Raised Air Intake (Snorkel)

One of the first modifications I wanted to make to Arbie was to fit a Raised Air Intake or Snorkel.  Although the Ranger has a ‘class leading’ wading depth of 800mm I wanted some extra comfort when crossing deep water and we do intend to revisit Iceland where water crossings are frequent and deep.  However, the main use of a raised air intake is to draw cleaner, cooler air into the engine which will be better at any time but especially when we are driving dusty tracks or in the desert.

Snorkel-1There are several designs of snorkel available for the Ranger in the UK.  Two from Safari, one from TJM and the other from Ironman 4×4.

One of the Safari versions and the TJM model require large holes to be drilled through the wing.  Apart from not being keen on this I also didn’t like the look of them.

The other Safari and the Ironman model fitted in a similar way to the one I chose but I just didn’t like their appearance.

The model I actually wanted is the Ford accessory sold in Australia and South Africa. Unfortunately I was unable to find a source that would ship to the UK.

Ebay came to the rescue with several ‘clone’ copies of the Ozzy Ford version.  I was a bit concerned about the quality but once received it looks pretty reasonable.  If you’re interested in a similar model then a quick search on ebay, for Ford Ranger snorkel, will furnish several results.  However, take my advice and make sure that it comes with instructions (or you can follow this guide) because the one I bought didn’t and it was a nightmare to try and figure out without.

My second tip is to look for a kit that includes a ‘foam’ pad gasket (that sits between the snorkel and the bodywork).  Some kits do but mine didn’t and so I decided to add a bit of foam ‘draft excluder’ just to prevent any vibration rubbing which could rub the paint.

I used the following tools:

  • 7mm, 8mm, 10mm & 13mm extended sockets on a ‘screwdriver’ type handle
  • Long flat head screwdriver
  • Short ‘stubby’ crosshead screwdriver
  • 13mm ratchet spanner
  • 13mm combination spanner
  • Head torch
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill and 8.5mm drill bit

It took me far too long to do this as I didn’t have any instructions.  With this guide I would estimate 3-4 hours to complete this.  However, don’t blame me if it takes longer  😉

Snorkel-2The first step is to remove the inner wheel arch from the right hand front wheel.

These are held on by a series of cross head screws.

I found that by moving the wheel to full lock and using a ‘stubby’ screwdriver I was able to access them all.

Snorkel-3The screws are located around the rear and front as well as some at the back.

 

Snorkel-4The screws are in two parts; the screw and a ‘holder’ which is a bit like a wall plug.

Sometimes both parts will spin together and so slight pressure may need to be exerted on the panel to stop the outer part.

There are 19 in total.

It’s a bit difficult to describe or show the locations of all of them so I shall just say: if you haven’t removed 19 then you know you can’t remove the trim and you still have some left. 😀

Snorkel-9Once all the screws are out you can ‘wiggle’ he trim panel out over the wheel.

It is quite flexible and will easily bend around the wheel.

 

Snorkel-5Once removed you can then clearly see the air intake towards the front.

 

Snorkel-6Looking rearward you can see the back of the small side grill trim.

 

Snorkel-7By reaching up, on the inside, you can ease the clips and release and remove this panel.

Be careful if you want to keep this as it is easy to snap the fixings.

Snorkel-8Next, lift the bonnet and undo the jubilee clip holding the air inlet.

You can reach this with along ‘flat head’ screwdriver or, as I did, a 7mm extended socket and handle.

Snorkel-10Once it’s loose you can remove the inlet end.

 

Snorkel r - 3Next it helps if you remove the airbox.

This is held in by two bolts and the air hose.  Undo the two bolts, loosen the jubilee clip on the air hose and then it is almost free to be lifted out.

There is a clip which attaches to a hose on the inboard side and there is a sensor which is plugged into the lid.  Unclip these and lift the airbox out.

This isn’t absolutely essential but does make things a little easier.

Snorkel-12Fit the rubber ‘gater’ and clip to the short elbow.

 

Snorkel r - 9Then fit the small angled bracket.

 

Snorkel r - 6Once this is done secure the short elbow into position and secure it to the existing mounting point.

 

Snorkel-8You can then refit the airbox and secure the inlet hose.

This will take a fair bit of ‘persuasion’ to get it aligned.

Snorkel - 32I then found it was best to slightly bend the snorkel ‘flange’ to suit the body shape.

To get the right amount of bend just line it up behind the panel.

 

Snorkel r - 1Pass the ‘flange’ up the inside of the wing and secure in place using the two rivets through the existing holes in the panel.

 

Snorkel r - 5I then added a few strips of foam ‘draft excluder’ to the back of the snorkel body as I didn’t want the hard plastic to vibrate against the paintwork.

