- Daniel Errante
- Jeep Wrangler Enthusiast
When it comes to off-roading, Jeeps are among the most capable and versatile vehicles on the market. They can traverse through a variety of terrains with relative ease, but when faced with water crossings, it’s crucial to have the right equipment to ensure the safety and functionality of the vehicle. One of the essential pieces of gear for water fording is a snorkel kit. A snorkel reroutes your Jeep’s air intake from under the hood to a higher point on the vehicle, preventing water from entering the engine and causing damage. So, let’s dive into the world of snorkel kits and discover the best ones for your next water crossing adventure!
Understanding Snorkel Kits for Jeeps
Snorkel kits are designed to provide a clean, dry, and elevated source of air to your Jeep’s engine. By lifting the air intake above the hood line, snorkels allow for deeper water crossings without the worry of water ingestion, which can lead to catastrophic hydrolock—a condition where water enters the engine and prevents the pistons from moving.
The best snorkel kits are constructed from durable materials such as UV-resistant polyethylene and are specifically designed to fit the contours and airflow requirements of your Jeep model. They often come with all the necessary fittings, fixtures, and installation guides to aid a smooth setup.
Top Snorkel Kits for Jeep Water Crossing
ARB Safari Snorkel
A name that stands tall in the off-roading community, ARB offers the Safari Snorkel range, known for high quality and reliability. The Safari Snorkels are engineered to supply airflow to your Jeep’s engine optimally, and the kit includes a comprehensive installation guide. It is made of premium materials that can withstand the harsh conditions of off-roading.
Rugged Ridge Modular XHD Snorkel Kit
Rugged Ridge’s Modular XHD Snorkel is designed for Jeep Wrangler JK models. One of its unique features is the modular functionality; you can switch between a low and high mount depending on your needs. The snorkel is also thermoformed from high-density polyethylene, giving it strength and flexibility. Plus, the brand offers an array of other off-road accessories that integrate well with the snorkel system.
AEV Snorkel Kit
American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) provides a well-conceived snorkel system that’s made to seamlessly blend with the lines of your Jeep. AEV’s attention to detail is echoed in the design and fitment of their kits, which cater to newer Jeep models including the Wrangler JL and Gladiator JT. Their kits also serve to protect your engine from dust and water, making them a great choice not only for water crossing but also for dusty trails.
Volant Periscoop Snorkel
For Jeep enthusiasts looking for a blend of performance and aesthetics, the Volant Periscoop Snorkel is an excellent option. It comes ready to install with a sealed design to keep out water and debris. Modeled to suit various Jeep models, it is known for improving engine performance and efficiency, which can be crucial when crossing water bodies.
Snorkel Your ATV UTV Snorkel Kit
While not as widely recognized as other brands, Snorkel Your ATV offers a budget-friendly snorkel solution that’s made from high-grade ABS plastic. It’s a utilitarian option for Jeep owners who want to boost their vehicle’s water crossing capability without breaking the bank.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Snorkel Kit
Before you rush out and purchase a snorkel kit for your Jeep, consider the following factors to ensure you make the right choice:
Ensure the snorkel kit you’re eyeing is compatible with your Jeep’s model and year. Unique body lines, hood contours, and engine bay layouts can affect how well a snorkel kit fits and functions.
Look for a snorkel made from UV-stabilized and robust materials to ensure durability. The quality of the materials will impact the snorkel’s resistance to the elements and potential damage from off-road hazards.
Snorkel installation can sometimes be complex and may require some drilling into the body of your Jeep. If you’re not comfortable with performing such modifications, it may be best to seek professional installation. Some kits come with templates and detailed instructions that make the DIY installation clear and manageable.
Design and Aesthetics
While functionality should be your primary concern, don’t overlook the design and aesthetics of the snorkel kit. This upgrade will change the look of your Jeep, and you want to ensure it adds to its rugged appeal rather than detracts from it.
Water Ingress Protection
While a snorkel can significantly raise the waterline for safe engine breathing, it’s also essential to seal and protect other water-sensitive components, such as electronics, airboxes, and differentials.
Some snorkel kits can enhance engine performance by providing cooler and cleaner air, which may result in improved fuel efficiency and power output. However, make sure your chosen snorkel is designed to meet the airflow requirements of your engine.
Partaking in water crossings with your Jeep can be an exhilarating experience, but it is not without its risks. Investing in a high-quality snorkel kit is paramount for the longevity and performance of your vehicle on the trails. The options highlighted in this article – ARB Safari, Rugged Ridge Modular XHD, AEV, Volant Periscoop, and Snorkel Your ATV – offer a range of choices that cater to different needs and preferences.
Remember that the best snorkel kit for your Jeep should not only help you conquer water hazards but should also be a well-researched enhancement that synergizes with your vehicle’s capabilities. Happy and safe off-roading!