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can i become 1/2mil90 for a little while
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As you know purchasing beadlocks can get expensive quick. For those of you out there with steel wheels that want the benefits of a beadlock with out the price tag, this thread is for you. This is not for everyone though. If you have no experience with welding I wouldn't recommend trying this. You don't need to be a professional but the welds do need to be pretty air tight. We'll get into checking that later.

This is a "standard" kit from CrawlFAB. $350 shipped W/ hardware.



Step One - Prep:
Break down your wheels and tires. My dad has a tire machine so this was a pretty easy task. Make sure you do NOT mangle or tear the bead when dismounting/remounting. Once your wheels are broken down. Use a flapper disc on a grinder to clean the paint around the lip to receive the beadlock. If you are like me and have very used wheels you'll also need a crescent wrench to straighten out any bends or dents from crawling.

Once the beads are clean and down to bare metal take your inner ring and chamfer the outer edge that will be welded. I used the same flapper and grinder for this step. Doing this will make it easier when you start burning it in.



Step Two - Welding:
Now that all your prep work is done, this is the point of no return. Take your inner ring and center in the lip of your wheel. There should be about a 1/16" gap all the way around. If your vehicle is a daily driver this is a very important step as it can cause your wheel to not balance properly.

Once centered clamp the ring to the wheel. I then put 4 tac welds around the wheel at 12, 6, 9, and 3. Moving right along, It's now time to put some good beads in. I worked counter clockwise around the wheel with ~1" beads for the first round.





Starting at 12 moving to 6, 9, and then 3. This pattern will help to disperse heat around the wheel and prevent it from warping.



Staying with the pattern above I moved to ~5" beads until I had welded the entire wheel.

Step 3 - Checking your welds

At this point I ground down the welds flush with the inner ring. Then take sidewalk chalk and generously go around the entire edge. Set the wheel up right and pour in a small amount of mineral spirits to the inside lip of the ring. Be careful not to put so much so that it spills out of the bolt holes. Roll the wheel slowly. If there are any holes in your weld, the chalk will let you know and it will look like this.



I went ahead and tac'd the hole, but I've heard using silicone when seating the tire will fill small holes such as the one above. I figured it's easier to weld it up now then risk having a leak and having to tear the whole thing back down. (mineral spirits are flammable, don't have a bunch spilled around when you start to fix any hole you may find)

Step 4 - Paint

Easy enough...

Step 5 - Outer-ring

Old Cruiser did a great right up on this - HERE

DONE!!! Go have a beer and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! :cheers:



General disclaimer: this is for educational purposes only, individual results may vary.
 

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can i become 1/2mil90 for a little while
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Newb. It seemed kinda intimidating at first, but once I got in the groove it went well.
 

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What am I missing? I'm confused... :confused:

These do not appear to turn your rim into a beadlocker nor does it appear to give you the "benefits of a beadlock". I looks to me that it's just reinforcing your rim like a rim stiffener would (an example in link below) and the bolts are just for bling. Aren't the bolts just going through the rig you welded on?

:confused:

Copperhead Fabrication
 

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What am I missing? I'm confused... :confused:

These do not appear to turn your rim into a beadlocker nor does it appear to give you the "benefits of a beadlock". I looks to me that it's just reinforcing your rim like a rim stiffener would (an example in link below) and the bolts are just for bling. Aren't the bolts just going through the rig you welded on?

:confused:

Copperhead Fabrication
What he didn't show was the difference in width of the red "bead lock" ring that gets bolted on. The ring welded on the inside of the rim provides the mounting surface for the actual bead lock that gets bolted on.

And you're right this isn't a true "bead lock" more like extra bead support. A true bead lock clamps both sides of the bead and does not rely on tire pressure at all to keep the bead seated. With this sort of configuration you will still need pressure in the tire to keep the bead seated.

But good write-up/work none the less.
 

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Ummm.... the outside bead goes outside the original mounting bead and gets clamped between the ring welded in and the outside ring.
 

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Nice Nick!! Great write up but as with all need to make is idiot proof- specify the wheels need to be steel first...:lol:

Would love to see someone cut ther factory aluminum wheels up and be all like ..."Hey aint getting a nice bead" :rofl::rofl:

Great welds BTW- I specialize in the art of booger...

I was going to suggest JB Weld and Post-It notes...:thefinger::lol:

Cant wait to see Betty in person. 42" - Holy S%[email protected]!!!

:cheers:
 

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ahhh. I have a better idea now. Thanks
 

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What am I missing? I'm confused... :confused:

These do not appear to turn your rim into a beadlocker nor does it appear to give you the "benefits of a beadlock". I looks to me that it's just reinforcing your rim like a rim stiffener would (an example in link below) and the bolts are just for bling. Aren't the bolts just going through the rig you welded on?

:confused:

Copperhead Fabrication
I think where he said look at my thread is where you got lost- the bead sits between the inner (welded) ring and the outer (red) ring and is bolted together- keeps the tire from walking off the rim, protects the tire stem from the rocks and if balanced by stick on weights- keeps the tire from spinning on the wheel which would throw off the balance.

I suggest tennis balls now since those seem easier to use and work better im told than the airsoft pellets and Dynabeads with heavy ribbed tires like my PB's

:cheers:
 

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can i become 1/2mil90 for a little while
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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry for any confusion. I didn't go over the outer ring that clamps the bead b/c OC had such a good write up on it. This is a real bead lock. The inner ring is made to fit inside the lip of the wheel. The out ring is larger and it clamps the tires bead between the inner ring welded to the wheel and the outer ring bolted on.

Here you can see the tire sitting on the inner bead ready for the outer ring.



Outer ring bolts on and clamps the tires bead between the two rings.

 

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Very Nice! I didn't catch that there were two rings.

So you're actually making the rim wider so to speak because the bead is actually seating out on what was the outside of the rim on the inner ring?

What does the center part of the tires bead rest on, just the bolts and the air seal is on the inner ring? or is there a step on the inside of the outer ring to help keep it centered?
 

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can i become 1/2mil90 for a little while
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Discussion Starter #15
You got it. It adds about an 1" or less to the overall width of the wheel.

This is the down fall of DIY Bedlocks. If you saw in OC thread there is a lip that his bead seats against. In a set up like I have. There is no lip. You have to take extra time to make certain the tire is centered around the bolt holes before adding the outer ring and bolting it all together.

This is also why you want to take extra care dismounting your tires. If you tear the bead during dismount it will leak.
 

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can i become 1/2mil90 for a little while
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Discussion Starter #17
:rofl: I hear its a tight fit, but you should be fine.....:cheers:
 

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This is the down fall of DIY Bedlocks. If you saw in OC thread there is a lip that his bead seats against. In a set up like I have. There is no lip. You have to take extra time to make certain the tire is centered around the bolt holes before adding the outer ring and bolting it all together.
You do however have the groove in the tire-- the outer ring should snug right into that groove happy as a clam. There really shouldn't be much guess work getting it centered. Just get it close, loosely put the outer ring on and it should be centered by itself at that point. It's easier to explain when you've got everything in front of you... as I'm sure you know.
 

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can i become 1/2mil90 for a little while
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Discussion Starter #19
Here's some pics installed. I brought the truck back to OKC so I can head out Thursday. Driveway is so tight I couldn't get a good side shot. On a positive note, they are all still inflated.



 
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