|[an error occurred while processing this directive]||Short Cuts|
By: Terry L. Howe - 5/2003
|Diane tightens up the beadlocks.|
|The Krawler mounted up on the Monster wheel.|
|The beadlock wheel and the lock ring.|
|Valve stems, valve stem removal tool, and a pair of pliers.|
|The rig with the tires mounted up|
An off camber climb at UROC Farmington.
Photo by John Foutz
The break over rock at UROC Farmington.
Photo by John Foutz
After running Super Swamper bias ply tires for years, it was finally time to step up to some 17" radials. The 17" tires don't wrap up so much on steep climbs and don't fold over as much under side loads. The tires are available, but finding 17" beadlocks is not easy. Allied Racing Wheel makes a great selection of beadlock wheels and they have great prices. Mounting the tires on the beadlocks is almost as easy as changing your oil.
Allied offers four styles of steel beadlock wheels and three styles of alloy bead lock wheels. All the styles are available in 15" and 17" diameters and with a wide variety of wheel bolt patterns. Many of the wheels are available in widths ranging from 7" up to 14".
Another reason I wanted to go with Allied wheels is they make the wheels with custom backspacing. My axles were built for a wheel with a normal backspacing for a 15" wheel to get the track width I wanted. Most 17" wheels come with a very large backspacing. I was able to get my beadlocks built with a backspacing that is standard for a 15" wheel so my track width didn't change.
Right now, Allied probably offers the best price around. When you compare what you get in the wheel, it really cannot be beat. Considering all these factors, I ordered up some 17"x10" Monster Aluminum wheels with the 5 on 5.5" wheel bolt pattern and a 3.5" backspacing to push the narrower tires out a bit.
Mounting the Tires
Once the wheels were ordered, they showed up quite quickly. Unfortunately, I was running late for the UROC event in Farmington, so my wife Diane came out and helped me mount up my new BFG tires on the Allied beadlocks. This isn't the first time she's helped me mount tires on beadlocks. It is real easy to do.
The first step in installing tires on beadlock wheels is install all the valve stems. Imagine how frustrating it could be to install a tire and tighten down all the bolts and realize you forgot to install the valve stem. Not that this has ever happened to me, but I can just imagine it must be real hard to try to get the valve stem on afterwards. No, that never happened to me.
On the Allied wheels for some reason, I had to drill out the valve stems to 7/16". They must be built for some different valve stems than the ones I got at the auto parts store. I always use regular rubber valve stems with that fit a 7/16" hole. The location of the stems on the wheels leaves them pretty well protected.
My friend Ian was over and installed the valve stems for me. I think he just sprayed them with some WD-40 and pulled them through with some pliers. That is what I normally do.
I talked to Greg from Allied before I ordered my wheels and he recommended dish soap on the inner bead to make it easiser to get the tire on the wheel and the inner bead seated. I'd always used WD-40 in the past because it was handy, but the dish soap worked much better. I used a rag and poured some dish soap on it and wiped it around the bead.
After the valve stem is in and the bead is soaped up, put the tire on the floor with the inner bead out. Push the beadlock side of the wheel through the tire and flip the wheel and tire over. You are now ready to get the lock ring mounted.
The tricky part about mounting the tires on beadlock wheels is getting the bolts started and not stripping them. I always get a two extra long bolts (normally 5/16") out of my bolt bin to get the lock ring started. Put the two long bolts on opposite ends of the lock ring and start tightening them. Make sure the bolts aren't so long that they bottom out on the inside of the wheel which can happen with some wheels.
Once you start tightening down the lock ring with the longer bolts, you can get the bolts that come with the wheels started. Work both sides of the wheel so that the ring stays centered up as you tighten it down. Just tighten the bolts down enough to get them all started.
When all the bolts are started, start working around the wheel until it gets hard and move to the next bolt. I normally go around in a circle skipping every other bolt so that the lock ring does not get damaged. Allied supplies a steel lock ring, so damaging the lock ring is not nearly as likely as it is with a alloy ring. The wheel side of the beadlock with Allied wheels is flat, but the lock ring is shaped so that it helps center the tire. You need to be sure the tire is centered, but it is pretty easy to keep it that way with the ring. Some beadlock wheels do not provide any way to center the tire.
Set the Inner Bead
After the tires are all bolted down, it is time to air them up to set the inner bead. Normally it is easier to set the bead with the tire off the ground. I put a five gallon bucket upsidedown on the floor and put the wheel on the bucket with the inner bead down. Push the tire down and start airing it up. The tires will air up faster and set the bead easier if you pull the valve stem core out first. Set the core asside and have the tool ready to put it back in as soon as the bead is set. Normally, the pressure I run on the trail is less than the pressure required to set the bead, so I air the tire back down after the bead is set.
That is all there is to it. Thanks to Diane and Ian for helping me get these tires mounted up and on my Jeep! The wheels and tires were great out at UROC in Farmington (13th) and RCAA in Reno (8th).
For more general information on wheels, check out the Wheel FAQs. To order up your wheels and check out the wheel selection, check out the Allied Rock-A-Thon Racing Wheel web site.