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  4. AEV Borah DualSport Wheel: Run Beadlock or DOT-legal in The Same Package

AEV Borah DualSport Wheel: Run Beadlock or DOT-legal in The Same Package

The Borah can be an “off-road-only” beadlock or a DOT-approved conventional wheel

We're not going to step into the beadlock DOT argument thing here. Tires come with a DOT certification, that's true. But wheels aren't necessarily DOT certified, and although some argue over the legality of true beadlock wheels, one thing is for certain: The AEV Borah DualSport wheel lets you run your tires in either a 50-state-legal configuration with a conventional inner and outer bead lip or an "off-road-only" configuration with a conventional inner bead lip and a true beadlock outer ring.

What Vehicles Do AEV Wheels Fit

AEV's DualSport wheels are sold in a manner that can almost be considered la carte. First, you select the right DualSport wheel for your vehicle. As of this writing, AEV offers its Crestone DualSport wheels for the Chevy Colorado and Toyota Tacoma/4Runner and its Borah DualSport wheel for 2007-2018 JK Wranglers, 2019-current JL Wranglers, and the JT Gladiator. Second, pick from several colors. The wheels come with the outer beadlock surface and beadlock bolt threads already cast and tapped, but your can run no outer ring, a decorative ring, or a true beadlock ring. Because the rings are sold separately, you can mix and match ring colors, as well. Third, you decide if you want to run your wheels as standard 50-state-legal configuration, with the outer tire bead mounted on the inside of the rim, or as a true beadlock, with the outer tire bead clamped between the outer beadlock and beadlock ring, Obviously, if you're planning on running your AEV DualSport wheels as a true beadlock, you should purchase AEV's beadlock rings along with your wheels, but if you're going to mount the tires in the conventional way, using the inner wheel beads, you have the choice of running either no outer bead ring at all or AEV's protective ring that bolts atop the beadlock ring.

AEV Borah DualSport wheels and BFGoodrich All Terrain KO2 tires make a plain Jane 2019 JL Wrangler Unlimited look killer!

AEV Wheels JL Wrangler

We were prepping our buddy's 2019 JL Wrangler Unlimited for an upcoming trip to Moab, so in addition to an AEV 2-inch spacer lift, which we'll show you soon, we ordered up five JL/Gladiator Borah DualSport wheels in AEV's Onyx black. For now, the vehicle owner's off-road prowess isn't really to the point where he'll be able to take full advantage of a true beadlock wheel, nor is he really keen on keeping up with the maintenance a true beadlock demands (you should check your beadlock bolt torque periodically as a best practice), so in addition to the DualSport wheels, we ordered an AEV protection ring and hardware kit for each wheel. Call us old fashioned or even boring, but we went with the same Onyx black color for the protection rings as our Borah DualSport wheels.

JL Wrangler On- and Off-Road Tire Selection

For tires, it's hard to do better than BFGoodrich's All-Terrain KO2. We wanted to keep the tire size short enough where regearing the JL Unlimited wouldn't be necessary but tall enough to gain at least as much ground clearance as a factory JL Rubicon. We settled on a quintet of BFG A-T KO2s in the 285/70R17 size (PN74713). With the Dana 44 rear, that gives us 11.6 inches of ground clearance under the diff, and it's short enough to keep the 3.6L and 850RE eight-speed auto happy. And as an additional bonus to great road manners and exceptional sand, dirt, and rock traction, the BFG tires are also among AEV's list of tires compatible with the DualSport outer beadlocks. (Check AEV's website for updated listings; currently AEV has confirmed BFG A-T and M-T tires up to 37 inches tall and Yokohama Geolander MT in 285/70R17 will work with its DualSport wheels in the functional beadlock configuration.) Because tire bead thicknesses can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, incompatible tires run the risk of damage to the wheels caused by a bead bundle that may be too thick.

The AEV hardware that holds the protective ring on is the same strong, corrosion-resistant hardware that's used for the conventional beadlock ring.

Installing AEV Borah DualSport Wheels and BFG Tires on a JL Wrangler

With our AEV Borah DualSport wheels and BFGoodrich A-T KO2 tires in hand, we headed down to Off Road Warehouse in Escondido, California, to have everything mounted and balanced. Although we were mounting our Borah DualSport wheels in a conventional manner, we did want to stop to highlight what the beadlock ring would look like and how the tire would sit. Off Road Warehouse builds and services everything from daily-driven grocery getters to full-mambo hardcore off-road machines, so we knew the crew there wouldn't cock their heads and blankly stare at us when we mentioned the phrase "beadlock." And because the JL Wrangler employs a tire pressure monitoring system, we had to first break down the stock tires and transfer the pressure sensors into the new AEV Borah DualSport wheels. The crew there, including Justin Mitchell, made short work of the progress, transferring the sensors and then mounting and balancing the tires on the new AEV wheels. Once balanced, Mitchell used the AEV hardware to affix the protective rings to the Borah DualSport wheels and then mounted everything up to the Wrangler before running the vehicle around the block to get the TPMS sensors to register with the computer. Everything went smoothly, and we were in and out of their hair in no time at all.

How's it Look: AEV Borah DualSport Wheels on a JL Wrangler

The first thing we noticed was how the Jeep's character immediately transformed with nothing more than a wheel and tire swap. The Borah wheels look plain beefy, and the sidewall tread of the BFG A-T is almost sinister. The AEV Borah wheels feature a 5.2-inch backspacing (+25mm offset), which pushes the tire sidewalls right out the edge of the fender flares and provides better clearance between the tires and suspension components. It looks fantastic, and the additional width is noticeable, but the backspacing isn't so great that the spare tire doesn't ride just up against the rubber bumpers on the tailgate. Once again, AEV nails it in terms of properly engineering its products. The coated bolts included in the AEV hardware kit really pop against the protection rings, but the one thing we will say is the rings seem to stick out a bit far from the tire bead and sidewall. Had we gone with a full-width flotation size like 35x12.50R17 or even 295/70R17, the tire sidewall would bulge farther atop the ring and look a bit more conventional. But as it is, we're super stoked with the look, fit, and function of AEV's Borah DualSport wheels. And the best part is that as this vehicle owner's off-roading gets more serious, he can step up the tire size and purchase real beadlock rings from AEV to run these same wheels in a conventional beadlock configuration and air down to super-low pressures for hardcore off-roading.

 

In these shots you can see the inner (bottom) and outer (top) bead that any standard wheel would have to retain the tire.

If you're conventionally mounting your tires with the outer bead captured inside the wheel, the AEV Borah DualSports work just like any other regular wheel from an OE or aftermarket source.

The DualSport in AEV's Borah wheel name comes from the fact that in addition to having standard inner beads, there is a true outer beadlock cast into the wheel.

If running as a conventional beadlock, the tire's outer bead bundle indexes the outer beadlock ring on the Borah wheel.

AEV's beadlock rings feature a knurled surface that grips the tire bead, preventing slippage at super low pressures.

For now we mounted our tires in the conventional way using the inner bead lips of the Borah wheel.

Off Road Warehouse's Justin Mitchell quickly mounted our BFG A-Ts on ORW's tire machine, the same as with any conventional wheel.

You see the outer tire bead inside the wheel lip, the same as any conventional wheel here.

The optional protective rings are thick aluminum and should substantially increase the strength of the outer portion of the wheel in case of errant rock contact.

Borah DualSport wheels feature a 5.2-inch backspacing for tire-to-suspension component clearance, yet the spare still just barely kisses the rubber tailgate isolators.