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4x4 Truck Wheel Buyers Guide

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on October 1, 2009
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This year's guide strives to be as hardcore as possible. Those blingy dubs might be fine for the soccer-team SUV, but the focus here is on wheels that beg to be wrapped with knobby treads. While we've included many modern wheels made from space-age alloys, good old pound-'em-back-into-shape steelies get their due too. The newest beadlocks are also littered through this guide. With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, you might find something here for your four-wheeling wishlist.

AEV offers its 17x8.5 Pintler beadlock wheel for JK and TJ Wranglers as well as '05-and-newer Grand Cherokees and Commanders. These wheels use Hutchinson technology and are DOT-compliant. They have a lifetime structural warranty and a one-year warranty on the two available finishes, argent and silver. Information: AEV, 406.251.2100,

Black Rock
The Viper is Black Rock Wheels' latest. This alloy wheel comes in two finishes: black satin matte and tungsten silver with matte clear coat. Designed for Jeeps and other off-road applications, the Viper features exposed lugs, aggressive spokes, and diamond machined accents. Initial sizes are 15x8 and 17x8, with more fitments in the works. Custom backspacing is available. Information: Black Rock Wheels, 909.947.1831,

Alcoa is set to announce a new 17-inch dually wheel. Available now is the Xtreme Series, which is targeted at tow rigs. It's a boldly designed 20x9 eight-lug wheel made from forged aluminum--and backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Finishes are Dura-Bright or chrome. Information: Alcoa, 888.699.4335,

BTR is well known among desert racers. Its pressure-cast aluminum beadlocks are available in several sizes for VW-based buggies. The 17x8 TT beadlock can be drilled to spec for multiple 4x4 bolt patterns and lug styles. Finishes are polished or black powdercoat. Forged aluminum beadlock rings come in red, black, blue, and polished. Information: BTR Racing Wheels, 714.578.8258,

American Racing
American Racing offers the off-road- only ATX Series Chamber PRO Bead Lock. Rotary forged from 6061 aluminum, the 17x8.5 wheel has 4 1/2-inch backspacing and is available in popular bolt patterns. It uses 24 flush-mount bolts with replaceable bushing inserts. The Chamber PRO meets sanctioning-body requirements and is available in a machined finish or coated with Teflon. Information: American Racing Equipment, 310.635.7806,

Center Line
Center Line's I.C.E. wheel uses an internal beadlock that's DOT-compliant and also run-flat capable. The three-piece design uses front, rear, and inner beadlock sections. All parts are forged from 6061 aluminum. The wheel components are joined with 20 stainless steel bolts, and the inner centering element locks the tire bead into position so the tire can run at low pressure without slipping on the rim. Sizes are 17x8 and 17x9, available in several popular bolt patterns. Information: Center Line Wheels, 562.921.9637,

Bart's Supertrucker steel wheels have been off-road enthusiast favorites for more than 30 years. They're built to be strong and durable and are available in wide 15- and 16.5-inch diameters with either 3 1/2 or 4 inches of backspacing. What's more, Bart now offers 32-bolt beadlock kits for the Supertrucker. Available finishes are high-gloss black or silver powdercoat as well as chrome. Information: Bart Wheels, 708.458.9141,

Champion Wheel's SCORE-legal C-3 Flush Mount Beadlocks are available in 15- , 16- , and 17-inch diameters. They're engineered for exceptional tire retention under low air pressure/high torque situations. For added safety, the mounting bolts sit flush with the ring's surface. Champion begins its Flush Mount Beadlocks with American Racing wheels, or customers can have their own aluminum wheels converted. Information: Champion Wheel Co., 951.471.2183,

Bassett's Inertia is a true steel beadlock wheel designed for hardcore off-road driving and rockcrawling. It's available in two styles: 8 D-hole and 5-Spoke (shown). Bassett puts a step in the inner beadlock ring to make tire-centering easier; each beadlock features 18 Grade 8 fasteners. Available fitments range from 15x8 to 15x14 in several five-lug patterns. Finish choices are silver or black powdercoat and duplex nickel hard chrome. Information: Bassett Racing Wheels, 888.888.7199,

