Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Snorkel For 5th Gen 4Runner – Install & Review

Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Short Version Snorkel for 5th Gen 4Runner

Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber (Short Version) For 5th Gen (10-24) 4Runner: Low-Profile Alternative To The Standard Safari Snorkel – Install & Review

Let’s be honest, there are several great snorkel options on the market for the 5th Gen 4Runner. Though they all work essentially the same, if you want something a little more streamlined and low profile, options are limited. After understanding the real benefits, I knew that I wanted something with awesome aesthetics and wouldn’t get caught on low-hanging tree branches.

I was able to find a few different low-profile options currently on the market. However, I found that they required some serious rerouting of my aftermarket electrical cables inside my KC Wire Hider. Suffice it to say, I didn’t want to do all of that extra work.

Then, I came across the Alpha Equipt Short Snorkel, which checked all of my boxes. It would sit flush from the fender up to the passenger side A-Pillar, but stop before getting to the roofline of the 4Runner. This meant that I wouldn’t need to reroute my existing wires.

Note: There is a short and long version, with the latter extending over the roofline.

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    Product Overview

    Alpha Equipt Low Profile Carbon Fiber Snorkel

    After ordering, I was impressed with how quickly it arrived. Everything was wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap and packaged well to avoid any shipping damage. Kudos to Alpha Equipt!

    The snorkel itself is a one-piece complete carbon fiber design, making it super light. It comes with a heavy-duty plastic intake “pipe” to connect it to the air intake box.

    Also included is a nice fiberglass template which I found easy to use. I did read that some people said the template was off and didn’t line up with their snorkel mounting studs, so double-check to make sure everything lines up properly before drilling. My template was pretty spot on.

    Overall, the installation was pretty straightforward and not as intimidating as I would have imagined (drilling a giant hole into my fender).

    Alpha Equipt states that its snorkels are engineered to work with the OEM air intake box with the addition of an intake coupler to connect it. The steps below will be for installing this onto a TRD cold air intake. So, some steps may be slightly different if installed with an OEM stock air intake box.

    Tools & Materials Required:

    • Flat Head Screwdriver
    • Painters Tape
    • Sharpie/Marker pen
    • Center punch
    • Safety Glasses
    • Drill
    • Drill Bits 1/8-3/8
    • 3 1/2 inch metal hole saw
    • Dremel tool
    • 12mm Socket
    • 10mm Socket/Rachet Wrench
    • RTV Silicone
    • Rustoleum/Touch up paint

    Needed for TRD CAI install only:

    Step 1. Remove Air Intake Box Lid

    TRD Cold Air Intake For 5th Gen 4Runner

    Before we start, we need to remove the air intake box and prep it for the snorkel connection. This has to be done regardless if you have a stock OEM intake air box or an upgraded cold air intake. To remove the stock air intake box you can reference this article.

    To remove the TRD CAI box, start by loosening the two worm clamps that hold the coupler in place with a flathead screwdriver. Then, wiggle the coupler away from the intake box to clear it from the opening.

    Next, unclip the two clips holding down the lid of the box. Be careful not to bend them too far as they may break. With the lid unclipped and the coupler pushed out of the way, lift on the side with the clips and slide it toward the passenger fender to release it from the hinge. Set the lid aside in a safe area and avoid getting it dirty or damaged.

    Step 2. Remove Air Filter

    Air Filter Removal For TRD CAI On 5th Gen 4Runner

    Remove the air filter and set aside. If your filter needs to be replaced or cleaned, this is a great time to clean or replace it during reinstallation later.

    Step 3. Remove Air Intake Box

    Removing Air Intake Box For Snorkel Installation

    Remove the three 12mm bolts on the bottom of the air intake box. Then, unclip the wire harness on the backside of the box. Finally, pull the box away and out from the fender.

    Step 4. Remove Intake Duct

    Air Intake Duct For TRD Cold Air Intake

    Remove the TRD intake duct by folding it into itself and rolling it together to clear the flange from the port hole.

    The OEM intake box will have a plastic duct attached to the box. Remove it by using a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry it off.

    Note: If your 4Runner has an OEM air intake, skip the sanding and coupler steps below and loosely reinstall your air intake box in the engine bay.

    Step 5. Sand Down Intake Box Tabs

    Alpha Equipt Short Snorkel Install On TRD CAI For 5th Gen 4Runner

    For the TRD CAI to connect to the snorkel pipe, a 4′ to 3.5″ intake coupler needs to be used. For it to have a good air-tight connection, two tabs need to be sanded flat using a Dremel or something similar.

