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16.5" Rim Bead Retainer

16.5 " Rim Bead Holder

Article by Kurt at DIY4X

Here's a relatively simple and very inexpensive way to make your 16.5" wheels more off road ready by welding in a rod that will help to retain the bead when the tire is aired down.

Tools we used for this job are as follows:

sander of some sort for paint removal and light grinding.
Welding clamp
Cut off wheel

Materials used (not including rims.)
I used two 12 foot lengths of .188" cold rolled rod for all four wheels and had some left over. Total cost of this material was $3.20.

The first thing we did was to mount a hub on the welding bench to aid in the job. This isn't necessary but it certainly beats rolling around on the floor.

Next you need to remove some paint from the bead seat area where you will be welding the rod onto the rim.

If you look closely you can see an angle change on the surface of the rim. This is about where the rod should be placed. You want to leave the tire bead just enough room to fully seat.

Next we put the rim on to the hub and tacked the wire rod in place and began working it around. You can also wrap the rod around the rim to help you form it as you go.

Tack the rod all the way around the rim until the ends overlap.

Now cut the excess off so that the end of the rod sits against the rim completely. A little gap between rod ends won't hurt a thing but to much will be a pain to deal with later.

Now start welding. We did 2" or so stitches. Alternating from one side of the rim to the other until it was fully welded.

At this point it really helps to go back with your sander and take off any high spots. You want to shape the weld and rod into a sort of "ramp". Try not to take anything off the height of the rod.

When you get this far you can shoot some paint on and mount your tire. Start dumping some air in and it won't be long, you'll hear a really sharp "POP" when the inner bead seats up.

Down falls of this modification. Dismounting the tire from the rim will be much more difficult.

This was done on a 16.5" bead locked rim and I've never done it to anything else. I'm sure something similar could be done on a 15, 16 or 17" rim I've never tried. I'd also imagine its much more difficult to mount the tire as these rims already have a sharper bead seat angle. Having a bead lock on the rim makes it much simpler to air the tire up and get the tire to pop over the rod. You only have the one side to get to seal up and pressurize the tire.

Remember to use all the safety precautions you can think of and proceed with this modification at your own risk.

Check out the DIY4X website for even more!

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