ARB Safari Snorkel - Jeep Wrangler YJ

Aug. 01, 2002 By David Jones
Blasting through water could easily lead to a stall in the deep. But on the other hand, not getting a good run on the swamp could easily lead to much of the same, costing big bucks and a lot of grief. The best way to avoid such a loss in either situation is to mount an ARB Safari Snorkel, converting your rig into a virtual submarine.
Four wheeling in Florida's Ocala National Forest at a recent event had been hampered by unusually strong thunderstorms causing the event participants to call it off early and retreat to camp. The storms cleared as the attendees from multiple clubs around the Southeast enjoyed the evening meal and planned a night run under clearing skies. At 9 PM, the mixed group of 20 vehicles departed camp to run one of the trails they had run early that morning. As they progressed down the trail the lead vehicle called out that the water crossing was quite a bit deeper than it was that morning and anyone with less than 33-inch tires might have trouble.

My 1991 Wrangler was running 31-inch tires, but so was the 1989 Wrangler in front of me. I watched as he made it across and disappeared into the darkness. Confident a similar vehicle could make it; I proceeded in. Suddenly everything got dark and quiet. An eerie glow surrounded the vehicle and a quick check of the gauges told me the engine was dead. The dash lights were on; but the headlights were underwater. I grabbed the CB and called for rescue knowing the engine was swamped and wondering if the motor could be saved.

A simple task, the air box in removed for a quick modification to ready it for the ARB Safari Snorkel.
Regardless of the type of Jeepâ you drive, knowing how air enters the engine is the single most important factor in keeping water out. Pre-1991 CJ/YJs have a cold air intake hose that routes air from below the driver's headlamp to the carburetor. The hose is easily removed (as the '89 YJ owner had done) greatly improving the vehicle's fording depth.

The 1991-1996 YJ's fuel injected engine draws air from the same location; however, little is gained from removing the short tube between the filter box and the header (grill). The 1997 to current TJs have a better set-up for fording because the air inlet tube is turned up toward the hood where an air pocket may enable you to navigate a short water crossing. In each case, none of the set-ups can come close to the protection a well-designed snorkel provides.

ARB provides you with all the goods for a quick and easy install of the ARB Safari Snorkel. Here, we ready the YJ Wrangler air box for the cutting procedure.
People often ask me about protecting the electronics and the distributor when fording. Each of these must be considered, but not before the intake. I have dried many a distributor and proceeded on my way thinking nothing more of it.

However, if water makes it into the cylinder during the compression stroke, something has to give and that is likely to mean a long tow truck ride and steep repair bill. For this reason, installing a snorkel from ARB is one of the best investments you can make in preparing your Jeep for water obstacles. You may say "That's overkill, I don't intend to drive around with my hood under water." I do not intend to either. However, I have seen several instances where water obstacles bumper deep and less than two vehicles wide have filled the intake with water. If it is only bumper deep, how can that happen?

Two words…APPROACH ANGLE. As you enter small stream crossings, your vehicle is typically nose down causing the intake point to momentarily to go under or get close enough to make your engine a wet/dry vacuum. With a proper snorkel, submersion even in greater depths is not a factor for the intake.

The actual snorkel is mounted using a bracket, which is easily fastened to the windshield frame using three screws.
Installing the snorkel is very straightforward and should only take the average shade tree mechanic a couple hours. The only difficult part is having the courage to cut an 80mm (~3 in) hole in your fender. You perform this function by measuring three times, applying the template given and using a metal hole saw (buy a good one for a clean cut).

Once this task is complete the remaining will go smoothly because ARB designed a high quality and complete kit and because you know you are committed to the task or must go through life explaining the 3-inch hole in the fender. The snorkel body fits through the large hole and is secured by two threaded studs at the bottom and three screw/nut inserts on the windshield frame. Make sure to de-burr each hole and paint the exposed metal to prevent rust. Loosely attach the lower portion and fit the snorkel body against the windshield frame with the mounting bracket attached.

Perhaps one of the toughest things to do to any unscathed Jeep body is hack it up. But not to worry. ARB has you covered. Once installed, the ARB Safari Snorkel looks like an OEM option. It not only looks clean, but keeps your Jeep intake clean from fatal debris.
This allows you to mark the position of the bracket on the windshield frame. Remove the snorkel body and secure the windshield bracket using the nut inserts, then reinstall the snorkel body. Finally, top off the snorkel body with the air ram. The air ram does exactly what it implies at highway speeds. Some owners have experienced fuel economy increases and many have felt the gained horsepower from the snorkel's ram air effect.

Under the hood, air is filtered using the stock air cleaner box and filter (Yea! We get to keep the K&N factory replacement filter previously purchased). However, you must remove the air box and modify it to draw air from the flexible snorkel tube. A jig saw and rivet gun are the key tools for modifying the air box. First remove the factory inlet tube and discard. Next, use the cover plate provided as a guide and drill holes for the rivets. Apply a liberal amount of sealant between the cover plate and box then rivet the two together. Installing the new intake port on our 1999 TJ's six cylinder with air conditioning was a bit trickier. We placed the box back in the original position, aligned the intake port ensuring it would not contact the A/C compressor and marked its location. Applying the provided template to our location markings allowed us to correctly drill the rivet holes and cut the intake hole in the stock air cleaner box.

Ready for action. The ARB Safari Snorkel not only keeps your air inlet from sucking in water, but also leads to better performance and a slight increase in fuel economy. In addition, you'll also find that it keeps your air filter much cleaner, as the inlet is now above and beyond much of the mud, water and dust you encounter on the trail.
Again, apply a liberal amount of sealant and rivet the intake port in place. The next step is to route the flexible hose from the snorkel body, under the battery tray to the intake port. You will need to remove the battery, battery tray and the vacuum manifold under the battery to facilitate the installation. The vacuum manifold must be relocated and we chose a convenient location on the firewall. Once the flexible tube is in place, reinstall the removed components and you are ready go.

We have tested ARB Safari Snorkels in deep water and found it to perform very well. On the road, the snorkel is not visible to the driver nor does it create any additional wind noise. This product is another fine example of ARB's commitment to quality parts that meet the enthusiasts' needs. For more information, call ARB USA at (206)-264-1669.

Contact Information

20 South Spokane Street
Seattle, Washington 98134
(206) 264-1669 Newsletter
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