Yamaha Rhino Snorkel


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Snorkeling a Yamaha Rhino Air Intake

The are a few reasons why some people want to install a Yamaha Rhino snorkel on the engine air intake.  One reason is to reduce the intake noise heard by the driver and passenger in the cab area.  Another reason is to draw in cleaner air so that the air filter does not get plugged up so fast.  A third reason some people want to add a snorkel to relocate the air intake higher up, so that they can drive in deep water or mud.  This particular Yamaha Rhino 450 was snorkeled primarily for the purpose of reducing noise and also drawing cleaner air for the engine.  The information and principles shared here will apply to snorkeling the Yamaha Rhino for other reasons as well.  Depending on your intended purpose, your final setup might look different, but the ideas presented here should be helpful. 

   Yamaha Rhino Snorkel on Air Box

Yamaha Rhino Snorkel Attached to Air Box

As mentioned, this Yamaha Rhino snorkel was added primarily to quiet things down.  You will notice in the picture above that a flexible snorkel hose was clamped directly to the inlet of the stock air box.  Again, the pictures shown are of a Yamaha Rhino 450.  The 660 should be very similar, but regardless of what model you own, you should measure to make sure that everything will fit.  The flexible hose show in these photos is industrial quality 2.5" ID (inside diameter) steel wire reinforced hose.  It is very durable, resistant to heat and most chemicals, yet flexible enough to snake around where necessary to make its way up front under the hood.  This flexible duct hose was ordered from McMASTER-CARR (562-463-4277).  This 2.5" ID duct hose is listed in their catalog as: Flame-Retardant Blended Plastic/Rubber Duct Hose (Part # 5475K17).  You can also buy flexible duct hose from other companies as well.

Rhino Snorkel Tunnel

Yamaha Rhino Snorkel Thru Driveshaft Tunnel

A word of experience here... originally, a 2" ID flex hose was installed, but the air flow was restricted enough to create a rich mixture at high engine RPM's.  Originally, this Yamaha Rhino 450 would rev up to over 8000 RPM (with an aftermarket CDI), but after adding the 2" snorkel, the engine would begin to stumble around 7000 RPM from an overly rich mixture.  Examination of the spark plug after an extended wide open throttle run confirmed that the air/fuel mixture was too rich at higher RPM.  Switching to the larger 2.5" flex hose eliminated that problem and the engine runs great.  With the 2.5" snorkel, there were NO JETTING CHANGES NEEDED!

Snorkel Under the Hood

Yamaha Rhino Snorkel Under the Hood

The 2.5" ID snorkel was routed through the driveshaft tunnel and up into the under hood area.  The snorkel is held in place with nylon zip ties.  You MUST make sure that the hose clears the driveshaft and other sharp edges that might damage the snorkel.  In addition, on this particular Yamaha Rhino, there was some plastic trimming necessary in a few places to allow the snorkel to fit.  A person doing this will just have to see where the hose interferes and trim accordingly.  The small center console air intake cover that is held on by 2 screws needed to have a section of the bottom cut open with a dremel to make room for the snorkel where it attaches to the air box inlet.  Also, there were a couple other places to trim the plastic under the driveshaft tunnel cover.  When you try to fit things together, it will become obvious where things are interfering and where things need to be trimmed.  Just don't try to cram the tunnel cover on and crush the snorkel.  If something doesn't fit right, then check to see where things are hanging up.  Once the trimming is done, it will be all underneath and out of sight, so your Rhino will still look factory stock from the outside. 

A word of caution... there are some sharp edges in various places on the Rhino.  If you just carelessly try to drag the hose across some of the edges while installing the snorkel, then you can (and likely will) cut and damage the flex hose.  One area to watch out for is around the steering rack.  There were some sharp edges on the rack that nicked up this particular snorkel hose shown in the pictures, but thankfully it was still useable as is.  Just be careful to make sure the snorkel is not damaged during the installation process or during normal operation (because it is allowed to rub against a sharp edge or the driveshaft)!      

Another bit of advice.  You will notice that earlier it was emphasized that NO RE-JETTING was necessary!  That is a big one.  For many people, carburetor jetting can be a real pain.  You hear and read about people that added a snorkel and their Yamaha Rhino ran terrible.  You hear about people saying that you need to have 2 or 3 huge snorkels coming out of the air box in order to supply enough air flow to keep things running properly.  Some people who have snorkeled their Rhino complain about their engine bogging or having a terrible dead spot when accelerating from a stand still.  Their engine runs poorly.  Then they start a vicious cycle of jetting and re-jetting in order to try to get their Rhino running right again.  Seems that many people never quite get it figured out, and probably wish they never screwed things up.  Some find that their Yamaha Rhino never runs quite the same as stock (worse).  That is unfortunate.  It doesn't have to be that way. 

If you investigate the people that have problems after adding snorkels to their Rhino, you will find that almost always they are people that have chopped into the lower front part of their air box in order to have a more direct route for the snorkel to go under the driveshaft tunnel and up under the hood.  Some people then block off the factory air box inlet or some leave it open.  Some say that you have to added multiple large snorkels to the lower front inlet of the air box in order to get enough air to make the engine run right.  Theories abound about why you need to do all these "gymnastics" to get your engine to run right again, but unfortunately most of these "theories" are often not based on good information.

