Breath easy my friend, ARB’s super-tough Safari Snorkel is here to save the day. Nothing sucks worse, pun intended, than having your air filter get clogged by smoke, dust and other small particles, robbing your mill of badly needed power. Not to mention having your motor drink a few gallons or rust causing, engine-block-cracking water while crossing that stream that only seemed a foot deep or so. I’ve done it, and so have several of my friends. Personally, I’m not sure what’s worse… actually doing damage to your motor due to your ignorance, or having to explain to the little lady how much a new motor is going to cost.
Spending most of my 4-wheeling life in dusty Arizona, I got really tired of having to replace my air filter after two or three drives down a dirt road while at the end of a pack. As if this wasn’t bad enough, and to add insult to injury, one fine Christmas day I decided to do a little mudding behind the casa. That water/mud hole looked pretty inviting for my big Blazer and I figured I’d sling a little goop. I won’t go into the gorey details of how it happened, but my hot motor drank abotu a gallon of crap-brown, ice-cold water right through the air filter and directly into the really hot motor. The engine died directly and I had to get a tow home.
Fast-forward to present time… I decided at that point that I would never let this happen again. I couldn’t expect to stay married if I made another bone head move like that and I am soooooo tired of cleaning the K&N Air Filter after every couple of outings. My solution? Install a snorkel. A quality snorkel would raise the air-intake point up much higher, allowing the mill to take in clean, fresh air instead of the dusty, crappy air. Clearly a snorkel will also help to keep your motor from drinking water too, if installed properly.
I decided that any accessory that was to be bolted to the outside of my rig, that was susceptible to bashing and smacking, would have to be the toughest on the market. So, we called the folks at ARB. Each snorkel is designed with UV stable, cross linked polyethylene materials for the body, for the ultimate in strength. The body also features the largest body size of all aftermarket snorkels available, and this ensures air supply in excess of engine requirements for both petrol & diesel engines. In particular, turbocharged diesel vehicles will benefit from the larger Safari body size, while all models will enjoy better performance and slightly improved fuel efficiency. Finally, each component is designed for maximum water & dust sealing and features stainless steel and plated hardware.
Before you get started, check to make sure all of the parts are supplied and thoroughly read through the instructions. Our instructions we fair at best, but then again, this isn’t rocket science, so a bit of creativity solved just about any question that wasn’t defined in the instructions.
Next, take the time to position the template on the side of your rig, EXACTLY where you want it. Once you make the cuts into your body, there’s no turning back. We found that once we knew exactly where we wanted it, we would tape it into position and use a good black permanent marker to make our lines on the body. Once the indelible lines were drawn, we coved the entire area with 3″ masking tape. This would prevent any surrounding areas from getting scratched or damaged when we started cutting.
When the area is marked and taped off, we started by drilling a series of pilot holes that would allow us to get started with whatever tools we used. We used a combination of an air-powered cut-off wheel, a jig-saw (saber saw) and a reciprocating saw (sawzall) with a small blade. You’ll also need a file to smooth out any jagged lines that are made, and some primer to dab into the areas where bare metal is showing. The areas that are cutout don’t need to be perfect and if your holes are larger than normal size, they won’t be seen because it will be covered up by the snorkel once installed.
Once you’re holes are cut out it’s time to mount the snorkel itself. This part is pretty straight forward and shouldn’t take very long at all. We started by loosely bolting everything together, which allowed us to make some last-minute trims into the body panels for better clearance. Once everything appears to be kosher, snug all of bolts/screws, but don’t tighten just yet.
The next-to-the-last part is attaching the hose element from the snorkel to the air cleaner of your vehicle. We’re not going to bother showing this to you for two reasons. One, our rig isn’t stock so it won’t do you any good to see what we did, and two, each application is considerably different. Once the hose was attached with the supplied hardware, we double-checked to make sure everything fit properly, THEN we tightened all of the screws and bolts.
Editors note: Here are a few things to keep in mind with snorkels…