Along with a few other updates for the 2013 model year F-150 SVT Raptor, Ford introduced a new option that makes the truck a more capable rock crawler. When a Raptor is purchased, standard equipment includes high-performance forged aluminum wheels with a beauty ring. The wheels look good and are aggressive, and the ring features 12 bolts. But the standard beauty ring isn’t good enough for those who want to do some really aggressive rock crawling in the Raptor. Doing so usually calls for airing down the tires, something that the standard rim doesn’t handle very well.
You see, airing down the Raptor’s conventional rim with the beauty ring would likely result in a de-beading of the tire. More specifically, the de-beading would take place at the physical portion of the tire that holds it to the rim with a “suction” effect. De-beading would result in the tire rolling off, which would likely mean a long and not-very-fun day on the trail. Enter Ford’s from-the-factory beadlock wheels, which allow you to safely air down the tire to single digits.
The beadlock is installed by taking the beauty ring off and replacing it with a ring with twice as many bolts (24). There’s a lip on the inside of the rim, where the bead is mounted for conventional running. The beadlock wheels move the bead from the inside to the outside of the wheel, courtesy of the new 24-bolt ring that replaces the beauty ring and is tightened down. This locks the bead between the ring of the lip and the wheel, allowing the user to air down the tire to single digits and go rock crawling as your tire hugs the rocks with a big contact patch for extra traction without having to worry about the bead coming off the rim.
Here’s a demo of the beadlock wheel starring Ford Trucks communications manager Mike Levine, courtesy of Let’s Talk Wheels: