When mine was removed I discovered a gap of about 10mm between the two parts. This gap seriously compromises the integrity of the air intake during water crossings above 500mm as previously mentioned. Whilst I don't go looking for it I find I am regularly crossing water above this level hence the Safari snorkel I now have fitted. I have to say that I noticed a significant difference in performance also after the snorkel was fitted. Probably more than I noticed with the fitting of a 3" exhaust.
AnswerID: 625227

Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:23

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:23
I find it hard to believe a different snorkel improves performance and you can notice it. If yours had a 10mm gap then that is as big as the feed tube area and was not restricting the intake at all.
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:41

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:41
RMD, I can only tell it as I felt it. When I purchased my 76 back in 2011 I couldn't understand why so many owners were going to the expense of changing the oem for a Safari or other proprietary brand snorkel. I did quite a lot of research at the time and since I travel a bit in the Vic high country I decided not to risk it and had the Safari installed. I wasn't looking for the power upgrade nor expecting it but it was quite obvious. Others have noted the same on this site and many others. I don't really subscribe to the "ram theory" from the forward facing head but perhaps there is something in it. Anyway I am comfortable with my choice and have had no issues with water ingress - perhaps the same might have happened with the oem but I guess I'll never know. Ron's story further on in this thread whilst extreme and unrelated to 4wds is sobering and water entering via an air intake particularly in isolated country is a scary thought. The power thing - actual or perceived - is merely a side benefit.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 16:28

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 16:28
So how may 'Hiclones' did your extra power inducing snorkel come with ?
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:15

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:15
The standard Toyota snorkel is quite adequate to do what roof-level snorkels are designed to do - suck in air that contains less dust, and avoid ingesting water in deep water immersion situations.

There are dozens and dozens of webpages "pushing" the supposed advantages of aftermarket snorkels with forward-facing intakes and supposedly creating cleaner air and producing colder air for the engine.

Naturally, all these websites are written by designers of the aftermarket snorkels and by website owners seeking income from sponsors. Of course, they are going to "boom up" the products they discuss in a cosy "mate-to-mate" fashion.

The advantages of aftermarket snorkels over a Toyota factory snorkel are minimal.
They can't eliminate much incoming dust - unless they comprise or contain a centrifugal-action precleaner style of arrangement (a la Donaldson precleaners).

They can't produce colder air for the engine, the incoming air is at ambient temperature - so if it's a stinking hot day, your engine will still suck in hot air.

You will sometimes notice a difference in engine performance with any snorkel, as the intake air temperature lowers substantially on cold nights. You notice this most in cold valleys on still nights.
There will sometimes be a sizeable temperature difference between the outside ambient air temperature at roof level, compared to the air inside the engine bay.

However, not all standard aircleaners suck air from inside the engine bay.
Many engines suck air from inside the wheel well, or from behind the grille - where the air is at ambient outside temperature.

Bottom line, nearly all aftermarket snorkels are fitted for appearance sake, to make the 4WD look like a "real 4WD".
The market for aftermarket roof-level snorkels started because many earlier aircleaner intake arrangements were less than satisfactory.
Most vehicle manufacturers have woken up to the owners requirements for better aircleaner arrangements.

I can remember a business associate wrecking his new 380SL Mercedes engine when he took us for an inspection of an item of equipment we wanted to sell.
The road to the machine we were going to inspect was a gravel road, it was mid-Winter, and we'd had about 25-30mm of rain overnight.

We came to a small floodway with a small creek flowing over the road. The associate (who was a pretty arrogant a***hole), asked if it was safe to cross.

I replied, "I drive my Holden utes through this kind of stuff all the time. Can't see why the Merc can't do it".

Unbeknowns to me (and the Merc owner), the 380SL had an amazingly-crafted air intake, that snaked across the engine bay, went through the front radiator panel, and ended up sucking in air, just below the centre of the front bumper!!

Of course, those Mercedes engineers had designed that intake to suck in cool fresh air, from Autobahns, at 200kmh!!
It did a wonderful job of scooping up about 40 litres of bitingly cold, muddy creek water, and distributing it thoroughly throughout that fine V8 Mercedes engine!

It immediately broke rings and probably did a whole heap of other engine damage, too! (we never did find out the total damage cost).

Suffice to say, the Merc owner was mightily pissed-off at seriously damaging his near-new Merc engine - while we secretly had a good laugh about it! Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke (he never even purchased our item of equipment, either! LOL).

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:49

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:49
wow, what a story!!
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 14:37

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 14:37
Nice one, Ron.
Thanks for that. I enjoyed the laugh.
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Follow Up By: Charliektm400exc - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 20:45

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 20:45
Can’t comment on if a snorkel makes any difference to water crossings,but I can tell you there is probably a significant temperature difference between where a normal intake is, and the height of a snorkel. I ride a motorcycle, and am currently travelling up through outback Queensland.

