Front Winch Bumper
710 Rancho 9000
710 Clutch
710 Rear Bench Seat
710 Rear Winch
710 Front Seats
710 EX-II Upgrade
710 CTIS Air Pump
710 Ballast
710 Air Tunnel
710 Exhaust
710 Windshield Brackets
Staun Beadlocks

Staun Beadlock Page  This page describes installing Staun beadlocks
Click on any picture for a larger version!
Front Winch Bumper
710 Rancho 9000
710 Clutch
710 Rear Bench Seat
710 Rear Winch
710 Front Seats
710 EX-II Upgrade
710 CTIS Air Pump
710 Ballast
710 Air Tunnel
710 Exhaust
710 Windshield Brackets
Staun Beadlocks

General:

The video instructions, written instructions and sales pitches are at the Staun Webpage.

For me, the first issue was right there in the disclaimer section:

 --"Work sober!"-- 

Talk about unrealistic marketing hype.  What normal off-road enthusiast would think of this???  Luckily, I was able to eventually wait for the right conditions to satisfy that requirement...

Also, FYI, The USA rep has hints and tips at:

http://www.squarewheelsports.com

I know that at least Expedition Exports is a dealer within our Pinzgauer enclave that carries Staun products, if you are looking to "buy local."

My Narrative:

I'll start with what made the Staun Beadlock installation such a challenge.

My fundamental installation challenge:

I am using Interco Trxus tires.  I have them on my Pinzgauer 710, and I have been very happy with the performance. 

During the first beadlock install, I was working outside with the temperatures around 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  The tires have thick stiff sidewalls, and I'm sure the temperature makes then even stiffer.  After mounting (but not seating) the bottom bead, I had a very difficult time working in the gap between the tire and the rim (Less than three fricking inches between the beads?  Hello??  I am a fat-assed, ham-handed American.  Give me a break!). 

When I would lift the upper bead of the tire sufficiently to get my hand inside, the bottom bead would be sealed up by the top of the drop-center.  The challenge was making enough space to work while having access to the drop center of the rim, or having four fingers amputated to facilitate the project.  With wide tires and wide rims, the 3-4 inches required to fit a hand in there would probably be no big deal.  But not with these tires and rims.  Most of the installation time was spent trying to cobble together some way to create space to work.

Step 1 was removing the Mayola tire from the rim.  Mayola is a Swiss made tire used on the Pinzgauers by the Swiss military.  The tire is normally mounted with a tube and intensely disliked by the USA Pinzgauer community.  I decided that it would be a good life skill to able to mount and dismount a tire with tire irons. So....

I purchased a couple of tire irons from Harbor Freight.  Happily they were quite inexpensive.  Unhappily I bent one dismounting the first tire.  So much for trusting them in the field.

 

 

 

 

Virgin vs. bent on the first use...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research led me to a company called Ken Tools.  I purchased their model 35453 4-piece Serpent Tire Changing Set and a separate 34645 tire iron.  There is a pretty good instructional sales pitch on YouTube (Here).  Tangentially, There are also some interesting videos of setting a tire bead using flammable gasses (Here) which I am not in a hurry to try.  My experience using the Ken Tools was not quite as slick as the promo video, and not as dramatic as the flammable gasses, but it was a heck of a lot better than the Harbor Freight tire irons.

 

The process:

Step one was drilling a hole in the same arc as the factory valve stem for the inner tube stem.  Staun suggests drilling this hole near the center line of the rim (center as in between the outside of the rim and the inside of the rim) 6" to 8" to either side of the valve stem.  But placing the hole there with the Pinzgauer rim would put the inner tube stem in possible contact with the brake drum.  Even if the stem did not interfere with the brake drum, it would be easy to damage  it while installing or removing the wheel.  Plus the wheel would have to be removed to check or change the pressure in the beadlock tube.

I checked with the Staun USA rep and with the Real 4x4 Pinzgauer message board (Thanks Prof!!!).  Both confirmed that the same arc as the valve stem would be a good location to drill the hole.  I happened to have a stepped drill bit in the proper size, shown here.

 

After drilling the hole, I used a countersink bit to debur the hole and create a bevel for the O-rings.  I asked the Staun rep why the holes should be 6-8" apart rather than 180 degrees apart.  He explained that installing the top bead on a tire machine would cause some damage if it passes over either the inner tube stem or the air channel.  When they are mounted this close together the tire machine can do its thing without problems.

 

 

 

The finished hole in the rim for the inner tube stem.  I beveled the edges a bit with a wood screw countersink tool.

