When To Snorkel Your ATV?

When To Snorkel Your ATV?

  • Updated: 2023-07-29

If you want to ride your ATV through mud and deep water (as it’s very likely to happen), then acquiring a snorkel for it is something that you should pretty much take seriously into consideration. A snorkel has the role of keeping water out of the engine so you can travel through watery areas without causing any damage to your machine.

If the ATV gets into an area with water or deep mud and stays there for a long period of time, it’s very likely that the engine is going to start stalling. The air intake will probably let water in which would cause big problems that can only be resolved by some rather expensive repairs. This is something anybody using an ATV should know.

Even if you manage to shut the engine off and you don’t cause any damage to the machine, your day is still going to get ruined as you’ll have to wait for somebody to tow you out of the muddy/watery area. Even after that, you have to open the airbox and let everything dry before you can get on with your riding once more.

Needless to say, if the ATV has a snorkel, then such an incident would not be a problem at all so you should really consider making this step. But maybe you don’t know for sure what an ATV snorkel even is? Let’s explain so you’ll know exactly why this is so important for the health of your machine.

What is a snorkel for ATVs?

Basically, when you snorkel your ATV, you install a system on the engine that will permit air to go where it has to go normally – even if the ATV is stuck in mud or deep water. You’ll surely notice stacks or risers sticking up as the machine tries to capture or to release the air in a secure way, rising over the water.

If you choose to install a snorkel on the ATV, most of your worries will be gone, as the only thing that you have to take care of in such a situation is the stack openings that are placed above the waterline. This isn’t a hard thing to do so it’s not a drawback of any kind which means you needn’t have to worry about it.

Fundamentally, by snorkeling the ATV, you will be able to pass through an area that’s muddy or that has lots of water without problems. Water will be kept out of the engine parts that are built to only really interact with air. With a snorkel, the air will reach the engine without any problems even when you are having a fun trip in the wetlands.

Where does the snorkel go?

The main parts that need to be snorkeled are the airbox, the clutch belt intake, but also the clutch belt exhaust. It should be noted that both clutch belts mentioned here are going to need their own separate snorkel. In case you think you may create some connection with them anyway, you should really think twice.

This is because the clutch belt intake is going to start getting some of the heat that comes from the clutch belt exhaust which leads to overheating. Overheating leads to wearing out the clutch belts, so, really, there is no reason for you to try this as you’ll end up spending more money.

Snorkeling the exhaust ports is a great idea also! If you are going to give the engine plenty of gas so that it can go through water, then the resulting pressure will start preventing the water from entering the exhaust ports. There is a very slim chance for the water to manage to get past everything and enter the exhaust.

This would indeed lead to many problems, but it’s something that could be avoided generally as the chances of it happening are increased only in certain conditions such as if you stop in the middle of the water and just … stay there. It may sound silly, but some people would do it, so, if you were planning on such a thing, now you know better.

Another idea that you should take into consideration is to waterproof the electrical connections. You can also snorkel the electrical box, but that’s not necessary and it feels a bit extra. The whole idea is to stop water from getting to the electrical parts of the ATVs engine, so, in this case, you can try other options.

If you want to carry on with snorkeling as much of your ATV as possible, you can only do this for the crankcase breather tube, to the carb vents, and to differential vents. Whenever there’s a chance you may enter a mud pit, you just have to make sure the electrical part of the machine, the airbox, and the clutch belt are safe.

You can add to that list the carb breather as well, in case your ATVs engine includes a carburetor. If it doesn’t, then you have one less thing to worry about. Nevertheless, keep in mind the parts mentioned in this article and take good care of them so there won’t be any problems in your next wild adventure!

Snorkel kits for your ATV

There are plenty of shops out there which can offer you a good deal for such a kit. You will find some differences between them as they can be set up to fulfill different needs. It’s not the cheapest thing on the market, as prices can vary between 400 and 700 dollars (they can also go below and above that), but you’ll have all the things that you need there.

Another advantage of a store-bought snorkel kit for ATVs, aside from the fact that it includes everything you’ll need, is the fact that the installation will also be much easier. Let’s not forget about the fact that some kits can also come with a warranty which is always a nice thing to have.

All you have to do when you buy such a kit is to make sure that you buy the one that is the best for your ATV and that everything will fit perfectly. As mentioned, kits vary among them since they have custom parts that are created for various models of engines so you’ll surely find the right one for you.

We won’t bother you here with the installation process as any snorkel kit you buy will come with instructions and a user’s manual, but what we will tell you is that the installation part is pretty easy even if you are not an expert. You’ll just need help from various hand tools that you probably already own and you will be set to start the ride in no time!

Can you make your own ATV snorkel?

Of course, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can create your very own ATV snorkel. It should be a pretty fun activity and it will surely cost you less. The downside is that it’s not going to look really pretty, compared to a professional one, but, if you’re interested in it only working, you needn’t worry, it will work.

The cheapest option out there is the PVC pipe. If you don’t have some at home anyway, then you will find it in plenty of stores in all states as it’s a very common product. Plan ahead about how much pipe you are going to need, how many bends are there and how many 90-degree connectors will be necessary.

Another option you could use is the pool hose as it’s much more flexible than a typical PVC pipe. It doesn’t look that good, to be honest, as you’ll also need to use duck tape, but, if you manage to put it in place correctly and use good connectors you can be proud of a job done decently.

If your engine has a carburetor, you won’t have to struggle a lot with this, as you only have to extend the carb breather tube on the quad. The carb breather tube is already close to it so it saves you so much work! You just need to buy little tube connectors to help you put everything together so it will work properly.

Now, taking into consideration both options, you can choose the one that could fit you the best. If you can afford to buy a store one, naturally, go for it. If you’re a bit low on money, make one yourself for the time being as it’s all about the fun, and less about the looks. Check with your state laws and see if snorkeling the ATV is allowed in your area.