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Old 02-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
vze2372e's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 375
AEV Snorkels and Bushwacker Flat Fenders

Since there was little information on this at the time, I'm documenting it here - AEV Snorkels and Bushwacker Flat Fenders have a fitment issue - one luckily that is easily resolved. I read a few people online making a big deal about fitting a snorkel to Bushwacker flatties, but no mention of a resolution, so here it is -

Delivered directly from AEV, the cost complete was $359.00.

The kit was complete, the instructions well documented - the stock setup did not fit with the Bushwacker flat fenders I had installed. More on that later …

I must have measured that hood a hundred times before I actually did anything. AEV provides a full sized template for cutting the hood, and yes, you will be removing a chunk of hood approximately 6” wide by 2.5” tall. Measuring back 3/4” from the passenger side hood latch indentation, I temporarily secured the template and center punched two locations for a hole saw. I love my center punch, it keeps my drill from running around my hood like an errant tornado across an Oklahoma field.

I then used 2” blue painters tape along the templates outline to mark the cuts I needed to make, grabbed my drill and deeeep breath drilled my first hole. The follow-up drilling was with a 2” hole saw. The drill in both cases simple popped through the metal; not being a body guy I was surprised at how little there really was there, with both 2” holes being cut through the outer and inner hood surfaces in under 15 seconds each. I was committed now.

The rest of the cut on the hoods exterior was accomplished with a pair of electric sheet metal shears, and a Dremel equipped with a cutoff wheel. Both items were life savers, with the shears cutting a perfect line, and the cutoff wheel doing the trimming and smoothing. After marking the inner hood, metal was again relieved to instruction, this time using the cutoff wheel exclusively.

With the cuts (the hard, “holy crap I hope I don't ruin my hood” part) complete, I masked off the cut area and nuked it with a spray bomb to cover any newly exposed metal and prevent corrosion.

The next step is attaching the snorkel to the stock airbox – it literally snaps in. Some thoughts? Were I to do it over again, I would have applied some grease to the mating surface of the snorkel where it snaps into the airbox – it is a tight fit. Instead, I applied more pressure – and BROKE my airbox. Apparently the plastic they are made out of is easy to crack when manhandled by a gorilla. Luckily I had a spare nearby and was back in business quickly.

According to the instructions, I was then to seal the flange coming into the airbox with black RTV silicone sealant – I used a whole tube to goop the crap out of it, and fill the drain holes in the bottom of the airbox. RTV is cheap – no water was getting into that sucker.

Now the bad part – a test fit of the AEV Snorkle revealed that my Bushwackers indeed sit higher than my stock fenders. The brackets supplied were too tall by almost an inch. I had read there may be interference issues with Bushwackers, but considered it may only affect their pocket flares … Bzzzz I WAS WRONG

At any rate a simple solution was available on the spot – on the snorkle main body, there are two brackets, and one bracket at the windshield pillar. By simply removing the forward most bracket, I could adjust the rear brackets to fit perfectly. The stock airbox fit into its mounts perfectly, no stress was put on the snorkel body, and installation was finished quickly with the two remaining brackets providing more than enough of a secure mounting, especially when combined with the stock airbox mounts and the hood lowered across the whole assembly.

A quick hint? Put a dab of grease on the 3 pins that mount the airbox into the inner fender – it makes re seating the airbox MUCH easier.

I double checked everything, rerouted my winch leads and wiring for my front lights around the snorkle where it came through the hood, made some final adjustments, and tightened everything up after checking the hood to snorkel fitment. Since my install was apparently a tad bit higher due to my higher fender location, I had to relieve an additional 1/8” of an inch or so from the forward part of the cut, but otherwise, no issues.

6 holes drilled using the trim as a template, and a half dozen supplied pop rivets and the installation was complete. That trim ring is magic, it covers a lot of sins

AEV supplies a piece of rubber tubing that goes down over the antennae that prevents rattling, and the Ram Air top simply slips over the top and is secured with a band clamp.

So, time to complete taking my sweet time with no experience cutting into car bodies? About 3 hours start to finish.

