How to Install Beadlock Wheels

How to Install Beadlock Wheels

Want to know how to mount your new Valor Offroad UTV beadlock wheels on your tires? We're here to help with a The Source instructional post on best practices. Let us know if you have any additional questions, we'd be more than happy to help.
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Your guide to mounting and installing your new Valor Offroad UTV Beadlock Wheels

First off, we're going to assume if you're here, you've already read our other post about why you should consider beadlock utv wheels. If not, check out the post here for a 101 class on what makes beadlock wheels a great choice for some riders. Also, we'd like to encourage you to have a professional at a local powersport dealer mount your wheels and tires. They've done it a 1000x and have the expertise, tools and machines to make the process simple, cost effective and safe. If you're stubborn and want to do it yourself, you must acknowledge the risks involved below:
  • Beadlock wheels are intended for off-road use ONLY. 
  • Only properly trained professional tire & wheel installers using OSHA approved safety cages and safe tire mounting practices should mount and inflate tires.
  • Each bolt MUST be checked and tightened for correct torque specifications 3x using a star pattern.
  • Never exceed 25 pounds to seat inner tire bead.
  • You must visually inspect bolts and hardware before each and every ride.
  • Only use Valor Offroad approved beadlock wheel hardware and replace hardware if bolts are in any way damaged or worn.

Beadlock wheels how to install


Inventory Check

  • You're going to need four (4) beadlock hardware kits. These are the rectangular boxes located in the bottom of your Valor Wheels box. Each hardware kit should enclose twenty (24) M8x20mm hardened bolts and twenty (24) 16x1.5mm washers.
  • 13mm socket and hand ratchet
  • Torque wrench to ensure you have the correct foot pound torque on all of your bolts (you'll also need this tool for installation on vehicle). 
  • Anti-sieze lubricant (like Permatex) for mounting hardware. 

UTV beadlock wheel installation at home:

The first step is to find a solid, flat piece of ground to start on like a garage or concrete floor. Before you unbox and set your new wheels on the ground, get a thick piece of foam or a blanket to protect the finish of the back lip of your wheels. 

You're going to need a good lube to get the tire to mount so grab a squirt bottle and mix water to soap at a 1/1 ratio. You can use almost any soap, however we recommend a car wash soap or something similar which will not hurt the finish of your wheel. If you have an actual tire lube, even better. Spray the soap mixture (lube) extensively over the top lip of your wheel and the tire bead. You only need to slide one side of the tire over the wheel face so only lube one bead (side) of the tire. Don't worry about spraying too much, it's better to have too much rather than trying to force the tire over your wheel.

lubricate tires for beadlock wheel installation

If you have directional (asymmetric) tires, make sure you're paying attention here so your tires/wheels are facing the right direction. Not sure if your tires are directional? Look for an arrow on your tire sidewall which will point toward the front of your vehicle (or how the tires should rotate in motion). Remember with directional tires that you'll have to mount your passenger side wheels on one side of the tire, and drivers side wheels on the other to maintain true directional. If your tires do not mention a direction, or the lugs do not flow in a particular direction, more than likely you have a non-directional tire and you can mount your wheels on either side of the tire. 


Mounting Tire

After getting the back bead of the tire nice and lubed up, use downward pressure while rotating the tire clockwise. The constant pressure will allow the rear tire bead to eventually slip over the face of the wheel. Because your beadlock wheel has a built in lip, the front bead will hang off of it like picture below.

mount beadlock wheel to tire utv wheels

Once you get the rear bead set, you're going to need to prop the wheel up on a much taller surface so that the tire can freely hang and pull the front tire bead tight on the wheel face. We like to use a five gallon bucket (Home Depot or Lowes) for this step because EVERYONE has these buckets laying around and they provide just the right height to make the job easier. 

