Vehicle snorkel

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Russian T-90 tank with wading snorkel erected


A vehicle snorkel is the land-based equivalent of the submarine snorkel which allowed submarines to use diesel engines while submerged. Snorkels, when used by vehicles with air-breathing internal combustion engines, allow limited deep fording capability for river crossing or amphibious landing operations.

Military wheeled vehicles, like Jeeps, are capable of mounting snorkels for the air intake and engine exhaust, to allow them to wade through relatively deep water, limited by the height of the driver's head. In the case of a Jeep, all of the engine openings and wiring are sealed, and the driver must first operate a damper that over-pressures the engine vacuum, to prevent water from entering. After fording, the vehicle's wheel bearings must be repacked with new lubricants. Tracked military vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers generally operate with all hatches sealed and the crew fully enclosed by the vehicle.

Such snorkelling equipment is available as an aftermarket accessory for some civilian four-wheel drive vehicles. The snorkel is typically routed out through one of the front wings and up beside the "A" pillar to the level of the roofline where it is terminated with either a mushroom intake or a forward-facing intake.

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