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 Snorkels and Breathers

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Jas
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PostSubject: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:27 am


Are snorkels a MUST have when overland traveling?
Ive got one, i bought one for the reasons of water crossings. I soon realised that it was'nt absolutly nessecary, the factory wading depth was 700mm and to be honest i dont usualy go through water deeper than a foot. - But i still bought one.

It has made the engine slightly, verly slightly more powerful (5bhp) when coupled with a High flow air filter, its above the "engine fumes" air level when driving and sounds quite cool.

I look at snokels like tools and equipment as id rarther have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. The same goes for axle, diff, trans, clutch breathers etc. They supply air to the mentioned parts and the coloured tubeing or yellow in my case looks cool but Are they a MUST have for a overlander tourer?

Does the raised air intake halp with dusty desert conditions?
Is it just something else to go wrong?

Your thoughts and views overlanders...

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:10 am

I dont have one, but I did years ago and used it once, it was not conected all the time just for river crossing, but as I said just the once, a Land Rover up to the windscrean in water is no place to be, if I had no snorkel an easer place to cross wass 10 miles up stream, as with all super duper kit it makes you lazy and to take chances tou should turn away from.
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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:54 am

Again it a subjective issue and down to many variables and peoples individual personal beliefs.

Snorkels can be an insurance if you have to cross lots of water and suddenly get caught out, and being higher means they have a better access to cleaner and cooler air which means more engine power as the air is more dense the cooler it is; and if a pre cleaner is used at or about the inlet it saves the main air filter.
One other benefit is in sandy or very dusty conditions, the top can be removed and reversed so it is facing backwards, this means it is not getting copious amounts of dust forced into it by the motion of the vehicle.

Downsides are that if you swamp a vehicle with water you are not driving correctly, everybody should walk water crossings to check the firmness of the bottom, routes both in and out of the water, and any rocks or holes on the bottom, and always the depth.
Snorkels commercially manufactured are predominantly a form of impact plastic which can suffer in cold conditions, they can become very brittle and even a small impact in dense vegetation can cause them to crack, and usually it is in the worst possible place which renders their pre filter and cleaning ability useless.
Snorkels are something else to go wrong or get caught up on vegetation, they also often impede vision to varying degrees, and if you have an older vehicle they can prevent windscreens being folded down.

Ultimately it is down to personal choice, in some conditions and climates they are useful, in others they are not.
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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:18 am

In dusty conditions it is better to space vehicles well apart. Travelling in convoy that can mean vehicle separation of a km plus.

Alternatives include pre filters varying from nylon stockings over the snorkel inlet, sock filter in the main downpipe or replacing the snorkel head with a purpose designed precleaner.

HTH

Brendan

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:08 pm

On the Dakar I had an oversized oil-impregnated K & N filter perched on a twin choke Weber (skimmed Offenhauser intake manifold to accept it), the same carb as used to be fitted on 3 litre Granadas. The K & N proved to be excellent in the Sahara, best dust gatherer around! Not much use for a Tdi granted, just saying that it helped get us to Lac Rose. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:31 pm

I don't have personal experience in really dusty conditions so I'll let others comment on that, but for water crossing I tend to think that a snorkel isn't much use. If it gets to the stage where water in the engine is likely then the car is more likely to have floated off in the river by then. I have a friend who killed his D3 crossing a ford and he said it was the fact that he lost grip with the bottom and floated off that was the issue. He said the engine ran for ages after he'd floated off down the river and was sat on the roof.

I guess it's a peace of mind thing as well though.

I'm after one for the D3 but I only want the LR OEM one and it's £320
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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:59 pm


£320 is alot of money.

I bought a TJM snorkel, its one peice of plastic, some pritty strong stuff. Mine runs neatly along the side of the body and up the pillar to the roof, from the inside you cant see the snorkel, it doesnt block the view. I paid £190 ish.




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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:47 am

Terracan Jas wrote:

Are snorkels a MUST have when overland traveling?
.


Simple answer would be NO.

It all depends what you mean by overland travelling. The phrase covers everything from a weekend away from home, to a two week tagalong tour to the Alps/Pyrenees where majority of miles are on the black stuff to a multi month/year multi country trip with terrain varying from high mountain deserts to low lying tropical jungles.

