wibornz

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ted
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
3,881
Reaction score
12,599
Location
lansing, Mi.
Vehicle(s)
JL Unlimited Rubicon
Occupation
Retired from Corrections....I have stories.
I have been running bead lock wheels for the past 53,000 miles. This post is a run down of the time and cost to swap new tires on my bead lock wheels. Note, this is with me and a bud doing the lion share of the work.

I just installed new tires on my bead lock wheels. So It took me two days. first day, put the Jeep on jack stands, pulled all five tires off the Jeep. Then took all the bead lock rings off. They have been on for 53,000 miles. I did have a broken bolt prior to the removal of the rings. In the process of removing the rings, seven more bolts broke. I thought fuck this is going to be a pain in the ass. Nope, I was able to thread them out through the back of the wheel by hand. Luck was on my side. Take the wheels and tires to a local tire shop as they will break the inside bead, remove the tire and put the wheel back into the new tire for $5 a tire. I ended up waiting 2 1/2 hours for this to happen.

Get back home and get two tires mounted and the bead lock ring installed and torqued down correctly. The next day, started a little tough. I finish mounting a tire and torquing the first bead lock ring down and fuck, I forgot to throw the bag of balancing beads inside the tire. Obviously I needed more coffee before I started the day. Remove the bead lock ring pull the tire off the outside bead and toss a bag of balancing beads in the tire. Re-mount the tire and re-install the bead lock ring. Then repeat on the two remains wheels.

So for those wanting bead lock wheels, here is a little break down of the cost and time when doing a bead lock wheel and tire dismount and mounting new tires back to the beak lock wheels.

Will cover cost first.

You should alway replace the bolts with new bolts for the bead lock ring when mounting new tires again. The bolts get fatigued over time and take one heck of a beating.

Cost of 120 new Stainless Steel bots. $86.97.
Sure I could have bought them a little cheaper on line, but wanted to ensure that I got American made bolts, not some cheap low quality china bolts. The bead lock bolts are not something to skimp on.

$25 to break the tires down. I will gladly spend that money every time. I can and have manually broke down 37 in tires. It is a pain in the ass and I would gladly spend $10 a tire to get it done so that I don't have to do it.

$50 for the bags of balancing beads.

kind a Total cost $161.87 for me to mount them myself and do it right.
I did not include fuel to chase supplies down, the cost of shop rags, a can of PB blaster, anti seize and buying my bud's breakfast on the second day....... I am assuming if you plan to do this you already have the couple hundred dollars worth of tools to get the job done... or $7 worth of tools from harbor Freight..... lol.

Time.

1 1/2 hours to go get the new bolts,
1 hour to jack the Jeep up and put it on Jack stands and remove all five tires.
1 hour to remove the rings and get the broken bolts out of the wheels
3 /12 hours to take the tires to the tire shop and get them broke down and get back home.
6 hours to mount and install the bead lock rings on the wheels and air the tires back up to 28 psi this time also includes cleaning the bead lock ring mating surface where the tire contacts the bead lock ring. That was a shitty nasty dirty dusty job.
1 hour to put all the tires back on the Jeep and take the Jeep of the jack stands.
1 hour to put all the tools and stuff away.

Total approximate time. 15 hours. With two of us working on the project.

VS a non bead lock 5 tire change up.

Spend an hour at the tire shop or so and $50 to get the tires dismounted, mounted and balanced and installed.

I love bead lock wheels, I use them and full understand the commitment to having them. Just know the cost of the wheel is just the beginning.

This is what my bead lock rings look like all five of them are similar in condition. I think I would have destroyed a normal wheel. My ATX slabs have been down right tough.

This is what the mating surface of the bead lock ring looked like that contact with the tire. I wire brushed these back to a clean surface.
1629196171698.png


The rings are just tough. Mind you not all bead lock rings are created equal. If you buy some of the cheaper wheels and wheel hard, you may have to replace the ring also.
1629196269413.png


1629196309235.png


All five rings look similar. The Rubicon Trail, Moab, Windrock and Rausch Creek were hard on the rings.

