Do I really need a snorkel

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:19
ThreadID: 76274 Views:4741 Replies:17 FollowUps:17
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I'm heading up to Cape York in june in a Petrol 80 series wagon with 2 inch lift. Do I need a snorkel.

I reckon the intake is about 900mm above ground and I would rather go round anything over about 600mm deep.

Thanks
Geoff
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:41

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:41
Is cheaper than a new engine.

Its too late when you find out there is an unexpected hole that is a metre deep.



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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:49

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:49
No you do not need a snorkel, there is nothing you either need it for or can't go around easilly. Save your cash.

OBT
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Follow Up By: Member - Scoot (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:56

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:56
Thanks for posting that question Geoff and thanks for your answer OBT.
As I'am on my way up there in June.

Cheers Scoot. :-)
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Reply By: Member - Boeing (PER) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:58

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 21:58
Geoff, Go the snorkel, I have seen a surf go through a 500mm water crossing and get a gut full of water and stop......... It was a petrol and I towed him back to Albany and he then had to source a car trailer and once back in Perth $8,000 damage.
Cheap insurance.

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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:12

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:12
Archer River, Circa 1980.



Really, it's up to your acceptable level of risk and how you wish to manage it.

For piece of mind I'd fit one!

Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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AnswerID: 405660

Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:38

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:38
rcher River now has a concrete causeway, in the dry season you do not even get your wheels wet!

OBT
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:47

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:47
Hi OBT,
I heard the Wenlock has a bridge!

I didn't believe the bit about solar showers and a ranger station at the Pennefather! Some people and their stories! Pffft

Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 at 10:59

Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 at 10:59
Yep Geoff your right.
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Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:16

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:16
If the rivers have dropped to their normal June level you can do without asnorkel given you take the extra precautions of walking all the major creeks & fit a blind where neccesary. Many of the creeks are crystal clear and appear quite shallow from the drivers seat when in fact they may have holes well over a metre deep. A snorkel is simply good insurance. Other than taking the Developmental road there is NO way around anything over 600 deep on the Telegraph track ;-)
Cheers Craig................
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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:52

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:52
You can get on and off the Telegraph Track and back onto the Development Road in several places if you are concerned about any crossings. All of the major crossings of years past that developed the reputation for difficulty have now got causeways or a ferry. IMHO a mandatory snorkel for a winter Cape York trip is one of the few remaining myths of Australian 4WD'ing.

OBT
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:50

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:50
"All of the major crossings of years past that developed the reputation for difficulty have now got causeways or a ferry"
Not wanting to suggest you are overexaggerating but I think there is one bridge, one ferry & one causeway over the major crossings above Weipa :-)
Check thisLINK for some photo's on what awaits people (depending on conditions). Nolans Brook catch's dozens of people every year, all who thought they were right up until the point they blew their engines. While water levels may have been low the year you went that will not always be the case.
I have never heard a suggestion by anyone (except you) that snorkels are mandatory on the Cape, only recommendations by people who found them useful or thought them to be cheap insurance for what can be at times a considerable risk.
Cheers Craig..............
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Reply By: Tim - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:39

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 22:39
Membership to EO=$50
Snorkel=$400
Installation=$100
Watching your bonnet dissapear under water when the sandy bottom 600mm deep creek gives way under your vehicle and thinking "mmmm a snorkel would be great right now...." PRICELESS.
In all seriousness, I have gained about 10% fuel economy since getting a snorkel. I worked it out that after just 25,000km I have made my money back. I honestly don't know why everyone doesn't have one.
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Follow Up By: Member - Porl - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:32

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:32
What you driving Tim?
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Follow Up By: Tim - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:46

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:46
Its an 01 TD prado. I'll happily give that not all people will get the same level of improved economy but I don't doubt there would be an inprovement of some amount.
As for the soft sand etc, I saw it happen at Nolans Brook last year. I think it was a total of 5 cars in one day. It was a mixture of water in the engine and water in the computer. I think it was a rodea, prado, rover and a nissan from memory.
Tim
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:21

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010 at 23:21
I've seen petrol 80series go through vic high country with water up to the bonnet without a problem. The intake is well hidden inside the RHS mudguard.
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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 07:30

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 07:30
The other advantage of a snorkel is to lift the intake higher than the dust blowing around your wheels on dirt roads, and also from the vehicle in front of you if you're in convoy. So your engine is getting a "slightly" cleaner shot of air.

I'd suggest the snorkel..... all in all, it's cheap insurance!


Cheers

Brian

AnswerID: 405691

Reply By: Member - Carl- Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 07:33

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 07:33
A snorkel has 2 other uses besides crossing water.

It increase fuel economy by 5% so over time it will pay for itself. Depending upon kilometers travelled etc.

The second is that it also helps keep the air cleaner clean from dust. Also depending upon the roads your travel. Cleaner air filter also helps economy.

It is a trade off between savings and cost to have it fitted.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:14

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:14
Hi Carl,

Could you tell me where you got the figure of 5% better fuel economy after fitting a snorkel ?


KK
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Follow Up By: gazza414 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:19

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:19
I'd be interested in how these increases in fuel economy work as well?????
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Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 15:10

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 15:10
Ok this is a memory test....

I think it was "4WD magazine". They wre running test on getting the best fuel economy. Trying tyre pressures, LPG etc. One of the things they tried was fitting a snorkel. 5% was the figure they came up with. Look at back copies around May 2009.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 17:13

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 17:13
Carl, I simply don't believe it. In fact I don't see that you can possibly get any advantage at all.

