Raised Air Intake
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If you intend to drive on long stretches of dusty roads or through deep water, an extension to the air intake is highly recommended. The most well known make is the Australian Safari Snorkel. They are available for almost all 4x4s and can either be fitted at home or by off-road outlets. The benefits are more than just protection from water and dust. The air is cleaner up high and therefore air filters last much longer. The air is also cooler than inside the engine compartment. This clean, cool air will improve engine performance. Fitting a snorkel does mean drilling holes into the body and this is a deterrent to some who want to ensure the resale value of their vehicle. However, engine damage caused by water ingestion is never cheap.
There is some contention as to the effectiveness of a snorkel in dusty conditions. In 2003, during a trip into the Richtersveld shooting one of my 4×4 DVD’s I did a simple test. Two vehicles, one a Colt and the other a Land Cruiser were used. The Cruiser was fitted with a Safari Snorkel, the Colt had its standard air intake behind a headlight, A common location on many vehicles. Both vehicles were new, with about 7000 Kms on both odometers. The drive through the river beds was particularly dusty. The idea was to compare the air cleaners on the final day of the trip. The results were startling. Each filter was knocked against the front wheel to release dust trapped in them above a white towel lying on the ground. The top three photos show the snorkel-equipped Land Cruiser. The filter was dusty but still good for thousands of kilometers. There were no stones or sand in the filter bowl. I would estimate the unprotected filter had fifty times more dust embedded in it than the filter protected by the snorkel. Safari Snorkels is available countrywide from Baillies Off Road, 011 702 2149.