Drag Racing Wheels, Beadlocks and Forgings – Oh My!
Drag Racing Wheels have been around for decades. So, what makes a high quality drag race wheel?
We’re glad you asked!
Drag Racing Wheels are not created equal. You’ve been to the track and seen various brands, construction, fitments and so on. So, what makes great drag racing wheels great? Let’s break it down…
The Aluminum Material
In the old days aluminum wheels at the track were cast aluminum or magnesium. Since everybody agrees that magnesium though very light weight is brittle and fatigues rapidly, the unpredictable nature of using them for racing year after year is unsafe and by no means affordable. Cast aluminum requires more material to meet the stress levels race cars dish out and thus weigh more than racers want. Also when cast wheel spoke sections decide to fail, the breaks are immediate and catastrophic. You likely won’t have a warning before wheel failure. When one spoke goes, they all go.
So, the next generation was stamped wheels. These wheels are constructed from aluminum sheet and stamped into a 5-spoke or multi-hole shape. They include a cast middle section (that rattly thing) sandwich in the bolt patter are to keep the wheel from crushing under the lug nuts. The problem here is the were never very round. The were however lighter weight than their predecessors. Believe it or not they are still on the market today. Mainly because they are low price or possibly for nostalgia’s sake.
This takes us to the present day when all real drag wheels are constructed from forged aluminum. And still not all wheels are created equal.
3030 Autosport Drag Ops Series features the best components and the most options for Street & Strip Drag Racing. Our 30-plus years of wheel industry experience helped us create an entire company around offering racers of all breeds the best wheels possible.
Forged Wheel Center Sections
Every Drag Ops Street and Strip drag racing wheel feature forged 6061-T6 aluminum center sections. Forging retains and improves the grain structure of the aluminum to produce a highly compressed and extremely strong material starting point.
Strategic Design and Engineering for Weight Relief Without Sacrificing Strength
Certain areas of drive wheels see more stress during instant acceleration than other areas. 3030 Autosport designs are based around that fact as a “function comes first” rule of engineering. Spoke contours, weight reduction pockets inside spoke and milling on the back of the spoke all have a purpose.
Spun Rim Sections
Most drag wheel rim sections are produced with decades old technology. There are deep drawn or pressed over a die, stretching the aluminum as they form. Aluminum has a springing characteristic, meaning that when the rim is removed from the die, the actual roundness is a variable – adding runout.
Spinning is the opposite. 3030 Autosport Drag Wheels start out as a ring rolled cylinder, completely seamless. This compressed aluminum is then spun over a mandrel to the shape you see. Metal is moved heavier in the areas that need the material and thinner in the areas that don’t see the stress – resulting in a straighter, rounder and stronger rim section.
Each center and beadlock is welded completely around the backside to ensure a unified structure. Nothing to loosen over time.
Forged Beadlock Rings
3030 Autosport Beadlock rings are stronger and straighter than most any beadlock on the market. The ring is first ring rolled to the proper diameter. Then, the material is forged flat to compress the material to an extremely flat state. This dense material is then CNC machined to a precise form ready to finish.
Common beadlock rings are machined out of billet plate which is much more prone for deformation.
3030 Autosport Beadlocks are produced to specifically fit Goodyear and Hoosier Slicks with separate beadlock to fit Mickey Thompson Slicks for proper and uniform compression. All beadlocks feature our aggressive arrayed knurl for the ultimate lockdown.
Grade 8 Bolts
The strongest bolt for use with beadlocks is grade 8 steel – stronger than stainless steel.
HeliCoil Beadlock Threads
3030 Autosport Beadlocks feature HeliCoil threaded inserts for ultimate longevity and ease of threading. Most other manufacturers use press in captive nuts which never press in straight and loosen over time. HeliCoils stay in place, add strength, and thread like a dream.
3rd Party Testing
3030 Drag Ops wheels are SFI Certified. Rear Drive wheels are SFI 15.1 certified and front runners are SFI 15.2 certified. For more information on how that applies to the rule book you race under, go to: https://sfifoundation.com/drag-racing/ .
Easily Removable Caps for the Track
No caps at the track? No worries, keep your wheel on and remove the 5 bolts. Bolt them back on for street cruising in minutes.
Check out the Drag Ops Seirs Here: https://3030autosport.com/wheel_type/forged-street-strip-drag/ .