KK
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 22:57

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 22:57
Same as having Hi clowns fitted 20% improvement NOT

ROFLMAO
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Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 07:49

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 07:49
Geoff,

Personally I would have a snorkel particularly if it's a diesel.

I've done the OTL track twice, the first time just after the 06 cyclone season. This trip we had a mixture of both petrol and diesels without snorkels.
The creeks were up and we had to pull out a Territory on the Bloomfield track that had drowned the petrol engine. I was the only one in our group to have an issue and that was a fan blade through the radiator.

Last year we all had snorkels and the creeks were lower than the first time. No dramas at all apart from a blowout on the blacktop with one of the vehicles.

My trip reports are in my blog.


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Follow Up By: shakey88 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 19:58

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 19:58
"No dramas at all apart from a blowout on the blacktop with one of the vehicles."

Hey, I resemble that remark!!! At least we got to camp at a top place until my replacement came in!
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Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 at 06:52

Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 at 06:52
LOL.
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Reply By: Snowy 3.0iTD - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 08:17

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 08:17
Most of the dust generated from a vehicle comes from the wheels, dust is not good for any engine, where does you engine currently suck air from? The front driver side wheel arch, see a problem here?

Snowy
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Reply By: Voxson - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:01

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:01
Do you need really need one?? = Maybe...
Do you mentally need one?? = Definately...

You wait till you get there when you are at some of the crossings this year...

Nolans Brook.....
Cockatoo....
Canal....
Sam....
The swamp just before Nolans Brook....
The one between Fruit Bat and Twin Falls....

All of these crossings will make you second guess and for the piece of mind of a snorkel $400 it's a no brainer...
Or you will be criss crossing the OTL all day long trying to avoid these crossings..

Yes i agree,, you do not NEED one.... but you will see what i mean when you are there wishing you had one...
I know this first hand from 5 cape york trips where there has always been somebody with us similar to you...

Always tarp up if the water is higher than your bumper,,,,, if you dont tarp up then GO SLOW.........
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Follow Up By: zigdog - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 14:53

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 14:53
"Do you need really need one?? = Maybe...
Do you mentally need one?? = Definately... "

I couldnt agree more. Before we had one we had some brown pants moments in Kakadoo, on the track to Jim Jim falls. Now we have one and feel much better about things.

It's worth it for the stress factor alone.
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Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:22

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:22
I questioned myself on the same issue a few years ago should I or should I not. I pondered this for a few weeks and in the end I decided I would have one installed.

My reason was simply the fact I was part of a group they all had snorkels and I figured I did not want to burden the group if we came across any deep sections of water I would have to find another way around and thus slow the group down.

As it was we never encountered any waters over I guess 700 and taken slow was no issue. Nolans brook when we arrived at the cross roads we met another vehicle and asked about the crossing and told it was around 900 + and there was one drowned there at the moment.

The group wanted to do the Nolan brook path I chickened out and said I would see you all further up the track.

This had nothing to do with the snorkel more my gut feeling and my skill level at the time (my first 4x4 trip) and I did not want to drown my only vehicle or suffer a recovery cost.

My option only is to get one if not for the water crossings but for cleaner air, as for better fuel economy cannot say I've noticed any.

In the end you have to make the choice yourself to cross any water crossing with or without a snorkel.

As for the fans into radiators I was under the impression you disconnected the fan belt so the fan would not spin and get driven back into the radiator apart from tossing water all over the place under the bonnet.

Have a fun trip.

Brian

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Reply By: Member - Geoff H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 13:34

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 13:34
Thanks Guys,

I think I'll go with the snorkel even if I dodge the deeper creeks, (I'm no hero when it comes to flooded cars or computer chips anyway) the fresh air and possible performence and economy improvement has sold me.

I fitted one to a 2.8 Hilux and the air forced down the snorkel improved performance on the highway noticeable, don't know if I'll get the same improvement with the 80 series.

I never seem to get better economy with engine improvements, think I just drive faster.

Regards
Geoff
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Reply By: Moose - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 14:29

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 14:29
G'day Geoff
I bet many of the answers here from those who have never owned an 80 series petrol! I have. 1996 model with 2" lift. Vehicle has been thru water that came up over the bonnet and up the windscreen. Never put a snorkel on that vehicle. Never had any water related problems despite heaps of creek crossings. Always used a tarp if the water level was high. Plenty of WD40 or similar.
So the answer is NO you do not need a snorkel.
Cheers from the Moose
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 17:24

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 17:24
there are plenty of clips on u toob,
here is nolans book

Decide now on how comfortable you would be with or without.

I did it with out a snorkel in 1997 in a petrol SWB cruiser, nil preparation for that particular crossing (nolans), bit consider myself very lucky for my motor not to get a gutfull of water.
Have a look in my rigpics at the second last photo.
Shane














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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 20:38

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 20:38
Worked on the roads up there for the Council with a vehicle not fitted with a snorkel - I crossed many a river without the snorkel - You have to pick your track.

Council brought a new Toyota with a snorkel - first creek crossing it was drowned - The seal was no good.

I now own cars and always fit a snorkel - as said above good insurance and less dust to clean out of the filters - just make sure when it is fitted that it has a proper seal

Cheers Tony

AnswerID: 405806

Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:10

Thursday, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:10
We have a sock (proper washable filter) that inserts in the top of the snorkels. On our bush trips 10 days rallying every year we would swap with a clean one every couple of days and clean the other. It was amazing how much dirt it trapped.
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