Tech & Tools Raceline Beadlock Wheels – with 30Pack Matt
M: Today we are putting some Raceline beadlocks on Gabe’s Craigslisticon.
C: That’s right. They turned out super fancy looking!
M: We used the Avenger beadlocks, so it has a black background with a machined face. Then we painted the aluminum rings orange to match the Craigslisticon. It looks good now, but I know it won’t actually look good for long since Gabe does actually wheel it. They will end up scratched, but that’s ok.
C: We got the wheels in, checked out the rings, and we wanted to add a splash of color to the wheel. We actually tried a couple different ways of painting it before finding one that actually worked.
M: Well, Gabe painted them the first time, and I think it was cold out or something happened where the paint just didn’t ever set up and cure. I couldn’t handle that, my OCD kicked in, so I aircraft stripped all the paint off and repainted the wheels. You could tell there were some spots on them afterwards, but they are beadlock rings. The paint is going to get rubbed off at some point.
C: You could also, if you wanted to, take them to a powder-coater. Which we did check the pricing on that and decided it wasn’t worth it. You also rubbed the wheels with some fine Scotch-Brite which allowed the paint to set up pretty nicely as well.
M: I used the Scotch-Brite to prepare the surface. The wheels come polished from Raceline, and I thought ‘maybe we will just give the rims a little extra grip’. The paint turned out alright for what it is. We put the nicest one on as the spare (laughing).
C: Yeah (laughs)
M: Every other one will get beat up, but at least that one will look nice on the back of the Jeep.
C: Especially because Gabe does wheel it, let’s be real. So, we had 37-inch BFGoodrich KO2 tires that came in, super fancy.
M: We chose the KO2s because Gabe uses his Jeep for daily driving and does so quite aways. It’s about 15 miles one way for him to go to work, so we wanted to get tires that would actually wear nice and even. It would suck to daily-drive a mud terrain and have to rotate the tires all the time.
C: At the same time, these tires are very capable on the rocks and offroad.
M: Gabe was actually pretty surprised as well. He went from a 35-inch mud terrain on his old tires. So it was a little bit taller, but he said that the KO2s seem to be working really well. The smaller tread locks grab all the nooks and crannies of the rocks and terrain. Plus with the beadlocks, he can always air down the tires a little lower.
C: Exactly. We are having a lot of fun working on the Craigslisticon and learning about these tires from Gabe’s perspective as an everyday commuter and wheeler. It seems like it’s a really great set up.
M: Well he has driven it hard enough to bend two wheel axle shaft flanges, but he hasn’t flattened a tire yet. So, the tires and wheels are obviously up for some challenge. When we put the wheels on we did the Avenger beadlocks, we did a 3 ¾ -inch backspace so the tires stick out a little bit farther than stock. He had to put a 1-inch more bump-stop spacer on his front because when he flexed it the 37s did touch his fenders. Other than that it was a pretty simple install.
C: Any tricks of the trade for mounting a set of beadlocks?
M: You need a 5-gallon bucket and some soapy water. A lot of the process is just technique. I’ve done so many that it’s real easy for me to just throw the wheel on the tire, stomp on it so the wheel falls into the tire, and flip it over on a bucket. Then it’s just a matter of centering it, there’s a groove for the tire to sit in on the wheel, and torquing the beadlock ring. I think we did 18 pounds of torque, but on these it was almost perfect. The aluminum pinched just as we reached full torque. It’s like the aluminum outer ring is touching the inner wheel, and it’s pinching the bead of the tire with the correct amount of force.
Bead thicknesses do vary. With some tires the beads are thicker, and you might have to use spacers in between the wheel and the beadlock ring to keep the set-up from coning too much. Or you might have to run a steel ring that is shaped differently. We were really lucky that it went all together so easily.
C: That’s something that Raceline or whoever you are getting your beadlocks from, can help you understand more about the tire to make sure ahead of time that you have exactly what you need.
M: Exactly, and they know what runs bigger as well. Raceline and BFGoodrich Tires have a pretty good relationship when it comes to wheels and tires.
C: Well I love the way that they looked when they got put on. Of course it’s all about looks, right (laughing)? But at the end of the day, putting a beadlock on your offroad vehicle has a lot of functionality to it.
M: Absolutely. With a regular wheel they only have a safety bead to hold the tire to the wheel. Those will only hold so much. With a regular non-beadlock wheel you can only bring the tire down to 20 or 18 pounds, 15 if you are feeling extra risky. With a beadlock you can run it really low without peeling the tire off the outside of the rim since they are actually pinched together and held on. They aren’t going to come apart.
C: If anybody has any questions about beadlocks or the DOT information about them, be sure to reach out to Greg Mulkey from Raceline. He was on our first episode of Bower Power Hour, and did a great job of explaining the DOT information, as well as why beadlocks are different from the normal wheel.