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Install a Snorkel on Your Jeep Wrangler: The Ultimate Guide


Off-roading adventures often require vehicles to traverse through challenging terrains, including dusty roads and water crossings. For Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts, nothing screams adventure more than equipping their ride with a snorkel to ensure engine protection and optimal performance in such conditions. A snorkel reroutes the engine’s air intake to a higher point on the vehicle, allowing for a cleaner and cooler air supply, while also significantly reducing the risk of water ingress during river crossings. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of installing a snorkel on your Jeep Wrangler, enhancing both its capability and rugged looks.

Choosing the Right Snorkel for Your Jeep Wrangler

Before you dive into the installation process, you need to select the right snorkel for your Jeep Wrangler. There are various snorkel models available, designed to fit specific Jeep generations and engine types. Some popular brands that cater to Jeep models include ARB, AEV, and Rugged Ridge. Ensure the snorkel kit you choose is compatible with your particular model and year of Jeep Wrangler.

Tools and Materials Needed

To install the snorkel, you’ll require the following tools and materials:

  • Snorkel kit (including mounting brackets and hardware)

  • Drill and drill bits

  • Hole saw set

  • Silicone sealant

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Pliers

  • Cutting tool (e.g., Dremel, jigsaw)

  • Measuring tape or ruler

  • Marker or masking tape

  • Safety glasses and gloves

Preparing for Installation

Before starting, read through the snorkel kit’s installation instructions carefully. Each model might have specific directions regarding drilling holes and fitting components. Clean the Jeep’s exterior where the snorkel will be mounted to ensure a dirt-free surface for the adhesives and brackets.

Step-by-Step Snorkel Installation Guide

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery

Always disconnect the negative terminal of your battery before performing any modifications to your vehicle. This is a safety measure to prevent electrical shorts or other issues.

Step 2: Remove the Factory Air Box

Using your socket set, remove the factory air intake components. Typically, this includes loosening the clamps around the air hoses and unbolting the airbox itself.

Step 3: Dry Fit the Snorkel

Place the snorkel against the vehicle to visualize where it will sit. Use this opportunity to plan out where you’ll need to drill holes for mounting brackets and the air intake. Use a marker or masking tape to mark the spots precisely.

Step 4: Drill Mounting Holes

Drill the mounting holes according to the instructions provided with your snorkel kit. Ensure you wear safety glasses to protect your eyes, and drill carefully to prevent any damage to the Jeep’s body.

Step 5: Cut the Air Intake Hole

Using a hole saw attachment, drill the initial hole for the snorkel’s air intake. This is typically done on the fender, but the exact location may vary based on your kit. Then, depending on the size of the snorkel’s airway pipe, you might need to enlarge the hole with a cutting tool.

Step 6: Install the Snorkel Mounting Brackets

Fit the snorkel’s mounting brackets onto the drilled holes, making sure they are secured tightly in place. Follow the instruction manual for the specific torque settings.

Step 7: Secure the Snorkel Body

Carefully attach the snorkel body to the mounting brackets. This step might require some minor adjustments for proper alignment.

Step 8: Connect the Snorkel to the Air Box

Use the provided hoses in your snorkel kit to connect the snorkel body to the airbox or air intake of your Jeep. Ensuring a tight and secure fit is vital for maintaining engine performance and preventing water from entering the system.

Step 9: Seal the Connections

Apply silicone sealant around the snorkel’s entry point into the fender and to any connections that may potentially allow water or dust to penetrate. Be generous but neat; the goal is to create a watertight seal.

Step 10: Reconnect the Battery and Test

Once everything is in place, and the silicone has dried, reconnect the negative terminal of your battery. Start your Jeep and let it idle to ensure everything sounds normal and no check engine lights are on. It’s a good practice to check for any air leaks at this stage.

Step 11: Post-Installation Checks

After completing the installation, go for a short drive to test the snorkel under normal operating conditions. Pay attention to the engine’s behavior and ensure no warning lights are displayed on the dashboard. Once you’re confident everything is working well, your Jeep is ready for its next off-road challenge!

Final Thoughts

Installing a snorkel on your Jeep Wrangler is an excellent way to prepare for deep water crossings and dusty trails. While the process requires careful attention to detail, the reward of increased engine protection and performance, not to mention the rugged aesthetic appeal, can be well worth the effort. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s installation guide, and if you’re not confident in your mechanical skills, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. With your new snorkel installed, your Jeep Wrangler will be ready to tackle even the toughest terrains with newfound confidence. Off-roading just got a whole lot safer and more exciting!