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  1. #1
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    Default Snorkel vs snorkel

    Hi! I'm seriously thinking about having a snorkel installed to my Nissan NP300 diesel. Now someone told me that there's good effective snorkels and there's the opposite kinds. How do I know which snorkel to get and which ones not to get. It's all a bit confusing. Thanks for your input and help!

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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    I had the one from 4x4 Direct installed.

    Looks fairly effective to me. It is nowhere more restrictive than where it attaches to the existing airbox. (Triangle like opening in image)

    I think it is more important to make sure the installer do a good job.



    Also see this post.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    A decade or more ago, a bunch of people started copying the Safari snorkels almost exactly. Safari where understandably rather unhappy as they had to spend the money doing the design and development, and so they launched a campain to discredit the copies, based on the quality of materials they were using. I personally believe they hyped up the differences but I understand their position.

    That and the fact that many installers take short-cuts has brought about this fairly common belief that the cheap ones are all rubbish.

    To my mind the choice of snorkel has far more to do with ethics than effectiveness, but the choice of installer is more crucial. That or do it over when you get home.
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    I canít comment on the different snorkels. I can comment on my experience with fitting a snorkel to my 120 Prado. In the 8 years and 250 000 km I had the vehicle I did not need it once in any river crossing, travelled many dusty dirt roads and when cleaning out the air filter at end of day and comparing to fellow travellers without snorkels, no noticeable difference. I did notice a significant increase in fuel consumption, aprox 1/2lt per 100 Km. either restricts air flow to the engine or seriously disturbs the air flow around the vehicle causing additional drag. I was convinced of the latter. Would I do it again... doubt it. It does look good though.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Guys have valid points here, and the downfall of a rubbish install. is that they seldom seal. I had a friend with a Discovery here on the farm, and when the rainy season arrived and the 14km gravel road turned into a 200-400 deep mud river, he got his air filter full of mud water. It was a Safari snorkel, so hardly any question as to quality. When I removed and inspected the head, the pipe was clean, but I found a connection in the engine bay that had no seal on a coupling.

    Mine is a bugger with tyres that stand past the fenders, and the spray is directed within a few centimetres from the head. Along with hitting a section a bit too fast, and getting mud splashing directly onto the head, I got very worried. I had mud running out of my water separation slot I designed behind the head, and down the back of the snorkel pipe. The bottom of the pipe into the fender and into the airbox was however clean. But my seal is 100% and is tested every 20K km when I check or replace the filter. To check for a good seal, block the head and water separator. That should starve your engine's air supply, and kill the engine.

    I definitely noticed longer life on my filters. On modern diesel's, you should not notice much change in performance with the ECU controlling parameters that would negate any advantage you could possibly obtain from a cooler charge. Along with the restriction that most snorkels would cause, you could possibly be in a negative in the performance department. My old school donkey loves the cooler air, and along with a nearly 5" downpipe, a restriction is not a problem.

    Would I fit one again? Yes. Having drowned the vehicle once, you realise how cheap a snorkel is compared to replacing the engine. When I lived in Parys, we had a few floods and two occasions that I know the snorkel definitely saved the day. It does not make your vehicle a submarine though. Electronics is a bugger. One of my window winder motors packed up shortly after the drowning, and my CD player stopped ejecting CD's.
    I do think my design is fugly, so not sure the vehicle really looks any better with it. It does make my diesel sound good though.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Quote Originally Posted by Recovery View Post
    I canít comment on the different snorkels. I can comment on my experience with fitting a snorkel to my 120 Prado. In the 8 years and 250 000 km I had the vehicle I did not need it once in any river crossing, travelled many dusty dirt roads and when cleaning out the air filter at end of day and comparing to fellow travellers without snorkels, no noticeable difference. I did notice a significant increase in fuel consumption, aprox 1/2lt per 100 Km. either restricts air flow to the engine or seriously disturbs the air flow around the vehicle causing additional drag. I was convinced of the latter. Would I do it again... doubt it. It does look good though.
    Thanks for the input. There are a number of debates on this forum regarding this aspect. It will increase fuel consumption because of friction losses between the air and the path inside the snorkel.

    What I took from those debates was that unless you're going to be crossing windscreen high water with a vehicle that has the engine, diffs, electronics, fan, gearbox and clutch prepared for deep water crossings or are going to be driving close behind a vehicle in a dirt road convoy, the snorkel is purely a cosmetic fuel burner.

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    The main reason for me to want to have a snorkel installed is because I live in Namibia and we have a lot of (good) gravel-roads here so it's a question of air. Not much, if any, a question of driving in water. But you guys have been very very helpful, Thank you all sooo much!!

