Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Rugged Ridge XHD Modular Snorkel Kit, fitting all 2007 and of JKs. There are a couple of different versions of this snorkel kit available, depending on which engine you have in your jeep, so make sure you get the right one for your year. There are also a couple of different configurations of this snorkel. Because, of course, this is a modular kit, where you see in front of me includes just the low-mount. However, the high-mount is available with or without the pre-filter, and you can also purchase the pre-filter separately, and then there is a kit that comes with the high-mount and the low-mount, and really all of the pieces, all in one box for you as well, if you decided to go that route. This installation is going to be a three out of three wrenches. There is going to be a good bit of cutting, grinding and drilling involved in installing this in your jeep. However, Rugged Ridge does have the forethought to provide a bracket, to reinstall all of your factory body panels in their factory location, if you were ever to get rid of the snorkel kit, so that is a nice feature, but we'll talk a little but more about the installation in a bit. We're also gonna talk through the construction in a few of the features of the system. The basic reason to run a snorkel on your jeep, is to raise up the air intake allowing you to do deeper water crossings, without the risk of sucking water into the engine. Having water in the engine will hydro lock the motor, which can cause a lot of damage, and possibly even replacing the motor. So, if you are going to do some deep water crossings, a snorkel is a good idea. And if you're going to run a snorkel, you need to know that it's going to work, and it's not going to have a lot of different pieces that snap together, that aren't watertight, and still going to let water into your engine. So in my opinion, if you are running a snorkel, because you're going to use it for its intended purpose off-road, you're gonna want to spend a little bit of money, and get a good one that you know is going to work.Now, there are a lot of you out there that just want to run a snorkel, because you like the way it looks. And if that's the case there are some less expensive options than this one on the market. Or there are some of you that just want to run a snorkel because it's a true cold air intake. This will draw engine air from outside of the engine compartment, giving you fresh, cool, clean air, which can help with the performance of it. And if that's your reason for running a snorkel, again, you can go with one of the less expensive snorkels than this one. But if you are gonna do some deep water crossings, and you want to spend a little bit of money and make sure you get one that is going to keep water out of the engine, like this one.Now, I really like this kit in particular from Rugged Ridge because it is modular. I'm one of the people out there that doesn't love the look of a snorkel going up the A-pillar of your jeep. With this modular what it allows you to do is run the low-mount, which is still visible but not nearly as much as a high-mount. You can run this on the street, or you can run this when you're running trails that are fairly dry, but with a couple of screws, you can remove the low mounts, and snap the high-mount into place, and you have an extra degree of protection if you do plan on doing some deeper water crossings.Now, I mentioned that there are some less expensive options of snorkels out there on the market, if you're not really going to be using it for its intended purpose of deep water crossings. As far as other snorkels that are well-built, are water tight and are ready to do those deep water crossings, this one isn't that much more expensive than the tough tier snorkels on the market. And to gain the ability to have the modular system that allows you to run the low-mount, I think that this is a pretty good deal. This kit does include all of the components you're going to need to get it installed. starting at the factory air box, this is the new lower section with a new molded intake built right into it that's going to attach to the silicon pipe, the aluminum pipe, all the way out to, of course, the snorkel section. Now, this snorkel piece runs on the inside of your fender, and the top portion that you actually see replaces the corner cowl on your jeep. So again, it is very low profile. It doesn't take up a lot of space. It doesn't run all the way up to your A-pillar until you snap that high-mount into place when you need that functionality.Overall, this is a one-piece molded plastic which, again, that's what I talked about before, getting rid of any additional joints that can let water in, this is going to be very, very functional. This is designed with a U-shape pear[SP] on the intake and it has a drain in the bottom. So if you were to splash any water up into your low-mount or even into your high-mount, if you went that deep, it would be able to drain out before getting into your factory air box. So the factory air box also is designed to drain any water out that you may get in. So you do have redundant safety measures built in, doing everything possible to keep water out of your engine which, of course, can be catastrophic.As far as the installation is concerned, as I said before, this is a three out of three wrench installation. This does require a good bit of modification to your jeep. Now, all of that being said, Rugged Ridge does provide you with a bracket, so that even though you're cutting, and drilling, and making modifications to your jeep, if you ever got rid of this snorkel kit, you would be able to reinstall that factory cowl corner piece, because of the bracket included. It's a really nice feature from Rugged Ridge. Oftentimes, when you do those permanent modifications to your jeep, there's no way back with the bracket that they include. You can return back to factory which again is something I really like. Either way, the installation does require a lot of cutting and drilling, so if that something you're not comfortable with, there is no shame in taking this to a shop and having them install it in your jeep. The first step in the installation is actually loosening and partially removing your factory fender. You're going to do that in order to get this snorkel installed. So there are a bunch of bolts that you'll have to remove, part of the inner fender liner, down to the pinch seam, a lot of bolts you have to remove and loosen in order to get that fender removed. You'll also be removing the cowl cover, and eventually removing your cowl corner. That's where you end up having to drill out some welds, do some cutting with a cut-off wheel, have a Dremel handy to clean up those cuts, of course you're gonna want to paint any of those areas of the sheath, nail that you've cut to keep them from rusting, all of that so we can fit the snorkel section in place and, of course, there's some modification to the air box with this new air box lower section, and then all of the piping and all of the hardware to make all of this stuff work together.Once you're done with that, actually, changing from the low-mount to the high-mount is a very simple process. There's just a couple of screws that you'll need to remove to pop the low-mount off to snap the high-mount into place, so that's not really a big deal. But actually getting the snorkel section installed in the engine bag is going to be a lot of work that requires a lot of cutting and drilling.If you do plan on tackling this yourself, this is going to be an install that I would set aside probably around four to even five hours to get done, start to finish. You are going to want be very careful with those cuts, of course. There's a lot of disassembly and a lot of reassembly to do to get this done. And, again, if you do decide to tackle this yourself, you are going to need a cut-off wheel, or you're going to need a Dremel, a drill, pretty much every tool that you might have in your toolbox to get this done.I mentioned before that I think this is really fairly priced and I stand by that. There are certainly less expensive snorkels on the market. but I wouldn't trust them to go through deep water in my jeep. They have too many joints, too many areas, where they can fail, and getting water into the engine can be catastrophic, can be very expensive, not to mention leaving you stranded on the trail. So for my money, if I'm going to be using a snorkel for the purpose of going through deep water, this is the style of snorkel I want to get, something that is a one-piece molded snorkel. And I really like this one even over some of those top tier snorkels on the market. because of the flexibility, because this is modular. I love the idea of running the low-mount when I'm on the street or even doing some drilling and drier environments but having the opportunity to snap the high-mount into place if I plan on going through some deeper water, so that I can have that extra level of security.So if you're looking to pick up a snorkel because you plan on going through some deep water you just like the...or because you want a truly cold-air intake, I think that this is going to be a really nice option for you. I personally love the fact that this is modular, it gives you both the low-mount and the high-mount option, even though the installation is a little bit involved.So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge XHD Modular Snorkel Kit fitting all 2007, and of JKs that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.