With that said, just know that the tires have been through hell also. These rings got like this with Cooper STT PRO tires mounted on them. That mean that the tire withstood the rocks that caused the gouges in the rings before getting to the bead lock ring. In 53,000 miles with many miles off road, the Cooper tires have performed awesome. Zero flats, zero punctures, zero air loss, zero balancing issues and the tires did not cup or wear in any odd way. I think I could have gotten another 10,000 miles out of the tires, but I am running out of time to get things done before up coming trips. So they were pulled off. I will put the tire up for sale on FB and think I can sell them pretty easy and there is still plenty of tread, but I do not what to go through all the work to change out tires while out traveling.

Most shops will not mount bead lock wheels. The ones that do, charge appropriately for the work. We have a local off road shop and they charge $125 an hour to mount bead lock wheels. I would hate to image what it would have cost if I had to have the 7 broken bolts extracted from the wheels. Granted they would have been a little faster than me as they have a lift and tire machines, but still expect to spend at least $500 or so to get them done right.


On my Jeep:

1629284998733-png.png



1629285021494-png.png
Advertisement

 
Last edited by a moderator:

The Last Cowboy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Joe
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
2,755
Location
San Antonio, TX
Vehicle(s)
2020 JL Willys 2 door
Occupation
Wandering Vaquero
Great write up. So many people want bead locks becuase they look bad ass, but don’t even understand the reason for them.
 

GATORB8

Well-Known Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
1,439
Reaction score
1,495
Location
CLT NC
Vehicle(s)
21 JLUR 4xe
What are you using to extract the broken stainless bolts?
 

LiveToWork

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
308
Reaction score
611
Location
Not here
Vehicle(s)
2022 3500HD
Occupation
Oil patch
Thanks for the write up! 15 hours is crazy. Makes 500 sound pretty reasonable for someone to install for you.
 

aldo98229

Well-Known Member
First Name
Aldo
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
5,612
Reaction score
12,311
Location
Bellingham, WA
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Occupation
Market Research
Vehicle Showcase
2
Thank you for sharing.

I looked into bead locks years ago; they are not worth the hassle IMO. Especially when you take into account how far modern tire technology has progressed in the last 10 years alone.
 

CaJLMetalHead

Well-Known Member
First Name
CAJLMetalHead
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
289
Reaction score
405
Location
96049
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited
cool info wibornz ... questions... how big are your tires? and what kind of balancing beads did you use and how many ounces per tire? Thanks!
 

Kurlon

Well-Known Member
First Name
Josh
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
108
Reaction score
85
Location
Southern Maine
Vehicle(s)
2021 4XE Rubicon, maybe?
What are you putting on the bolts to keep the stainless from galling in the aluminum rim?
 

morlan52

Active Member
First Name
Troy
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
29
Reaction score
23
Location
NorCal
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLURD
Occupation
Controls Engineer
Great post @wibornz I'll definitely be getting a set of beadlocks someday.

I have a couple of questions too...how often did you rotate your tires? And what tire pressure did you run them at on the highway?

I've really liked my Cooper STTs and I'd love for them to last 50k-60k miles like yours :like:
 

Jstarr

Member
First Name
Jon
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
7
Location
Maui
Vehicle(s)
94YJ, 2020 T4R TRDOR, 2017 Taco TRDOR, 2000 Tundra
Thanks for the eye-opening explanation and breakdown. It was very well stated.
Clearly it is worth the effort and cost if one is running the rubber really hard at low pressures on a very regular basis. A major screwup on the trail, especially if alone in the boonies, can justify it.
For me, it clearly doesn't. I'll save the really gnarly stuff for my John Deere around the farm..
 

Some Random Guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
589
Reaction score
793
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUR, 2018 Subaru BRZ
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Comptroller
I never thought about my steering power before beadlocks. My first time airing down to 8 psi I found to be impossible or very difficult to turn at a stand still.

@wibornz , is your steering boosted to help when aired down? I feel that’s a hidden cost, but don’t have enough experience to say that with confidence.

I just stick to 12-15 psi now, with the confidence I can air down further if I get stuck on an obstacle and need to try more tire deformation/grip.
 
OP
OP
wibornz

wibornz

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ted
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
3,881
Reaction score
12,599
Location
lansing, Mi.
Vehicle(s)
JL Unlimited Rubicon
Occupation
Retired from Corrections....I have stories.
What are you using to extract the broken stainless bolts?
I was able to just hand screw them through the back of the wheel lip. The tip of the bolts stick through eh bead lip of the wheel.
1629284929923.png
 
Advertisement

Freeland Jeep
 
Advertisement
Top