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Tacoma Snorkels: Keeping Your Head Above Water

Tacoma Snorkels: Keeping Your Head Above Water

Toyota Tacoma’s aren’t amphibious vehicles. This doesn’t mean they won’t spend their fair share of time playing in the water though. When water levels rise around a vehicle, the engine becomes more and more at risk. This can be a real bummer for those looking to keep up with their friends on the trail who are readily equipped to sail out to the deep water in the name of fun. With the use of a snorkel, you can travel into the same puddles as your buddies without fear.

Shop Tacoma Snorkel Air Intakes

Snorkels aren't just for Carribean vacations; diving into mud puddles along your trail is part of the adventure. Making sure your Tacoma's engine makes it through without drowning should be priority number 1, however. Installing a snorkel and taking the proper precautions when approaching deep water should see you safe.

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What is a Snorkel?

The air intake in your Tacoma sits within the engine compartment. If water levels raise up high enough, the air intake is in danger of sucking in water. Snorkels are designed to bring the point where the air is drawn into from outside of the engine bay above the hood. They work just like a snorkel you would use for swimming in water.

Dangers of Drowning the Tacoma

Drawing water into the engine is dangerous for multiple reasons. The engine bay is not airtight and that means that the water level outside of the engine bay is just as high within. Because the water will be moving around as the truck moves a snorkel will benefit trucks that will be in water that comes remotely close to the intake system. 

Even if only a little bit of water is sucked into the engine, you can severely damage the engine and find yourself in need of a rebuild. If too much is drawn in and the truck stalls leaving it submerged in water you will find yourself at a whole new level of hurt. If the water you’re planning on crawling through is even as high as the wheel wells, you need to consider the use of a snorkel.

Snorkel Installation

To install a snorkel requires the intake system to be run to the outside of the truck. Under the hood, the system is installed with ease. Before preparing to pick up and install a snorkel you need to consider where you want to snorkel to exit the truck.

Hood Exit: Running a snorkel that exits the hood is desirable for those who don’t want to cut up hard-to-replace sheet metal; hoods can be removed and replaced quickly. Snorkels that exit the hood only sit slightly higher than the hood though meaning they won’t increase the level of water a Tacoma can drive through like a fender exit snorkel will. They also look very out of place when installed. 

Fender Exit: Running a snorkel through the fender is great for two reasons. The first is that it brings the point of intake to the roof of the truck. They are also designed to look much more natural to the truck. The drawback to these types of snorkels is that they require the fender to be cut into. You’ll also have to consider the following.

Cutting Sheet Metal: Cutting up the factory sheet metal is essential to installing a snorkel. Before tackling this job you need to make sure you are confident in your abilities to make sure the job is done right. You want to make sure your cuts are done with both accuracy and precision. If the job isn’t done perfectly, it will be a real eyesore.

Reverting to Stock: After a snorkel is installed, reverting the truck to stock form can be quite the process. Once a fender or hood is cut to accept a snorkel it will be permanently dedicated to the purpose. If you want to bring things back to stock, the cut components will need to be replaced. When resale value is a concern this factor needs to be taken into consideration before installation of a snorkel.

Who Needs a Snorkel?

Off-roaders of all shapes and sizes will benefit from a snorkel. Especially those who like to take on new challenges from time to time. If you know you will be spending a lot of time on water-logged trails you should invest in a snorkel. You should also consider a snorkel for your truck if you know your buddies will lead you to challenges of all shapes and sizes from weekend to weekend. This is the type of mod that’s better to have and not need than to need and not have.

Gauge your Depth: Even with a snorkel attached you need to be careful of the water you are approaching. Try to gauge it to ensure you won’t find yourself submerged too deep. Snorkels are designed to help a Tacoma’s engine breathe rather than keep it from getting stuck.

Before approaching, look for signs that may indicate the depth of the water. If you see someone else plow through the puddle before you, try to follow the same path as they have. The depth of the water can be unpredictable and a route that veers from theirs may lead into deeper water than you are prepared to handle.

Complimentary Water Mods

Snorkels can only protect you so much. You will want to make sure that the truck is fully dressed for the occasion. With the proper equipment, you will be able to breathe underwater and crawl along with ease.

Tires: Proper tires designed for crawling in mud are your best friend. At the bottom of the puddle of water is a layer of mud that can suck your tires in and hold them there if they aren’t designed for the terrain.

Winch: Even with proper tires the mud on the bottom of the puddle can be deep enough to keep you held down anyway. Having a winch on your Tacoma is a must when you plan on tackling deep puddles. If you get stuck the winch can be used to pull you right out and onto the next obstacle.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro