Installing a snorkel is not that difficult. It will give your Jeep a great rugged look and it functions better off-road.By AJ Mawley – December 15, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep JK (2007-Present).
Installing an intake snorkel is one of the most rewarding modifications for your Jeep. They not only look great, but the air your engine breathes is cleaner, cooler, and you can drive your Jeep deeper under water. With this mod, your Jeep will become even more fun off-road because it will become less limited and the types of terrain you can explore becomes more diversified. Now, let’s get on to the install and see how you can easily perform this modification yourself!
- Putty knife
- Drill with stepped drill bit
- 10mm socket, 1/2″ socket, and ratchet
- T30, T40, T50 socket
- Black paint
- Dremel with cutting disk
Step 1 – Remove windshield bracket and cowl
First, remove the windshield bracket, as shown in Figure 1, by removing the six T40 bolts that hold it on to the car’s frame. Next, remove the wiper blade cowl by removing the four T40 bolts that hold it on to the chassis. Lastly, remove the wiper blade arms by remove the 1/2″ bolts that hold them on. The entire cowl will lift off when you “unlock” the sliding brackets at the firewall.
Figure 1. Windshield bracket removal.
Figure 2. Remove wiper cowl.
- Figure 3. Remove wiper blade arms.
Keep track of all of your bolts, so none of them go missing or end up in the wrong location. We recommend bagging and tagging all fasteners.
Step 2 – Remove door and fender
Now, remove the door by removing the T50 bolts at each hinge. Have someone ready to grab the door, as it is heavy and will not be supported when the bolts are removed. Next, remove the four 10mm bolts alongside the fender in the engine bay as shown in Figure 5. Then, remove the two 10mm bolts near the wiper cowl and the five 10mm bolts on the upper side of the fender liner as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 4. Remove passenger side door.
Figure 5. Remove four 10mm bolts on fender.
Figure 6. Cowl bolts.
- Figure 7. Fender liner bolts.
Step 3 – Remove inner fender bolts for more access
Remove the two inner 10mm cowl bolts located near the center of the door entry and between the door hinges. There are also two pinch fender bolts under the inner fender that might need to be removed for access. Now, the fender can be broken free from the chassis. From the factory, an adhesive is applied at the fender, which has to be broken free by a putty knife. One of the last things needed to be removed before the fender can be pulled off is the antenna wire, which can be pulled off with pliers.
Figure 8. Inner fender bolts.
Figure 9. Separating fender from chassis.
Figure 10. Removal of antenna cable.
Be very careful with the putty knife, as it can scratch your paint.
Step 4 – Drill out welds and modify fender
Drill out the welds connecting the fender and upper cowl. So, the fender has to be drilled from the top to drill out the welds. The locations of the welds are shown in the picture below. Now, the fender can be pulled off completely. The next step might be the most nerve racking part of this install. Use your rotary grinder and cutting wheel to cut the fender with the stencil provided in the snorkel kit.
Figure 11. Remove fender by drilling out welds.
Take your time here. You will look at any mistake you make every time you see the car.
Step 5 – Remove intake box and install snorkel ducting
Remove the lower and upper parts of the intake box to prepare for the snorkel install as shown in Figure 12. Next, mock up the lower box of your snorkel kit using the instructions provided in the kit and check for fitment. Then, remove the lower box. The aluminum intake tract connecting the intake box and the snorkel will be installed next. In this example, the intake tract uses a power steering line bracket to keep it in place. The 90-degree elbow connecting the lower box and the intake tract will be installed now. Use RTV at all connections to ensure a good seal.
Figure 12. Lower box mocked up.
Figure 13. Install intake tract.
- Figure 14. 90-degree elbow install.
Check for leaks before moving on to the next step.
Step 6 – Install snorkel
If you want the snorkel to be more pleasing to the eye, use Figure 15 as a guide of where to paint your cowl to make the snorkel assembly blend in better.
Figure 15. Painting cowl black.
The next piece of the snorkel assembly can now be attached as shown in Figure 16. Then attach the drain hose at the bottom of the snorkel, making sure that the valve is kept closed upon installation.