    Step 6. Install Intake Coupler

    Intake Coupler For TRD Cold Air Intake For Alpha Equipt Snorkel Install

    Place the 4″ side of the intake couple over the intake for the box. Then, place the center worm clamp on the coupler and tighten it down. Position the worm clamp so it can be easily tightened or loosened once the box is reinstalled.

    Once your air box has been prepped, reinstall it into your engine bay. Don’t tighten these down all the way just yet. You’ll want to leave them a little loose for when you install the snorkel pipe.

    Step 7. Remove Fender Liner

    Remove Fender Liner For Snorkel Installation

    Next, you’ll need to remove the inner fender liner from the passenger side. I didn’t plan on reinstalling it, so I broke off all the heads to the clips and cut the rest of the liner out. If you do plan on reinstalling the liner, I recommend using a body clip removal tool. Or, order enough of those clips to replace the ones you break.

    Step 8. Prep/Clean Fender

    Fender Prep For Installing Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Short Snorkel On 5th Gen 4Runner

    Clean the fender well to get rid of any grit, dust, and grime. Then, use painter’s tape to cover the entire area of where the snorkel will be installed.

    Step 9. Check Template Against Snorkel

    Alpha Equipt Snorkel Template Fitment

    As mentioned previously, I had heard of some Alpha Equipt templates that didn’t line up with the mounting studs correctly on the snorkel. Double-check to make sure it all lines up and is good to go.

    Step 10. Attach Template To Fender

    Alpha Equipt Snorkel Template For 4Runner

    Align the template up to the body lines on the fender. This template is made of fiberglass and molded to the 4Runner’s fender, so placement is easy. Once you’ve triple-checked placement, tape it down to mark your drilling holes.

    Step 11. Mark Drilling Holes

    Fiberglass Snorkel Template Guide

    Using a sharpie, mark all of the drilling holes on the tape with the template.

    Step 12. Center Punch All Holes

    Drilling Holes For Snorkel Installation

    Using a center punch and hammer, mark all the centers for all the holes. This will make for more precise drilling.

    Step 13. Drill Mounting Holes

    Drilling Holes For Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Snorkel

    Start by drilling a small pilot hole using a 1/8 bit. Then, step up the sizes until you reach a 3/8 bit for the final hole size. This produced a hole that was slightly larger than on the template but allowed some wiggle room for adjustments for final fitment.

    Step 14. Cut Hole For Snorkel Intake

    Low Profile Snorkel Install On 4Runner

    Next, remove the fiberglass template, and with a 3.5″ hole saw, slowly let the drill and saw do the work. It’ll cut through the fender pretty easily. Take your time and don’t try to force it.

    I used a brand new hole saw that is rated to cut metal and it sliced through the fender like butter.

    Step 15. Test Fit Snorkel

    Test Fitting Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Short Snorkel

    Place the snorkel on the fender and make sure everything lines up properly.

    Step 16. Clean Up Hole Edges

    Deburring Snorkel Holes

    Use a Dremel tool with a grinding bit to clean up all the hole cuts and smooth everything out.

    Step 17. Rust Prevention

    Snorkel Installation - Touch Up Paint Rust Prevention

    After removing all the painter’s tape, It’s a good idea to use some rust prevention on the bare metal from the drilled-out holes. I used some Toyota touch-up paint that I had lying around. Rust-oleum clear paint could be used as well.

    Step 18. Prep A-Pillar & Snorkel

    Carbon Fiber Snorkel 5th Gen 4Runner

    Clean the A-pillar and the backside of the snorkel with rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. This will help give the 3M tape a good clean surface to stick to. Then, place the included 3M tape to the section that’ll sit on the A-pillar.

    The nuts and washers come attached to the mounting studs for the snorkel. Remove those with a 10mm deep socket or wrench and set them aside in a safe spot.

    Step 19. Mount Snorkel

    Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Snorkel Review

    Align the snorkel to the fender and A-pillar and make sure all mounting points are aligned with the mounting studs. Once everything is lined up correctly, push on the section with the 3M tape and hold it down with some pressure for about a minute or two for it to create a good bond.

    Using two of the supplied 10mm nuts and washers, start the threads on the two mounting studs closest to the A-pillar. Do not tighten them all the way yet.