I can tell a significant temperature difference between what I feel sitting on the seat and when I stand up. Much cooler when I stand up. It might all be ambient, but my interpretation is, that the bitumen adds a lot more to the temperature then just ambient.

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 03:36

Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 03:36
Ron when I fitted a snorkel to my GQ TD42 which already had an after market turbo intercooler, larger exhaust done 4yrs prior the econ improved by half a litre and I noticed the engine revved up a bit easier through the gears. It may have been a different story without the other mods. I fitted it to hopefully gain something which I did. But yes some fit them for looks or believe they can now drive through deeper water trouble free but forget about their computer and other electrical or mechanical items which are no better off.

Some vehicles need one like the TD5 Disco I once had I've had 9 4wd's, only had snorkels on 2 of them and the Disco was the only one that ever sucked sand into the air box through the factory intake so it needed one for sure.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:25

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 13:25
Following is a visual discussion and remedy...

I opted to fit a Safari Snorkel on my 79 Series.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 14:44

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 14:44
Yep. Good info there. Ronny Dahl does a lot of good work.
Thanks, Baz.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:26

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:26
Looks strange. Do most people fit snorkels way out in forests?
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:35

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:35
What are you ‘smokin RMD...?

The video doesn’t show him fitting a snorkel, only talking about it; it is already fitted.

Enjoy ;)

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:42

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:42
Why not make sure the original is sealed throughout and use that.
How do you decide the Safari snorkel gives more hp when on a dyno it is not getting road speed ram air? Bit of a sus comment. Why go bush to show the snorkel when in town is the same. Only done to persuade with a reality situation.
Just bolted on stuff at a cost, anyone can do that! We all have.
Although stating a disclaimer etc, the video has all the hallmarks of being an advert/promotion.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 19:56

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 19:56
As even the bloke in the video said, a lot cheaper to just silastic up the join in the OEM "snorkel".
And to be honest, the Safari doesn't look much better.
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 20:25

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 20:25
Got a Safari snorkel on my 100 Series. Seems to work OK. Just a pity they don't make them colour coded as it tends to clash with the silver paint work.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 20:47

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 20:47
Ram air effect on a snorkel is a load of bollocks.

A forced induction system is sucking way more air than can be pushed down by even driving into a stiff headwind, it might have made a difference with an old asthmatic 40 series, but a turbo diesel...

The claim of increased hp would have to be based on dyno figures and would be down to the increased air intake size over the cyclonic dust separator design as the seat of the pants dyno certainly isn't that accurate.

The Donaldson dust separator heads are only recommended for use at speeds up to 80km/h as the turbulence dramatically reduces their efficiency, I'd be guessing the Toyota ones would be similar.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 09:12

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 09:12
The whole idea of having a turbo is to provide air to the cylinders. If there is ample supply and not restricted for max flow the turbo creates the flow rate and pressure. Unless the intake is too small then the snorkel will have no effect on it.

Some folk must have been smacked on the bottom quite a lot and nerve sensitivity heightened in that area, as they claim their Bum Dyno to be able to detect small increases in torque and power output.
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Follow Up By: Craig H4 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 15:52

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 15:52
Jeez RMD great to have you around, is there anything you're not an expert on?
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 16:19

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 16:19
RMD, whilst I appreciate your interest in the sensitivity of my bottom and your theory as to how it evolved I suspect your expertise in this area is as limited as your experience on the topic being discussed. Unless you have actually driven the model in question before and after the installation I am not sure that you are in any position to ridicule those who have.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 17:21

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 17:21
Sorry to disappoint, but you assume wrongly.
Having had to diagnose and rectify earthmoving and relatively heavy machinery + their turbo problems and later instruct apprentices on engine theory and all aspects of vehicle systems at technician level, I most likely are reasonably aware of what happens with most mechanical and electrical/electronic devices in vehicles. No one can know everything but a wide experience of these things has been had. Some others on here also have a definite deeper experience than most.
It has been my trade for a few decades.

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Follow Up By: Kenell - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 17:46

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 17:46
I am more than happy to bow to your extensive experience. Apparently my perception of a power increase therefore must have been wrong. I have only been driving for 50 odd years so what would I know? I do appreciate your humility though - no one can know everything.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, May 04, 2019 at 08:24

Saturday, May 04, 2019 at 08:24
If you put a snorkel on a VW Touareg then you void the factory warranty UNLESS you point the ram head backwards. Make whatever you want from that but it must be significant in some way knowing how Germans are. I know this because there's only one snorkel available and it's in their blurb. Ok, back to the Toyota's now. :-)
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Reply By: tonysmc - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 19:45

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 19:45
Apart from making sure it is all sealed, I believe the best thing you can fit to any 4x4 is a "filter minder". It will tell you if your engine is getting enough air or not, so no guess work. Also tell you when the filter is too dirty and needs changing.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 09:13

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 09:13
My old HJ60 series turbo had that as an OE feature.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 23:54

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 23:54
Even Toyota will tell you the OEM Snorkel is really to reduce dust Ingress as opposed to water ingress. The Safari Snorkel is a better unit for helping to reduce both water & dust ingress into the turbos.