Probably what is more important are extended breathers to axles/gear box etc. A warm axle/gearbox hitting cold water will try to suck water in.

Not all plastic snorkels are the same. Have a read HERE Putting an old hat on grain/molecular structure is important regarding structural strength, fatigue resistance, UV resistance etc

As for K & N filters I used to use them but no longer after reading an Australian report. Will dig out link later


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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:22 am

That is a good report on the different types of plastics and the effects of UV and temp. I suppose buying a cheap Chinese snorkels is similar to the descusion on "Cheap winches". You get what you buy and although it might come out of the same factory its necessarly made out of the same materials.

All i know is that ive had mine for 3 yrs now, and it doesn't apear to have any visual problems (that i can see without a microscope), it still works fine, its fully sealed and happy with it.

Im looking foreward to reading about the K&N Air filters.


TJ

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:23 am

Certainly agree with extending the breathers to a more suitable location, and i generally insert a small disposable fuel filter in the end of the breather pipes to stop the ingress of mud and dirt, a cheap item could save wear on all the items with breathers fitted.
One point not mentioned is to find the location of the air intake for the engine, many traditional 4X4's have them mounted high and often well protected, newer 4X4's often have them mounted much lower to take advantage of the air flow by using the ram air effect. Clearly a low mounted air intake is no good for wading or wet conditions, but is good for power output, so often it means checking the location of your air inlet, and if it is mounted low down then relocating it.
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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:35 am


I also have th breather pipe going up the side of the snorkel and in to the snorkel head. There is a junction box in the engine bay which connect the ext pipe to all the diffs, trans etc. I will get some pics tomorow for ya.

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:52 am


And the pics:

The breather junction box, 3 yellow breather pipes from front and rear diff and auto box to one black breather pipe fed in to the snorkel in the seccond pic





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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:41 am

Another very simple, but effective solution.
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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:50 am

When extending breathers you do not have to remove existing breather fitting you can just get a straight connector. Clean end of existing pipe, new square cut and pop on straight connector.

Another alternative is a swivel joint for the axle casing. Then you can get the elbow pointing in direction that you want it pointing in



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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:05 am

4x4overlander wrote:
When extending breathers you do not have to remove existing breather fitting you can just get a straight connector. Clean end of existing pipe, new square cut and pop on straight connector.

Another alternative is a swivel joint for the axle casing. Then you can get the elbow pointing in direction that you want it pointing in



Brendan

I bought the kit from OEC international and just joined it all up. £25 + p&p. Like you said could of used the exsisting but as it was in the kit i thought i would use it.

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:49 pm

Just a personal preference, but i like to remove the originals as they become older and replace with the neoprene or butyl based pipes for a guarantee of durability and longevity, plus i get it free from work off the ends of rolls.
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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:36 pm

I have a snorkel on mine more for the sand, rather than water crossings. Made my own for a cost of about £25 - and no, its not tacky looking (IMHO) B&Q drainpipe type thing. I used a Range Rover EFI airbox with reversed flow as I did not want the snorkel on the drivers side. I would not spend several hundreds on a snorkel, that is just ridiculous to me.

I would not say it is essential to have a snorkel, more of a useful addition. For me, the main use is that I get less sand in my air filter, which means I have to check it less often and change it less often.

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PostSubject: Re: Snorkels and Breathers   Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:20 am

I've stuck a snorkel on with a pair of tights over the top of the down-pipe and lightly greased the air box. I think it came in at about £160; one of the downsides of using a Hilux Surf, it's pretty hard to get extras for it in the UK. I like the security of the snorkel, we are likely to encounter a few serious water crossings in eastern Russia. This weekend I raised all the breathers. Glad I did it as firstly it would have been pointless having the snorkel without doing it, and secondly when I unscrewed the breathers I heard a distinct 'pffffffffft' so they were obviously blocked. I think all the parts came in at about £12 from ebay.

6mm tube, a few junctions and a couple of 1/8" BSP x 1/4" (6mm) fittings for the axles. The gearbox and transfer case were a mission to reach, but these are pushed into the casings and not screwed. I just popped the tops off and pushed the tubing on and held them in place with a couple of double wire spring clips. All good!


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