Air Snorkels and How They Work

Air Snorkel Feature

An air snorkel is a raised air intake for 4wd vehicles. But why would you want to fit one? Well, for many who seldom take their vehicles off road, having a snorkel fitted, makes their vehicle look good. They may not have an immediate use for one now, but feel that it is better to have it fitted in case they come across a situation where a snorkel helps.

To the avid off roader, a snorkel means that they can get cool, clean air into the engine. Without a snorkel, air is drawn from within the engine bay. This means that the air is hot and full of impurities as it is closer to the ground and trapped within the engine bay. A snorkel raises the air intake to a level close to the roof of the vehicle, where it is cooler with less dust and other dirt particles.

When travelling in a convoy along a dusty track, the dust from the front vehicle has time to drop to a height of somewhere mid-way of the windscreen. As the Air Ram Head, is higher, you will still get cleaner air as compared to not having a snorkel.

Snorkels allow you to undertake river crossings without water entering your engine. But this only works well if the snorkel is specially designed for your vehicle, and has been properly fitted with tight seals. Even though air snorkels allow you to cross deep rivers, you need to take into consideration the vehicle’s wading depth rating. Although the Air Ram Head is high, parts like the alternator and other electrical components are much lower in the engine bay.

How does the Snorkel Work?

In the Air Ram System, clean air is rammed into the snorkel, forcing moisture and dirt against the back wall and out the slits on the lower sides of the Ram Head. In the event that water escapes this first guard, there are drain holes at the bottom of the snorkel body and also in the air filter box. The main purpose of a snorkel is to raise the air intake so cool, clean air is allowed into the engine after passing through the air filter. Clean air without the dirt particles will keep your engine from wear cause by the dirt. Clean air means that your engine will perform better, have better fuel economy and last longer.

Ram Snorkel

Vortex Snorkel

Other than the Ram Snorkel, there is another type known as the Vortex Snorkel. This has a cylindrical head with angled vanes located at the bottom of the head to rotate air. Air enters the head and the centrifugal force pushes dirt and other particles against the back wall and out the vents. Meanwhile, air goes back down to the intake.

Fitting a snorkel involves drilling holes into the windscreen pillar to fit a mounting bracket. A big hole is cut into the fender so that a hose can be connected to the snorkel and the air intake box. The seals used has to be water-tight. Also, you should ensure that the bare metals should be painted to prevent corrosion.

If you are a person who loves tough off-road adventures with lots of river crossings, then a snorkel will appeal to you. If water should enter your engine, it could cost damages that is going to cost quite a bit of cash.