 

 

 

 

Just for the sake of curiosity, I put the tube and air channel on the rim.  Interesting, photogenic, but not much learned.

 

 

 

 

Once I had the drilling done, I cleaned up the cutting oil and sandblasted the rim.

 

 

 

 

Primed and painted it gloss black.

 

 

 

 

One problem discussed on the Staun site is how some tires (including and/or particularly Interco) have very wide beads.  On rims that have a bump to hold help hold the bead in place, the inner edge of the tire bead can end up chafing the beadlock inner tube.  The Pinzgauer rim does not have the retaining bump, but I went ahead and trimmed the sharp edge of the rubber anyway.

After all was said and done, I noticed some bubbles along the rim after I pressurized the tire.  It is probably a result of not cleaning all of the baby powder from the bead of the rim before inflating.  Either way, my current opinion is that trimming the tire as shown won't help and might hurt with stock Pinz rims.  So the rest of the tires will be installed uncircumcised.

 

As a bead lubricant I used this Dr. Bronner's castile soap with hemp and lavender.   I figured the hemp oil would get me points with the environmentalists, and the lavender would appeal to the Pinzgauers' more feminine side.  I can sure use some points from both groups.  I mixed it with some water and rubbed it onto the tire bead and the rim.  Using my new Ken-Tools implements made installing the first bead easy.  I found out afterwards the rep recommends Windex or equivalent.  It shows bubbles but does not leave a lubricating residue, reducing the chance of tire slippage under air-down conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Lubricating the lower bead with the soap solution.

 

 

 

 

My conversation with the Staun rep lead me to believe that using lots of powder is one of the secrets of success.  I bought some talc baby powder to augment the packet of powdered chalk that comes with the beadlock.  Here is the inner tube after a bit of powdering.

 

 

 

The instructions say to put the tag opposite from the valve stem.  The tag is located where the webbing is doubled over.  I assume the idea is to even out the weight.

 

 

 

 

Then the fun began!  The next step is to tuck the beadlock cover into place, push the inner tube inside, then tuck in the other (top) bead of the beadlock.  Sounds simple...but when I lifted the top bead of the tire to get my hand inside, the lower bead would effectively seal off the workspace.  I tried a number of tricks to get some room to work.  A scrap of 2x4 helped somewhat.

 

 

 

I found that putting the tire on a bucket also helped.  Putting the tire on blocks as the instructions suggest was not helpful at all.  This way gravity pulled down the lower bead at least a few millimeters or so.

 

 

 

 

The demounting iron was helpful with prying the top bead up just enough to work inside.  Almost just enough...damn five-fingered hands!

 

 

 

 

When I was trying to fit the top bead of the beadlock liner, I couldn't get the far side of the beadlock to stay in the drop-center of the rim.  I had the idea of using a can of gasket sealer to pin the beadlock to the bottom of the tire.  This actually worked pretty well, I was able to get the entire beadlock inside the rim.

Another problem - afterwards, I  didn't have enough hands to pry up the tire bead and reach in to remove the container.  I finally called my 12 year-old daughter to help.  Now, here I am covered with baby powder and smelling like lavender, sweating, cussing and trying to contort one hand into the tire while using the other to work the lever.  My daughter usually has some snide remark, but this time she stood for a moment and quietly took in the scene.  I explained that I wanted her to reach into the tire to retrieve the can.  She nodded, still quietly, helped me, then immediately disappeared back to the house shaking her head.  No doubt she was thanking her lucky stars that I was not doing all of this in public. MUCH worse for me than a snide remark.

For the next attempt, I am planning to bend up some scraps of flat stock to use as jigs to hold the lower bead at the lower edge of the drop center channel, then pry the top bead up to work in luxury.  You will have to wait until after I reassemble the truck to find out if this scheme works!

Here the air channel has been installed, fitted between the beadlock casing and the tire.  I found that removing the valve stem and inserting a thread chaser as a holder was invaluable for keeping the air channel in place without damage whilst wrestling the rest of the assembly.

 

 

 

The Ken-Tools tools were excellent.  I was able to fairly easily install the top bead of the tire.  Standing on the part of the tire that is already mounted to push it into the drop center makes the process considerably easier.

 

 

 

Done!   I hope it is done...if there is a long-term slow leak, I will take it apart again to clean the bead surfaces to minimize the rim leaks.

 

 

 

So I think for the next tires I may cut some lengths of rebar to use for spacers, and create hooks to hold the tire beads further apart during the installation of the beadlock.  Unless someone suggests a better idea!