Safari Snorkel

LandCruiser 200

Step-by-Step installation

High on the list for any 4WD which ventures off the bitumen should be a snorkel. The headline benefit of fitting a snorkel is to improve the fording capability of your 4x4 by raising the level of the engine air intake. While it's usually wise to avoid deep water, there are times when it's impossible to do so.

The other big benefit of moving the intake out from the guard or engine bay up to roof level is that less dust will enter the primary air filter, reducing maintenance and prolonging engine life (some fine dust always gets past the filter element). For additional protection in very dusty environments, you can also fit a cyclonic pre-cleaner to the snorkel.

On-road, a snorkel can improve fuel economy both due to the "ram air" effect, and also because the air supplied through a snorkel is generally cooler (denser) than air taken from within the guard or the engine bay.

Selecting a snorkel

The primary reason for buying a snorkel is engine protection. In the case of a 200-series, that engine costs upwards of $30000 to replace, so it's a pretty important decision.

When it comes to snorkels -as with most things- you get what you pay for. If you buy a no-name Chinese import, then you may as well buy nothing at all. Because the chances are that the first time you go off-road and scrape it on a tree, it will fail.

You'll be left with reduced engine protection and a series of holes in your guard that probably won't suit whatever snorkel you then buy to replace the broken one. Even without suffering impact damage, my previous experience with cheap Chinese plastics suggests that the polyethylene in the imported snorkels will turn a chalky grey after a couple of years under the harsh Australian sun.

Additionally, when you've got a $90,000+ vehicle, the last thing you want to see every time you look at it, is a series of random gaps between the body and the snorkel, as the poor initial finish only gets worse when the product warps in the summer heat.

I've had Safari Snorkels on all my 4WDs since 1993. They've been bashed against trees and rocks, submerged in freezing water, taken to the searing temperatures of central Australia, and never failed. With a record like that, plus a desire to support Australian manufacturing jobs, I couldn't go past a Safari snorkel for the 200.

Update:  Safari have released a new model snorkel for the 200 called the Armax SS88HP. It's slightly larger and provides substantially more airflow than the standard snorkel, so could be useful once the vehicle has an exhaust or performance chip. You can buy the Armax online for around $100 more than the standard SS87HF version. If I were buying one today, I'd go with the Armax. Installation is similar, so the video above will still be useful.





IMPORTANT

The "Installation" section should not be taken as instructions. It is simply a documenting of the procedure I followed for my own installation. No warranty is provided as to the accuracy of the information, and/or whether it applies in your situation or to your vehicle. If you're not qualified and/or don't have the correct equipment, get the airbags fitted professionally.

  • There are potentially lethal dangers involved during the installation from the use of power tools.
  • There is the potential for expensive vehicle damage from improper installation.

If you undertake your own snorkel installation, you do so entirely at your own risk.

Equipment required 

  • A T-30 Torx driver
  • A 10mm socket plus extension
  • A 13mm ring spanner
  • Masking tape
  • Touch up paint
  • A felt-tip pen and white paint marker (or correction pen)
  • Thread locking fluid (eg Loctite 243 or 263)
  • Polyurethane adhesive-sealant (eg Sikaflex 227 or FixAU)

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Installation Tips

The step numbers below correspond to the steps in the Safari installation guide:

Click images to enlarge

Steps 1 and 2:

  • The easiest order for removal is:
    • Remove the mudflap
    • Remove the inner guard liner
    • Remove the air entry duct (inside the guard, retained by 3x bolts)
    • Remove the air cleaner assembly
    • Remove the air entry flange (from the engine bay.)
  • Removing the front wheel or turning to right-lock will enable access to remove the torx-head screws retaining the mudflap;
  • The plastic clips retaining the inner guard liner are re-usable, simply lever the centre out and the clips are easily removed.

Step 3:

2012-on vehicles do not have a guard-mounted indicator, eliminating one of the alignment guides. Take extra care to ensure the template is property aligned.

Step 4:

  • Make it easier to see the required depth on the step drill by marking the 16mm step with a felt pen;
  • The 114mm holesaw requires a very slow speed. Use a drill with a geared low speed (rather than just electronic variable speed) if you have one available;
  • An air body saw is the best choice for expanding the air entry hole. If you don't have one you could also use a jigsaw. However, be sure to thoroughly protect the surrounding paintwork with several layers of masking tape, to prevent the saw skids scratching the surface.
  • Don't forget to deburr and paint the all of the holes, or they'll rust out;
  • Deburring can be performed with a deburring tool, or a round/half-round file.





Step 6:

At this point (with the sealant handy) I also completed Step 13 (sealing of the airbox drain openings), which Safari list as optional. The downside being that any water that enters the airbox (eg: heavy rain) cannot drain out. However, leaving the holes open risks water entering the engine during long, deep water crossings. I chose to seal the openings.

Step 10:

Due to the design of the A pillar, you cannot use a step drill to expand the mounting holes to 8mm (You risk drilling through the inner layer of the pillar). You'll have to use a standard 8mm drill bit.



Steps 12 and 16:

To ensure watertight connections, it's very important that the air entry hose is square to both the airbox and the snorkel body, and that the hoseclamps are also square and positioned to effectively clamp the hose.

Completed Installation:



Water driving safety tips

A snorkel is not an excuse for taking excessive risks, particularly in water. Many people have died or been injured driving through water that's flowing too fast, or is too deep. Use extreme caution when negotiating flowing or deep water. If you don't know how deep the water is, don't attempt to cross it.

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