Here at 4wheelonline we strive to bring you the best parts along with the newest ones. We have Interco's first stab at wheels, and we have to say these are the best ones yet. Interco has taken the best features of a beatlock wheel into a regular street legal wheel. Giving those off-roading enthusiasts the ability to air out some psi and get the real fun started trans-versing the terrain like a pro. These wheels come with easy lug nut access a self cleaning design, multiple valve stem locations with an abrasion ring, low pressure bead seat rib for the low pressure lovers to make it over what ever comes at you.
Let's face it, 95% of all wheels are purchased for looks first and if they work that's ok too. But if you're reading this you're not one of the 95%ers. You're some one that needs a wheel to work first and look good second. Simple little things like being able to get your lug nuts loose can be a chore with most "look" wheels. The BIRDDOG Wheel was designed to have a minimum of 1 1/4 inches around each lug nut so you could use any lug wrench you wanted without a problem. Here's to the 5%ers.
Small Outer Rim Flange, Small outer rim flange One would think that the outer lip of such a purpose built wheel would have a big "macho" look to it. Being big an brawny is for looks. The outer lip of the BIRDDOG was designed to be as short as industry standards would allow. At low air pressures and maximum tire deflection the tire must be able to flex around the rim without pinching the tire or acting as a fulcrum to deform the tire so air can escape. Rim Protector Relief Some tires have a ridge molded around the area where the tire meets the rim called "rim protectors". Unfortunately, that little feature only works at normal on road air pressures. At low air pressure it works like a pivot point or fulcrum to let air out under high sidewall deflection. The BIRDDOG wheel addresses this problem by providing a relief or notched out area on the outer edge to allow the tire bead to deform around the rim flange without lifting the bead.
Wheelers in wet climates will really love the BIRDDOGs self-cleaning design. Smooth tapered angle with a slick powder coating means that that sticky gumbo mud will sling out at the goose of the throttle. In the cold cold days of winter in snow country you can forget snow build up too. As the snow starts to build up the centrifugal force will slide it right on out.
This rim only comes in one color, black with a machined lip. Sorry, no tooty fruity colors or chrome. This wheel was not designed for looks but to work and maybe look good. It's painted but not with just any paint. The paint used for this application is the hardest most durable we can find. Everything is coated inside, outside even and including the inside of the cap to resist the roughest and toughest corrosive conditions. For those that drive in and around dirt roads like farmers, hunters or just live on a dirt road know that after a while rocks kicked up from the front tires will leave pock marks in the outer lip of a wheel. If you live in a wet and maybe even salty environment those chips or pocks will allow moisture to migrate under the paint corroding the wheel. The BIRDDOG Wheels outer lip has purposely been machined with no clear coat or paint, just raw aluminum. Easy to clean and no place for corrosion to creep under the paint and eat up your wheel.
A tire at very low air pressure, 4-10 psi, under maximum lateral deflection distorts the bead package which can allow air to escape between the tire and rim. To insure that this won't happen it is necessary to add a small but strategically placed "air retention Rib" It operates by compressing the foot of the bead just forward of the bead bundle in a very small area. This allows the elasticity of the bead to maintain contact with the rim when deflected in ether direction at extremely low pressures. At normal on road or highway pressures the air pressure itself forces the tire to the rim creating the required seal. At extremely low air pressures that process is minimized requiring additional measures to insure air retention. The second function is to act as a fulcrum. In extreme inward deflection of a tire the bead of the tire is being forced towards the inside of the rim by the weight of the vehicle. At normal or highway pressures, air pressure pushes back with sufficient force to maintain tire and wheel contact. At off highway pressures the weight of the vehicle has sufficient force to "pop the bead". In this case, with the air retention bead in place, the additional resistance from the air retention bead causes the bead package to pivot over thus forcing the foot of the bead into the advanced safety bead groove. The two working together insure the bead stays in place and the problem of "popping a bead " is virtually eliminated.
As the name implies there are two valve stem holes in this wheel. Two short metal stems are to be installed. Either can be used to service the air in the field but with two, one of them will always be in the right location, (being stuck in soft sand or mud and having the valve stem buried in muck is no fun). The main reason is to have the ability to rapidly deflate and or inflate while monitoring the air pressure changes. With the addition of larger and larger tires this feature becomes the most notable of all. Location is another feature that is most important. The placement of valve stems on a wheel is mainly determined for cosmetic reasons. In this case easy access, angle, and protection are the driving design reasons. Protection from being stepped on, rocks or logs flipping up being one of the main reasons for proper placement.
The ability to have a tire and wheel jammed into a hard rock so the vehicle can pivot around a very tight turn is something that can occur in off highway driving. Rock gouges in a wheel are to be expected when used in the real example above. Current aftermarket and OEM wheels are not designed to endure this type of punishment. In many cases big chunks are ripped out or small nicks in the bead area crack after a period of use. Big dents or worse, the outer lips are bent inwards, all render the wheel unserviceable. The BIRDDOG addresses this problem by providing a solid raised "sacrificial" abrasion ring designed to be scarred and gouged up. This abrasion ring also deflects debris from trying to wedge in-between the tire and rim. But its main function is to offer the additional strength and tire protection for years of service when operating in a hostile environment.
To assist in determining if a gouge is too deep the BIRDDOG has "gauge holes" placed around the rim. If a gouge is deeper then one of the gauge holes structural integrity of the wheel may be compromised.
Having the ability to mount and dismount a tire in the field is another feature built into this design. A super deep drop center. So deep in fact once the bis broken, some tires may be removed by simply pulling them off by hand. Having a deep drop center also lets us make the wheel very strong and very light. Un-sprung weight is not our friend. There is a second part to this field service system making the BIRDDOG the only designed wheel on the market with a field serviceability system. A centering lip just behind the safety bead is designed to assist in the centering and inflation of the tire. Only those that have had to service tires in the outback will truly understand it's importance. From the bad lands of Peru to the out lands of Australia this wheel was made for worldwide use.