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Steel Rims & DIY Beadlock Kit

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  • Steel Rims & DIY Beadlock Kit

    Total Metal Innovations meets Bart Rims
    The first thing I did when I decided I wanted beadlocks was to research the steel rims and the beadlock kit that I wanted to incorporate.
    After shopping around for quite some time, I decided to go with a 15" x 8" steel rim made by Bart and sold by Summit.
    An important thing to think about is your offset and the width of the rim itself.
    These both play a major role in the final outcome of the project.
    To see the rim that I purchased, click here.

    I also did quite a bit of research trying to find a beadlock kit that I knew would be strong, is credible, and has a nice looking design.
    My first choice was the TMI Skull pattern but then I realized that one of my good friends and I didn't want to be a twinkie.
    After mulling it over, I decided to go with the 6 hole kit which I thought was simplistic but also had a nice look to it.
    One of the main selling points for the TMI 6 hole kit was the availability of upgrade options.
    The base kit is 3/16" thick, upgradable to 1/4". I chose to upgrade to the thicker material, in hopes this is the only beadlock kit I'll ever need.
    To see the kit I ordered and options available, click here.

    The first order of business once your ready to start is to remove all the paint from the surface of the rims lip.
    This is not a fun nor glorious job. The paint from the factory is thick and very attached.
    I used a cup shaped wire wheel and each wheel took about 20 minutes to complete.
    I tried to use a gel paint dissolver, but it didn't work very well. In the end it was easier to just grin and bare it.

    The welding to be done on this project was beyond my skill level, so I farmed it out.
    A guy I work did the job for a minimal amount of money.
    After the inner ring was de-burred it was positioned inside the lip of the rim, clamped and grounded for welding.

    Last edited by Replicant; 06-04-2015, 03:05 PM. Reason: Fixed text background color issue

  • #2
    Next the ring was tacked in place, using a 90 degree pattern. Its important to make small tacks and to move from side to side.
    (12 o'clock to 6 o'clock to 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock and so on)
    This helps keep the ring from warping and causing serious issues latter.
    After the tacking is complete, the real welding begins. Using the same pattern as before, stitch weld it little by little.
    We tried to keep it under 2 inches at a time. Again, this helps keep the rim from warping out of shape, by not allowing any one spot to get overly hot.
    The anti-coning tabs have to be bent, using a large crescent wrench, then a single stitch weld will hold them in place.
    (Anti-splatter spray was used on the face of the rim to keep it from getting boogers)

    When all the welding is done the whole surface must be grinded smooth.
    A big angle grinder is what I used. When it's nice and smooth it will need to be inspected for pits and flaws.
    Any flaws will need to be re-welded. Do not over look this. Its a PITA but having beadlocks that leak is much more so.
    When the whole surface is smooth and free from flaws, give it a few coats of color. I painted mine black to match the rims.

    The outer ring will need to be de-burred and painted. This unit will take the main assault of anything you decide to throw at it, so pick your paint accordingly.
    I used an acrylic motor paint. It comes in a bunch of colors and shades.
    I picked the funky green that half assed matched my rig.
    I gave it three coats front and back.

    Last edited by Replicant; 06-04-2015, 03:04 PM. Reason: Fixed text background color issue


    • #3
      Putting the tire on the rim was fun. If I was a bit heavier I would have made it look easy.
      Since I'm skinny it wasnt easy. The second try I figured it out. Put the rim on a 5 gallon bucket, then insert the valve stem.
      Slide the tire onto the rim, it should easily go about half the distance. Put your wieght into it and use your knees to force it down, working both sides.
      When you cant get it to go any further, use a tire tool and use it as a lever to massage it on. It should go without much difficulty.

      Now is when it gets messy. I used 100% silicone chalk to seal the front face.
      I propped the tire up on two old rims so the tire was hovering above the inner ring surface.
      I then applied a generous amount of silicone to the area the tire would touch.
      I then did a balancing act and held the tire up as I scooted the rims out of the way.
      This wasn't easy but it was the only way I could do it by myself.

