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How to fit tires to Hot Racing steel beadlocks

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How to fit tires to Hot Racing steel beadlocks

Old 10-28-2017, 05:34 PM
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Default How to fit tires to Hot Racing steel beadlocks

From what I've read, these are some of the more temperamental beadlocks to get tires installed to. A lot of the difficulty lies in the fact that unlike the ring type, you can't lock down one side and then focus on the other. These 3 piece steel beadlocks are a one shot deal. Also, the space for the bead to fit between the steel wheel and the inner bead right is pretty tight, much too tight for some of the thicker bead tires that were made for glue type rims. The fit problems are simple enough to fix though, allowing the use of these high quality and inexpensive steel wheels with a wide variety of tires.

I tried for several days to get my stock Axial Yeti tires installed, quite unsuccessfully. The bead would squeeze out every time I tried to tighten them, and the screws seemed like they were way too short. So I modded the tires to work with the beadlocks, and made a slight mod to the beadlocks to make it easier for the beads to seat. I think this would work for most any tire that is too thick or squeezes out of a beadlock, but wouldn't help if a tire bead is too thin to be captured by the ring.

First, I used a dremel cutting wheel to cut the reinforcing rib just a little where it meets the bead. I had figured out this rib was pushing the bead out of position, so it had to be relieved.



That by itself helped, but the beads were still being pushed out when I tightened the beadlocks. So I figured out that the ends of the beads were too big, causing the pressure from the hub to push on the ends rather than just hold the bead in place. So I tapered the bead just a little using the same cutting wheel angled perpendicular to the bead. That raised a burr that I cut off with scissors. It's not necessary to remove much material here. As long as it's tighter at the bend of the bead than it is at the end, you're good.

After cutting

The last thing was to knock the sharp inside edge off where the bead needs to wrap around to seat properly. I just scraped it with scissors.

All of this made the tire beads much easier to get seated and the wheel halves were able to go together about 1/8 inch farther than they were able to before. That still left the screws hard to start, so rather than try squeezing the rim together by hand and fight with it, I used two long screws to tighten the wheel halves together. That let me quickly get the wheel fully tight and check for bad seals before putting in all the screws. Once I confirmed it was right, it was simple to put all of the stock screws in and tighten each one all the way down.

The result is these indestructible beadlock wheels on my hard use Yeti along with the tires I already had and like. Obviously, there are tires that will bolt right up with these wheels to let us avoid all of the effort I put in, but if you find yourself with these wheels and already owning a set of tires you want to use, give it a try. This also allows drivers to adapt the tires they really want to these or other wheels instead of having to stick with one of the "proven" combinations. I'll welcome any feedback from readers on this, and would love to hear from others who use it.
Old 10-28-2017, 08:01 PM
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cool mod and a great write up to.
Old 10-31-2017, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Thanks for taking the time and posting info and tips. Would putting the tires in the freezer for a bit to contract the bead help at all?
Old 11-01-2017, 06:36 PM
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I've never tried it, but I highly doubt the micron or two of size difference would matter. Since it only takes about 10 minutes per tire to Dremel them into shape, there's not much reason to look for easier options.

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