Snorkles: fashion statements or effective engine mod'

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2420 Views:2545 Replies:13 FollowUps:12
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Hi everyone. Recently on this forum a comment was made that the fitting of a snorkle (amongst other things) can improve the power of an engine. How so? The snorkle, with its bends and added length, would only slow down the passage of the air and inhibit performance. As for drawing clean air from above another car's dustcloud, well I've never seen a dustcloud under 10 metres high and as for fording water, if it's that deep what is it going to do to the rest of the car? At highway speeds the ram effect may compensate for the bends etc but what about the rest of the time at slower speeds and off road? In all honesty, are they an expensive decoration that don't serve any practical purpose. I'm curious as to everyone's opinion, particularly anyone who has done any flow tests. Signed......SCEPTICAL.
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
How does the air get into engine without a snorkel? It has to bend around the various parts of the cars body to get to the intake.

Dust? The higher the air intake the smaller the dust particles. Since fitting a snorkel my air filter doesn't need cleaning as often.

Improved engine power? I'm not convinced - maybe a slight increase but not really noticable.

Increased engine life? absolutely - less dust, less wear.

As for fording. I have friends who's work takes them all over the cape and they have at times had water half way up the windscreen. But the engines keeps going coz of the snorkel. They aren't worried about the effect of water on the interior, they just hose the car out when they get home. Without a snorkel they may not get home.
AnswerID: 8786

Reply By: Eric - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Derek.
You are right about the reduction in power caused by snorkels. The later models with there precision electronic controls are the worst effected.
The snorkels cause problems for engine tuners. One large firm takes them off to tune the motor and then replaces them for the customer.The drop in power is proportunal to rpm and can be 2or 3 kw at 3000rpm.
Eric.
AnswerID: 8787

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Derek,

We fitted a snorkel to our NH Pajero, mainly because of the large number of water crossings that we were doing whilst living in the NT. Originally had no intention of doing so but soon realised the merits. Air intake was level with headlights and beside the radiator. Have a look at a Paj and you'll see that means the intake was quite low so even on a relatively "shallow" water crossing, we risked taking in a gutsful of water. Electronic airflow sensor at the back of the intake line could easily receive water damage. Replacement cost ~$600 (more than the cost of a snorkel). After several water crossings and before the snorkel was fitted, we removed this sensor and could see evidence of water having travelled that far up the intake tube.

On many occasions, we had water completely over the bonnet, far enough to get a bit of water dripped onto our feet thru the vents just in front of the windscreen. We are not cowboys and never undertook these crossings just because they were there. Also, it is possible to take in water during a shallow crossing if you drop into a hole or on an inital steep decent into the creek etc before the nose of the vehicle levels out. As for the car interior, we never got more than a little bit of seepage around the bottom of the doors and a few drops from the vents as mentioned above. Just stopped straight after each crossing and mopped up with a towel. No damage.

I second comments already made about dust. As for power, we never noticed any difference to the before and after snorkel. Fuel economy hard to say as we had a roof rack fitted at the same time so whilst we did have higher consumption afterwards, couldn't say how much, if any, was attributed to the snorkel.

One other point though, the snorkel did have a negative impact on the resale value of our Paj when we sold it. Dealers don't like 'em cause buyers don't like 'em. Hints too much of a 4WD that might have actually done some off-road work...God forbid!!!

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 8790

Reply By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Tell this bloke that snorkels are a waste of $$


DROWNED SURF!

Sorry Ron!

First time out in car, Coopers Creek Vic. Hole in block, and all. We removed the air cleaner that was up top and it was FULL.... Petrol motor as well!


over $5000 later he has a new engine. Oh and a snorkel.
AnswerID: 8791

Follow Up By: Royce - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Where abouts exactly at Coopers Creek was that Truckster? Royce
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Reply By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Anyone not seen the Safari Video Clip of the Jackaroo FLOATING DOWN THE RIVER!!! then drives off..????

Safari Video Clips. Select one and ... be impressed.
AnswerID: 8793

Reply By: flappan - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Anyone who puts a snorkle on hoping to get "performance gains" is kidding themselves.

In fact, its likely to make it worse.

What it will do, and as Nigel said, It will hopefully provide a cleaner enviroment for your motor, hence, making it last longer.

Oh, yeah, water in a motor is NEVER a good thing.
AnswerID: 8796

Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
A snorkel will RARELY make it worse...

How would it??

It draws cold fresher air from higher up, more away from dust than inside the guard, or engine bay where its also warmer than up high...

At speed you get a 'slight' ram effect from them...
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Follow Up By: Flappan - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Because the snorkle usually contains more bends in it, and travelling further in a confined area thereby restricting airflow. Granted, not in all cases.

The "RAM" flow effect is nonsense for the same reason.
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Follow Up By: Slunnie - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Hmm, I think there is more to airflow design and air being restricted because there are bends in there. Granted that bends do slow airflow, I would expect that the sizes and shapes of the bend are designed to maintain proper airflow by Safari or Airtek. Considering the product, this is a major feature of the design!
I don't have a snorkel, but have seen the difference they make in the dust, especially bulldust and will later fit a snorkel. Also, I've had little puddles in the track come over the bonnet. A turbo diesel engine is more expensive that $450 in my books.
Regards
Slunnie
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Think of the sucking or blowing theory.

If your sucking hot turbulant dirt from behind the guard V air being pushed into a pipe with only one way to go... More cool air = yes thanks.

I'll take the snorkel....

I think by now, over the last 20+yrs, they have worked out the bends and air flow problems...

And as for Value, check the link above of the Surf with a rod thru the block, $5000+ later he was driving with a Snorkel and new engine.

