One of the major hurdles to buying and using a bead lock wheel for off-road duty is price. What if you could buy the wheel in stages? Sounds impossible? Well, Dirty Life wheels may have the solution.
Dirty Life 9303 DT-1
Phase one is a simulated bead lock ring that looks every bit as robust and useful as a real bead lock. With an optional rash guard, you could run these on the street and trail and never want for anything more.
The key to all of this is the tire mounting. In the typical arrangement, you mount it inside the outer bead retention lip, and it functions like any regular aluminum wheel.
Changing to a full bead lock wheel.
Here is where it gets interesting. Similar to the special edition MOPAR factory wheel and the AEV Borah the Dirty Life wheel has a secret. Remove the simulated bead lock, and for $80 a wheel, you can get the forged bead lock ring. It has a groove for bead retention machined into it to change your standard wheel into a real bead lock.
Once the simulated bead lock ring is removed, and after deflating the tire, so it’s safe, move the outer bead over the lip, so it sits where the removed ring was. The new forged bead lock ring bolts right back where the sim ring came from, and it retains the bead on the machined outer surface.
Other wheels offer this.
There are a couple of other wheels on the market that offer this. The MOPAR wheel is one, and the AEV Borah also provides this option. The Dirty Life wheel offers it for less money with the same quality. It also has a more aftermarket lift friendly backspacing. The AEV Borah has 5.72-inch backspacing, and the Dirty Life wheel has 4.53 or 3.5-inch backspacing available.
With most aftermarket lifts the recommended backspacing is 4.5 inches.
What’s the cost?
So I mentioned the cost of each wheel being different above. The Dirty Life wheel is $282; the optional bead lock ring is $80 for a total of $362. The AEV Borah is also $280. That doesn’t include any ring. The Dirty Life wheel comes standard with the simulated bead lock ring. That same option for the Borah is $120, and the bead lock ring is $145. That bumps the Borah up to $400 for the same setup as the regular 9303 and $425 for the full bead lock Borah.
Final thoughts on the Dirty Life 9303 DT-1
The Dirty Life wheels are at first glance a great quality wheel. The finish is smooth and so far appears durable. The wheels with the new Yokohama X-AT tires balanced with less than 4 ounces on any wheel. Considering the giant ring on the outer edge that’s mighty impressive.
The lugs are well protected and the valve stem is practically inside the rim. A design that might cause problems later when trying to perform trail service, but time will tell.