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I believe you could get a way with a low density foam filter and still allow the clutch to vent correctly.
I have seen homemade snorkel kits on the sportsmans, however when you change the way the clutch breaths you change the temperature of the clutch during operation. In other words be careful, you could run into belt failure for that reason. You may also end up melting the clutch cover.
A little story:
We had a customer come in and complain about his clutch cover melting. We pulled his old one of and found a paper towel shoved in the duct. He said it was there to keep the water out and he stated he had no problem with water. Our mechanic then stated he just cost himself $80 because of that paper towel not letting the clutch vent.
I have been sucsessful, to some extent, with an old nylon stocking stretched over the inlet. it keeps the water out while running thru the puddles on poker runs, but in the water crossings, it is no better than any thing else.
I ran a piece of 2" black ABS pipe from the PVT exaust up under the front plastic where I split it in two and angled it back. Works pretty good for keeping the "splashes" out. It is just standard plumbing pipes.
I was able to solve all my deep water and splash problems by first using a peice of foam about 1 1/2" wide X 1" thick X about20" long, and placing it between the tank and the plastic just behind the gas fill nozzel and ahead of the two intake tubes. This keeps the high speed water crossings under control. (water likes to "ram" it's self under the front fenders and up over the tank.
Second, I took the stock (96 SP 500) PVT discharge tube off and pitched it in the woods. I went to the parts store (parts store, not a auto store that sells spark plugs and plastic crome wheel covers with a high school kid behind the counter asking you to explane what a set of points are) and look over their radiator hoses, find one or two that will combine to make the correct curve out of the PVT and up the left side of your gas tank (again, under the plastic outter shell)and curve at a sharp 90 dgree at the top, (right at the top of the tank) This sounds like it might be a lot of work but it really is not. I used two hoses, and used a thin 2" muffler sleve to couple them together with hose clamps, you can't see any of it except the hose that connects to the PVT and that looks stock. This mod. was one of the best I'v done, it works great, and lets the PVT breath just fine.
The hose and sleve are colapsed to about half their diamitor to form an ovel, this allows it to fit up between the tank and plastic.
So now you have some more food for thought.
I was having a lot of trouble with water getting into my clutch through the air vent so i covered the vent with an outerwears prefilter. It keeps the water out but also lets air get to the clutch. I haven't had any trouble with it so far. However I haven't run through any water deep enough to totally submerge the clutch vent but it works good to keep the water from splashing in.
If you look under mods, 2nd & 3rd photo on my above site, it shows what I did w/ mine. No way water is getting in unless I submerge it. I't worked great for about a year now & I ride all yar long, winter spring & fall which is really wet here in PA. Hope this helps.
Jim Maloney 98 400 Scrambler