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Old 11-20-2016, 02:27 PM   #1
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Snorkel performance ?'s

Any feedback/real world experience with the Safari 4x4 snorkel for the Sprinter?

Lower temps through ScanGauge? Cleaner airflow on dusty fire roads, (ie, does it really work for what it's intended for) etc? Any issues on pavement/high traffic conditions? Any issue with sight lines where it's mounted?

Getting ready to have my build done by SMB West in a few months and trying to finalize some options. Any and all info is welcome...and I'm sure many more questions to come.

TIA
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:21 PM   #2
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Consider the room it takes under the hood. If you want the factory installed battery there is no room for the snorkel. In my case, mounting the ARB air compressor under the hood in this location won out over both the 2nd battery and the snorkel.

On our last trip to the desert we suddenly got into a stretch of really fine powdered dust, enough that the dust from the vehicle ahead of us completely obscured our vision. No amount of snorkel height would have done us any good in that situation.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:28 PM   #3
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Hey Tim, thanks for the info. I'm not getting the factory 2nd battery and I'll be using a plug in/stowable compressor so neither of those are concerns. I'm hopeful that there is a pre-filter at the head of the snorkel or at the connection to the air intake under the hood to help deal with the fine trail dust. Just looking for more info to make a better informed decision.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:43 PM   #4
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I'm sure you have looked at the information available at the SMB Store, here is the link if someone wants to look: Safari 4X4 Snorkel - Mercedes Sprinter - Sportsmobile Store

And here is a picture of the various pieces. I don't see any accommodation for a pre-filter. You might call someone in Fresno and ask, their demo van has the snorkel installed. I looked through my file to see if I could find a pertinent picture, but no luck. Lots of other pictures though!

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Old 11-21-2016, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelf View Post
Any feedback/real world experience with the Safari 4x4 snorkel for the Sprinter?

Lower temps through ScanGauge? Cleaner airflow on dusty fire roads, (ie, does it really work for what it's intended for) etc? Any issues on pavement/high traffic conditions? Any issue with sight lines where it's mounted?

Getting ready to have my build done by SMB West in a few months and trying to finalize some options. Any and all info is welcome...and I'm sure many more questions to come.

TIA
You need a cyclonic filter on the end (big circular piece rather than the ram air) to get any sort of meaningful filtering. This isn't something you really need as the air-filter will do a fine job, and is easy to replace. This would be more of a concern if you were driving across africa and wanted to prolong the life of your air filter. Or, you had an industrial machine that was sucking dust all day.

As for a cold air intake, you might see change in intake temps during really low-speed crawling, but it's unlikely to make any actual performance difference. You need to be at max power to see differences like that. If you're going slow and crawling, then you have excess power already. On the highway, I highly doubt you'd see any intake temp difference.

It's a good tool for the right job, but I don't see a Sprinter based in the US as being that right job. It adds more complexity, you have to clean the inside occasionally, sucks to wash the car and wipe bugs off of them, and they can pack up with snow if it's forward facing in wet, heavy snow. You would need to turn it around in that situation.

I think they look cool, but not on a Sprinter that will see most of it's life on a paved road. Even long trips off-road, you may end up replacing the air filter 10K miles sooner.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:16 PM   #6
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You need a cyclonic filter on the end (big circular piece rather than the ram air) to get any sort of meaningful filtering. This isn't something you really need as the air-filter will do a fine job, and is easy to replace. This would be more of a concern if you were driving across africa and wanted to prolong the life of your air filter. Or, you had an industrial machine that was sucking dust all day.

As for a cold air intake, you might see change in intake temps during really low-speed crawling, but it's unlikely to make any actual performance difference. You need to be at max power to see differences like that. If you're going slow and crawling, then you have excess power already. On the highway, I highly doubt you'd see any intake temp difference.

It's a good tool for the right job, but I don't see a Sprinter based in the US as being that right job. It adds more complexity, you have to clean the inside occasionally, sucks to wash the car and wipe bugs off of them, and they can pack up with snow if it's forward facing in wet, heavy snow. You would need to turn it around in that situation.

I think they look cool, but not on a Sprinter that will see most of it's life on a paved road. Even long trips off-road, you may end up replacing the air filter 10K miles sooner.
Just to add to this, I think there is a European vendor who does make a snorkel with a pre-filter at the top. Either way though, it does nothing to improve water fording ability on a Sprinter, which is a good reason to get a snorkel on some other vehicles. I do think it looks cool though, and if that's the reason you want it, just don't connect it under the hood and you won't have to worry about the clogging problems described above.

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Old 11-21-2016, 05:42 PM   #7
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Thanks for both of the replies.

Wrinkledpants, that's why I'm looking for feedback. Not sure if the investment up front is going to pay off in the long run. We are in California and other than getting up to the mountains, plan on spending as much time as possible off highway. Was also considering adding a prefilter at the inlet but wondering how that would impact airflow....could be self defeating especially if it restricts low speed air intake.

Snowy, not planning on much water fording in the Sprinter. Just trying to keep the engine cooler and cleaner on multiday runs across mountain dirt roads, southwest desert, etc. They do look very cool, but I could swap out the snorkel and add the portable solar panel for the cost...which will probably give a better ROI.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:58 PM   #8
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If you are finding that you need to change the air filter at 15K miles or less, then a cyclonic filter would make sense. Even then, your air filter at the time of replacement will not result in an uptick in engine wear. Si ppm and wear metals should look nice and steady. Your motor will start having breathing issues long before the air filter starts falling apart and releasing dirt into the motor. And, with all due respect, if your air filter ever gets to that point, you've done something really really wrong

A cyclonic filter will decrease performance as that's a pretty hefty drag in the intake tract. If you're a jeep that follows other jeeps all day long, or a van in africa that follows other vehicles in dusty conditions because there are no paved roads, then it makes sense. In those conditions, you could be changing the air filter in 10-15K miles, and popping into NAPA isn't always an option. The key difference is they are driving in dirty air kicked up by someone else. Driving by yourself on dirty roads still results in fairly clean air going through the filter.

If you maximize your time spent on extremely dusty roads here in the states, I would guess you may need to replace your air filter 10-15K miles early. So, 45K miles instead of 60k. It takes less than 10 minutes, doesn't need special tools, and the filter is less than 20 bucks. We'll be driving our van like you do (colorado and utah), and I plan on checking the air filter at 20K miles, but I'm guessing I won't need to replace it until 40 or 50K miles.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:55 PM   #9
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^ Good point on all accounts. Just wasn't sure on how much time off road would warrant the mod...if at all.

I'm sure I'll end up diverting that $ to something else. Which leads me to more questions. I'll probably start a build thread to address those down the line.
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