Product Install: Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel

I installed the Rugged Ridge low mount snorkel kit on my 2010 JK (3.8L) way back when, and remembered that while a tedious install, the benefits of this kit were well worth the effort.  The same can be said about this kit for the 3.6 Pentastar.

I wanted to share some tips and tricks for the install, as well as some mods I have to make so it would accommodate my bolt on coilover kit, and Bushwacker fender flares.  It is impossible for any manufacturer to consider all possible customizations, so I hope this can help a lot of people.

Don’t be alarmed. After removing the fender panel, this is what your Jeep will look like.

Please heed my advice and, before you tear your Jeep apart, run to the store and buy:

I will provide a full product review here, after I have spent some time with the kit.  For now, this post is just on installation notes and helpful tips.

First, Rugged Ridge’s instructions are METICULOUS.  They get an A++ on a 22 page instruction manual that really helps with this.  It helps to read it all before you start, so you know any upcoming issues.

1. Removing the passenger rock rail.  This was a little bit of a bummer, but I am glad I did it.  You will need to access the forward fender bolts, which would have been really hard with the rails in place.  My Rockhard rails use plates and bolts that go through the pinch seam, so if your rails (i.e. ACE Engineering) do not use the pinch seam bolts, you may be OK.

2. EVO Bolt on Coilover impacts:  I noticed pretty quickly that the bolts that pass through the coilover bracket and the stock shock tower were going to cause a problem with the aluminum intake tube.

Coilover bolts and factory wiring harness posed a potential problem I was able to address. Click to enlarge.

To fix this problem, I had to remove the aluminum bracket (for the brake bolt) from the intake tube to facilitate twisting the tube.  It took some manipulation, but fit just right once seated.  I don’t think removing that bracket will be a problem.

Once the tube is installed, you will have a very tight fit with the reservoir and hose for the coilover.  Take care and it will fit.

Tight fit!

3. Use Mechanics Gloves.  The fender sheet metal is sharp, the aluminum tube is sharp, and let me just say I was very glad I had gloves on.

4. O2 Sensor wiring:  Use caution when trying to fit the aluminum tube, as it will make a lot of rubbing contact with the O2 sensor wiring.

O2 sensor wires can be rubbed and cause problems, so be careful.

5. Template issues.  The biggest problem I encountered with this install (aside from the coilover bracket impact) was the printed template in the Rugged Ridge instructions.  This template was not printed correctly (RR says to call them so they can send a new one – I was doing this install on a Saturday night).

Note that both guide marks (square and circle) do not line up. Measure to the circle and do test fits.

So I aligned the round alignment mark to the hole in the fender, and cut to that.  I would have rather needed to trim more, than trim too much.

Trim short, and do a lot of test fits.

6. Bushwacker conflict:  Again, this is not a problem with Rugged Ridge at all.  It would be impossible to design one kit that fit all possible modifications.  That being said, there are two tips I want to share.

First, when removing the fender from the Jeep, remember to remove the small screw on the underside of the Bushwacker in this location:

Remove this screw from the Bushwacker before trying to remove the fender.

The second, and perhaps more significant note is on trimming.  The Bushwacker flare makes direct contact with the plastic down tube from this kit.  Be prepared to trim the flare, so the fender liner can tuck behind the Bushwacker.  I opted not to trim just the liner, to prevent it from flapping.  I wanted a secure tuck.

7: Antenna fit.  I use an aftermarket offroad antenna, and it makes contact with the snorkel body.  I don’t think this will be a problem, just be aware.

8. Airbox alignment:  The new lower airbox changes the angle of the point where the upper airbox connects to the intake tube.  Despite fighting, I was not able to get a solid seal from the factory hardware.I will try this again tonight, now that the kit has had time to settle in.

The clamp would not seat fully.

 Conclusion:  This is a GREAT kit and a wonderful addition to your Jeep JK.  As I mentioned, I will write a complete product review in the coming months once I have put it to the test.

Rugged Ridge’s attention to detail in the instructions was awesome and a welcome part of this installation.

3 thoughts on “Product Install: Rugged Ridge Low Mount Snorkel”

  1. I think Rugged Ridge developed a well-engineered snorkel that offers JK owners a lot of options. The aesthetics and a few other things make it the wrong choice for me, but I’m glad you’ve had good luck with it.


  2. I just fitted mine and agree with the points. Excellent product but has left me with a few parts to fiddle with.

    1. Its close to me exhaust manifold, really had to hit the shield to bend it out of the way.
    2. The middle clip on the downward part of the fender has to be removed, or it hits the plastic body.
    3. The airbox rests on the raditor hose quite heavily.
    4. Going to have to reshape the inner fenser plastic to clear the snorkel plastic and hose.

    Liked by 1 person

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