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  Indiana Rally

Well I had a great time at the Indiana Dodge Truck Rally, and as always the food and friendship was great. It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. Thanks to Ron and his crew for putting on a great event.

We had a demonstration by a Power Wagon Bell Telephone Truck. they augered a hole, and then set a telephone pole just like they they did in the 50's, well maybe not as fast as they did in the 50's.

For those who didn't make it, we drove up the interstate to the Kruse Victory Museum in Auburn. WOW what a great WWII collection, worth stopping if you are passing through. However on the way back to Ron's, cruising down the Interstate at 65 MPH I heard a pop-hiss. Yes my M is now quite enough for me to hear sounds.

Sounded like I was getting a flat, no sudden deflation and the hiss quited down. I figured I'd popped the valve stem as I have to bend it slightly away from the lock ring every time I check, inflate or deflate the tires. Well once stopped I saw the problem. I'd broken to consecutive Bead Lock Bolts! Now being I was on-highway and clean this was a bit strange. Things like this normally happens when you are nee deep in mud.

The air was slowly leaking, but I was able to drive slowly to the next exit and into a gas station. Once there the tire had quite leaking, but not wanting to push my luck a fellow Rally member (Kevin Clause from MI) who stopped with me gave me a lift back to my truck and trailer, while my son-in-law Chuck and his friend Chris stayed with the M.

After further inspection, both breaks had rust, one about half was through the other one almost completely. (see reply post for picture) Seems they were broke for a while and just now let loose. They are Grade 8 3/8" flange head bolts that came with the wheels and were torqued to 15 ft-lbs. So now to pick up some new bolts and replace all the bolts on this wheel, and check the other wheels.

The wheel air pressure dropped from 40 PSI down to 24 PSI.


  I checked the torque on the other three wheels, and found that they were all at or above 15 ft-lbs (180 in-lbs) except one bolt on the right front wheel the snapped right off.  After further analysis, I'm thinking the Bead Lock Ring design may be the issue.  It looks like the outer surface of the ring (the recessed part) may not be recessed enough and putting a side load on the bolts.  you can see this in the bolt head in this photo, and in the ring paint wear pattern in the previous photo.  I'm calling Marsh back tomorrow as their poor answer today of it just being fatigue is a lame lazy excuse to me.  05/18/2009
  Finally got past the receptionist and got to talk to Brant at Marsh. Seems they must be screening their calls now more than they did in 2005 when I first dealt with them. Here is what I got from the phone call:

1. The bead lock ring should NOT compress to contact the wheel inner ring. Brant confirmed that this would not allow the ring to properly compress against the varying thickness of tire beads. In my case with the IROK's it would take such a large amount of torque (way in excess of the 15 ft-lbs) to attempt to do this that I'd never get a bolt strong enough to compress the 3/16"-1/4" gap out.

2. Highway speeds and Air Pressured exert more stress on the Bead Lock Bolts than off roading. Each revaluation flex's the tire and thus flex's the ring, which side loads the bolt (seen in my third stud photo) and fatigues them to fail as mine did.

3. My trucks weight (probably over 6,000 pounds, still need to weigh it) and only a 20 stud Bead Lock is adding stress to each bolt. With my weight I should have asked for and used the Extreme Bead Locks with 40 Bead lock Bolts. My Truck weight was the one thing I didn't provide when I placed my order in late 2005 and he never asked for it. I can always buy the extreme rings and hand drill and install the nut-certs if the problem continues.

4. Recheck the torque often and keep spare bolts.

I hope this helps solve the problem and sheds some light on Bead Lock Designs.   05/19/2005

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