In reality, it appears that the people that have problems with snorkeling and tuning are the ones who have cut a new inlet into the air box (typically the lower front of the stock air box).  They are the people that then begin chasing their tails trying to get their Yamaha Rhino to run right again.  Oh, the weather changed, and my Rhino bogs again... or under these circumstances, my Rhino has a bad flat spot when I peg the throttle...  You should NOT need to constantly re-jet your carburetor whenever the weather changes!  If you want to do that, then go ahead and do it.  BUT, if you want to ride and enjoy your machine and not have to mess with jetting all the time, AND you want your Yamaha Rhino to run properly, then pay close attention...  here's a "secret" to a successful Yamaha Rhino snorkel...


In other words, attach your snorkel hose to the stock inlet on top of the stock air box.  The moment you start hacking up your stock air box and adding inlets in different areas, you will disturb the air flow dynamics and tuning of your intake system.  Once you carelessly disturb that delicate balance, then you can have problems with carburetor tuning and engine performance.  If you check around, you will find another consistent theme.  People that have utilized the stock air box inlet for their snorkel (similar to what is shown above), typically don't have big problems with the way their Rhino runs after adding the snorkel.  They aren't chasing their tails endlessly trying to get their engine to run as good as stock again. 

Be sure of this, adding 2 or 3 big huge snorkels to a new location on the air box is NOT the answer.  Doing so will only make your Yamaha Rhino very finicky and difficult to tune.  You will find that your Rhino is very sensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions.  Ran good yesterday, but today it bogs....  Why?  Simply because you have disrupted the air flow dynamics and tuning that the Yamaha engineers worked hard to design.  Adding a huge snorkel (or multiple snorkels) will simply reduce the vacuum signal to the carburetor which makes the carburetor even more hypersensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions or altitude changes.  With huge snorkels, the vacuum signal is reduced so much that you need to jet way up to richen the mixture.  Some people then think that because they had to increase jetting so much, that it means that their Rhino is consuming much more air (and therefore should be making much more power).  It's NOT because your engine is sucking in so much more air with your huge dual 3" snorkels that it needs much more fuel.  If that was the case, then you should be making lots more power (but you won't be).  Fact is that people that don't snorkel correctly will end up being slower and have drivability problems.  Many will wish their Yamaha Rhino was stock again!  We are talking about a carburetor here.  The carburetor requires a certain amount of vacuum signal in order to operate properly.  A hacked up air box that is wide open will result in a much lower vacuum signal to the carburetor circuits, and the end result will be as if all the jetting were too small.  Then, bigger jets will be needed to try to get back to the right amount of fuel delivery.  Again, it's not because the engine is consuming so much more air.  It's simply because the weaker vacuum signal results in a lean condition.  A stronger vacuum signal (as found on a stock air box, or one that is snorkeled sensibly) will result in proper fuel delivery and crisper performance.  No bogs or flat spots.  No re-jetting should be necessary on an otherwise nearly stock engine.  Of course, doing major modifications to the engine will require re-jetting, but simply adding a snorkel should not mean a re-jet is required... if it is snorkeled properly.    

Keep in mind that on this particular Yamaha Rhino 450 shown in the pictures above, the engine ran very well on the 2" snorkel hose attached to the stock air box inlet.  No bogs or flat spots when punching the throttle off the line.  Very crisp and clean acceleration through most of the RPM range.  With the 2" hose, it was only at very high RPMs that the engine was running too rich.  This could have been corrected with a re-jet, but no need to mess with the carburetor as long as the snorkel size is properly matched.  The larger 2.5" snorkel hose works perfectly.  No bogs and engine happily & cleanly cleanly revs up to 8000 RPM.  This 2.5" diameter snorkel would probably also work well on a 660 model. 

The moral of the story is if you want to snorkel and you want to keep your engine running right, then consider snorkeling from the air box at the stock inlet location.  Some people snorkel up front to the under hood area.  Some people just snorkel back from the air box and up to the roll cage.  The roll cage area might be a better location for those wanting to snorkel for the purpose of running in deep water or mud, but the noise will still be near your head.  Under the hood is one of the better places in order to reduce noise, and if you are far enough forward you can also draw in cleaner air and not load up your air filter with dirt as fast.  The snorkel in the pictures shown above is 10 feet long!  Some people will say that is TOO LONG... they'll also tell you you need to have the biggest diameter snorkel and shortest length possible.  Suffice it to say, that people who follow this line of thinking usually end up with an engine that runs poorly, and one which they have to frequently mess around with jetting.  If you do your snorkel installation sensibly, then you will be able enjoy your Yamaha Rhino much more!

UPDATE:  Yamaha has revised their air intake design on newer Rhinos, and now they have relocated the air intake system under the hood.  If you have an earlier Rhino with the air intake under the center console, then the above information will be pertinent to you.   

Finally, sometimes people install snorkels on their Rhino for a different purpose than shown above.  People also do it so they can run through deep water - sometimes really deep water!  YIKES!