Desert Rat
Desert Rat's newest aluminum wheel is the Raton. It's designed to combine strength (all sizes have at least a 3,000-pound load capacity), style, and affordability. Diameters are 16, 17, 18, 20, and 22 inches in popular 1/2- and 3/4-ton bolt patterns. Available finishes are Brite Machined, machined with black center (shown), and full chrome. Information: Desert Rat, 866.444.5337,

Diamond specializes in custom-made steel wheels. Available diameters range from 13 to 24.5 inches, and widths can be made anywhere from 4 to 48 inches. More than 40 bolt patterns are available, and centers can be solid or have custom vent-window shapes. Strength comes from 360-degree welding. Standard powdercoat finishes are silver, black, and white (additional colors are optional). Beadlocks are available for 15- , 16- , and 17-inch diameters. Information: Diamond Racing Wheels, 800.937.4407,

Hutchinson's Rock Monster line is one of the few DOT-certified beadlocks. Hutchinson uses an internal beadlock insert to form a lock on both the inner and outer tire beads. The two-piece wheel compresses the internal beadlock insert during assembly so air pressure isn't needed to hold the beads in place. Applications are available in 15- , 16- , and 17-inch diameters in popular bolt patterns. Information: Rock Monster Wheels, 609.394.1010,

Dick Cepek
The new Dick Cepek Torque is a machined aluminum wheel designed for newer trucks and SUVs that require a higher offset, additional brake-caliper clearance, and the ability to use the factory TPMS. It's available in 16- to 22-inch sizes and features a machined outer lip, a flat black finish, a satin clearcoat, and a coordinating center cap. Information: Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, 800.222.9092,

KMC's XD Series Enduro Beadlock is suitable for both competition and recreation. It's available from 15 to 17 inches; the 17-inch models are designed to accept inner liners. Enduro Beadlocks are made from counter-pressure cast A356-T6 aluminum with 6061-T6 aluminum beadlock rings. They come standard with 36 Grade 8 bolts and washers. Most custom applications can be built to order. Information: KMC Wheels, 800.864.4387,

DWT's AlumaLite Competition Beadlocks are engineered for Jeeps, sand buggies, and desert trucks. They're spun from 6061 aluminum and have 0.190-inch-thick, heat-treated billet centers to ensure uniform strength and durability. 15- and 17-inch diameters are available in a variety of widths and offsets. Information: DWT, 760.758.5560,

The V-drive is one of the latest truck and SUV wheels by MB Motoring. This one-piece aluminum wheel is available in 15- through 22-inch sizes in both black machined and chrome finishes for most applications. Information: Discount Tire Direct, 800.589.9643,

Eaton makes heavy-duty two-piece steel wheels. The company still offers 16.5s, in 12- and 14-inch widths. Eaton's Extra Heavy-Duty Beadlocks (shown) use 32 bolts. They're handbuilt to the customer's backside specifications. Fitments are 15-inch diameters in popular five- , six- , and eight-lug patterns as well as in a 6x8 1/2-inch bolt pattern to fit most 21/2-ton axles. Finish is black powdercoat. Information: National Tire & Wheel, 800.847.3287,

Mickey Thompson
The new SideBiter wheel from Mickey Thompson is engineered to be a heavy-duty performer. Manufactured using a low-pressure casting process, the SideBiter has impressive load-capacity specs. It comes with a limited lifetime guarantee and is available in 15-, 16-, and 17-inch diameters. Information: Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels, 800.222.9092,

High Impact
High Impact's heavy-gauge-steel beadlocks are designed for no-frills/no-nonsense rockcrawling. Features include a formed lock ring that's engineered to fit the tire bead contour, center the tire, and not leak, and it will balance. Each includes 32 Grade 8 lock ring bolts. High Impact also offers more-upscale aluminum beadlocks (including DOT-approved models) and chromed steel wheels. Information: High Impact, 888.898.4331,

