5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Install, Off-Road

Dobinson 5th Gen 4Runner Snorkel

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5th Gen 4Runner Snorkel Installation & General Overview

5th Gen 4Runner Snorkel

Dobinsons 5th Generation Toyota 4Runner Snorkel Install Overview

When it comes to off-roading, one piece of equipment people choose to install is a snorkel. This not only helps with airflow, but also to help prevent water from causing damage to the engine.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a newly released Dobinson 5th Gen 4Runner Snorkel released earlier last month and install it on HighSierraOverland’s 4Runner.

Big thanks to 559 Motorsports for the Installation. Check them out on the gram.

Where to buy? 

The Dobinsons Snorkel Details:

  • Provides cooler/cleaner air
  • Less chance of water entering the engine
  • Requires drilling multiple holes
  • Made in China
  • No HP gains
  • Requires original air-box (not TRD)
  • Almost half the price of competitor snorkels

What is a snorkel?

A snorkel is a piece of equipment which extends the air intake from the lower section in which it sits on a vehicle to a higher, more desirable location to help feed the motor clean and cooler air.

When would you want a snorkel?

If you are mainly a driver on pavement, a snorkel is more than likely not going to be necessary unless you want the look and nothing more. It will provide cooler air, but this ultimately has no real benefit for the price of a snorkel.

If you off-road on the other hand you may find a snorkel to be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons. One example of this is cleaner air.

While the 5th Gen 4Runner sits high, the intake sits in an extremely vulnerable location while off-roading, which is right above the passenger wheel well. Even though the fender liner sits below it, dirt, dust and debris happen to get sucked into the intake quite a bit, causing for filters needing to be replaced more frequently.

Additionally, if you happen to off-road where fording creeks, rivers, and other bodies of water is necessary, the intake can suck in water causing internal damage and hydrolock of the motor, resulting in your vehicle being useless.

Do snorkels increase power?

The snorkel does not increase power on any level, but rather allows cleaner cooler air to be fed to the motor. It has been said by many snorkel users that they have seen smaller increases in MPG.


The first thing to do when installing the snorkel is to make sure you have all the correct parts. Per the instructions from Dobinson, the following tools are necessary to complete this roughly three-hour upgrade to your 5th Gen 4Runner:

Remove fender liners & factory airbox

You begin by removing your fender liner, mud flap, flare, plastic clips, etc to give you a clean view behind the fender as well as the airbox. You additionally want to remove the airbox from its factory location. The entry to the airbox which sits underneath the fender can be tossed away as it is not needed for the install.

The Snorkel Template

4Runner Snorkel Template

After you have done the above, you want to take the template which comes with the snorkel and line it up correctly with the body and proceed to mark with the center punch tool so you know where to begin your drilling. This is an extremely important step so make sure everything is lined up correctly before you begin to make your marks.


Once you have completed this step, you then want to drill each hole to 16mm, as well as cut out the larger hole with your saw for the snorkel to fit flush against the body. During this step there were adjustments necessary to make to the two holes closest to the A pillar as they were not in the exact location necessary. However this is considered to be normal as adjustments are always necessary.

Align Snorkel

You then want to line up the snorkel and make sure it fits properly with the fender. Once this was done, we went ahead and smoothed out each hole, and then proceeded to touch them up with Barcelona Red paint to ensure there would be no issues with rusting.

After allowing the paint to dry, you want to cover the lower A pillar section with masking tape and realign the snorkel again. This time however you want to align the upper bracket with the A-pillar, and once in the desired location make markings and proceed to drill the holes.

A layer of silicone around each hole

Before installing the rivets we put a layer of silicone around each hole, as well as on top of each rivet, and around the bracket to ensure no leaks would occur. We also touched up the outer left side (closest to windshield) as you can see the silicone otherwise.

Gaps in the snorkel and the body

While you may see gaps in the snorkel and the body, as you tighten the snorkel down it will continue to form to the body of the 4Runner each time and fit more flush. You then want to connect the top section of the snorkel.

After all of the above is done you want to connect the snorkel to the hose, as well as connect the airbox to the hose.

We shaved the smaller grooves on the airbox connector to help connect to the hose smoother. Tighten both clamps, bolt down the airbox, and put the filter back in.

An optional choice to make before reinstalling the airbox and connecting the snorkel is to silicone shut the one small drain tube, as this is no longer needed, and if fording through deep water you will want closed as water can enter through it.

The snorkel itself has multiple drainage holes to prevent water from entering the airbox. If you are not fording water this is not a necessary step, but it may be one you want to do in the case that day ever comes.



5th Gen 4Runner Snorkel

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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January 11, 2019 11:40 am

Would you say it is as good of quality to the more expensive ones like ARB? Did you notice any areas they may have cut corners that bothered you?

January 2, 2019 6:52 pm

What about the snorkel in the automatic car wash? Is it an issue? I noticed that the new Tacomas with the Desert Air Intake state that you can’t go through the automatic car wash.

Don Marcum
Don Marcum
December 28, 2018 9:26 am

Will this kit work with a TRD cold air intake?

December 24, 2018 8:23 pm

Waste of money and looks stupid, in my opinion. Really, if the water is halfway up your door you already really screwed up. Unless you meant to trash your rig.
Just my opinion.

April 17, 2019 8:24 pm

Obviously you haven’t researched what snorkels are made to do…yes they are for water but also raise the intake where air comes in. Before snorkel it comes from your wheel well, after from the top of the vehicle

April 17, 2019 9:52 pm
Reply to  Mike


Yun Long
Yun Long
January 16, 2020 1:33 pm
Reply to  Mike

agree, actually snorkel is not mainly for water crossing, but for dust and dirt driving. It provides cleaner and cooler air to engine, make the run better.

Dominic Miller
Dominic Miller
March 9, 2020 1:23 pm
Reply to  Mike

Any discount codes for one of these?

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