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How SUVs Can Be Driven And Submerged In Deep Water Without Stalling The Engine



Vids:Are They Really SUVs Or mini-Submarines?

Have you ever seen an SUV like jeeps,hummer or other car brands with a long pipe sticking out over the bonnet and wondered why anyone would put a smoke stack on it?


Wondered why Jeeps,Humvees and other military trucks can submerge easily as they cross a river without stalling while a normal SUV or car stalls almost immediately while driving through a shallow river or a 4-foot deep pond?

From the pics above,this pipe looking fixture running from the air intake under the bonnet,extending upward near the passenger side of the vehicle,called a SNORKEL,and it is a modification for 4×4 enthusiasts who want their vehicle to get cool,dry,clean air into their engine while off-roading.

Humvees and jeeps often have a snorkel attached to a port on the passenger side of the hood from the factory,that allows them to submerge in up to 5 feet(1.6 meters)of water while still getting air.

Sucking water into your internal combustion engine is more common than you might think.Offroading and riding through rivers,streams,puddles,lakes or flood are more likely to get water into the engine,especially if you don’t have a snorkel.
The problem with getting water in your engine is that your engine was designed to compress air and gas as the piston moves up,ignite it and use the resultant explosion to push the piston back down.
Water can not be compressed when the piston moves up.The resulting damage could include a hole in the cylinder wall,a hole in the piston head,blown out valves or a hole in the head.The water will go somewhere,and it will take the weakest route it can find.This is known as a hydrolocked engine.
Getting the water in the engine is easy.Getting it out,without destroying the engine,can be more of a challenge.

Since the air intake is usually a problem when immersed in water,adding a snorkel to the system can easily solve this problem along with some other modifications.

How does a 4wd Snorkel work?

A Snorkel,when fitted to your four wheel drive,moves the engine air intake from under your bonnet,to roof height.
At this point,
-It raises the level of the air intake that reduce the chance of water entering your engine when crossing water or river
-A higher air intake also reduces the amount of dust entering the system(cleaner air)
-It also allows cooler air into the engine which can increase its horsepower and engine performance.
-it produces a ram effect by allowing air into your engine using your vehicles forward motion rather than the engine sucking air in.

The ram and the vortex snorkel are the 2 main types of snorkels designed to achieve similar results,but do so in different ways.Pics below

See Related Post 8 Safety Tips For Flooded Vehicles – 9ja HSE Professionals

So to create a vehicle that can run submerged,the following modificatiion must be achieved in addition to installing a snorkel to the air inlet system
-The vehicle engine must be waterproofed.
-All electrical devices like instruments,engine control computers,motors(for fans,windshield wipers,et cetera),lights and the battery,must be sealed.
-Any venting for items such as the crankcase and differential must be sealed(or vented at the same level as the snorkel).
-The fuel tank must be sealed and vented appropriately.
-Any chamber or space that can be filled with water must have a drain.

The following accessories may be required for sustained driving in deep water:
-Wading plugs or breathing tubes for the gearbox and differentials to prevent water entrance
-Sealed air intake snorkel to prevent water entering the engine
-Radiator barrier to lower the water level in the engine bay
-Splash baffles can prevent the fan throwing water everywhere in your engine bay

If the air intake and exhaust have been taken care of and the engine has been completely waterproofed,then the vehicle can run underwater.

It is easier to waterproof a diesel engine than a petrol engine because of the ignition and sparkplugs in a petrol engine run at high voltage,and sealing them is very difficult(but not impossible) while a diesel engine on the other hand,has no ignition system.
Also,if the diesel engine has a mechanical fuel pump for the injectors and a mechanical transmission,there are no engine control electronics to worry about.These features can make a diesel engine relatively easy to waterproof.That’s why most military vehicles that forge rivers or run submerged have diesel engines.

A snorkel is not a requirement if you want to off-road your SUV,but this modification is just one of many that can improve your vehicle’s performance or protect it.
Snorkels are widely available for a wide variety of SUV vehicles.

Will you consider modifying your SUV with a snorkel for off-roading and surfing,especially here in Nigeria,where most areas are prone to flooding?

See Related Post 8 Safety Tips For Flooded Vehicles – 9ja HSE Professionals


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