OMF takes its popular Rock Crawling Domes to the next level with custom powdercoating and machining. Known as Rock Starz, they're available in a number of powdercoated colors to fit almost any theme. The Rock Starz are sold in sets of 12 (fits on every other bolt of a 24-bolt beadlock design), either powdercoated or in raw aluminum. The Rock Starz shown here are on an American Eagle 186 Series with an OMF scalloped beadlock. Information: OMF Performance Products, 951.354.8272,

Stazworks makes internal double-beadlock wheels, a mechanical design that the company says is guaranteed not to lose a bead, even at zero psi. The package consists of made-to-order steel wheels with a choice of several insert designs. The beadlocks are available in all bolt patterns with any backspacing in popular diameters of any width. Information: Stazworks, 715.333.7467,

Pro Comp
The Series 7028 is one of Pro Comp's newest Xtreme Alloys. It features a Cast-Blast finish, a split five-spoke design, beadlock styling, and a lifetime structural warranty. Diameters are 16, 17, 18, and 20 inches; backspacings range from 4 1/2 to 5 1/4 inches. Information: Pro Competition Tire & Wheel Co., 866.232.0665,

Raceline's newest competition-proven beadlock is the RT-Monster. It's manufactured using counter-pressure casting and includes a thick inner rim lip to be strong and light, yet affordable. The one-piece RT-Monster uses 32 bolts and cast-in retainers; it will accept a racing inner liner. This wheel is available in 17x9.5 with 4-inch backspacing and 15x8 with 3 1/4-inch backspacing in most popular bolt patterns. Information: Raceline Wheels, 800.529.4335,

Summit Racing
Summit's Series 185 wheels feature cast, one-piece construction for durability and a polished or black "ultra" finish for good looks. Center caps are included, and load ratings vary by wheel size. Popular bolt patterns and backspacings are available. Information: Summit Racing Equipment, 800.230.3030,

Robby Gordon
Robby Gordon wheels are race-bred in Baja. The Signature Series includes a 17x8 "street" version with simulated beadlocks (shown). Bona fide Robby Gordon beadlocks come in 15- and 17-inch diameters. Information: Robby Gordon Off Road, 714.632.0166,

Tire Rack
Tire Rack offers the Granite Alloy GA9, designed to be stylish yet affordable. This one-piece cast wheel has six spokes and a deep machined lip. Diameters are 15, 16, and 17 inches in many SUV and pickup fitments. Information: Tire Rack, 800.541.1777,

Spyderlock Beadlocks are designed for competitive rockcrawling/rock racing. They're cast from A356-T6 aluminum, and each wheel includes an integral inner bead reinforcement. The load rating is 3,200 pounds. Each Spyderlock includes 3/8-inch Grade 8 nickel-plated socket-head hardware as well as center caps, Allen wrenches, valve stems, and instructions. Available diameters are 15, 17, 18, and 20 inches; 3 1/2-inch backspacing is standard. Information: Spyderlock Wheels, 303.683.8009,

TrailReady, well known for its military and competition beadlocks, introduces the HD15. This 15x9 beadlock is built for off-road competition with heavy-duty pressure-cast aluminum construction. Multiple bolt patterns and backspacings from 3 to 4 inches are available. This "born beadlock" is cast with an extra-thick inside bead and uses 20 5/16-inch Grade 8 bolts. The ring is machined for countersunk bolts and features a knurled bead surface. Information: TrailReady Products, 425.353.6776,

Staun offers the new TX-1 racing wheel. Manufactured to be super strong, these wheels are predrilled to accept Staun's internal beadlock. The TX-1 is available individually or packaged with the internal beadlock. Available 4x4 diameters are 15, 16, and 17 inches. Information: Staun Products, 949.645.7733,

Walker Evans
Walker Evans' one-piece, pressure-cast aluminum wheels are available in 15x8, 17x8.5, and 20x8.5 sizes with built-to-order backspacings ranging from 3 3/4 to 6 inches. All five- , six- , and eight-lug patterns are available. The polished beadlock ring and Grade 8 hardware are included with the wheel and thread into steel inserts. The wheels have a standard machine/ shotpeen finish; polish and powdercoat are optional. Information: Walker Evans Racing, 888.933.7223,

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