If you have ever thought about welding the FWD diff you are likely in search of some facts and figures to back up your decision. You will likely be looking for a long time and you definitely won’t find a glowing review of the idea here. However, we have some great info for you and you may find that you are swayed one way or the other.
Either you read this and think what the heck was I thinking and re-evaluate the idea or you read this and think, why the hell not? It is up to you to decide after the fact. So, here is everything you need to know about what the differential is, why you might want to weld it, what will happen when you weld it, how much this ordeal is going to cost, and much more. Let’s get right into it here and now.
What Is A Differential And How Does It Work?
So, before we get into welding the differential, we should discuss what the differential actually does first. Yes, if you are reading this article, you probably already have a decent idea of what it is. But, for the sake of those that don’t. And, because you may need reminding of how important the differential is(!) Here is a simplified explanation of what it is and how it works.
The differential allows each wheel to turn at slightly different speeds. This is important for a few reasons, especially in FWD, as you will encounter times when each wheel has very different traction and therefore some wheels require more power and others require less. Without it, you would find that your car drifts and slips far more often on uneven terrain.
Why Would You Weld A FWD Diff?
Welding your FWD almost goes against the purpose of the differential. However, doing so can work to your advantage. Many people like to weld the diff to ensure that the back wheels are spinning faster than the front ones. If you are hoping to be able to oversteer around corners welding your differential can certainly help you accomplish this.
Welding your FWD can make your car more fun to drive (arguably) and that is pretty much the entire reason that anyone would do it. There are no dramatic benefits to your everyday driving experience. Otherwise, the differential would be manufactured differently and would not require welding. Obviously.
Is A Welded FWD Diff A Good Idea?
Not really. Sorry, but the benefits are very limited and you can pretty much only use it frequently off-roading or on a race track. You will actually find yourself understeering like crazy rather than oversteering which can make cornering very freaking difficult. You will also absolutely demolish your turning circle so good luck getting around tight country lanes without needing to exit the road.
If you were to take the idea of a welded diff in a vacuum and say right, I will only be using this car for off-roading around wide tracks and I don’t expect the car to last very long or maintain any semblance of value, then welding your FWD diff could be considered a good idea. Otherwise, no. It is certainly not.
Handling on FWD With and Without A Welded Diff
As mentioned above, the FWD differential is designed to make driving easier by redistributing power and speed to whichever wheel needs it. Many people assume that the differential applies extra power to the wheels that are slipping, while this is sometimes true, you will find that in many cases your car is using a limited-slip differential which will give extra power to whichever wheel does have good traction.
If you weld your FWD diff you may end up completely tanking any semblance of traction and just spin out constantly. Cornering with a standard or LSD differential will be smooth and fluid, and cornering with a welded FWD diff will be slippy and unreliable. But that may be what you are after.
How Much Does It Cost To Weld A FWD Diff?
If you can find someone willing to weld your FWD differential for you then you can probably relax a bit when worrying about price. They shouldn’t charge much. If you have the equipment and know-how to do it yourself, then of course it won’t cost very much. You should be aware that once you have welded the FWD diff you can’t exactly “un-weld” it and get it back to how it was before. It might cost you a lot more down the line when your car loses all resale value for 99% of buyers.
Are There Any Situations Where Welding Your FWD Diff Is Worth It?
If you have a car that has pretty much died on its feet, it has no purpose or value apart from ragging it around a race track or tearing through an offroad course, and welding the diff will make the car more fun, or even preserve its functionality entirely, then sure it could be considered worth it.
If you are taking your truck mudding and want to weld the differential so you can do doughnuts and wide sweeping drifts easier the hell yeah brother, go for it. Why the hell not? Otherwise, no, there are not many situations where welding your FWD diff would be considered worth it.
Hopefully, you feel like you understand what the purpose of the differential is and why it matters so much when driving an FWD. Especially in situations where you really need all four wheels. Now, you likely feel that this article was pretty one-sided. Unfortunately, in this situation, the argument is pretty one-sided so that is to be expected.
However, there are clearly some situations where welding your FWD diff would be worth it. If not worth it, at least somewhat justifiable. Thanks for reading and goodbye for now. And for those of you who were on the fence about welding their FWD diff, if in doubt, just don’t do it. Unless your car is on its way to the junkyard otherwise it really isn’t worth it.