      Once the tire is flat on the surface with silicone between it, position the outer ring so the hole align.
      Use 4 bolts at 3,6 9 & 12 O'clock to start the pattern. I used my knee and body weight to get them to start.
      Once you have those 4 started, use a wrench and socket to snug them down.
      Don't over tighten them, just get them tight enough so its easier to start the rest of the bolts.

      Next start every other bolt in your pattern. Tighten them down pretty snug.
      Once that is complete the rest of the bolts can be done as well.
      At this point i kept going every other then jumped to the other set and did every other until I felt that they were all good and snug.

      It took quite a few passes to get the torque to were it needed to be. The direction say between 15-20 lbs. I did them all without power tools and after two rims my arm was shot.
      Next I took the rims to my dads shop to air them up. Again I used a 5 gallon bucket.
      With the wheel sitting on the bucket upside down I had a clear shot to the inner bead.
      I pumped more silicone all the way around the bead, then flipped it over.
      Once I started hitting it with air it instantly seated on the bead.
      I didn't realize it at the time, but I was supposed to just put 15 pounds of air in it and let the silicone cure for 24 hours before i aired it up to 30.
      I aired them all the way up to 30 psi. I did pretty good, as out of 4 tires, only 1 leaked. After inspection i could see where the bead had blow the silicone out from the high pressure.
      My tires have horrible beads from years of bead failures and from me trying to dig debris out with a screwdriver, so using silicone is not an option for me.
      You might opt to not use it, but I think of it as insurance. My first real test with the new rims will come later this month and I will be reporting on how they did. As for now I am in love with the way they look.
      They seemed to add quite a bit of weight to the individual tires, making it a little more work to remove or install onto the truck, but that transfers over as ballast and strength.
      One last note.
      In an age where I feel I am constantly be taken advantage of, whether it is getting a paper thin burger,
      a water down whiskey or a roll of toilet paper that chaps my ass,
      it was a damn nice feeling to get more than enough bolts and nuts to do this job.
      TMI, I salute you.
      I ended up with one extra bolt, nut and washer per kit.
      In this day and age of price cuts that's corporate suicide, and as a customer, I appreciate it greatly.
      This Write-Up was originally written on my blog
      If you find this article helpful, please check out my blog

      I took the rig out for a weekend of wheeling and the rims did great.
      The installation was completed in March of 2014.
      It is currently October
      My truck hasnt needed any air in the tires in that time.
      This goes to show, if you take your time, and do it right, it will pay off

      Last edited by Replicant; 06-04-2015, 03:03 PM. Reason: Fixed text background color issue


      • #4
        Nice write up. The beadlocks look really good. Way to work it Jimmy. I tried like hell to mount my 49's on my new 20" wheel. Wasn't happening. Had to take it to a friends shop, Tread Roc Tire, and he had his guys do it for me. I didn't feel too bad, it took 3 of them to mount it.


        • #5
          Mine weren't easy, but once you get 1 mounted you kinda start getting better at it


          • Sockalaminski
            Sockalaminski commented
            Editing a comment
            That's the nice thing about bead locks though, only one bead to push over the rim.

          • Mutant
            Mutant commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree. I'll never have to pay a tire shop again. Money in my pocket

        • #6
          Screw that. I'm not attempting that again. I'm gonna need to change rims on tires come spring and I guarantee that I'll be bringing them back to my buddy's shop. You have no idea what it was like with a 2" sidewall on these payloader tires. Took me 4 hrs to remove old rim, 6 hrs invested trying to get new rim on before I gave up. And then they did it and didn't charge me anything. What a waste of 10 hrs. I even went out and bought 2 big tire bars to aid in mounting and it didn't do shit. I used to bust down tractor trailer tires no problem and even tires in farm equipment but these kicked my ass.


          • #7
            Just take them to a place, way easier & money well invested!