Totally up to you!
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Reply By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Another factor not yet mentioned - a snorkel provides cooler (denser) air because the air isn't drawn from inside a hot engine bay or guard.
AnswerID: 8800

Reply By: wazza - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
A snorkel could have saved us all from a freezing swim in the Buffalo River last year:

http://www.geocities.com/watercrossing/index.html

Also, check your recovery points before the car goes in the water. As in this case, the Ford Explorers recovery point is a hook off the middle of the diff. Who would have guessed? Took us half an hour to work that one out. The car went in for it's 1500km service that week with no problems, luckily. 80 series to the rescue again.

Warren.
AnswerID: 8805

Reply By: damien - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
I'd certainly rather pay $400 for a snorkel than $13000 for a new T/D engine for my Jack.

Fashion statement - i don't think so
AnswerID: 8806

Follow Up By: Slunnie - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
I agree Damo! A fashion statement for those that don't go bush perhaps.
Regards
Slunnie
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Bloke on the patrol list was quoted $17,000 for rebuilding his Hydro'ed GU 3.0... Can install a Chev V8 6.5 Turbo Diesel for less than that and put in a lift kit!

$400 - $800 for a snorkel, who cares! Cheap!
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
CORRECTION!

Bloke on the patrol list was quoted $17,000 for rebuilding his Hydro'ed crappy GU 2.8 ...

You can and WOULD install a Chev V8 6.5 Turbo Diesel for less than that and put in a lift kit!

$400 - $1000 for a snorkel, who cares! Cheap insurance!

If I wanted a fashion statement I would get a Freeloader, or Volvo, or BMW, or Ferrari!
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Reply By: colin - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
forget the ram air effect and fit a pre cleaner on top of the snorkel and see the gains in keeping your filter clean, only $30 from diesal spares. Col
AnswerID: 8810

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 21, 2002 at 01:00
Problem is most pre-cleaner manufacturers recommend not exceeding 80km/h while the pre-cleaner is in use.

When in convoy I stay far enough back so dust isn't a problem anyway. That way I can also see where I'm going and any obstacles or animals.
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Follow Up By: Colin - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Well first time to anything, i have a donaldson pre cleaner and no such warnings. Also did a trip to Camerons Corner in convoy, the wind was blowing so hard we couldnt see the front of the car from dust, we had over a k between vehicles, lucky we all had 2 ways. With pre cleaner and spare outer sleeve finer filters was able to keep fuel consumption better than all other vechiles in convoy. Also have had no problems at high speed .Col
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Reply By: sean - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
Here is is for me.

Nissan 3.0 TD 2000 model.Northern Territory.

Before snorkel - top speed 155 km/h (with rack)
Aircleaner constantly clogged from bulldust and dust getting past airfilter. Would sometimes need to wash out with water, dry and reinstall.
Would worry every time I came to water and did not know the crossing. Bit hard to walk every crossing in croc country.


After snorkel - top speed - same as before. But maybe little worse economy due to extra drag.
Dust and bulldust no longer a problem.
Better confidence with water crossings.

For 4wd used of the tarmac - snorkel is the only way to go....................
AnswerID: 8913

Reply By: royce - Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 24, 2002 at 01:00
I don't often see a dust cloud around the engine area or much higher than the bonnet. The cloud billows out and up behind the vehicle. Sucking air in from just behind a head light, inside the engine bay, is not going to be as clean as that from the top of the windscreen area. The extra resistance of the extra length of tube with a couple more bends would be very hard to measure. ...... very low I think. Ram effect.... hmm interesting idea. Sounds good, but as soon as the maximum amount of air used by the motor is being processed, the rest banks up. The air would simply not be pushed into the 'full' snorkel after that. In my case I turbo-charged at the same time as snorkelling... so probably the turbo overshadowed any effect. I sure would prefer to have my air drawn in above water level. Splashing and surging.... even waves can make water enter the air intake.... the higher the better for me.. So what do you think Derek? For a smallish outlay in the scheme of things, do you reckon they might be worth it? Cheers Royce
AnswerID: 8916

Follow Up By: Derek - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Royce. Thanks for you objective reply. I've spent 25 years in the trucking and earthmoving game as a fitter and nearly as long as that in a four wheel drive club and consequently have a definite opinion on snorkles. As you may have guessed I don't think they are even remotely needed unless the car is driven extensively on dirt at speed. What prompted me to post the above question is that there seems to be a growing disinterest in snorkles in the 4 wheel drivers I'm meeting lately. A few years back everyone was saying you have to have one and now I'm hearing that they're simply an added expense which do not offer any significant advantages. My original question was not really to see who likes them and who doesn't, but rather to see how powerful the nature of "keeping up with the Jones'" was. It was more an inquiry into human psychology to see if people fit them because their mate has one or because they really need one. Peer pressure, even for adults, is a powerful marketing tool.
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Reply By: royce - Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 25, 2002 at 01:00
Ahhh the psychology of 4WD!... How much is for show? I used to have a small Datsun 1000 station wagon. I took it up every bush track I could find. Almost never got stuck. Probably most non-city people don't even need a 4WD. A lot of it's to do with image I s'pose. I have got bogged more in 4WDs than in 2WDs! Cheers Royce
AnswerID: 8961

Follow Up By: Robert - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Yes I agree there are lots of places a 2wd car can go - especially the older ones. Unfortunately these days there is a trend for government dept's, to erect signs "Only 4wd's Past This Point" on some of our gravel roads, that many 2wd cars (even new ones) are quite capable of driving on. This is forcing some people to own a 4wd whether they really want to, or have the need to, and then of course as you said there are those for whom it is all image.
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