Backspacing is the distance from the inside edge of the wheel to the surface where the wheel bolts up. Smaller backspacing moves the wheel out, smaller backspacing moves the wheel in
Backspacing over 4″
When going with the deeper backspacing there are some points to consider: I do not want to get them and not have them fit!
With backspacing over 4″, beyond about 4″ from the inside lip of the wheel, the wheel shell narrows down from about 14.8 inside diameter to 12.65″ inside dia. In other words, the 1st 4″ is about 14.8 ID. Then it narrows to 12.65″ ID. You will need to measure your brakes to verify whether they will fit inside this dia. . Make sure the inside lip of the wheel will not hit the steering knuckles too!
Due to the way the lock ring centers the tire, we have no problem getting them properly balanced. Just take the time, when mounting the tire, to dial in the centering, then they will balance quite nicely. Note: Some tire shops don’t want to work on beadlocks, others will. A bubble balance actually produces quite satisfactory results with heavy tires.
Beadlocks on both sides
We can build wheels with beadlocks on both the inside or the outside, but in many cases this will not fit over the brakes. The inside diameter of the lock is 12.5″, so if that will fit your axle and brakes, the inside can be locked. There is an extra cost to locking both the inside and the outside.
Beadlocks on the street
First: Disclaimer: Since beadlocks are not DOT approved, I cannot endorse their use on the street. They are for off road use only.
Note: NO aftermarket beadlock to date is DOT approved. Although Hutchinson Beadlocks are DOT Compliant. Meaning they have followed all of the rules of the department.
Safety issues in designing beadlocks:
The first issue is some beadlocks do not center the tire properly, making it unsafe, not to mention unpleasant to drive them at any speed. Our beadlocks center properly, unlike any other steel beadlock I am aware of. They actually center more accurately than the aluminum designs (see my website, it explains why in the “why ours are better” section
The second issue is if you desire to run beadlocks with higher pressures, such as 30 or 32 psi. If you calculate the number of square inches on the inside of the outer sidewall, then multiply this by 32 pounds per square inch, then figure the proportion of this that must be held by each bolt on the lock ring, and then take into consideration that the vehicle is NOT always at rest, with shock loads from potholes and such, and cornering forces, well you need 32 bolts to be safe, if you are using large tires.
The final issue is that you must check the torque on the lock ring bolts. They are clamping rubber, they are not clamping metal to metal. The rubber forms over time, and the bolts need to be re-tourqued. I check mine once a month. Obviously, if your lock ring bolts are loose, and the tire comes loose at speed, this will not be a safe, pleasant scene. Note: Locktite is not a good idea, as while they will not undo, you cannot then re-torque to correct for the rubber forming. Beadlocks are definitely higher maintenance than regular wheels.
Brake Clearance: using 15″ 8 lug wheels on 3/4 and 1 Ton axles:
With the 3.5″ standard backspacing: axles with 3/4 ton style brakes will require light clearance of the brake calipers/drums in order to have proper clearances for the wheel. ! Ton brakes will require grinding up to .200 of material off the calipers in order to clear the wheel. This will not compromise the strength of the brakes for an off road vehicle. These brakes were designed to take the heat-load of slowing down a fully loaded 1 Ton truck with a trailer at freeway speeds. The heat loads to slow down an Offroad rig are substantially less, the reduced material will not result in brake failure. The brake clearancing can be done using a 7-8″ dia electric grinder or similar tool.
This can be done, however there are certain factors to consider:
Wheels can be built with the large “bell” on the inside or reversed, with the small bell on the inside. The “bell” is the area where the wheel shell inside dia is almost 15″. Then the wheel shell ID narrows to 12.5″.
Normally we build wheels with the large bell on the inside. This is because it is much harder to push the tire off the bead on the large bell, it can be pushed in 2 or more inches without blowing a bead.
It is possible to build wheels reversed, with the small bell on the inside, but if the tire is pushed in more than about 3/4 of an inch, it blows the bead. Some people have no problem with this, others do not like it. It is certainly better than no beadlock, which usually has this small bell on the outside, where most of the pressure is.
People offer to sell wheels with small backspacing, this is what they generally do, but they frequently do not mention that the inner bead security is not as good this way. I mention it, and leave it up to you.
Minimum offsets with the large bell to the inside: 8 lug modular and all star pattern wheels can be built down to 3.5 BS. All others the minimum is 3.75″.
Minimum offset with the small bell to the inside can go 1″ or less in all styles.
Disclaimer: These wheels are NOT D.O.T. approved for on-highway use. They are intended for Off-road use only