Wraif

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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
You run 10 ounces of beads in a 37” tire ? I had 14 ounces in a 35” and it still was’t smooth at highway speeds. I took them out and balanced externally. Lot of weigh to balance, but they are now smooth. I can’t figure that out. Only thing I can think of is the Goodyear MTR has some interior ribbing. That must have been catching the beads and stopping them from balancing. How much lift do you have to run the 37’s ? I’m also running the AAL fender kits.
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wibornz

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You run 10 ounces of beads in a 37” tire ? I had 14 ounces in a 35” and it still was’t smooth at highway speeds. I took them out and balanced externally. Lot of weigh to balance, but they are now smooth. I can’t figure that out. Only thing I can think of is the Goodyear MTR has some interior ribbing. That must have been catching the beads and stopping them from balancing. How much lift do you have to run the 37’s ? I’m also running the AAL fender kits.
I am running the Rancho 2in lift with the xl9000 adjustable shocks. (note this is a 3 1/2 lift on non rubicons)

Cooper STT PRO are know for being easy to balance. The first set I had, only required a few ounces on each wheel when balanced on a tire machine.
 
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wibornz

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Watch the vid @ 40 sec mark. Bolts get started but not far enough to catch the bead. Holes are partially blocked and will keep air from immediately dumpling out. You have a valid point but because the install happens on a tire machine there is not weight on it.
The only down side I see to this wheel is that each bolt is a potential place to loose air pressure. That is 16 more places on each wheel for a potential problem.

Mind you I still like them and if I was in the market for wheels these would be at the top of my list. I would like to have someone rate them that has ran them through 50,000+ miles of harsh conditions and provide feedback.
 

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The only down side I see to this wheel is that each bolt is a potential place to loose air pressure. That is 16 more places on each wheel for a potential problem.

Mind you I still like them and if I was in the market for wheels these would be at the top of my list. I would like to have someone rate them that has ran them through 50,000+ miles of harsh conditions and provide feedback.
I believe each bolt has an o-ring and they are under no load compared to a traditional beadlock so I don't think it would be an issue? Traditional beadlocks only have 1 potential leak... the entire mounting surface. The pitbull mad dogs gave me a hell of a time with leaks on my old xj. Granted they have a super thick bead area compared to any other tire I've ever dealt with (potentially problematic with this design too). I don't think these wheels will have near the clamping force of a traditional beadlock, but I love the fact that the hardware is protected, under no load, and completely reusable.
 
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wibornz

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I believe each bolt has an o-ring and they are under no load compared to a traditional beadlock so I don't think it would be an issue? Traditional beadlocks only have 1 potential leak... the entire mounting surface. The pitbull mad dogs gave me a hell of a time with leaks on my old xj. Granted they have a super thick bead area compared to any other tire I've ever dealt with (potentially problematic with this design too). I don't think these wheels will have near the clamping force of a traditional beadlock, but I love the fact that the hardware is protected, under no load, and completely reusable.
Have you seen the beating my wheels have taken. The bead lock ring offers a lot of protection. I like those wheels, but I also think that I would have destroyed them also.
 

mnjeeper

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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.
Excellent post. I just got beadlocks, haven't got them on yet. Work will make it MANY years before I can clock 50K miles...for now. I've truly only had issue twice, but having to turn against a rock and hearing that air partially escape...I wanted them on this Jeep. To be honest...money is easier than when I was running my TJ with young kids so that helped.

Did you save some of the best looking bolts for trail spares? Any reason (other than it's cheap enough) you didn't reuse beads?

Side note...hopefully I can handle the inside beads myself, or I have the extra step of finding transport to and from the tire store.

I mean these JL’s cost $40-$60k.. I do not mind paying an additional $500 bucks every 45,000 miles to mount tires on the beadlocks.. but I only put 5,000 miles on it a year.
Similar situation on miles (and my first year with this JL I only put maybe 500 miles on my car). I am probably waiting to switch to them till Spring since I won't have much wheeling time left this year.
 

WilhelmSR

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@wibornz
First I want to thank you for putting that much detail and information. Thought about getting them but had no idea of the true cost.

Secondly, not to high jack but looking into the RR amfib and see you have it. How is it holding up? My biggest concern was the plastic tube in the inside collapsing in on itself over time due to the clamp and heat.
 
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donmontalvo

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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
OMG I can’t stop laughing!

Awesome write up, curious if you have a Wordpress blog?
 
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wibornz

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OMG I can’t stop laughing!

Awesome write up, curious if you have a Wordpress blog?
I do not have blog. I am overworked as a poster by this site alone.
 

moodywizard

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I am about 28K miles on my coopers and the balance/wear on them is complete crap at the moment. Most of the 8-16oz of weights already flew off and have beads on the garage table ready to go in. A cordless ratchet speeds up the process a bit..

What brand or link did you get the beads? Ones I went with called for 8oz weight. Running same tire size. :(
 

2020 Rubi Diesel

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$50 to mount and balance 5 regular tires? I've been getting quotes of $25-$70 per wheel....
 

Rangemaster

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I do not have blog. I am overworked as a poster by this site alone.
Ted
I am running bead locks also, how often do you check the bolts on torque?
My wheels say every 250 miles, what a pain in the butt. I think I am behind like 500 miles now.
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Rangemaster

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$50 to mount and balance 5 regular tires? I've been getting quotes of $25-$70 per wheel....
That sounds about right $50 a wheel is what is what they are going on around here for shops that do bead locks.
 
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