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How To Snorkel An ATV, Snorkel Kit, Or Make Yourself

How To Snorkel An ATV, Snorkel Kit, Or Make Yourself

Are you ready to take your ATV off-road and tackle deep water crossings without worrying about damaging your engine? Snorkeling your ATV is the answer! Whether you choose to install a snorkel kit or make one yourself, snorkeling allows your ATV’s engine to breathe safely in water or muddy terrains. If you’re wondering how to go about snorkeling, you’re in the right place.  

The short answer is this! To snorkel your ATV, you will need to reroute the intake and exhaust systems to higher points on your vehicle. This involves installing a snorkel kit or creating your own using durable PVC pipes, rubber couplers, and clamps. By extending the intake and exhaust systems, you can ensure that water and debris do not enter the engine, preventing damage and allowing you to navigate through deep water crossings with confidence.

Now, let’s delve into the details. In the following sections, we will explore the step-by-step process of snorkeling your ATV. Whether you are a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, we will provide clear instructions and tips to help you successfully snorkel your ATV and enjoy off-road adventures without worrying about water-related engine issues. So, let’s get started and get your ATV ready for the ultimate off-road experience!

Snorkeling an ATV: Installing a Snorkel Kit or Crafting Your Own

If you plan on driving your ATV through deep water or mud, getting a snorkel on your machine is something you might want to consider. A snorkel will help keep water out of your engine, so you can get through some pretty nasty areas on the trail without damaging your ATV.

If you get yourself into some deep mud or water for too long, your engine could stall. Your air intake could take on water causing major problems and costly repairs. I’ve done this before, as you can see in the picture, and that quad didn’t have a snorkel on it.

Luckily I was able to shut the engine off before major damage was done, but still, it ruined the day of riding for us. I needed to be towed out of the muddy water, then we had to open the air box and wait for everything to dry out before we were able to get the quad running again. If that ATV had a snorkel, there would have been no problems. Before we proceed, you might be wondering what an ATV snorkel is all about. 

What Is An ATV Snorkel?

Snorkeling your ATV is when you install a system onto your engine that will allow air to get where it needs to even in deeper water or mud. You will most likely see risers or stacks sticking up from the quad to capture or release air safely above the water line.

After you install a snorkel on your machine, the only part you need to worry about keeping above water is the opening of those stacks.

Snorkeling your ATV is most useful for getting through deep water or mud. It will keep water out of the most important parts of your engine that are only supposed to be subject to air. Feeding clean air safely to your engine to keep you riding through wet environments.

What Needs To Be Snorkeled?

The main components you will need to snorkel are the air box, your clutch belt intake, and the clutch belt exhaust. The clutch belt intake and exhaust will both need their snorkel. If you try to connect them, the intake will be getting the heat from the exhaust and will overheat and wear out your clutch belt.

You may want to snorkel your exhaust ports as well. If you’re giving the engine enough gas going through the water, that pressure should prevent any water from entering the exhaust. But if by chance water does enter through your exhaust it could cause major problems. This will most likely happen if plan to sit idling in the water.

It’s also a good idea to waterproof your electrical connections. I’ve heard of people snorkeling their electrical box, but that seems like overkill. The point is to just prevent water from getting to the electrical parts of the engine.

Other areas to snorkel might include things like your crack case breather tube or differential vents and carb vents. If you’ll be hitting the occasional mud pit or stream crossing, the air box, clutch belt, and electrical stuff need to be taken care of as well as the carb breather if your engine has a carburetor.

ATV Snorkel Kits

There are some pretty good kits available on the market for most machines. The snorkel kits will vary from quad to quad because they are all set up a bit differently. A snorkel kit will be more expensive than making your own, but will come with everything you need and make for an easier quicker install. Plus the kits might even come with some kind of warranty.

You can use this link to find a Good ATV Snorkel Kit on Amazon. Just be sure to get the right one for your machine. The kits will vary a bit and the parts are custom-made for each different engine.

I don’t need to go over installation here because the snorkel kits come with instructions that are really easy to follow along with. You will need some basic hand tools to get the snorkel kit installed and you’ll be all set.

Make Your Own ATV Snorkel System

Making your ATV snorkel can be fun and won’t cost you too much money either. I’ll admit, a lot of times it won’t look as nice as the professional snorkel kits you can buy, but if you do it right it will work all the same.

Step-by-Step Guide to Snorkeling Your ATV

Gather the necessary materials: To start, you’ll need PVC pipe, which can be found at home repair stores like Home Depot or Lowes. It’s advisable to plan your route, considering the number of bends, pipe length, and 90-degree connectors you’ll require.

 Locate the air box: Identify the air box on your ATV and assess how you’ll snorkel it. Some ATVs come with a factory snorkel that may be short. In such cases, you can connect the PVC pipe directly to the factory snorkel and extend it to your desired height.

Consider using pool hose: Some individuals opt for pool hose as it allows for easier navigation around the engine compared to PVC pipe. Ensure you secure it properly and use reliable connectors for a more polished-looking snorkel system.

Extend the carburetor breather tube: If your engine has a carburetor, it’s relatively simple to extend the existing carb breather tube on your quad. Look for tube connectors at auto parts stores such as Napa or Autozone. Get suitable tubing and extend the carb tube to a safe area on your ATV.

Extend the front and rear differential breather lines: The front and rear differential breather lines on most ATVs are already positioned quite high, near the handlebars. However, if you wish to elevate them further to keep them out of the water, you can extend them using similar methods as with the carburetor breather tube.

By following these steps, you can effectively install a snorkel system on your ATV, ensuring that vital components, such as the air box and differential breathers, remain protected during water crossings and muddy terrains.

Disclaimer: Snorkel kits or snorkeling your ATV may be illegal in some states. I think for the most part it’s allowed on private property either way. But some states don’t allow snorkeled machines on public land. Therefore, you want to check your local laws before riding any modified machines on public land.


In conclusion, snorkeling your ATV is a crucial step for off-road enthusiasts who want to navigate through deep water and muddy terrains without risking engine damage. Whether you choose to purchase a snorkel kit or create your own DIY system using PVC pipe, the goal is to reroute the intake and exhaust systems to higher points on your ATV, ensuring that water and debris are kept away from vital components. 

By following the step-by-step guide and considering the necessary components to snorkel, such as the air box, clutch belt, and electrical connections, you can protect your engine and enjoy worry-free off-road adventures. However, it’s important to check local laws and regulations regarding modified ATVs and snorkeling before riding on public land. Stay informed, ride responsibly, and have fun exploring the great outdoors with your snorkeled ATV.

Thanks so much for reading to the end!

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