Are Beadlocks necessary?

SWbySWesty

Fauxverland Extraodinaire
Hi Guys,

So after extensive research, I've come to the conclusion that beadlocks are totally awesome yet TOTALLY $$$$$.:Wow1:

In the opinions of the expo community, are beadlocks necessary or will a generic American Racing rim or even my stock rims work well? I'm only fitting a 33x10.5 tire. :smiley_drive:

My main driving is trails and unmaintained dirt roads (some at high speed like Jeepspeed). Thoughts?
 

Root Moose

Expedition Leader
Depends, do you ever plan to air down to less than ~12 psi? If not, spend your money on other things.
 
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SWbySWesty

Fauxverland Extraodinaire
well, no. Eventually I want to run the Rubicon Trail one day, but all in all, I won't be airing down all the time to under 12psi
 

Desolation

Adventurer
I can not say if you need them.

I have only once lost a bead in over 30 years of pushing all kinds of 4x4's deep into hostile terrain, and that tire had 30-pounds of air in it.
I just put 33-10.50Rx15's on stock (Ford) rims and I think I'll be fine.
If you need BL's and you are going to be driving on the road in the US you "should" be running a DOT approved rim.

The above is just my opinion.
 

Martyn

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
I’d say for your needs beadlocks are not necessary.

The purpose of a beadlock is to keep the bead of the tire on the rim when it's been aired down to very low pressure. As the tire is aired down it's footprint increases providing you with more surface area and hopefully more traction.

If you are mainly on dirt roads then you would be airing down to soften the ride rather than increase traction. In this case you may be going from 35 psi down to 18 or 20 psi. In this case the likelihood of the tire coming off the bead is relatively low.
 

SWbySWesty

Fauxverland Extraodinaire
ok, sounds about right.

Two wheels I'm looking at:

American Racing Baja
vs
Cragar Soft 8

Which are better?
 

Root Moose

Expedition Leader
One's an alloy, one's steel. Which is better will be subjective.

The Baja isn't forged and/or pressure cast so the steel wheel is stronger but the steel wheel may be heavier - or maybe it is lighter. Just because a wheel is alloy doesn't mean it will be light.

Given those two as my choices I'd pick the one I liked the look of better.
 

Desolation

Adventurer
ok, sounds about right.

Two wheels I'm looking at:

American Racing Baja
vs
Cragar Soft 8

Which are better?
Apples and oranges.
Steel and (I believe) Cast Aluminum.

Steel it can be pounded back into shape in the field driven out and then recycled. Aluminum, particularly cast you pack it out and recycle it.
Cost...
I like the looks of the aluminum better.
Road salts will eat an aluminum wheel quickly.
 

ntsqd

Heretic Car Camper
The other reason for beadlocks is if you had, oh say, 800 HP or more. Then they're a good thing to keep from spinning the wheels inside the tire beads.
Think that might be a problem? :sombrero:

In 24 years of driving off road the only tire that I've ever pushed off the bead was at 12 psi, but what did the deed was running the sidewall into a berm at about JeepSpeed velocity......

Usually a cast wheel that has taken a heavy hit is beyond repair, but they can and do bend before cracking. I can't claim all knowing, extensive experience with cast alloy wheels, but I've yet to see or hear of one that failed explosively. I do know of one M/T forging that bent significantly and the only clue was the hop in the rear axle when at speed.
 
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SWbySWesty

Fauxverland Extraodinaire
I like my current stock steelies and they've never let me down, but a wider rim is going to be useful. I think I'll order the Cragars...not a bad price tag on them either!
 

oz97tj

Observer
Might want to consider the internal air chamber type bead lock from Staun in Inner Air. These can be fitted to any type of rim with no modification other than having to drill another hole for a nipple. They will lock inner and outer bead to the rim and are much less maintainance. They are lighter than "normal" beadlocks. And for the expedition community, they can be driven on with a flat tire if needed.

YOu can get a set of Inner Air for something like $450 if I recall. Which compared to $250 to $400 per is a pretty good deal.
 
I like my current stock steelies and they've never let me down, but a wider rim is going to be useful. I think I'll order the Cragars...not a bad price tag on them either!
Why do you want a wider rim if you're going with a 10.5" tire? How is it more useful? I say if you like the stock wheels, keep them. They'll save you the pain of messing with backspacing and all that, too. If you like the look of black wheels, paint your wheels black. Jeep wheels look good on a Jeep, IMHO.
 

oz97tj

Observer
I personally have not ran them so I can't really comment on balancing. I have friends who run the Inner Airs (they are a local company) though and they haven't had issues so who knows.

Personally, I have run my 35s on 15x8 inch wheels down around 8 psi quite a few times and haven't had a problem with blowing beads. The only time I have had issues is in deep snow. The snow can get in between the rim and tire and push the bead off, so I have to run higher pressure which really hurts performance in the snow. I would only run 8 psi though are slower speeds. High speed turning would likely give me some issues.

General trail pressure is still in the 12 to 15 range though and that is quite a bit of pressure to blow a bead. If you do, you were likely doing something wrong. If you are rock crawling, then beadlocks are more important.
 

KSJeep

Explorer
Simple answer is, there not needed unless you are a serious rock crawler.

Other point, they are illegal for road use in most states and therefor most tire shops will not install tires on them.

They are a royal PIA to mount (personnal experiance working at an off road shop)
 

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