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Offline Flyin6

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How to build a snorkel
« on: September 27, 2014, 12:08:50 PM »
I built a snorkel from scratch for my Tundra and later one for the SquareD project survival truck.

It is really pretty generic to just about any vehicle, so I'll lay it out here and you can get the basic idea and apply it to your vehicle

First why do you need a snorkel?

Most folks would answer deep water fording and if you ever got into deep water where your truck did not A. Float, of B. Sink, then keeping the engine from sucking in water is mandatory. Water intake in a sufficient quantity will immediately hydraulically lock the engine. That does bad things like bending the connecting rods and blowing out the sides of blocks...you know things like that which will definitely stop forward movement as well as render your vehicle in need of a new engine.

You probably need to plan to be able to ford water of around 20" depth, and given the low sitting of most (so called) off road SUV's of today is a significant challenge. At that depth they are floating or buoyant enough to lift the tires off the bottom giving you no traction while you slowly fill with water and sink.

A lifted truck should be able to handle much more, and I like 36" as a good working number. That's pretty deep water. you're 5'9" right? Well do the math...would you be comfortable driving across a stream past your waist in depth? Now let me start shooting at you, then rethink your decision. Correct, you're driving straight ahead, and hopefully you can cross.

So for the evasion piece of survival, if it should actually ever happen, it would be nice to be able to do it.

But a snorkel does a lot more. Air is pulled from the fender well. The tire lives down there as well. The tire is the thing that makes that dust cloud you see behind you. Granted there is an inter-space if you will that reduces the amount of dust, but the air your engine breathes is placed in one of the dustiest environments anyone could find.

Evernotice when driving down a dusty road that the dust generally stays below the top fender line? You could crack your window if you wanted for ventilation, yes?
And above your head is pretty clean air as long as you are not in a convoy. so placing the air inlet for the only engine you have that is hauling you away from certain bad times, onward toward hope and a chance, in the best location on your vehicle just makes sense...Tracking?

Assuming you are let's build this snorkel system

Vehicle is a 2001 Toyota Tundra with a lot of mods and a supercharged v8 gasser.

First I selected a 3" diameter (Which turned out to be too small, read: Restrictive) 90 degree silicone bend and fitted an aircraft 3" aluminum flange to that
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2014, 12:10:19 PM »
I cut a 3.5" hole in the fender well opposite of the factory air box
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2014, 12:11:56 PM »
That flange was then attached to the air box. I chose to rivet it, then seal it off with silicone
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2014, 12:13:24 PM »
Then I attached it to the airbox and called that done
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 12:15:01 PM »
You can run the tube inside or outside of the fender according to what fits your needs the best. I decided to bring mine out here:
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 12:17:47 PM »
I found this low profile 90 degree transition rubber piece in a race car parts catalog. It attached to the existing elbow with another 90 and a couple 3" sections of the tubing I was using and some quality clamps
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2014, 12:19:48 PM »
Knowing I wanted to secure the exterior tube all over the place, I started with this simple brace extending out of the existing antenna hole
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2014, 12:21:19 PM »
Summit supplied a selection of 45's and straight tubing and one u-pipe which I couldn't bring myself to cut up. Here is the first 45 going on
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2014, 12:22:29 PM »
I secured it to the first brace with a simple mount and bolt
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2014, 12:24:49 PM »
Then I built the next brace.
Yours will be unique to your build/chassis, but just take time to make it plenty strong. When you drive through trees at some speed because you are scared you don't want this stuff to be falling off
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2014, 12:27:44 PM »
At this point I wanted to turn the pipe in toward the "A" pillar and tuck it inside the body lines and get it out of my field of vision. Taking a straight section of 3" pile, I cut various thicknesses wedges which one can rotate around to achieve any angle they want, I started the bend, tacking each successive section into place
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2014, 12:29:11 PM »
The transition upward continues
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2014, 12:31:16 PM »
Then the transition up to the intake began. There was a lot of turning in a short distance to get the intake tucked in close to the roof rack
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2014, 12:32:46 PM »
Then the final rise to the top
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2014, 12:36:13 PM »
The intake structure came off a British Royal Marine Land Rover 110 that had a meeting with an IED. The guys all walked away but the vehicle was toast. I was hanging with some of their guys and one day in Kandahar asked for that snorkel. They removed it completely and gave it to me along with a steel one from an Army rover. That thing was part of a combat vehicle once!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2014, 12:37:31 PM »
I then built an upper mount for the thing
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2014, 12:39:02 PM »
With the tube completed, I finish welded it, ground it down , then applied a thin coat of body filler to smoothed it all down, then primed it
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2014, 12:39:36 PM »
another view
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 12:40:07 PM by Flyin6 »
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2014, 12:42:21 PM »
I used bed liner to complete it
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2014, 12:44:36 PM »
The Brits like to twist things up.

I believe this device served to straighten up the vortices created by that big air centrifuge up top
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2014, 12:48:55 PM »
Remember that tube inside the fender? Well we are not quite done with it

You see while the inside of the fender is a relatively liquid free environment during a standard American downpour, a snorkel intake is water central.

Most of the water gets centrifuged out holes, up to 100%, however sometimes some get into the tube which means it flows to the air box. I have weep holes in the airbox for that purpose, however I wanted to create a sump of sorts to expel water from the new intake tube. This is how the Brits do in on their military rovers. This is the same device I used on SquareD
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2014, 12:50:59 PM »
Here's that "T" section with the sump
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2014, 12:53:29 PM »
After cutting an access through the plastic wheel well liner, here is how it fitted:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2014, 12:55:48 PM »
And here it is finished and installed
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2015, 09:07:14 AM »
That looks pretty good, not sure if you get any snow where you live, but any idea how a snorkel like that would deal with blowing snow? Would it clog up or anything? I'd like to do put one in my Tacoma after it's paid for.

Offline rasimmo

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2015, 11:52:57 AM »
Really nice fab work and write up, as usual. The one thing I could not help but notice is the amount of room you once had in that garage.

Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2015, 07:38:05 PM »
That looks pretty good, not sure if you get any snow where you live, but any idea how a snorkel like that would deal with blowing snow? Would it clog up or anything? I'd like to do put one in my Tacoma after it's paid for.
I doubt it would clog

That device on the top side was developed for the British military Rovers. Britian is cold. THe British military operates in every austere environment that the US Armee dows, so the stuff is proven to work.

Having said that, the intake screens on those big air breathers mounted to my Chinook were tested as well. However one day climbing out of Campbell on my way up to 8000 on an IFR flight down to Savannah, I was climbing through a layer of severe icing and the ice packed in 2"-3" think in maybe a minute. I never made it to 8,000, and ended up declaring an emergency to get to minimum vectoring altitude and out of the ice.

Moral of the story, Can it clog? Possibly.
Do I think It will clog? No
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2015, 07:40:24 PM »
Another thing I will mention is that for a small V8, that 3" tubing was too small.

The blower would generate 7 lbs boost before the snorkel, and only 4psi after the snorkel.

That's why I built the one on SquareD out of monster tubing
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Offline KensAuto

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2015, 08:51:38 PM »
From 7 to 4 is HUGE! Man you wouldn't think it would be too small for a little v-8.
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Online TexasRedNeck

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Re: How to build a snorkel
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2015, 09:09:47 PM »
You should have seen the intake on the wife's 3.0L turbo diesel.  I think I've seen drinking straws bigger in diameter....
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