 

If you have roofbars you now need to consider the bracket that secures the snorkel at the top.  If you don’t have roofbars then you can do this at the end.  However, looking at the bracket supplied, it looks like you have to drill the roof and secure from underneath.  I didn’t study this too much so if this applies to you then, I’m afraid, you’re on your own 😕  sorry.

I mistakenly left this to the end and this  meant that in could only fit one securing screw because the snorkel head gets in the way.  By modifying and fitting the bracket now you can add extra security.

Snorkel t - 1Snorkel t - 2I took the original bracket and reshaped it.

 

Snorkel t - 3Snorkel t - 4I then loosely placed the snorkel in position and lined up the bracket between the snorkel head and roofrack and marked the outline.   I cut the bracket to shape and drilled a hole for a self tapping screw.

If your doing this at an earlier stage you should drill two holes and then secure it in place using 4mm or 5mm self tapping screws into the black plastic end pieces.

Snorkel tx - 1Then secure the snorkel body in place.  Before doing this I advise you to stuff some rags into the body space below the snorkel hole before you start.

The reason for this will be come clear as you attempt to fit the upper rear most nut head.  I will guarantee that you will drop it several times as it is very difficult to secure.

If it drops it will fall down into the curve of the body and be very difficult to retrieve.  The rag will prevent this ( I learnt this, and many new swear words through numerous failed attempts at fitting the nut).

Tighten the nuts as evenly as possible.

Snorkel t - 7Then secure the top of the snorkel to the modified bracket ( I shall paint mine later and add some adhesive in lieu of a second screw).

Snorkel r - 11Next hold the rear pipe in place and what you will probably find is that it is too long.

Mark the correct length and….

 Snorkel r - 12Cut the pipe length to suit.

As you can see I had to cut around 30-40mm off mine.

 Snorkel r - 23Fit the ‘right angled’ U bracket and then trial fit the rear hose into position.

Once you have done this you can then mark a suitable point for drilling a hole to secure it.

It is important to ensure that wherever you drill there is nothing on the other side.  I drilled in a location which came through still within the wheel arch.

Once drilled if sprayed the hole edges with a primer to stop it rusting.

Snorkel r - 21Next comes the gooey bit!

The only fixing between the rear hose and the snorkel body is a loose push fit rather than a proper seal.

As such you need to add liberal amounts of sealant.

Now one word of caution; you could use any flexible adhesive/sealant but I did some research and there is, apparently, the possibility of some sealants giving off fumes that can affect the O2 sensors and give spurious alarms.

As such it is best to use a ‘sensor safe’ sealant.  After a lot of research I found this RTV INSTANT GASKET – SILICONE RUBBER – ADHESIVE SEALANT 300g CARTRIDGE – BLACK at only £7 per tube it was, by far and away, the cheapest I could find and not much more than ‘ordinary’ sealants.  Apparently the term to search for is RTV sealant.

Anyway I added a ‘significant’ bead of goo around the hose end, using a gun, and as much as I could, using my fingers (with gloves) around the outlet/back of the snorkel body.

The rear hose was then ‘wiggled’ into place and aligned with the front hose (remembering to fit the rubber ‘joint’ and two jubilee clips first).  Make sure that you fit the jubilee clips so that you can tighten them from below and that they don’t rub against the inside of the wing.

Snorkel sa - 2Tighten the clips and then leave it all to set.  Although I have written this simply I can assure you that you will have to do a lot of ‘wiggling’ to get the two hoses aligned.

Sliding the rubber ‘sleeve’ across both hoses also takes some effort and it’s worth marking the amount of ‘overlap’ required before you start as it’s difficult to ensure that you have the join in the middle without any markings.

Snorkel sa - 3Once the silicon has set you can replace the soundproofing strip against the rear wall.

You will have to stuff this up between the snorkel and panel.

Snorkel s - 1I then tested it for leaks by running the engine and putting a plastic bag over the head.  The engine slowed but didn’t stall (which is what I was hoping) but I did notice that the body of the snorkel ‘collapsed’ a bit when I revved it, which indicated that there was only a small air leak.

By listening I could hear air being drawn in around the air box.

I could see that the non-return drain valve in the bottom of the box wasn’t sealing properly.  So, although I wasn’t keen, I decided to seal this while I had the silicon out.

Next, of course, you have to replace the air filter and inner wheel arch.

Once complete you can stand back, admire you handwork and enjoy the lovely ‘burble’ that you can hear emanating from the head of the intake.

Snorkel finalx-1

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Very nice. Have you noticed any performance issues after fitting this snorkel?

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