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Blazing

River Crossing - Do you need a snorkel?

I came upon this video and it really made me realise just how important a snorkel can be and just how quick things can go bad if you don't have one... Or more accurately, Don't drive to appropriately for your vehicle and track conservation.

In this video the driver has taken an easy, shallow river crossing too fast essentially converting his tyres into a pump which saturated inside of the bonnet instantly flooding the engine with water.

The primary lesson here is not that a snorkel was required but that you should always approach your crossing in a safe manner with safety and impact in mind. While it may be fun to smash through and create the largest waves, we need to consider the impact we may have on our vehicle and the environment. After all, If we all rip up the tracks today, we'll have no tracks tomorrow.

Personally, Before engaging my first river crossing without a snorkel the first thing that I did was check the location and height of my air intake, then watched some videos to get an idea of approximate how deep I could go at various speeds and the depth expected on my trip.

No amount of preparation can tell you exactly what to expect as river depths can change depending on rainfall (either local or off in the distance) so perhaps the best prepared you can be, is being prepared to say no if the conditions aren't right.

Youtube Video
Scoteye

With a creek that low you could cross with some common sense and alittle less speed instead, hence not needing a snorkel.
1mak

Yeah but as a fresh 4x4 owner you think you need to do this fast and with as much splash as you can get. I understand, I've been there. Very unlucky now for the owner but I find it good that he wants to educate other owners to prevent them from the damage he had. A good thing to do. :)
pajero.com

no snorkel d.i.d Forum Image
Blazing OP

Posted by: "pajero.com" at
0
no snorkel d.i.d

Posted Yesterday

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You're a braver man than I (and probably also 100x more experienced). While diesel can handle the water much better than petrol without a snorkle, If things go south and the water finds it's way in, the compression ratio of diesel is far less forgiving when it encounters a non compressible liquid.
NAVMAN

Having had a Diesel and now owning a petrol there are a few things you can do to ensure your petrol 4x4 gets to the other side.
1st get some dielectric grease and put it in every connector you can find. http://www.permatex.com/products-2/product-categories/specialized-maintenance-repair/electrical-system-maintenance/permatex-dielectric-tune-up-grease-detail
2nd get a water blind. These greatly assist in creating the bow wave and ensuring the water is deflected away from your engine bay.
http://www.fnb4wd.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2546
3rd option is for a snorkel with option 1 & 2 already sorted

Now why would a snorkel be 3rd you ask? well if you go and look at the air intake system on your 4x4 odds are you'll find it tucked up behind the headlight or into the inner guard.
Now stop and have a look at how high that is off the ground. So at a standstill in water you'd have to be that deep to start taking in water (holes in the system aside)
Next watch some videos on 4x4's going through water crossings. You will note that they all create a bow wave once the water comes up to the bumper/bullbar (important to keep a constant speed to keep it going) and this will normally create a shallow right at the front of your wheels just where you'd normally see your intake opening inside the engine bay. This will allow you to tackle deeper crossings than you would normally.
If you hit the crossing with excessive speed all sorts of things can go wrong, such as water being forced INTO the engine bay and also damaging engine fan(s) and/or radiators.

And of course it goes without saying. Check the water before crossing 1st. On a busier stretch of road you could just wait for someone else to go through and watch their 4x4 and how it handles it.
2nd is to walk the crossing (beware of crocs in certain areas) and get a "feel" for the river itself for things like depth, current, and the base (sand, dirt, rock etc).
3rd is to have a recovery plan in place just in case it all goes wrong.

Of course this is just my experience. Others may have better advise.

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