Some tires have a mark on the sidewall near the bead that refers to the lightest spot on the tire. Make sure this mark (yellow circle on the tire we're using) is lined up directly under the valve stem of the wheel. The yellow circle or dot can help to balance your wheel and tire assembly so that its lightest point of the tire  (the yellow circle) is matched up with the wheel's heaviest point (valve stem). The yellow dot indicates where the manufacturer has identified the lightest spot on the tire.

line up tire to valve stem beadlock installation


Assembling Beadlock

Place the beadlock ring onto the wheel face. Clock the beadlock ring holes with the wheel. We recommend using an anti-sieze or bolt thread lubricant to each bolt to ensure the bolts will never seize in the hole. This is an optional step, however we strongly recommend using because all it takes is one seized bolt and you'll be unable to fix a flat on trail. Simply dip or brush a small amount onto each beadlock bolt and start threading the bolt and washer a few turns to ensure a uniform mount. You never want to wrench down on one bolt before moving to the next, as this can cause the ring and assembly to warp, leak, or worse, fail under load or while in motion. DO NOT use an air gun or impact gun at any point during installation. 

anti-seize lubricant beadlock bolt installationhand tighten bolt beadlock wheel installation

Once you have all of your bolts and washers started, you'll want to utilize a star or plus (+) shape pattern as you tighten. Pick one bolt and using a hand ratchet, tighten your first bolt down to snug but not tight. The next bolt you'll tighten is the one directly across from your first. Criss cross your way across the wheel in this patten until all of the bolts are snug. Repeat the pattern again and tighten up all of the bolts/washers using the hand ratchet and 14mm socket. Using the hand ratchet to get everything snug will prevent over tightening any of the bolts, especially when the ring has not been completely set.

hand tighten your bolts when installation beadlock wheel bolts

Follow the number pattern below to ensure proper ring/tire/wheel seating. Only have a torque wrench? No problem, just lower your initial foot pound setting to 10 pounds for first round of tightening. 


How to mount and install utv beadlock wheels and tires

Next up, grab your handy torque wrench and set the foot pounds to 15 for the next tightening. By slowly adding pressure to each bolt, your rings will connect with wheel and remain perfectly flat to correctly hold your tire bead in place. The final round of tightening in star pattern should be at 18 foot lbs. DO NOT EXCEED 18!

Beadlock bolts loosely installed by hand
beadlock wheels bolts installed tight

Follow the star/plus pattern above and tighten your bolts until you hear an audible "click" sound on your torque wrench for each bolt. If you're forgetful, mark every finished bolt with chalk so you know which bolts have been tightened and which ones you have left to do. The final tightening is a double check, making sure each bolt has a clear, audible click from the torque wrench. It's better to be safe so don't fret if you go over each bolt a couple of times to hear that trusty "click" sound. 

torque wrench utv wheel beadlock installation

Heading out right away for a ride? Air up your wheels to the correct tire specification(s) and using your 1/1 soap/water concoction you used to lubricate the tire, spray all over your wheels where ring and tire connect. If your wheels are for any reason leaking, you'll immediately see bubbles. 

spray soap on your beadlock to bubbles
 

TLDR;

  • Take your time. Don't be in a rush. 
  • Mount inner bead over the backside of wheel.
  • Slide the outer tire bead on and center the tire.
  • Line up low spot on tire with valve stem. Low spot typically has a colored dot or mark on sidewall near lip protector.
  • Place ring and align the bolt holes.
  • Apply anti-seize to the threads of each bolt. Anti-seize is your friend, use it. 
  • Start bolts by hand to avoid cross threading.
  • Using a star pattern, tighten each bolt a few turns at a time to ensure even pressure on the beadlock ring.
  • Using torque wrench, tighten the bolts in star pattern to 18 ft lbs.
  • Lube backside inner tire bead.
  • Inflate the tire to seat the inner bead onto the wheel. DO NOT exceed tire manufacturer’s recommended maximum pressure for seating the beads. You will hear an audible "pop" when tire bead seats on wheel.
  • Double check your bolts before each ride.
  • Re-torque the ring bolts after the first 50 miles, and after each subsequent 200 miles. 
  • A few drops of dish soap in water can be sprayed to detect air leaks and ensure safe ring/tire seating.
  • Over tightening the beadlock bolts or using an extra thick tire bead without a spacer can cause immediate stress points which can lead to leaks and/or complete wheel and tire failure. If the beadlock ring bends inward (taco) toward the center cap or does not sit absolutely flat, DO NOT INSTALL ON VEHICLE.
 
