Locking Differentials for a Front Wheel Drive?

wheels
#1

I own a Honda Civic 2002, and have been putting a few mods on my engine. I have a problem with always spinning out on my right front wheel, and I lose power and traction. I especially had the problem trying to drive over a snowy mountain pass with not being able to make it up the hill because my right front tire kept spinning. Is there such thing as a locking differential for a front wheel drive vehicle?

#2

Do you mean a Limited Slip Differential (LSD)?

They do exist for some FWD cars. The Nissan Stanza, circa 1990, had a LSD as standard equipment on one of the high end models.

It is very possible that there is an aftermarket source for a LSD for your car, but you should consider something else in this situation. If you are using performance tires, a LSD is not going to help very much, as a result of those tires being totally unsuited to driving on slippery winter surfaces.

You need to install a set of 4 winter tires and you also need to apply less torque to your drive wheels. (Translation: Slow Down)

#3

Ahhh…you catch on to the FWD problem in slippery weather…going up hill with the weight shift to the rear you loose traction.
IMO a limited slip FWD could create more problems than it’s worth. Now, when one wheel slips, you loose traction but still have steerage with the other wheel. Imagine that they both lock in and slip; you loose total steering control of the car and will drift with the crown of the road.

Better winter tires along with traction control is the best solution, where the brake is applied to shift power to the non spinning wheel. You retain steering. Look for a car with traction control if you want help with FWD.
We have it in family on a Honda van, and it works well. It can be disengaged too.

#4

The first generation Nissan Sentra SER was a front wheel drive car with a limited slip differential. The current Honda Civic Si has one, too.

An aftermarket limited slip for your Civic would be expensive. If any exist, performance equipment suppliers who cater to Honda owners should know. I don’t know if the limited slip from a current Civic Si will fit your car.

For traction on snow and ice, your best bet is specialized winter tires mounted on an extra set of wheels. They will work better than a limited slip with poor tires. Check TireRack’s web site for good candidates.