Tech: Installing a Safari Snorkel
|About the Author:
Mitch Rollings lives in Colorado, USA, and drives a 1989 V6 Dodge Raider.
To see the other mods Mitch has performed, see 4x4Wire's Mitsubishi Reader's
- 1989 Dodge Raider/Mitsubishi Montero with 6G72 engine
- Dremel tool
- 86mm hole saw (I used a 3.25" hole saw which is about 83mm)
- Various drill bits
- 10mm socket
- Tape measure
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Large beach towel
|The assembled snorkel
- SS20HF Safari Snorkel kit
- 3' of 3"ID flexible hose
- 2 hose clamps
- GE brand black silicone sealer
|Not Quite a Bolt-on
The written instructions with the SS20HF Safari Snorkel state that
it will fit a Mitsubishi Pajero NA-NG with the 4D56, 4D56 Turbo Diesel, and 6G72
engines. The installation diagram states that it will fit the standard diesel and
turbo diesel engines (4D56). ARB clarified this by telling me that the snorkel body
will fit this model vehicle, but not the 6G72 engine. I would have to custom fit the snorkel
through the inner fender to the airbox snout.
The snorkel is designed as a straight line install with the hose running directly from
the snorkel through a hole cut in the inner fender and onto the airbox inlet. I found
that on my 6G72, the power steering reservoir sat on the spot where the 86mm hole was
to be drilled for the hose. As I saw it, the options were to relocate the power steering
reservoir and drill the hole in the indicated spot or find a flexible ducting that I
could use through the existing hole in the inner fender where the original air intake
ran. I opted for a hose made by The Flexaust Company called FLX-THANE I.
It has a temperature range of -65 degrees F to 225 degrees F and was designed for
abrasive dust or lightweight materials handling. It is also extremely flexible and
is reinforced with a spring steel wire helix.
- Start mentally preparing yourself to cut your beautiful, classically lined fender at least 3 weeks ahead of time.
- Disconnect the guard liner from the fender in the wheel arch. I just dropped the front and middle of the liner and left the rear attached.
- Disconnect the airbox.
- Disconnect the plastic tube from the airbox to the inner fender.
- Disconnect the antenna and connecting nut. Gently push the female end of the antenna
mount under the lip of the fender. This allows you to lay the template flat on the fender.
- Layout the template.
- Check the template position.
- Check the template position again.
- Mark the holes in the template on your fender. I used a Sharpie brand fine tip permanent marker.
OK, get ready. This is where the eternal damage to your
lovingly maintained sheet metal begins. One must proceed with confidence and
authority from this point on.
|Drop the Inner Fender Guard
||Disconnect the airbox and plastic tube
||The fitted template is ready to be cut!
|Sheet Metal and Snorkel Carnage
|Arrrrgggghhhh! What have I done to my baby!?!
- Locate the center of the 6 bolt holes and the pilot bit
hole for the snorkel inlet that you marked on the fender and use a punch to dimple
the metal. This will keep your drill bit from skittering across the surface.
- Drill the bolt holes. The instructions specify a 16
mm hole. Whereas I am an uncompromising American and have not converted my tools
to the universal metric sizes, I just stuck one of the bolts into my bit holder
until I found the size I wanted.
- Drill the pilot hole for the hole saw.
- Drill the hole for the snorkel tube. With my drill, I
found that the standard length 1/4" pilot bit was too short to keep the hole saw
properly aligned. I used a 6" long 1/4" bit instead.
- Use the beach towel to mop the front of your shirt that
has become saturated with tears.
- Remember... the hose from the snorkel was designed to go
straight through the inner fender to the airbox. Because of this, the snorkel tube
that the hose fits over comes close to the inside of the inner fender. There is not
enough room between the snorkel tube and the inner fender to make an immediate 90 degree bend necessary to route a flexible hose to the original air intake hole. To give more room for the hose, I cut off about 1 inch of the snorkel tube.
- Smooth the drilled holes with a Dremel tool and use a good primer on the bare metal to prevent rust.
OK, the hard stuff is over with...get yourself a beer.
|Slap it on and hook it up
- Basically, put the snorkel on as per the instructions.
- Check to see how the snorkel will lay against your A pillar; you may need to raise or lower the bolt holes slightly. I lowered the holes closest to the A pillar by about 3/16" to get a better line.
- I used a thread locker on the brass studs to hold them a little better.
- This vehicle has spent it's life in the relatively drier environments of New Mexico and Colorado. As such, it does not have any rust. I want to keep it that way, so I took an extra precaution by silicone sealing all of the drilled holes. Run a bead all the way around the drill holes on the outside of the fender. I also put a bead of silicone just down from the edge on the snorkel all the around the part that lies against the fender. To protect the holes on the inside of the fender, run a bead of silicone around the washer before you put them on the brass studs.
- Put the rubber gasket provided with the kit over the end of the airbox intake. Put a coating of liquid soap on to make it easier.
- Run a bead of silicone around the inside of the hose and attach it to the airbox intake with a hose clamp.
- Put the rubber edging provided with the kit around the edge of the existing hole in the inner fender and route the hose through. This is probably the hardest part of the job. The existing hole is not perfectly round, so slightly flattening the hose will help. I also took out the front turn signal to prevent breaking the plug in the back when routing the hose through.
- Trim the hose to the length you like, run a bead of silicone around the inside edge, and fasten it to the snorkel tube with a hose clamp. The hose diameter is big enough to fit over the tube and butt up against the fender.
- Mount the airbox.
- Reattach the fender guard. I used a bead of silicone around the edge to help seal it.
- Mount the upper mounting bracket to the A pillar as instructed. Prime these drill holes also.
- I put a 1/16 inch thick piece of vinyl between the bracket and the A pillar just to prevent scratching. Spread silicone on the bottom face of the bracket, or vinyl if you use it, to help seal the holes.
|Existing inner fender hole and the FLX-THANE I hose.
||Better-looking than the stock air box arrangement!
||Completed side view of snorkel: time to clean up and try
|Post Install Questions
One of my biggest concerns was whether or not the snorkel would create wind noise, such as whistling, at any speed. I've had it up to 70mph and have not heard any noise. Well...maybe there is one, but I can't hear it over the BFG MT's, the rack on top, and the front bumper.
The snorkel intake can easily be swiveled to face the rear when you are off-road. This will make it more water and dust resistant.
|That's it: You're done. Now go test it!
Interstate 70 west of Denver climbs to elevations over 10,000 feet. On some of the steeper grades, I've had to downshift to third to maintain speed. I made the drive once since putting the snorkel on and was able to maintain speed in fourth. I don't know if the Raider was loaded a little lighter (don't think so), had a tail wind (nah, prevalent winds are from the west), or...maybe that 6G72 just likes having a little wind shoved down her throat. I haven't noticed a difference at city speeds though.
I always thought snorkels make a vehicle look more cumbersome. Having hydro-locked 3 vehicles in the past, I wanted this just for peace of mind; it's looks didn't appeal to me. But, I have to admit, it really is growing on me.
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