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Thread: Setup machine for deep water crossings?

  1. #1

    Default Setup machine for deep water crossings?

    Ok guys, you helped me out with buying my new rig (2010 Polaris Sportsman 550) so I thought would ask your help before I head out on this adventure. We crossed some water on the last hunt that was pretty deep or at least I thought so. It was up to the top of the wheels. I heard that you can get something on your machine that allows you to cross deep water without having to be overly concerned with sucking water into the machine.

    My questions are:


    • What do I need to make sure I can cross fairly deep water without sucking water?
    • Is this something I can install myself with a fair amount of certainty that I won't have my machine laying in pieces on the garage floor?
    • Do they really work?
    • Is there a certain brand or manufacturer that is better than the rest?
    • Anything I should watch out for?

    I guess more importantly I should ask, do these things work and are they worth the money.

    Thanks!

    Oh, and I do love the machine..

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  2. #2
    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    they are easy yes you can doit yourself if you have help from some one that has done them before. yes they are worth it if you run breather tubes for your belts axles and everything else. i would suggest snorkling any machine.

  3. #3
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    Top of the wheels shouldn't be much of a problem--it's when the water goes over the wheels up to almost the luggage racks that most rigs flood out.

    Most snorkel kits cover the "big three"--air intake, CVT intake, and CVT exhaust. Most of these kits are just plumbing parts put together, so you could probably build one yourself with plans and a trip to the plumbing store. Most of these approaches, however, have these three pipes protruding up through your bodywork, usually in front of the handlebars, thus also costing you some front rack space.

    As Argonaut said, don't forget to extend all the breather tubes (front diff, rear diff, crankcase, transfer case, carb is you have one,...) to a high spot as well.

    Or, you can add a lift kit and taller tires, buying you 3-4 inches of additional ground clearance (and thus also raising your intakes by the same amount).

  4. #4
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    If you are serious about deep water snorkeling, as said above bring all your vents lines up. A quick search should bring up the companies that make a kit for your quad. Another way to approach this is your water crossing technique. I enter the stream slowly then accelerate to avoid a big splash and keep the water moving ahead of you. Also aim slightly downstream helps as well. Take a look at your machine and find out where your stock intakes are and remember. That way you can watch whoever crosses first. That should give you an idea if you will have any trouble. And look for your belt housing drain, figure out how to drain it if need be, having the right tools etc. Ghat could save you some trouble on the trail.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the info and sorry it took so long to get back to this post. Work.. work... work..

    I'll do a search and see what I can come up with. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good snorkel kit? I could search as suggested but some suggestions from folks that have and use them would be much appreciated.

  6. #6
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    As far as the air intake snorkels, I'd say most of them are probably the same. You'll find almost all of them are made from some type of PVC plumbing. What you're actually paying for is the time they took to figure out the routing and measurements. Some of them have a single pipe coming through the fender, some have multiple. I paid under $200 (I can't remember from where though) for two kits....one for my 07 Big Bear and for my 08 Arctic Cat. Can't say that I've really tested them yet...

  7. #7
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    well wheel depth seems to be the norm around here... couple of things to factor in though...

    moving water... if you need a snorkel you should not be crossing there anyway, chances are you'll end up cold wet with a wheeler downstream of you some wheres anyway.

    ponds lakes or other... if it is pushing close to your rack and air box time to back out, i would bet that 98 percent of Alaska ponds have bottoms so soft that you will loose your bike to it if allowed to continue to cross. none of our trails are like those in the states and i have seen plenty of handlebars sticking out of the tundra over the years.

    in short if it is THAT deep, find another way, there always is one, unless the rain has swollen the waters and you shouldn't be in it anyway
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  8. #8

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    My stock 06 polaris has everything vented up to the gas tank area. The picture was from being stuck thick 2 foot deep mud under the water, and i didnt get any water ingested from it. Not sure about the new ones.
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  9. #9
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    60539_1180732614411_1711073720_344956_399109_n.jpg
    It's easy to say to stay out of deep water but sometimes it can just sneak up on ya!!! And yes, I did not have a snorkel but I did have fresh oil and Iso heet. Took about 3 hours of draining and she fired right up

  10. #10
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'm with Vince. If it's so deep that I am going to drown out I am going to find another way. I have an Arctic Cat. My vents are all up to the base of the handlebars. My problem with all the snorkles I could come up with was that they ruined my front rack usage. After 4 years and many water wheelies later (should have went another way) I have yet to drown mine out in stock form.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  11. #11
    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    I ride a cat also, our intake is right under the handlebars (fuel tank is under the seat sortof), as I don't want to be in water that deep I didn't mess with it. What I did do though is extend my CVT intake and exhaust up to the level of my air intake with a piece of vacume cleaner hose. I also carry a piece of metal flex hose to extend my exhaust pipe if needed, just hose clamps to the tail pipe and to the rear rack and extends up about a foot.

    Dang bliss, thats a deep hole. We dropped a griz into one on Johns lake trail.
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  12. #12
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    What Vince said plus....... How many hours for a helicopter to get to you? Losing a wheeler is not so bad. Losing you life because you had a moment of stupidity is .... well .... stupid. 50% of the times I have headed to the Little O I have stopped at the Nelchina. I do not value the tine at the Little O or beyond more than I value the people that I am with. If you have to snorkle do you risk more than you realize?

  13. #13
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    As others have mentioned, snorkels work, but do consider the current. I talked to a friend last week and he told me a story about 6 4 wheelers destroyed while trying to cross the little Delta, all pretty much junk by the time they were recovered. 2 diffrent groups, one of the guys floated head first 1-1/2 miles before he got hung up on some debris and got rescued, he figured he was a goner, float coat saved his life. Kinda lucky as how many people wear float coats when riding their wheeler?
    So, always cross with the current, if in doubt error on the side of caution and find another spot to cross or wait until the water levels drop, not always convienent, but high water crossings are not worth risking life or limb and or destroying your machine.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  14. #14
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone about the current. On the same trip I sunk the Ranger we were crossing the Big O and the current started pushing us pretty good before I turned it down river and headed for shore. Deep water will kill your machine, current will kill you and your machine.

    The idea of a snorkel in my opinion is not to give you the ability to cross deeper moving water. That is plain suicide. But after my experience sinking my Ranger, I see that a snorkel can save you from sucking water when crossing deep mud holes or puddles. When the nose of my rig sunk I tried to put it in reverse to get out but it was too late and died. The edge of that puddle was deep and their was no way to know it. Even the "go slow" trick didn't help me. As much water as us wheelers do cross I do belive that lengthening the vents on your differentials and clutch are more important than the air intake for what ever it's worth

  15. #15

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    I snorkeled my Foreman 450 some 6 years ago now(it's an '02) and it hasn't cause me to get stupid with the deep water just because it's there but it has saved my machine from drown out a couple of times now all from the almighty beaver's ****ing creeks and streams that exsist in areas I go.
    My take is a snorkel is a good idea and doesn't have to be a tall obnoxious looking candy cane towering 4 feet above your head to get the job done.
    I bought the kit from Triangle ATV and cut the snorkel down in hieghth where it is even with the top of my headlight on the handle bars. If carberated you may have to rejet or move your needle and if you just take measurements and use your noodle you can build one from plumbing PVC from Home Depot or the sort for a fraction of the cost. You'll end up with the same thing in the end that you'd buy in kit form.
    Somebody here made the valid point on loosing front rack space,very true. I lived with that problem myself untill this year when I bought a used rack for the same machine and welded a section longer on the nose of the old rack to extend it about 8 inches.

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