Review: The Truth Behind Sy-Klone’s Snorkel Pre-Filter
Thousands of dusty miles and dyno time tell us whether your 4x4 needs this snorkel pre-filter.
For those of you who have a snorkel on your 4x4 and have braved all the snorkel jokes out there about how deep the gutter to your local mall is, we know you are the enlightened ones. Of course, you know that snorkels have benefit beyond deep water crossings. You know that snorkels, such as the American Expedition Vehicles offering on our Wrangler JL, gets your intake out of the dense dust near the ground and up in cleaner, cooler air.
Most snorkels are equipped with a ram-air intake head from the factory, but there are a number of bolt-on snorkel head upgrades that can give you even better performance by improving air filtration without affecting engine performance. Our favorite among these snorkel head is the Sy-Klone 9000 Series, which is available as an upgrade from AEV or through Snorkel Upgrade, which is where we sourced ours.
Unlike other pre-filters that require some sort of maintenance, such as emptying the dust out of a collector bowl, the Sy-Klone's patented design requires zero maintenance. Shaped like a mushroom, the 9000 Series uses the suction from the intake tract to pull air from underneath the pre-filter into a chamber where there is a spinning rotor that provides cyclonic action. This causes the heavier-than-air particles, such as dust, to be pushed to the inside wall of the dome and ejected through an ejection slit on the side of the housing.
The result is a cooler, cleaner air charge that allows your primary air filter to be more efficient and last longer between servicing. The other benefit to the design of the Sy-Klone 9000 Series design is that it keeps animals, insects, leaves, snow, ice, and rain from entering and obstructing your intake path. In fact, the 9000 Series is so effective that it is standard on the military's JLTV and on a wide array of agriculture and mining equipment, and it's suitable for diesel and forced induction applications.
The Sy-Klone snorkel heads come in various sizes and CFM ratings and can be easily adapted to any snorkel on the market, including Safari, Rugged Ridge, Bravo, and in our case, AEV, for just about any vehicle in just a few minutes.
So, what is the drivability like? Well, after more than 10,000 miles of testing, we experienced no noise, no changes in drivability, and no changes in fuel economy. For all intents and purposes, we never knew the 9000 Series was on our Jeep. That is, until we opened up the airbox to see just how little dust was inside, even after using our Jeep as the tail gunning rig behind 40 vehicles for hundreds of miles on our Overland Adventure '20 event.
We even took the liberty to dyno the Jeep with and without the snorkel head to see if there were any changes to power output of our 3.6L Pentastar V-6 with the 4-inch inlet 9001 snorkel head, which is rated for 100 CFM to 275 CFM for gas engines up to 4.8L. What we saw on the rollers was a loss of only about 3 horsepower, a worthwhile trade-off for the filtering improvement we saw. That being said, we could easily upgrade to the 9001R version of the same snorkel, which improves airflow to a maximum of 350 CFM and likely erases that negligible loss in output.
The 9000 Series pre-filters are made in the USA with rugged polymer construction and have been proven and thoroughly tested at keeping engine intakes clean since 1986. We are big believers in the technology and highly recommend them to anyone running a snorkel on their 4x4.
For more information head over to www.sy-klone.com and keep reading to see just how easy it was for us to install our Sy-Klone 9000 Series snorkel head and why we recommend it for your snorkel-equipped 4x4.