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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    I stuck one on my Isuzu 250d 4x2. Not for cosmetic but for practical reasons. I drive on a lot of dirt roads behind cars and trucks so each month would basically mean a new Air filter even after blowing it out as the old Isuzu has the air intake inside the engine compartment. Installed the snorkel and only need replacement every 7 months when I do a service. My fuel consumption has not become worse, Infact after a pump Service I'm up to 13km/ltr.
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    snorkel soon
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobie View Post
    The main reason for me to want to have a snorkel installed is because I live in Namibia and we have a lot of (good) gravel-roads here so it's a question of air. Not much, if any, a question of driving in water. But you guys have been very very helpful, Thank you all sooo much!!
    I live in the dry dusty Great Karoo that has been through a drought and all but one road here is dirt. I have an Isuzu 4x4 Frontier with 350 000 on the clock and a JMC DC 4x4 Bakkie which is an Isuzu product. The air cleaners are in the same place. I have yet to replace or clean air filters outside service intervals. No locals nor farmers with mainly Isuzu's and Toyota's here have snorkels.

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    It is like a winch, the day you need it, you are glad you have it. On both my Colt and Cruiser we noticed far less dust in the aircleaner after trips in the Kaokoveld than fellow travellers
    without one. I don't agree to the backward mounting of the head like some people does, mine is facing forward and after 20 years on my Colt and 14 on the Cruiser I will not like to do
    overlanding without one.

  18. #11
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Toyota air filter can be cleaned, don't know the other fabrics, and not replaced at certain kilometers. It appears the service mechanic decides if it needs to be replaced or not. Toy air filers are not cheap either so a snorkel make sense on a Toyota.
    Johan Kriel

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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    I usually drive in a convoy on gravel roads and the snorkel definitely makes a big difference in getting cleaner air to the engine. Your vehicles wading depth doesn't change at all when adding a snorkel as it is governed by the electronics and breather pipes.
    When I fitted a snorkel I was also looking at a Safari snorkel but they were on back order from Aus, so I decided to go with Ironman 4x4 which is also from Aus. Fuel consumption and performance there is no difference, but getting cleaner air to my air filter is definitely improved aswell as that brilliant sound that the 5 cylinder makes with a snorkel.

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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Thanks for the input. There are a number of debates on this forum regarding this aspect. It will increase fuel consumption because of friction losses between the air and the path inside the snorkel.

    What I took from those debates was that unless you're going to be crossing windscreen high water with a vehicle that has the engine, diffs, electronics, fan, gearbox and clutch prepared for deep water crossings or are going to be driving close behind a vehicle in a dirt road convoy, the snorkel is purely a cosmetic fuel burner.
    Wrong A snorkel does not turn your vehicle in to a submarine, what it does is to take cleaner air in at a higher level and it also takes in cooler air than at the level that your normal intake does. cooler air = more oxygen = bigger bang = better economy.

    The myth that the turn and friction inside increases fuel consumption, wrong you have enough ram air effect to cancel that myth, for thw same the little ram effect does nothing for your power delivery
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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Quote Originally Posted by hbannink View Post
    Wrong A snorkel does not turn your vehicle in to a submarine, what it does is to take cleaner air in at a higher level and it also takes in cooler air than at the level that your normal intake does. cooler air = more oxygen = bigger bang = better economy.

    The myth that the turn and friction inside increases fuel consumption, wrong you have enough ram air effect to cancel that myth, for thw same the little ram effect does nothing for your power delivery
    A bit off topic: i thought the point of fitting a snorkel is to save your engine in a water crossing?not to improve air quality
    Thats just perk?
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Quote Originally Posted by hbannink View Post
    Wrong A snorkel does not turn your vehicle in to a submarine, what it does is to take cleaner air in at a higher level and it also takes in cooler air than at the level that your normal intake does. cooler air = more oxygen = bigger bang = better economy.

    The myth that the turn and friction inside increases fuel consumption, wrong you have enough ram air effect to cancel that myth, for thw same the little ram effect does nothing for your power delivery
    I didn't say a snorkel turns a vehicle into a submarine. I said that unless you're going to be crossing windscreen high water with a vehicle that has the engine, diffs, electronics, fan, gearbox and clutch prepared for deep water crossings.

    I did a 4 month 10 000 km tour through Namibia with the Isuzu Frontier at 300 000 km in the conditions in the photo and never had a big dust buildup in the air filter. If you're concerned about large particulate dust and sand in the filter, a Donaldson cyclone will separate that before the air goes through the element. Much cheaper than a snorkel but it doesn't look as cool.

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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    A deep water crossing is a dangerous thing and one that can leave you stranded for more reasons than just water ingestion by your engine. Generally one relies on the bow wave formed in front of the vehicle to keep the engine area dry. A petrol engine will get its ht electrics completely shorted if the water was too high while even a diesel will have to be seriously waterproofed to swim. Think of it your fan is designed to pull air through the radiator, put it in a much more viscous environment like water and it becomes a great propeller even at relatively low revs and gets pulled right in to the flimsy radiator core or the plastic blades can not take the strain and they break off.

