Higher Plane - Snorkel R&D, Part 2 - Design Plans
It's safe to say that a large majority of excursions don't just happen on a whim. There are months of plotting the route, researching the terrain, and gathering the supplies needed to survive the rugged wilderness. In essence, one does not traverse the Amazon or climb K2 on a random weekend in May. There needs to be some more thought put into the journey.
That is, of course, unless you're driving a Ranger. That is the idea behind this truck, after all, to add a little more spontaneity to your daily life. Even though Ford engineered this truck with traversing the great outdoors in mind, it still requires a little extra planning and modification to make sure those spur-of-the-moment adventures go according to plan. Much like explorers of the world, we're not setting off on our snorkel journey without a path in mind.
For us here in the States, the Ranger is making its return home after almost a decade abroad. The 2019+ Ranger is a brand new truck, both figuratively and literally, so taking a Sawzall to any of the freshly pressed and painted body panels is less than ideal. Instead, we're opting for a less conspicuous route from the airbox that requires much less cutting. Since we're adding something entirely new here, some modification is still required, but we plan to minimize the number of holes you need to chop into your Ranger.
Our path leads us to the passenger-side fender vent. Removing the trim reveals a large void that's perfect for a snorkel mid-pipe, which is precisely our intention. Our design will split the snorkel kit into two sections consisting of a mid-pipe that provides a secure channel for the fresh air to flow from the roofline to the airbox and the exterior snorkel piece. Our plan for connecting all of the components starts at the airbox. This side is more simplistic, including a silicone coupler, a short section of metal piping, and an application-specific grommet.
The snorkel side is a little more challenging. With the fender grill removed, there's isn't much in the way of provisions to mount a snorkel, so we needed to devise our own. This part requires drilling into the Ranger's body; luckily, the two holes for mounting the bracket are hidden under the fender vent if you need to return your Ranger to stock. When installed, this bracket will upgrade the vent mount from trim holder to snorkel inlet. Our bracket will incorporate mounting provisions for the mid-pipe section and serve as a means to keep the snorkel securely in place.
It's a group effort when it comes to our Ranger snorkel kit, but the snorkel is the star of the show, so we gave it the star treatment. Because it's the only part that's visible outside the truck, we're employing a tag team of form and function. For form, we wanted to make sure that this snorkel looks like it belongs mounted to the side of the truck. We're giving it a sleek shape that resonates with the Ranger's modern design while retaining a rugged, utilitarian vibe.
We have a few things planned when it comes to the function of the snorkel. The first is to make sure we don't block any driver visibility or sacrifice airflow. To achieve that, our engineering team is working out the perfect tube diameter. We also want to make sure that our Snorkel is ready for every environment, so we standardized the top of our snorkel tube to fit with the provided Mishimoto head or many of the available cyclone separators if you're in some seriously dusty terrain.
Most major excursions aren't something tackled in a single day. Even the planning can take months to ensure that every part of the expedition goes off without a hitch. The same could be said for our snorkel design. We want to ensure that every aspect of our snorkel is tough enough to wear the Bourn Off-Road logo, so we're planning for every contingency. Stay tuned to check out our prototyping and initial testing coming soon.
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