Beadlock utv wheel installation complete tips


How to install wheels to your UTV the correct way

You've assembled your new UTV beadlock wheels, now its time to install them on your machine. We STRONGLY recommend you have a professional install your wheels and/or tires. If you do not know of a reliable dealer or technician near you, call us and we can help locate one for you. If you insist on mounting your own wheels, you MUST follow all steps below to ensure a proper and safe installation:

  • First step is to make sure you have the correct installation kit (lug nuts). Not all lugs are interchangeable and if you're planning to run any Valor Offroad wheels, your OEM stock lugs WILL NOT WORK. You must purchase a spline kit from our Installation Kits. Not sure what kit you need? Check out our Fitment Guide.
  • Next, you're going to want to find flat ground to jack your vehicle off the ground. Because UTVs and ATVs do not come with an OEM parking/emergency brake, finding flat ground is your best bet for a safe start.
  • Before you start jacking your vehicle up, use a quality torque wrench to loosen the lugs on the wheel while all four tires are still on the ground. This will ensure you're not wrenching on a stuck lug in the air or while the tire is spinning. Getting the lugs loose ensures a safe swap while vehicle is up on jack or rack.
  • Using a floor jack or emergency jack from your vehicle, begin to raise your vehicle up enough where the tire rotates freely. Are you plus-sizing your tires (increasing overall diameter)? You're going to want to factor in more room off the ground to allow for new, larger tires.
  • Once your vehicle is safely jacked up and wheel and tire are ready to be removed, unscrew all lugs using your fingers or socket. If you need to use the torque wrench, you didn't loosen them enough while on the ground. Stop what you're doing and go back two steps. 
  • After you swap out your wheels and tires, finger tighten your new spline lugs as far as you can.
  • Using the socket only (not attached to torque wrench), tighten lugs down as much as you can using a star pattern (view diagram below). 
  • Lower the vehicle just enough to where the tires make contact with the ground and prevent the wheel and tire from spinning. 
  • Using torque wrench, tighten each lug to vehicle OEM spec. Not sure what your OEM spec is? Contact your local dealer or visit your vehicle's owners handbook. 
  • Completely lower the vehicle down to the ground and using the torque wrench again, ensure all lugs are to spec again using star pattern below. You'll hear an audible noise when lugs are correctly torqued. 

HOW TO TIGHTEN LUGS

How to tighten lugs UTV ATV SXS

But wait, there's more!

You MUST re-torque your lugs to OEM spec after no more than 20 miles. This applies to your daily driver, towing trailer, lawn mower and especially your UTV, SxS or ATV. Want to learn more about what happens when you decide to skip the retightening step? Check out our Why you should tighten your lugs post

Warning Signs:

How do I know if my lugs are loose?

  • Your gut is your best bet to prevent a catastrophic accident. If anything feels "off" with your vehicle, don't wait until you get home, pull over immediately and do a thorough inspection. Look at irregular stud length or abnormal wear on any parts. 
  • A wobble in your steering wheel is the first dead give away that something is up with one or more of your wheels and/or tires. You'll feel a tug on your steering wheel that will make it wobble back and forth. This may be a subtle wobble but follow step one above and always trust your gut. The wobble may be as simple as you threw a tape weight on your truck wheels or that your alignment is out of whack, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. 
  • Smoke. If you see or smell smoke, you've already hit the point of no return. Pull over IMMEDIATELY. 
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