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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2001, 11:23 PM
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Why do aluminum and crhome rims lose beads

I can understand the chrome part, Chrome is pretty slick, but I really can't figure out why aluminum rims lose beads. Today I finally got out to do a little wheeling. We had a group of 4 Jeeps. The guy with chrome rims never airs down under 7PSI, because we will lose a bead, even at 7 PSI, the beads leak, and slowly loses air. We also had a guy wit aluminum rims with us. He really didn't lose a bead but snow got pack between the rim and tire causing it to leak. Not sure what PSI he was running. I run painted spoke rims, and regularly run 2 psi in deep snow, but was only down to 4 PSI today. In 4 years of wheeling with these rims, and low air pressure, I have yet to lose a bead. The only time I lost a bead was when I borrowed the first guys chrome rims and his tires, Poped a bead at 8 PSI. Maybe my question should have been, Why do painted steel wheels hold on to the bead so well?

Thanks, Ray

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 12:13 AM
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Re: Why do aluminum and crhome rims lose beads

Painted steel is much rougher than aluminum, be it cast, forged, or anything else... That's a guess. What is even more amazing than that is the propensity for aluminum wheels to develop bead leaks when run at normal pressures. I work at a Sears Auto Center, and every day we get at least 4 people in with fancy aluminum wheels (factory or otherwise) that have bead leaks...from corrosion, oxidation, or for unknown reasons. It's very unusual. Combine that with the fact that aluminum is much easier to mar with a rock than steel, and it's amazing that as many people run aluminum rims as they do. Unless unsprung weight is a huge concern, steel is probably a better choice...

Moneyless, Will weld for jeep accessories.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 06:47 AM
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Re: Why do aluminum and crhome rims lose beads

You might also consider the tire. That and the fact that rim size (width) can be a factor also. I have been running American Racing Outlaw II's (15x8)for about 5 years now and seem to be ok running BGF MT's and Remington Mud Kings (33x12.5) down to about 5psi only run the front wheels off the rims once in about 18" of snow. I attribute this to the driving rather than equipment failure. My son just came back from a run with some guys after doing some upgrades to his Zuki, he told me that the wheels he put on were coming off and his old ones were going back on, (he lost a front and rear bead) The 10" wheels were not holding his tires at 7psi. (he traded tires and wheels with his pick up). Truck has 10" wheels and Zuki has 8" wheels same tires BFG MT's on both.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 10:02 PM
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Re: Why do aluminum and crhome rims lose beads

I started the day at 7 PSI, and I eventually had to air down to 4 PSI, because I drove into a ditch and couldn't get out. At 4 PSI I drove right out. I couldn't imagine having to four wheel in snow and not be able to air way down. When I am down at 2PSI, I can drive almost anywhere in deep snow. The traction differance between 7 PSI and 2 PSI is incredibe.

Thanks, Ray

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