    The installation would have to be out of this world and the original OEM air ducts would need to be completely waterproof, a big ask but possible. The type of snorkel is not as important expensive or much cheaper 4x4 direct makes no difference. If you can do it yourself you are in the better boat. My 4X4 direct snorkel has been on for more than 10 years and I have not seen any of the crap that the more than double the price safari said would happen. It is as black and intact as the day I fitted it and most definitely not brittle at all.

    I will not take a chance of an too deep water crossing as cars behave strangely once the water goes too deep, With a big bubble of air trapped under the bonnet and another trapped in the cab.......
    I have fitted my own snorkel and the inlet right up to the airbox is sound, the airbox itself is questionable. I would not risk my engine on it.

    The main benefit of the snorkel in my book is the cooler air as well as the cleaner air. During the 100km tar rd to play for 10km I have noticed the advantages, engine running cooler and using less fuel.
    Keeping the air dryer.......bonus but I would not count on it

    Olyfboer I know you have the knowledge to avoid windscreen high water crossings but a lot of folk can learn from this. The photos that you have posted is a prime candidate for snorkel use, few vehicles have space under the bonnet for Donaldson cyclones and a normal OE airbox.
    Believe it the donaldson is not much cheaper than the snorkel and as you rightly say it does not look as butch
    Last edited by hbannink; 2021/04/19 at 11:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    As already mentioned, I think the main reason a lot of us get snorkels is simply because they look the business. I have one similar to a Safari, but it's not a knock-off. I have no intention of going submarine because there's a bit more to consider, such as gearbox, clutch and diff breathers, so my other reason is dust as the Defender has its air intake on the outside just above and behind the right front wheel arch, and a Defender already has the aerodynamics of a block of flats so I'm not worried about possible increased fuel consumption caused by the drag of a snorkel. I'm also not worried about electronics as a TDi 300 doesn't have any.
    Last edited by Naes-Landy; 2021/04/20 at 12:41 AM.
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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    For sure, a snorkel don't make a vehicle a sub marine and with petrol and most new diesels, electronics is a problem. I have done a few deep ones in the Colt and Cruiser and were happy
    I had a snorkel but if I can avoid it, I won't do it. Also have raised diff and gearbox breathers. Both have mechanical diesel pumps and the 1Hz Cruiser almost zero electronics. A clip of some
    of my crossings and one in Aus of a guy with a V8 Cruiser towing a boat, I won't do that one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v1TZ5wDSmg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sagzkGhREvs
    Last edited by PierredW; 2021/04/20 at 09:41 AM.

  30. #19
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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Care to explain what thaqt is and where to get it for a car?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    a Donaldson cyclone will separate that before the air goes through the element. Much cheaper than a snorkel but it doesn't look as cool.

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    Default Re: Snorkel vs snorkel

    Sometime ago on the LCCSA forum I did some calculations on the ram effect and pressure gains/losses in snorkels. I post it here in summary for interest sake.

    Let’s do some maths to try and quantify ram and snorkel pressure effects and look at these power loss/gain claims:

    A 4.0l engine breathes about 85l/sec of air or about 300m^3/hr at 3000 RPM and with a volumetric efficiency of 85%.

    As can be seen form the ductulators below this gives a pressure drop of about 32 Pa, assuming a snorkel diameter of 100mm and 2.0 m long (equivalent length). Note the air velocity in the snorkel is about 10.5 m/sec.
    A 32 Pa pressure drop is very low indeed.

    However the velocity pressure of a vehicle doing 100 km/hr or about 28m/sec is very high, but we must subtract the snorkels air velocity from the vehicle velocity which gives a 17.5 m/sec difference, giving a nett ram effect of 196 Pa, which exceeds the snorkel pressure drop by 6 times.

    So the ram effect far out does the snorkel pressure drop.

    Bearing in mind that 1 Bar= 100,000 Pa, so we are talking pressures here in the region of 1/1000th of a bar, hardly something to get to excited about.

    If we loose say 15% power going from sea level to JHB (0m to 1750m) then the pressure drops from 101333 Pa to 82600 Pa, that’s 18733 Pa drop in pressure. So if 18733 Pa pressure drop = 15%, then 32 Pa pressure drop will represent 32/18733 x 15% = 0.00026% power loss, caused by a snorkel when stationary, which is very low.

    Having said all that, the nett pressure gain due to the ram effect of a forward facing snorkel at 100 km/hr is thus 196-32= 164 Pa, which is great. A nett positive ram effect of 164 Pa would result in a power gain of about 0.0013%.

    So long live the snorkel.

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    Edit: Altitude Pressure drop from sea level to JHB corrected: Thanks HugoNotte.







    Last edited by Searcher; 2021/04/25 at 03:14 PM.

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