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 01:08

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 01:08
Macca, for dust to reach the turbos, your aircleaner has to be holed, or wrecked in some manner.

As far as water ingress goes, if you're looking at water that high, that you're worried about it reaching the turbos, I'd suggest you're getting close to floating off the road - particularly if the water is flowing at a reasonable pace.

I ran several dual cab LN106 Hilux diesels in the late 1980's for work vehicles - and despite working in some pretty severe environments (Marble Bar to the Eastern and Southern goldfields of W.A.), those Hiluxes were never fitted with snorkels and they survived pretty admirably - bar one.

That one was driven by my (then) 18 yr old nephew, who was (and still is), a "full pedal to the metal" type of personality - and he thought it was great fun to barrel the poor old Hilux through the Coongan River in flood - at 60-70kmh!

The end result was pretty predictable, of course - the Hilux ingested a massive gutful of water - and those old 2.4L diesels must have pretty strong pistons and rods, because a piston came up against compression onto a solid slug of water - and it punched a fist-sized hole, straight through the block!!

Fortunately, the insurance company I had at that time was pretty good, and they paid out on a complete new motor, agreeing the episode was a claimable "accident". The insurance companies of today might not be so agreeable.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 06:17

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 06:17
Unless you drive a 200 or a hilux. They just suck dust straight past the miss fitting panel filter seals. Toyota are really getting it together these days. The factory snorkels on the 75’s used to be in 3 or 4 bits!
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:34

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:34
Hi Ron, there are a couple of issues with the OEM Snorkel on the 70 series, (I had a 76 Series for a few years), they are in several pieces, & if not sealed completely at the various joins, will leak both water & dust. They did not fit very well at the point where they pass through the mudguard, and at the air cleaner itself it also did not seal well. Yes, dust generally got caught by the air cleaner element, but water did not. So deep water, say bonnet height, could & did get sucked into the system, including the turbos. Having said that, there have also been instances of the filter element not sealing well inside the filter housing, allowing dust etc. to bypass the element. There are plenty of instances of this occurring posted on the LCOOL Forum. I had mine changed over to a Safari Snorkel. I have also had my current 200 Series GX OEM Snorkel changed out for a Safari Armax Snorkel, even though the 200 series OEM snorkel appears to fit better than the 70 series.


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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 07:02

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 07:02
From the first 70 series in the 1980's the genuine Toyota snorkel has been 2 piece and most do leak. Only thing they have changed is the size of the snorkel.

Fix has always been to pull the whole snorkel off, clean the joint and use black sikaflex to seal it.
Just make sure the angle is kept the same as original.
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Reply By: Member - David M (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:57

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:57
Snorkel seems to be working OK.
An oldie but a goody.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 10:35

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 10:35
And when you have to open the doors to let the water out, you have just destroyed your vehicle.

Insurance companies declare a vehicle a total write-off, when floodwater has reached a depth of 150mm above the floor pans - for a reason.

Floor pans are the thinnest panels in a vehicle body (usually only 1mm thick), they are high tensile steel, which corrodes faster than any other grade of steel.

The floor pans of most Japanese vehicles corrode out rapidly at the best of times, without water immersion.

Then there's the problem in vehicles of today that the floor level area of most vehicles is full of sensors, ECU's, actuators, and wiring and connectors related to occupant safety devices - and all these are affected by water immersion - if not immediately, then a little while after immersion as corrosion and moisture build-up issues raise their ugly heads.

It really surprises me how many people set out to totally wreck their 4WD, which comprises a sizeable financial investment for most people.

Even in the military - not well known for preserving their equipment - we'd ford that creek by using pontoons to carry the vehicles across.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - abqaiq - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 13:11

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 13:11
The 78 series turbo 6s, at least, have a delta P sensor across the air filter to sense if the filter is clogged. The sensor will turn on a dash warning light if the delta P exceeds about 0.6 psig so if you are running a standard turbo and filter the delta P is almost insignificant before the light comes on. It seems (I may be wrong) that any upstream change to the snorkel geometry is insignificant in getting more air into the engine. I imagine that those running "higher boost" than factory setting must either disconnect the sensor, use the light for dash illumination or have lots of money to put in for replacing over stressed engines. As someone on another site noted via a dash sticker "YOU HAVE TO GO HOME IN THIS - DON'T BE STUPID" |
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, May 02, 2019 at 21:18

Thursday, May 02, 2019 at 21:18
The 70 series Landcruisers do not come with a snorkel as people like to call it . It is a high air intake and is NOT sealed to protect against water ingress
If you intend on doing deep water crossings I suggest you replace it with a proper snorkel,that is what I have done.
AnswerID: 625312

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, May 04, 2019 at 08:30

Saturday, May 04, 2019 at 08:30
I knew that, but I didn't want to stifle the post count. :-) Factory "snorkels" on Land Rover Discovery's are the same, not sealed and purely for high air intake.
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