In a nutshell, if I had known it was that simple of an installation, I would have done it a week earlier instead of putting it off. Having a pair of electric metal shears, a good corded drill, and a Dremel with a cutoff wheel also made life a hell of a lot easier and I highly recommend having them (or at least beg, borrowing or stealing them for the day). Cutting through the hood was like slicing through butter, and frankly, after drilling the first pilot hole, I realized I was committed and the rest was cake. Using 2” wide painters tape not only provided the outline of the template for the cuts, it also prevented damage to my hood where the saw rode along the cut lines. A huge cloth drop cloth also helped, covering my hood and engine, and providing a place to place tools and what not as I worked, while also catching dropped screws and shards of sheetmetal.

So thats the scoop – if you have a garage and the basic tools, it's an easy job right after drilling that first hole into the hood. Enjoy!

2010 Rubicon 6spd - 35" Mud Countrys, 4" RC X Series Lift, Tom Woods Driveshafts, 5.13 gears, ARB Diff Covers, River Raider Breathers, AEV Snorkle, AEV ProCal Module, 12.5k Winch - Drive it like you stole it
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Los Angeles
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Nice write up. Are you finding a 2mpg increase now you have the snorkel?

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:28 AM   #3

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Thanks for this post. I'm still a bit squeamish on cutting my hood, but it seems the more I read and learn on this forum, the bolder I become at hacking at my Jeep, although I still have a deep-seated fear of all things wiring-related.
If you only have a Jeep, every problem appears as a rock. I like rocks.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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There is an associated mileage increase? Not sure how that could happen, but heck I will take what I can if it is true. I consistently average 13-15 city/highway so any increase is a good increase, but I'm not holding my breath.

That being said, having the cajones to drill and cut that pretty hood - let me put it this way, there is a template and very specific instructions to measure back 3/4 of an inch from the hood latch indentation. If you use a center punch, drill carefully, and take your time, it's pretty much foolproof. Mask off everything with a heavy painters drop cloth to protect your finish, and keep debris from getting into your air intake while it is apart. Go slow, pay attention, measure 57 times and cut once. While a careful cut is best, there is a supplied trim ring for variances that covers a multitude of sins.

My buddy had the best advise after watching me measure, measure and measure again. The template was taped to the hood, the holes center punched. I was about to cross the barrier of no return and drill my pilot holes. He looked at me and said "just drill the f&$@!"

Once I popped that first hole, I was committed - relaxation and fun set in - it was really a rewarding job for a guy who can build you a nuke from a pair of womens nylon stockings, some baking soda, and an old hair dryer but has no clue when it comes to bodywork. It was, dare I say, easy - and people are stopping me everywhere, it really adds to the Jeep not to mention the piece of mind this summer crashing around through the mud and water getting to my camp.

Do it! And enjoy it
2010 Rubicon 6spd - 35" Mud Countrys, 4" RC X Series Lift, Tom Woods Driveshafts, 5.13 gears, ARB Diff Covers, River Raider Breathers, AEV Snorkle, AEV ProCal Module, 12.5k Winch - Drive it like you stole it
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 128
Are you also going to install breather lines for your diffs and some water proofing to your electrical system? I got my Jeep into high water and it reset my computer. My change oil light also came on and 9 months later my wireless transponder receiver for the key fobs died from a short and left me stuck.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 375
Yes, I purchased the River Raider Kit ... About 49 bucks ... Ties everything into the sealed, snorkel supplied air box ... It's basically lengths of rubber tube and a collection of T's and wire ties. Once plumbed, I will have a much better window of opportunity to turn my ignition off before the thing slips off a submerged ledge into the depths of a lake.

With that being said, and I will document the install, I guess it's time to pose the question - what happens to the Jeep electronics once submerged, known problems, etc

Sounds like a new thread coming up

2010 Rubicon 6spd - 35" Mud Countrys, 4" RC X Series Lift, Tom Woods Driveshafts, 5.13 gears, ARB Diff Covers, River Raider Breathers, AEV Snorkle, AEV ProCal Module, 12.5k Winch - Drive it like you stole it
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