    Step 20. Slide Worm Clamp Onto Intake Coupler

    Intake Coupler For TRD CAI for Alpha Equipt Carbon Fiber Short Snorkel

    The intake coupler I ordered came with two worm clamps; one 4.5″ and one 4″. While test fitting, I found that the latter wasn’t big enough to insert the intake pipe all the way and attach it to the snorkel. So, plan on using the 4.5″ clamp. Hang the clamp on the intake coupler and align it so that it’s easy to tighten up after the intake pipe is in place.

    Note: This step is not needed if installed onto an OEM stock intake air box.

    Step 21. Seal Connection From Snorkel To Intake Pipe

    Waterproof Seal For Snorkel Connection 5th Gen 4Runner

    Using RTV silicone, lay a good bead of it around the mounting face of the intake pipe. This will seal it up to prevent any water ingress.

    Step 22. Attach Snorkel Intake Tube

    Snorkel Intake Connection 5th Gen 4Runner

    Take caution not to get the RTV silicone all over the place. Slide the tapered end of the intake pipe into the intake coupler for the air intake box. Wiggle it in on and rotate the intake pipe upwards towards the mounting tabs for the mounting studs of the snorkel. A little silicone spray can help here, but I didn’t find that necessary.

    Once the mounting tabs are lined up with the mounting studs, install the remaining two 10mm nuts and washers and tighten them down until snug. Take care not to over torque these as the mounting studs on the carbon fiber snorkel could break free. Finally, tighten the worm clamp on the intake coupler.

    Re-Assemble Air Intake Box

    After all four mounting nuts and worm clamp have been tightened under the fender, tighten down the three 12mm mounting bolts for the air intake box in the engine bay. Then, reinstall your air filter and intake box lid. Double-check all connections and you’re done!

    Final Thoughts

    5th Gen 4Runner Carbon Fiber Low Profile Snorkel - Install & Review

    After installing this snorkel, I love the look on my 4Runner. I’m not sure if it’s just a placebo effect, but paired with the TRD CAI, it seems to have gained a slightly better MPG as well. Albeit, probably by only .5 MPG.

    Installation was pretty straightforward, and can easily be done in an afternoon. One thing that I noticed immediately is that at certain RPMs with the passenger window down, you can hear it sucking in the air. That sound isn’t noticeable with the window up, however.

    In the end, the Alpha Equipt short snorkel checks off all the criteria I wanted and needed. It was low profile and the installation didn’t require me to reroute any electrical cables running up to my roof rack. Now, I have a little piece of mind when crossing deeper water and will be less likely to get hung up on low-hanging branches compared to a traditional style snorkel. Keeping my intake cleaner from dust during the summer is also an awesome benefit.

    The cherry on top, though, is that carbon fiber construction, which is just super rad.

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    Raphael
    Raphael
    7 days ago

    Great write up, I reached out to them to purchase one because of your write up, but was told by Alpha they aren’t making these anymore.

    Matt
    Matt
    2 months ago

    Great write-up Jeremy, Glad to see someone do it with a TRD CAI, I was told by the company it didn’t fit. Looks great and now that you’ve completed yours any chance of hiring you? Thanks for the info

    Jeremy Shelby
    Jeremy Shelby
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Matt

    Thanks Matt!! Yes technically this snorkel is only designed to work with the stock intake air box, but using a coupler works well to attach it to the the TRD CAI.

    Jeff Cardin
    Jeff Cardin
    2 months ago

    I got to check out one of these on a 4Runner up in Denver a few months ago and really liked the quality and fit as well as the look. Excellent write up and now I’m really going to have to look into one of these next year.

    Scott Swartzbaugh
    Scott Swartzbaugh
    2 months ago

    This was a great write-up with lots of smart mechanic/install tips. I sadly have no need for a snorkel (my Limited serves more time as a buff minivan more than anything), I read the entire install. That’s a sign of good write-up!

    Andrew Pradd
    Andrew Pradd
    2 months ago

    Well, this is one of the coolest looking snorkels I have ever seen. I think everyone needs to understand that carbon fiber parts are not cheap. I think this would be a great fit on a prerunner type truck, due to the sleekness. I would love one of these for my Sequoia.

    Scott Swartzbaugh
    Scott Swartzbaugh
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Andrew Pradd

    Considering the cost of just about everything for the 4Runner, I honestly think the snorkel is priced well, especially for carbon fiber. A quick glance at ARB snorkels for example, all run around the $600-$700 range. So a little more for carbon fiber is reasonable to me.

    Viktor
    Viktor
    2 months ago

    The price is ridiculous!

    J.B.
    J.B.
    2 months ago

    Good write up. Glad it went well and it looks cool in a unique way. But the price point… ouch.

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