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  #1  
Old 1 Nov 2007
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Snorkels - Good thing, bad thing?

I've been reading about snorkels and am still not certain if they're a good thing or a bad thing for overlanding. As about half the route's on the road and the other half will only have the occasional river crossing, perhaps I don't need one, but then again it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

And of course the next tricky bit is that there's no snorkel for a Fiat Panda, so of course I'd have to make/mod one. Anyone done this and have any tips for what to and what not to do?

You've got to admit though, it's doesn't look half bad.

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Old 1 Nov 2007
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Air = Breathe, Water = Drink

Alex,

I have snorkles on both my LR Discovery and Toyota Land Cruiser ute. I was surprised when I looked at both closely they had loose/non-airtight connections somewhere along the pipe between the upper inlet and the air cleaner. This would allow entry of water even if the level was down around the bonnet.

You can check this, while running the engine at idle, close off the intake at the upper end, if the engine stalls there is obviously no other way for the air to enter the air cleaner, then the seals are tight. I needed to dismantle the intake pipes and seal them both with sylicon.

Use of the snorple is not just for water entry, air from a higher level from the road tends to be less dusty also.

Making your own snorkle from scratch may be a challenge, a modified one from another car may be easier.

Cheers. Chris
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Don't think snorkel, think 50mm pipe from existing intake to roof. Try visiting a scrap yard for bits - ford fiestas have a handy plastic bit that starts off round, goes flat, then round again turning through 90 degrees ( hard to explain but basically the lower section in your picture) then a piece of tube with a bend and a cyclone filter on top - that should look the biz on the ferry.
If you want a top like the one in your pic ( though pointing back to stop the rain going in) mercedes sell them for about £10
Food for thought
Chris
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Damn Silver I was just getting into Cambodia Field Repair mode then and you killed me stone dead Like the man says do a bodge job by using some pipe on the air inlet, and also why not fit some hose to the exhaust to stop it pulling through the rear if you screw up.
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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If the door seals are good you could have a submarine in no time
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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You could put on MONSTER TRUCK wheels then you don't have to worry about the snorkel, as you will be 20 feet in the air.

Get Q to make you an inflatable raft that comes out Bond style to cross the rivers.

Or my favorite fit a jet engine to the back of it, and then jump it over the rivers (Evil Knievel style), might get you to your destination quicker as well.
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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If it is a diesel and you intend to cross deep water, just do it. A couple of spoons full of water is enough to detonate a diesel engine. Bent rods are normally the cause as water does not compress very well.
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Dust

Lots of people run them for overlanding just to give clearer air into the engine, helps avoid lots of the dust that they would suck in at normal intake level. Given it will also give some piece of mind when doing water crossing and they are relatively cheap, I would definitely do it. Usually the only negative issue is on cars such as your where I'm assuming you wil have to cut a hole to link the snorkel through. Easier on vehicles such as Defenders where there is a plastic intake cover that can be removed.
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Good thing, no doubt!!!

Please see my post "how to drown and dry an landcruiser"
A set of con-rods later my answer is still that a properly waterproofed snorkel is considerably cheaper than all the grief my submarine act has caused!!!

I was "lucky" in that the day before we pulled the engine out of my car one of our standard 105 cruisers smacked into a taxi and is still with the panel beaters. This meant that I could swap engines (one day workshop job with about five well motivated mechanics!) and not face too much time with no car.

Gil
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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If you're on your own and not following a group of others who are churning up dust, you may not see any benefit. Sometimes it's possible also to just reposition the intake trumpet so it points away from direct frontal openings where it picks up dirtier air.
They do help prolong filter life though, and you may notice a benefit with a smaller engine, though you may also get a bit of a negative performance impact by adding a couple of metres of hose to the air intake.
As mentioned though, if its deisel and goes anywhere near fords or deep puddles, a snorkel will save you a long walk home.

It's ususally cheap enough to fab something out of drain pipe and bits of old flexi hose which you can always bin if it doesn't really work out.
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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good or bad thing

If installed properly its never a bad thing!! If its fitted with a cyclone prefilter on top, its for sure a very good thing! We did encounter water crossing that would flood the Panda till at least half way the windows and we frequently drove in the dust cloud of other cars !
So yes, make a DIYO snorkel! with an 'of the shelf' cyclone!

cheers,
Noel
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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So might be good, might be bad then?

I can see obviously that a good snorkel's better than no snorkel but a bad snorkel's really just going to make you think "wahey, deep water, sploosh, bang, bugger, what's Mongolia for Fiat dealership?"

Cutting holes in the body work could be fun though, although I actually thought cutting holes in the bonnet would be better, and easier and cheaper if all goes wrong.

And yes I'll admit it, a little bit of the whole snorkel thing is because it gives good ferry, I mean who's going to look twice at us on the boat to Stravanger if we've just got a Fiat Panda with a bit of luggage on the roof?
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Holes

For cutting holes in bodywork invest in a 'Qmax' cutter. You drill a pilot hole then bolt the cutter either side then just tighten the bolt and you get a clean cut without chipping the paint - very neat - round, square and I think ovals.
Chris
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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Hi Y'all. I just thought I'd mention that I sell the cyclone top on it's own, £23. Take a look at my web site for more details. Buy this and some black 2.5" black plastic drain pipe, and you're away! It's quite easy to make a nice neat job that looks cool. It doesn't have to look to neat under the bonnet!
Cheers,
Matt


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Old 2 Nov 2007
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Hi Matt, glad you contributed. Out of interest what is the overall diameter of the cyclone.
Cheers
Chris

(half way through a bottle of chianti and still working in the forge)
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